A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What 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.
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What's the story?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?
- In theaters: September 14, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: December 21, 2012
- Cast: Michelle Rodriguez, Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory
- Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
- Studio: Sony Pictures
- Genre: Horror
- Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 117 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sequences of strong violence throughout
- Last updated: February 07, 2020
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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.
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