A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive MessagesTeamwork rules the day in this movie. Whenever characters don't cooperate, or think mainly of themselves, they end up as beastie chow. Characters that work together, for the most part, manage to beat the odds. (There are exceptions, however, even to this rule.)
Positive Role ModelsRiddick is a natural born leader, although he's also a killer. Characters begin by not trusting him, but eventually look up to him and depend on him for survival. He's not particularly nice, but he's resourceful and confident. There's a fairly strong female character in Carolyn Fry, but she also has her dark secrets and her moments of weakness.
Violence & ScarinessThe movie features very strong sci-fi violence, creature attacks, and gore. Several characters die, including main characters. There's a huge spaceship crash. We see splatters of blood. Characters are shot, stabbed, and slashed. Characters fight and argue with one another.
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Sex, Romance & NudityNot an issue, though two female characters wear somewhat revealing clothing.
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LanguageLanguage includes several uses of "f--k," as well as "s--t," "hell," "ass," "dick," "motherf----r," "a--hole," "Goddamn," "piss," and "God" as an exclamation.
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Drinking, Drugs & SmokingOne of the characters is a liquor connoisseur. He has several bottles on hand that he's constantly sipping from and trying to protect (he ends up donating them as flammable illumination devices). Characters also smoke cigars, and one character is shown to be addicted to a painkiller, the result of a bad injury.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pitch Black is the sci-fi action movie that spawned Vin Diesel's "Riddick" franchise. This first movie, however, is mostly about characters working together to survive a greater threat. It features strong sci-fi violence, with creature attacks, blood splatters, shooting, fighting, and death. Language is also very strong, with many uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "a--hole." One character keeps a stash of fancy liquor, another smokes cigars, and a third is addicted to painkillers. Sex isn't much of an issue, though two of the female characters are dressed in skimpy/sexy outfits. Overall, older teens should be OK, especially given the movie's admirable themes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
After making his directorial debut with The Arrival, screenwriter David Twohy (The Fugitive) proved that he had the stuff to be a strong director of genre films on modest-sized budgets. PITCH BLACK was another of these, a slam-bang action movie with lots of jump-scares and gore, but based around some good ideas and character interactions.
Twohy makes the most out of the concept of two enemies teaming up to fight a greater enemy, as well as the sci-fi idea of a planet engulfed in total darkness. He employs some terrifically spooky effects to show Riddick's night vision; the whole movie looks great given its limited locations and general lack of razzle-dazzle. It's clearly indebted to movies like The Thing from Another World and Alien, but it's also innovative enough to join them. (Twohy's sequel, The Chronicles of Riddick, was four times as expensive, and not half as smart or entertaining.)
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.