Salt

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Salt Movie Poster Image
Jolie's shallow, ludicrous thriller has lots of violence.
  • PG-13
  • 2010
  • 91 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 21 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 44 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
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.
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 ot... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old July 11, 2012
Teen, 13 years old Written byFILMCRITIC500 March 26, 2012

add some pepper to it

this film pushes the PG-13 rating, with graphic violence, a scene of intense tortutre, and many brutal scenes of action. this film has a huge body count. deaths... Continue reading

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love action

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