A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
- In theaters: July 23, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: 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
- Last updated: February 20, 2020
For kids who love action
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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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