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Parents' Guide to


By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Stallone's gritty superhero actioner has violence, swearing.

Movie PG-13 2022 101 minutes
Samaritan Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 8+

Great family movie with positive message.

Good movie about making choices and dealing with the consequences of your bad ones. The movie deals with a strong family unit and the unbreakable power of unconditional love. This movie is more or less about hope. It's about the hope that humanity can overcome itself. Beneath the heroes and superpowers, the human and the humanity is what really at stake in this movie. The question of are you going to be true to yourself or be true to the status quo, are you going to listen to what they tell you or will you find out the truth for yourself... A great movie with a powerful message that is strongly needed in our society today. I recommend this movie to anyone who wants to take a good look at their humanity.
age 10+


Pretty good movie. My 10 year old son and I enjoyed it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (3 ):

For kids, "bad" vs. "good" is often a very black-and-white issue (at least in the movies), but, in both story and quality, Samaritan is a superhero story that's saturated in gray. Most kids today don't know a media world without powered heroes. And while characters like Black Widow, the Scarlet Witch, Harley Quinn, and Deadpool have complicated pasts or fluctuate between doing right and wrong, there's also a glossy, commercial, even jokey packaging to them. Their otherworldliness can create a barrier to positive messaging. Samaritan overcomes this obstacle by introducing a kid character who's stepping into a criminal world with the best of intentions: to help his mother keep a roof over their head. This clearly isn't Gotham or Metropolis, where buildings are constantly destroyed without thought; Granite City is a realistic urban landscape. And garbage man Joe Smith (Stallone), who may or may not be the reclusive hero Samaritan, doesn't have the coiffed hair, shiny sheen, or slick costume that typically accompanies movie superheroes. All of those elements create better conditions for the movie's message to be received, understood, and acted upon: "Humans are all complex beings, and while we may not be able to do anything about our circumstances, we have control over who we are through the choices we make."

The movie's approach to making a superhero film feels different -- and even bold -- but some elements of the storytelling are jarringly inconsistent. With a 13-year-old hero, the movie's target audience would seem to be preteens. But there's a lot of profanity and frequent moments of intense violence, including members of a gang holding Sam down and hitting him with a wrench, and an explicit depiction of someone being hit by a car. This uncomfortable tonal mix may be the result of an odd writer-director pairing. Screenwriter Bragi F. Schut is best known for writing the animated Ninjago TV series: He has proven expertise in writing for children. But director Julius Avery is known for mature guns-and-aggression action movies. Having never made a film aimed at young viewers before, Avery may not have fully realized that, for kids, make-believe violence can help them cope with their fears, while realistic violence can create new ones.

Movie Details

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