Once Upon a Deadpool

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Once Upon a Deadpool Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Entertaining re-edited sequel tones down violence, language.
  • PG-13
  • 2018
  • 116 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 29 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 38 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Deadpool/Wade has his own, very violent code of justice/morality, which frequently results in slaughter. But movie also explores how superheroes/mutants/people with extra abilities struggle between helping others and following their own agenda/priorities. Ultimately promotes friendship, responsibility, teamwork, alliances, collaboration, love. Clear lesson about how children can change lives: "Kids give us a chance to be better than we were."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lots of extremely iffy, outright illegal behavior, but Wade follows his own code faithfully; it mostly involves justice against those who've done big wrongs. He clearly loves Vanessa, will do anything to protect her. Three X-Men help Deadpool even though it's not their fight. Russell is badly traumatized and searching for someone to bond with; he's desperate for connection. Deadpool reiterates idea that life boils down to a few precious choices, moments. Even "villains" have motives that audiences can empathize with. Diverse casting among key characters. Domino is a strong, capable woman who contributes just as much to the team as the men.


Still lots of violence, but not nearly as graphic or excessive as in the R-rated version. Expect lots of hand-to-hand combat, fireballs thrown with explosive results, people setting themselves on fire. People are crushed, smacked by trucks, impaled, burned by acidic vomit, run over, shredded, torn in half, etc. Deadpool makes multiple suicide attempts, even though he knows they'll fail. One very sad death; other scenes show tragic results of future murder (including a dead child, although those deaths are mostly alluded to, not overtly seen, outside of house burning). Children and adults are abused (as children) by authority figures. Lots of jokes about pedophiles and child pedophiles.


Wade's "baby butt" is blurred out, and no baby genitals are shown in this cut. Wade and Vanessa kiss passionately a couple of times and in one scene plan to make love. A few other sexual/suggestive references, including some "flirting" and butt grabbing between Deadpool and Colossus. Vanessa's IUD is shown briefly. Suggestive comments (and knowing looks) reference the original movie's more overtly sexual scenes. One extended joke involves Fred Savage saying he wants to "fight" Matt Damon; the way Deadpool bleeps the word after the "f" sound makes it sound sexual.


Less frequent swearing than in the R-rated cut. The "f--k"s are bleeped out or omitted completely. But other words are still heard; they include the starting "f" sound that's then bleeped out, plus "s--t," "a--hole," "ass," "bitch," "d--k," "p---y," "pr--k," "hell," "crap," "pissing," "goddamn," "Jesus Christ," "douche," "son of a bitch," "baby balls," and more. Middle-finger gestures.


Visible/mentioned brands include Crocs shoes, Mercedes, Apple, Teva sandals, Ford, Dodge, Budweiser, Huggies baby wipes, iPhone, Toaster Strudel, LinkedIn, etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wade is shown drunk and peeing on the floor of a bar (he can't stand up without help); characters drink Budweiser; Wade unearths packages of cocaine labeled "nose sugar" but doesn't do anything with them. Boxed wine and beer shown.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Once Upon a Deadpool is an edited, toned-down version of Deadpool 2 with an additional framing device in which Wade/Deadpool holds Fred Savage hostage and reads him the movie's story, Princess Bride-style. There are some other extra/re-tooled scenes, too; definitely watch through the end of the credits for bonus scenes and a special tribute to the late Stan Lee. In this (somewhat) kinder, gentler edition of the movie, the most obvious differences are the tamer language and sex and substantially decreased violence. There's still plenty of fighting (plus explosions, characters on fire, etc.), but not much gore -- though you do see Deadpool get torn in half and his parts exploding. He also tries to kill himself multiple times, even though he knows he can't succeed. Language includes "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," and a full range of other salty words (as well as jokes about sex offenders and bondage/sex toys), but the F-bombs are omitted or humorously bleeped out. Eagle-eyed fans will catch a host of other little differences, but overall this is the same movie -- with a funny, nostalgic nod to a family classic.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bynicholle January 21, 2019


I am outraged that Disney would be a part of tricking parents into letting their children watch such a vulgar movie!! SHAME ON YOU DISNEY!!! I wish that I could... Continue reading
Parent Written byRick G. January 18, 2019

Fine for teens, BUT...

Be warned, while a lot of the profanity, has been cleaned up, there are still a TON of really filthy bits of dialogue that made it in. It really depends on the... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 20, 2019

Great Movie!

I love the fact that I am allowed to see a Deadpool movie, he is one of my favourite superheroes and it was really funny but not for ages under 9.
Teen, 13 years old Written byMystic Hugo December 14, 2018

Yeah, Not For Kids

Take this from a mature almost-14 year-old. This film is not for kids! I haven't seen Deadpool 2 but I do know how the plot goes from start to finish. I ca... Continue reading

What's the story?

ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL isn't just Deadpool 2 with the swear words and ultra-gory violent scenes edited out: It reframes the story as a bedtime tale that Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) is telling to none other than actor/director Fred Savage, who happens to be bound on a bed in a room that looks just like his character's from The Princess Bride. Deadpool and Fred have many asides as the snarky antihero tells the angst-filled story of how a heartbreaking loss sent him first into a tailspin and then into the waiting, eager arms of his X-Men pal Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic), who enlists Deadpool/Wade Wilson as an "X-Men trainee." When things go south during a confrontation with angry 14-year-old mutant Russell/"Firefist" (Julian Dennison), Wade finds himself in mutant prison with the young fire-starter and ends up butting heads (and weapons) with Cable (Josh Brolin), a super-serious cyborg soldier from the future. The new enemies reluctantly team up when Russell forms an unlikely alliance with massive mutant supervillain Juggernaut.

Is it any good?

Cynics might call it a blatant cash-grab, but this retooled, less graphic take on Deadpool 2 is a more accessible, still entertaining version of the sequel. Not only does it add the new Savage/Reynolds scenes, but there are also extra scenes with the sequel's cast. And $1 from each ticket sold during the movie's late 2018 theatrical release will go to the charitable organization Fudge Cancer (since, without his superpowers, Wade is dying of the disease). This cut tones down -- but definitely doesn't eliminate -- the raunchy jokes and four-letter words, but Deadpool's trademark humor is still in full force, and the Princess Bride homage is funny enough to charm anyone familiar with Rob Reiner's family classic. (At one point, Deadpool narrates his and Vanessa's passionate kiss and then pauses meaningfully for Savage to object that kissing is gross, but of course the actor replies that he's now a grown man.)

There are also lots of self-deprecating jokes -- not only about Reynolds and his career and Canadian heritage, but also about the flaws and plot holes of Deadpool 2 (most of which Savage points out). It's those little extras that save the movie from feeling completely unnecessary. Plus, parents who weren't ready for their middle schoolers to see the R-rated cut are more likely to be able to enjoy this version with their kids, knowing that teens can still see the original when it's eventually appropriate. This film is kind of like the popular "young readers edition" versions of best-selling books such as Unbroken and The Boys in the Boat -- kids could just wait until they're mature enough to handle the original material, but the editing and extras offer families an option for younger, eager fans.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Once Upon a Deadpool. How does it compare to the original version of the film (if you've seen it)? How does Deadpool's humor affect or mitigate the violence? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • For those who've seen both the original and the re-edited version: What difference(s) did you like most? What do you think the motive was to release a tamer cut?

  • Is Wade/Deadpool a role model? How about Cable, Colossus, Vanessa, and the other supporting characters?

  • How does the movie convey the idea that teamwork is important? Does it emphasize any other positive character strengths?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love superheroes

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate