Parents' Guide to

Oldboy (2013)

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Spike Lee's solid, literal remake is extremely violent.

Movie R 2013 104 minutes
Oldboy (2013) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+


Great story impressive action and good action sciens with excellent camera works.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 18+

leave the kids at home

not a fan, not kid-friendly

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (6):

Spike Lee has never devoted his vicious talents to a pure exploitation film before. But his hard, brutal OLDBOY tackles that mind-bending, subversive story without flinching. On the other hand, Lee does do the American thing by adding a little more backstory, both to the lead character and to his situation; the Korean version leaves these things a little more opaque. Sometimes, this more literal approach opens up unwanted new questions about characters and motivations. The main problem with OLDBOY, though, is that anyone familiar with the original story won't have much to be surprised about; Lee doesn't mess around with it much, and, indeed, it's so solid there's not much to mess around with. Josh Brolin gives an appealingly fearless, nearly lunatic performance and Elizabeth Olsen nicely compliments him. Samuel L. Jackson provides a loony, sinister presence, even if Sharlto Copley overacts.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: November 27, 2013
  • On DVD or streaming: March 4, 2014
  • Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Josh Brolin, Sharlto Copley
  • Director: Spike Lee
  • Inclusion Information: Black directors
  • Studio: FilmDistrict
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Run time: 104 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong brutal violence, disturbing images, some graphic sexuality and nudity, and language
  • Last updated: April 2, 2023

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