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Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
R.I.P.D. Movie Poster Image
Lifeless, violent dud recycles many better sci-fi comedies.
  • PG-13
  • 2013
  • 96 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 17 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages
Characters learn to work together, and the main character learns to let go of the past. But much of their attitude is reckless, destructive, and insubordinate. There's also a bit of revenge involved. There are a few minor jokes at the expense of women, an old Chinese man, and Indian food.
Positive Role Models & Representations
The main characters are generally good cops, and they seem to care about people, despite a layer of callousness, but they're also destructive and silly.
Overall, the violence is cartoonish and bloodless, with very fake-looking creatures/visual effects romping around the city, flipping cars and destroying buildings. But some of the monsters can be kind of scary (like a man with his mouth ripped wide open). In the prologue scenes, cops shoot lots of bullets at a warehouse full of bad guys, but no one is shown getting hit. The main theme of the movie deals with the main character dying, coming back as a kind of ghost cop, and mourning the loss of his beloved wife (he watches her cry at his funeral). The movie's plot involves the idea of a coming apocalypse.
A husband and wife kiss lovingly while lying in bed, and they appear to be gearing up for sex before the scene ends. There's some various sexual innuendo, such as a couple alluding to a past sexual encounter, and references to "whores" or "love bought by the hour." A man gets out of the shower and drops his towel, but nothing sensitive is shown.
Language includes a cut-off use of "f--k," as well as a few uses of "s--t," plus "ass," "a--hole," "son of a bitch," "c--k up," "Jesus" (as an exclamation), and "suck it."
A character drinks a Fresca in one scene.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that R.I.P.D. is a sci-fi comedy that's likely to remind many viewers of Men in Black. It revolves around characters who die and come back as "ghost cops," whose job is to catch dead people who are still walking the earth. Violence is frequent but generally bloodless and cartoonish, with plenty of fake-looking computer-generated effects/creatures (some of whom may still be pretty scary for little kids) and lots of flipping cars and smashed buildings. There are also some shooting scenes. Things get a bit more serious when the main character deals with saying goodbye to his beloved wife. Language includes a few uses of "s--t," as well as one or two uses of "bitch" and "ass," and there's some kissing/suggestion of sex, as well as jokes at the expense of groups like women and Chinese people.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byDan G. August 16, 2013

Only mildly entertaining, but also very violent and bad language

Only mildly entertaining for adults, and significant objectionable material for children. A lot of violence, some of it bloody, adult humor, nudity, profanity,... Continue reading
Parent of a 9 year old Written byTimidWildOne July 28, 2013

Silly oddball movie

I saw this with my 9 year old (almost 10), The worst thing that it had was the beginning the couple rolling around in bed kissing and the girl was in her pantie... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byFILMCRITIC500 July 20, 2013

thrilling action comedy has cool guns and LOL moments

a laugh-out-loud action romp, this movie will entertain anyone. with awesome performances, great effects, and lots of action, younger kids will be intrigued. bu... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMichaelisme July 22, 2013

Funny movie.

Funny at parts a little scary if 6-7.Few bad words.

What's the story?

Boston police detective Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) would like to give his wife, Julia (Stephanie Szostak), a better life. A stash of gold found at a crime scene might be his ticket, but he's having second thoughts. When his crooked partner, Hayes (Kevin Bacon), hears this, he shoots and kills Nick. In the afterlife, Nick unwittingly becomes a member of the Rest in Peace Department. Now paired with a new undead partner, Roy (Jeff Bridges), Nick goes back to Earth to help send "deadoes" to the afterlife where they belong. Unfortunately, there seems to be a weird connection with Hayes, the gold, and a terrifying plot to bring the apocalypse down to earth. Can Nick and Roy solve the case and stop the evil plan in time?

Is it any good?

This movie is a waste of time; you've already seen it done before, and much better. With lots of similarities to the Men in Black movies, Ghost, Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice, Heaven Can Wait (and its remake Down to Earth), as well as many other movies, R.I.P.D. comes across as almost totally lifeless, as if it were on autopilot or generated by a computer that had been fed certain data and asked to spit out a movie. Even a great actor like Bridges merely reprises his Oscar-nominated cowboy performance from True Grit ... without all the clever dialogue or character depth. (At least he gets a few laughs.)
Director Robert Schwentke settles for sub-par special effects -- the monsters look rubbery and fake -- and haphazard plotting: Knowing what he knows, why would Hayes shoot and kill Nick? The comedy falls flat, the action is unexciting, and, even worse, the romantic angle is hopeless given that the hero is dead and his wife is still alive; it's too heavy an idea for such a "light" movie.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about R.I.P.D.'s cartoonish violence. Was it scary or exciting? Does any of it seem real?
  • Is the movie scary? How does it see the monsters in this movie? Are they funny, or sad?
  • Did you notice any stereotypes in the movie? How do you feel about the movie's portrayal of women, Chinese men, etc.?
  • Does the idea of a dead main character make the movie seem depressing? How does such a light movie handle such a dark idea?

Movie details

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