Resident Evil: Retribution Movie Poster Image

Resident Evil: Retribution

Plenty of gore -- and more 3-D -- in fifth RE installment.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 117 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Alice seems colder and more callous in this entry in the movie series, except for one thing: She decides to rescue a little "clone" girl who's deaf and has been programmed to believe that Alice is her mother. Alice risks her life to protect the girl. There's also an attempt to show her working with others, but the characters aren't very interesting, and so this attempt doesn't come across clearly.

Positive role models

Although Alice's life isn't very admirable -- it's filled with fighting, violence, and killing and very little joy -- she is a strong, commanding, confident female character with incredible skills and instincts. She often stops to help others, even at the risk of her own life. The movie also shows Alice and the girl communicating via American Sign Language.


Very strong sci-fi/fantasy violence. Almost constant shooting, with countless zombies blowing up. Some human characters die. Blood is shown. In one brief sequence, a zombie chainsaws a man, and (fake-looking) blood spatters everywhere. There's some martial arts fighting; in one scene, a character swings a chain and padlock to bash zombies in the face. A baseball bat is used on zombies in another scene. A giant monster goes on the rampage, kidnapping a little girl. Viewers see bones breaking and hearts stopping in X-ray close-ups. Zombies have scary mutated tentacles shooting out of their mouths. Car crashes and explosions.


No one is thinking about sex here, but in one scene, Alice wakes up and finds herself almost naked, wearing two white sheets that cover her back and front. Nothing sensitive is shown, but at the same time, not much is left to the imagination. Women wear tight, sexy leather/vinyl outfits throughout. In one early scene, a husband and wife display affection for each other (including a butt slap).


Infrequent language includes a few uses of "s--t," plus "hell," "badass," etc.


A couple of scenes take place in a fake model of New York City. This contains a replica of Times Square, complete with billboards. Reebok, Levi's, and other brands are briefly visible.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Resident Evil: Retribution is the fifth in the Resident Evil series of video game-based sci-fi/action/horror movies. Like the others, this one has strong sci-fi violence and gore (zombie and monster attacks), as well as guns and shooting and martial arts fighting. Many zombies expire, some humans die, and some blood is shown. There are a few scary and/or jump-shock moments as well. Language is less of an issue, with only a few uses of "s--t," and there's not much in the way of sexual content, though female characters do wear tight and/or skimpy clothes, and in one scene, the lead character wears a strange outfit that leaves very little to the imagination. Note: Watching the movie in 3-D increases the intensity of the viewing experience.

What's the story?

Following the events of Resident Evil: Afterlife -- and a recap of all the movies so far -- Alice (Milla Jovovich) finds herself a prisoner of the Red Queen (a computer program bent on wiping out humankind) at the start of RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION. Unexpectedly, she's freed, aided by a tough, gun-toting beauty (Li Bingbing) and a crack rescue team. Unfortunately, to escape, they must make their way past a series of "test environments," arenas designed to look like Moscow, Tokyo, and New York, all full of zombies. And they only have two hours. To add to the trouble, Alice decides to rescue the clone of a little girl, and the mind-controlled Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) is hot on their trail. But the question remains: Why was Alice freed, and what's the master plan behind it all?

Is it any good?


As horror, this movie's not very spooky, except for a couple of typical jump-scares; and as sci-fi, it's not very brainy. Writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson once again returns to the helm of this series, as he did for the first and fourth entries. And, like Afterlife, Resident Evil: Retribution is also presented in 3-D. But while the last movie felt clean and more character-focused, this one seems a good deal lazier, both in the writing and directing departments. For instance, Anderson comes up with a couple of potentially great martial arts fight scenes but edits them too quickly and lowers the emotional stakes.

Though several characters band together here, the movie doesn't seem to care about any of them, and none of them gets much more than a couple of tough-guy line readings. They never develop any personalities. Indeed, when characters start dying, it's hard to remember who's gone. The 3-D isn't used quite as well this time, either, and it often goes unnoticed. The visual effects are pretty much business as usual.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Resident Evil: Retribution's violence. How did it make you feel? Were you scared? Were you grossed out?

  • Is Alice a strong female role model, or is she a stereotype?

  • How do the Resident Evil movies compare to the video games they're based on? Which is more entertaining -- the interactive zombie-killing experience, or the passive one?

  • Do you feel the need to see the latest Resident Evil movie just because you've seen the others? How does the latest one compare?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 14, 2012
DVD/Streaming release date:December 21, 2012
Cast:Michelle Rodriguez, Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory
Director:Paul W.S. Anderson
Studio:Sony Pictures
Topics:Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Run time:117 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:sequences of strong violence throughout

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byIm The Dude September 16, 2012

The Dude

I feel like it is an hour and a half of my life I will never get back. Complete waist of time.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written bychristian2011 January 4, 2013

Very disappointing. Didn't really connect to the storyline. Only focused on non-stop carnage.

Resident Evil : Retribution is the 5th movie in the RE franchise, in which it mainly focuses on Alice escaping from the Umbrella underground chambers with hordes of bloodthirsty zombies attempting to kill her and her comrades before they reach the surface. And, that's mainly what this movie is ALL about. To me, it doesn't connect to the main storyline, it just shows This film, even though it is rated R for strong violence throughout, it's really not that pervasively bloody and there's hardly any gore. There is some mild language like d**n, h*ll, but doesn't exceed to f**k, sh*t and other crude terms, so language isn't a problem either. The special effects are mediocre, and the combat sequences very cheesy and nothing too suprising. It's alright for kids 14 and up, because the violence mostly just involves gun shooting, brief combat sequnces with mild blood, some frightening images of the zombies, and brief mild language. The character designs for Leon and Ada are VERY poorly executed. Waste of time and money when you decide to see this film.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byShivom Oza September 28, 2012

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) Review by Shivom Oza – Visually Flawless, Same Old Action-Template

‘Resident Evil: Retribution’, fifth film in the franchise, is nothing different from the rest. Honestly, too much is being done of this post-apocalyptic business! Filmmakers need to find newer settings. In almost every action film, there’s this after-the-end-of-the-world shanty township encroached upon by violent elements. It’s not working anymore. The story is not too different from the other films of the ‘Resident Evil’ series. To the credit of the filmmakers, the plot is kept concise and thankfully, short! Post-apocalyptic setting, Alice (Milla Jovovich) wakes up in an Umbrella base, having been captured at the Arcadia. Upon being interrogated by Jill (Sienna Guillory), Alice realizes that something is amiss. An unexpected power failure enables Alice to escape from her cell. Here, she encounters Ada Wong (Bingbing Li), from Albert Wesker’s (Shawn Roberts) team. Apparently, Ada and Wesker no longer belong to Umbrella. Wesker needs Alice’s help to battle the base’s supercomputer Red Queen (Megan Charpentier), in order to save the remaining of mankind. The build-up given to all the action sequences is fantastic. Not only has the cinematography (sublime work by Glen MacPherson) excelled, but the entire team contributing to the visuals (art direction, production design, editing, special effects etc.) have done a marvellous job! The opening credits, in particular, present scintillating visuals of Milla strutting all her action moves with a lot of gumption! Direction by Paul W.S. Anderson is just about fine. Performances by the cast are decent, nothing spectacular. The film will be enjoyed by fans of the ‘Resident Evil’ franchise and, in general, action movies! Luckily, the 90-odd minute duration works in the film’s favour. Watch it for the spectacular cinematography and the brilliantly-executed action sequences! Yes, there is a sixth film in the pipeline. Shivom Oza
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking