SAS: Red Notice
By Stefan Pape,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Non-stop violence in fun action-thriller; strong language.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
There is a distinction between those fighting to save people, and those seeking to destroy them. But both sides are violent to one another. Double crossing, corruption prevalent, but also courage and perseverance. The villains are shown to be anti-establishment and big corporations.
Positive Role Models
Tom is courageous and seeks to save innocent hostages from a terrorist attack, putting his own life at risk. Sophie meanwhile turns down the opportunity for escape to stay and help fellow passengers. Soldiers in the ranks follow orders despite not agreeing with the intent of the mission, which is to attack rather than to save. Characters betray their friends, and their nation.
Violence & Scariness
The violence is relentless, stylized, and sometimes graphic. Shoot-outs take place, bodies carried along the ground. Terrorists use flamethrowers, grenades, and guns, with many explosions. Multiple casualties including some innocent members of the public and workers, like train guards and drivers, though most deaths are nameless villains. Characters are mostly shot, but some are choked. Weapons are aimed at kids and elderly citizens. One character is stabbed in the neck, spitting blood as they die. A character sexually assaults another, placing their hand on the other's crotch without permission.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A character plans to propose marriage. Characters kiss, but that's it.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
The swearing is strong and frequent. There is one use of the word "c--t." Multiple uses of the word "f--k." The language when directed at others is done so aggressively, sometimes intended as death threats. Many other words, such as "whore" and "s--t" feature.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke cigarattes. One lights theirs with their gun. Characters drink wine with food. Champagne is consumed in the afternoon to highlight the start of a holiday.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that SAS: Red Notice is an entertaining action thriller that contains unrelenting -- sometimes graphic -- violence and strong language. Starring Sam Heughan as a former special forces soldier, the movie is set on a train traveling under the English Channel, which becomes hijacked by a group of terrorists led by Grace Lewis (Ruby Rose). A multitude of different weapons are used, with death from bomb explosions, knives, guns, flamethrowers, grenades, and choking. The majority of victims are nameless villains and henchmen, but innocent people lose their lives too, with one specific scene, concerning a train conductor, being a particularly emotional watch. Elderly women and young girls are also victims. There is also a scene involving a sexual assault where a woman places her hand on her victim's crotch. The language is incredibly strong, with one use of the "C" word, while there are multiple uses of the word "f--k," often used in an aggressive, threatening way. The distinction between right and wrong is clear, though both sides are flawed. Corruption and double crossing is prominent, with characters betraying their friends and their nation. The leading roles are incredibly brave, and one in particular, Sophie (Hannah John-Kamen), a doctor and hostage, is offered the chance of escape but stays to help the other passengers, putting her own safety at risk. Characters smoke too, and alcohol is consumed on occasion.
To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
SAS: Red Notice
Based on 2 parent reviews
Report this review
Action movie with a strong intellectual point about human psychology
Report this review
What's the Story?
SAS: RED NOTICE follows suspended operative Tom (Sam Heughan) as he takes his girlfriend Sophie (Hannah John-Kamen) to Paris to propose. When inside the Channel Tunnel, a group of terrorists -- led by Grace Lewis (Ruby Rose) -- hijack the train, sending a message to the UK Government: give us money, or we blow up the tunnel. But what they didn't anticipate, was that somebody so specially trained just happens to be on board.
Is It Any Good?
Based on former SAS soldier Andy McNab's fiction book, this is a throwaway action movie that does exactly as it says on the tin. Mostly set in just one setting, and in real time, SAS: Red Notice follows a classic cinematic trope of one man against a whole army of mercenaries, slowly but surely spoiling their fun. With this comes many twists and turns, as you never quite know which character is on which side and who is double crossing who.
While this keeps the audience on their toes, as we build up to the climax, there's very little new here. It's familiar territory, and while tried and tested, the film does lack a sense of originality. Perhaps given the nature of its action-packed narrative, it's a movie that would really benefit from a big screen viewing. Heughan impresses in the lead role, but the star of the show is Andy Serkis, stealing each scene he is in -- though, sadly, there aren't quite enough of them.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about SAS: Red Notice's non-stop violence. How much of it was necessary to the story? Did it seem excessively gory or brutal? Does exposure to violent media desensitize kids to violence?
Discuss the language used in the movie. Did it seem necessary or excessive? What did it contribute to the movie?
Was the distinction between good and evil clear enough in this movie? The terrorists seem to take aim at a corrupt establishment -- did this make them sympathetic? Discuss whether the film's politics are okay in this regard.
Discuss the sexual assault in the movie. How did it make you feel? Did you feel it was necessary to the story? Would you have felt different if it had been a man committing the assault, as opposed to a woman? Why, or why not?
- On DVD or streaming: March 16, 2021
- Cast: Sam Heughan, Ruby Rose, Andy Serkis
- Director: Magnus Martens
- Inclusion Information: Middle Eastern/North African actors
- Studios: Vertical Entertainment, Redbox Entertainment
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Book Characters, Trains
- Run time: 123 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong/bloody violence and language throughout
- Last updated: June 2, 2023
Inclusion information powered by
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Best Action Movies for Kids
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.See how we rate