Salt Movie Poster Image

Salt

Jolie's shallow, ludicrous thriller has lots of violence.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 91 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The main message here seems to be "trouble could be lurking under your very nose" -- Russian spies could be anywhere, and there's nothing you can do about it unless you're a trained super spy. A slightly more positive message is hidden for the purposes of a "twist" in the movie's plot.

Positive role models

Salt is a hero who's made to look like a villain for most of the film. Her ultimate aim is to prevent the world from being destroyed, but she also acts out of revenge. She kills many people during her journey and steals things whenever she needs them, and she never trusts anyone.

Violence

Heavy action violence, with lots of shooting, stabbing, fighting, punching, chasing, and explosions. The heroine is tortured in the opening scene; she's pummeled, and gasoline is poured down her throat. A man kills two guards with a shoe knife. Salt is shot and wounded; she stabs and kills a man with a broken vodka bottle. A flashback of Salt as a little girl shows her bruised and clad in bandages, as if she had been horribly beaten.

Sex

Some romantic kissing. In one scene, Salt removes her panties from under her skirt, using them to cover up and disable a security camera. She's also shown in her underwear during the opening scene. There's a shot of a Long Island bar called "Jugs and Strokers."

Language

The most frequent words used are "goddamn" and "s--t." "F--k" is used at once. Also "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), "damn," and "hell."

Consumerism

One very prominent Pepsi billboard, a brief glimpse of a Heineken truck, and images of board games like Operation, Connect Four, and Othello.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The Russian spies drink a lot of vodka in a "background" way.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that action thriller Salt -- which stars Angelina Jolie as a CIA agent on the run -- is quite violent: There's lots of fighting, shooting, stabbing, killing, chases, and explosions, as well as a brief torture scene and a flashback scene suggesting that a child was beaten. Strong language isn't constant, but you'll hear both "f--k" and "s--t." Sexy stuff mostly stops at kissing (though one scene also features Salt removing her underwear from beneath her skirt), and some Russian spies drink vodka, but it's not prominent. Teen fans of Jolie and action may be intrigued, but it's not as entertaining as her 2008 hit Wanted.

What's the story?

CIA agent Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is just about to enjoy an anniversary dinner with her husband (August Diehl) when a Russian defector turns up and calmly claims that she's a Russian spy. She escapes, claiming to be looking for her now-missing husband, with agents Winter (Liev Schreiber) and Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) hot on her trail. Appearing like a Russian spy but sometimes acting like an American agent, she must remain in hiding. And, at the same time, she must risk getting close to some of the world's most powerful leaders and potentially starting another world war to achieve her mysterious goals.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

SALT could have been a pretty good summer popcorn thriller, but director Phillip Noyce and Jolie lend it too much weight without providing any depth; it takes its silly plot a bit too seriously. And although it tries to throw in some twists and surprises, they're not very well executed or surprising. Plus, the action is uninspiring, and the characters don't have any real depth. Some flashbacks seem like a last-minute attempt to help explain just who Salt really is, but they don't help.

In other words, there's not much at stake here, and what's left isn't really that much fun. Only Jolie's sharp onscreen ferocity helps pass the time in an interesting way, but even she feels a bit bored and/or stranded by the lack of material and imagination.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the violence in the film. How did it make you feel? Why do you think it worked that way?

  • Was Salt acting out of revenge or for the best interests of the country? Or both? If both, how did she balance the two?

  • Was Salt right in killing and stealing to reach her goal? Could she have reached it any other way?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 23, 2010
DVD/Streaming release date:December 21, 2010
Cast:Angelina Jolie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Liev Schreiber
Director:Phillip Noyce
Studio:Columbia Pictures
Genre:Action/Adventure
Run time:91 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:intense sequences of violence and action

This review of Salt was written by

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Parent of a 15 year old Written byMr. Charlie July 23, 2010

Good action flick, younger ones wouldn't get it

Is saw Salt today and honestly i wasn't dissapointed. It was violently pleasurablle and i took my son to see it and we both loved it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Kid, 11 years old July 11, 2012

Violent VERY.

Violent VERY.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byAltea January 9, 2011

Unnecessary violence and poor values

As an action movie, "Salt" was technically well-done and included interesting twists. However, I think the movie does more harm than good. Unlike other action movies like "Equilibrium" or "Spider-Man," "Salt" was devoid of any relevant messages or even thought-provoking ideas. The violence was disturbing and unnecessarily graphic. Salt is another "heroine" that should not be emulated. In "Salt," values like kindness, nobility, mercy, and gentleness are replaced with vindictiveness, ruthlessness, and craftiness. In conclusion, I think everyone--no matter the age--would do well to steer clear of this movie. If you want an action movie, I would suggest something that presents a valuable message/idea, or at least avoids the perpetual, exhausting violence of this movie. Salt is a terrible role model. I think it's important to remember that movies--whether we want them to or not--affect the ways we think. Why poison our minds (and waste our time) with a movie that provides cheap thrills, little value, but much violence?
What other families should know
Too much violence