Mutant Chronicles



Stylized, slapdash sci-fi bloodbath is gory and grim.
  • Review Date: August 3, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 111 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While much of the film's action is depicted as being toward a greater good, the film is so violent and hard-bitten that it makes it hard to sift the good out from the bloody background. There's extensive discussion of corporate control, as the four multinational companies who run the world wage
and fight wars.


Constant, blood-spurting, sci-fi war violence, much of it perpetrated by hideous monsters. Explosions from artillery kill people; there are images of bloody field surgery, as well as dead and wounded bodies (including people shot in the head). The monsters use their clawed hands to kill, impale, and slash human beings, with the effects shown in blood-spurting, slow-mo close-up. Eviscerated human beings are seen dropping their guts to the ground. Limbs are lopped off.


Crude discussion of sexual conduct. Soldiers imply that they'll take sexual advantage of a woman they're rescuing from certain death.


Constant strong language, including "f--k," "s--t," "bastards," "ass," "faggot," "motherf---er," "short hairs," "Christ," "pendejo," and more.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Frequent smoking; characters drink hard liquor.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a review of the movie in theaters and not the Director's Cut that's available on DVD. This violent sci-fi action movie is bloody, gory, and grim. A man kills a wounded comrade in arms at point-blank range; skulls are penetrated by monsters' inhuman claws; extensive swordplay means limbs and heads are lopped off with remarkable frequency -- and so on. Plus, the film's overall tone is bleak, with a resigned cynicism that both evokes the old-school war films and makes the film a bit of chore to watch. You can also expect constant strong language, some crude sex talk, smoking, and drinking.

What's the story?

In a far-flung future, the remnants of humanity toil -- and fight -- under the control of four major corporations. A battle unearths the hidden catacombs where, centuries ago, flesh-hungry mutants were successfully entombed after their rampage to destroy humanity was defeated. With the mutants now loose, a holy man assembles a rag-tag team of soldiers and experts to journey into the bowels of the Earth and destroy the infernal machine that turns men into blood-hungry monsters before the world is destroyed.

Is it any good?


Shot with a computer-aided technique that evokes the stylish look of films like Sin City and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, MUTANT CHRONICLES has a high-tech look and style to spare, but the film's gory, tedious action makes it a bore. The melding of sci-fi ideas and retro-tough sensibility in the script (the team of soldiers is made up of cynics, survivors, and nihilists) also makes it tough to root for the suicide mission.

Director Simon Hunter's over-the-top violence and gore is also so excessive that it would almost be laughable if it weren't so grisly; the violence feels like a substitute for screenwriting and character development. Full of cliches and wholly unsurprising "surprises," Mutant Chronicles is dreary, dull, and shallow despite -- or perhaps because of -- its unrelenting gore.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether sci-fi/fantasy violence has more or less impact than other kinds of media violence. Why? What kinds of consequences do different types of violence have in movies and TV shows?

  • Families can also discuss how faith is portrayed in the movie, from its

  • tagline ("Have faith") to the fact that the heroes are dispatched by a

  • holy order of priests. Do you think the filmmakers are trying to send

  • specific messages?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 24, 2009
DVD release date:August 4, 2009
Cast:Devon Aoki, Ron Perlman, Thomas Jane
Director:Simon Hunter
Studio:Magnet Releasing
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:111 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong bloody violence and language throughout

This review of Mutant Chronicles was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byKatfrog August 14, 2009

We didn't finish the movie, it's that bad

The movie is ultra violent, shot in sepia tone (not a plus here), with shallow, predictable characters and an even shallower plot line. The only interesting parts of the plot are told to the viewers in a narrative, which greatly removes the interesting factor. My husband and I tried to watch it, but stopped the movie around the half-way point. Why? Because the movie is just that bad.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byYldnole May 3, 2009

Good but very violent

Rented this On Demand and it surprised the heck out of me. Yery dark and ULTRA violent ..but also very cool...Thomas Jane did a good job as the brooding hero...but this is definetly not for young kids.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byGAMER117 August 8, 2009


What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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