Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
Polar Movie Poster Image
Tale about retired killer is filled with sex, drugs, cursing
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 118 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Life is violent. Sometimes bad people regret their actions.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Duncan is violent but resourceful. He kills for a living but in some instances he seems to have a heart and a conscience.


People are shot, gouged, sliced, knifed, punctured, hung in chains, strangled, stabbed, and otherwise attacked in the knees, the chest, the head, the eye, the groin, and various other parts. Blood runs freely. A man is shot while having sex by a swimming pool. While having a scary bad dream, a man mistakenly shoots his dog. A woman describes what seems to have been her rape, and her subsequent dreams of violent retribution against her attacker.


A man and woman are shown having sex in various positions and in various states of dress until they are naked. Breasts and buttocks are seen. A man is shot dead while having sex by a swimming pool. His Viagra-assisted erection, inside his pants, withers after the shooting. Bare-breasted call girls service men in a large hotel suite. A man who has hired a prostitute hits her when she arrives and asks if she likes "taking it up the a--."  A young woman tells an older man that she told herself she'd never have sex with anyone older than her father.


"F--k," "s--t," "c--t," "ass."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cocaine use is shown. Heroin use is shown, with needles and paraphernalia. Alcohol and cigarette use is shown.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Polar is based on the Dark Horse graphic novel Polar: Came from the Cold, and, in graphically-violent detail, meticulously records merciless assassinations, sadistic torture, and nonchalant mayhem. While the vibe is comic at first, an episode of malicious, bloody, and closeup torture is dead serious and nearly impossible to watch for anyone with a normal empathy mechanism and ordinary tolerance for pain. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," c--t," and "ass." Heroin and cocaine use are shown as well as alcohol and cigarette consumption. A man and woman are seen naked, having sex in numerous positions. Breasts and posteriors are clearly visible. A man is shot dead while having sex by a swimming pool. His Viagra-assisted erection, inside his pants, withers after the shooting. Bare-breasted call girls service men in a large hotel suite.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAlirazabutt123 September 25, 2020


have a good
Adult Written byMooviefan May 11, 2020
Teen, 14 years old Written byClorox bleach February 14, 2021


This is a forgettable movie in my opinion. There was cool fight scenes and if you were to watch this movie that would be the only reason.
Teen, 17 years old Written byScottyFrank May 8, 2020

What's the story?

In POLAR, the Black Kaiser, also known as Duncan Vizla (Mads Mikkelsen), is a legendary assassin-for-hire, the best of the best at his assassination agency, Damocles. When investors seek to buy the business, the owner, Blut (Matt Lucas), wants to clear the books to facilitate the sale. Mandatory retirement age is rapidly approaching for Duncan, and that means a pension pay-out of $8 million, an expenditure Blut wishes to avoid. The answer? Send younger agents to kill the guy and eliminate a pesky expense. A cat-and-mouse game between the wily master executioner and Blut's operatives follows. When an old friend double-crosses Duncan, he's handed over to Blut, who is eager to bloodily torture Duncan for the four days before he turns the Big Five-Oh. The tone of the movie changes when someone from Duncan's past (Vanessa Hudgens) shows up and highlights a surprising facet of his personality.

Is it any good?

This extremely violent thriller isn't for everyone. Gallons of fake blood were required for the filming of Polar, and those not prepared for exposure to such excesses might best avoid it, despite the movie's sporadically high-entertainment moments -- especially during its first, quirkiest sequences. In tone, this resembles Pulp Fiction more than it does Goodfellas and other violence-fests, because early segments are played for comedy. The film takes a turn that will suit a more sadistic palate at around an hour in, when close-ups of piercings, gougings, and other graphically-horrific inflictions are showcased alarmingly, parts of it barely watchable.

Mikklesen, whose persona recalls a mix of The Rock with Clint Eastwood, is riveting as Duncan, a killer with a soul, made out to be more enigmatic than anyone who kills for a living has any right to be. It would be most fitting for someone as violent as he has been to meet an equally violent comeuppance, but the script and his performance keep you rooting for him.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the filmmakers' attitude about violence. What cues suggest early parts of Polar are meant to be viewed as funny?

  • Some characters appear to have more depth than might have been suspected earlier on. How do the filmmakers gradually reveal information about them? Does the seriousness at the end alter our perceptions about the movie's beginning?

  • How much violence is too much for your family?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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