Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks

Resident Evil

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Resident Evil Movie Poster Image
An ultra-gory video game-to-movie disappointment.
  • R
  • 2002
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 30 reviews

A lot or a little?

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


Graphic violence with many characters killed or in extreme peril.


Sexual references, brief nudity.


Very strong language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Resident Evil has extremely gross and graphic violence, with many disgusting deaths and truly icky monsters. Characters are in extreme peril and most of them are killed. There is very strong language and a brief sexual situation with nudity.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byManic Bulldog February 16, 2009

Let's Slow it Down!

I hadn't plan on reviewing this film since I havent watched it in over a year... but after reading my fellow reviewers responses, I decided I needed to do... Continue reading
Adult Written byalec_smithers April 9, 2008
Teen, 14 years old Written byCWG1 August 3, 2013

Resident evil is awesome

Great Campy Horror movie, that is not as gory as most horror movies. There is gore and people get eaten, but it is a pretty tame zombie movie. There is some la... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old March 10, 2013

Man, look at the rating. If you didn't want freaky, you shouldn't have watched it.

I don't get it, Common Sense Media. I adore this movie. Umbrella was the awesomest thing ever, and the zombies were, yes, terrifying. That's the point... Continue reading

What's the story?

In sci-fi thriller RESIDENT EVIL, a huge corporate conglomerate operates a mysterious underground research facility called The Hive. When something goes wrong with a devastating virus experiment, the governing computer system (think 2001's Hal the computer with the voice of Alice in Wonderland) shuts everything down, including killing off all the people. Two amnesiac security officers are brought down into The Hive by a team of commandos. And the rest of the movie consists of the group being confronted by various booby-traps and being chased by various mutants and zombies.

Is it any good?

The definitive comment about this movie was made by my friend, who walked out of the theater with me and said, "The computer game is more realistic than the movie." At least, I think that's what he said. My ears were still ringing from the highest decibel audio track I can remember. OK, no one was going in expecting insights about the human condition or Oscar-worthy performances in a movie based on a CD-ROM. All we hope for is some cool special effects and fight scenes. But even on that level, Resident Evil is a disappointment.

For the record, I can accept forgoing insight, characterization, and even dialogue in a movie like this. But it's not OK to forego stunning visuals, clever plot twists, and a sense of humor, and here Resident Evil falls short. What it does have is undead humans who look like rejects from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video, mutant vampire Dobermans who look like they they've been turned inside out, some laser beams that slice into people in a really gross way, and, on the plus side, a literally kick-ass performance by Michelle Rodriguez.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how people should respond if they believe that their organization is doing something wrong and about the kinds of controls our society establishes to keep private organizations from getting out of control. 

  • If you've played it, how does Resident Evil compare to the video game it was based on? What is similar and what is different? Does the violence have the same impact in the movie as it does in the game? What are some other movies based on video games? 

Movie details

For kids who love video games

Our editors recommend

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

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 and learning potential.

Learn how we rate