By Jeffrey Anderson,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Ghostface killer returns for more bloody slayings.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Most of the teens in this movie behave at least somewhat badly. They swear, drink, and flirt, and they spend too much time with social media. And even the grown-up characters seem to have used their bad experiences for personal gain.
Positive Role Models
Most of the movie's characters aren't intended to be role models, but Sidney continues to exhibit heroic tendencies and bravery. In one scene, she rushes into danger to try to save a teen. And Dewey is still a model citizen, showing bravery, leadership, and integrity.
Violence & Scariness
Tons of blood -- pumping, gushing, gurgling, spraying, and splattered on walls. One victim even has her intestines on display. Many gory, vivid stabbings and a few shootings, and at least a dozen dead bodies. Also several fights, and characters are often tossed about, slammed, and battered.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
The teen characters are aware of their sexuality, but it's not often discussed in detail or shown. Two teens flirt and almost kiss, but they're interrupted. Teens talk about romantic relationships, but without any physical or sexual details.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Strong, frequent language includes many uses of "f--k" and "s--t" in various permutations, plus "bitch," "t-ts," "for God's sake," "t-ts," "a--hole," "douche," "eat me," "ass," "hell," "damn," "oh my God," "goddamn," and "d--k."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Facebook is mentioned in one scene.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens are seen drinking hard liquor to the point of drunkenness during a party.
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 the fourth installment in the popular Scream slasher series is ultra-gory but as smart and self-aware as the previous movies. There's tons of blood and gore (stabbings, visible intestines, and more) and lots of strong language (including multiple uses of "f--k" and "s--t"), and one sequence shows heavy teen drinking. There's also some flirting and almost kissing, but sex isn't a big issue. In one update from the original films, the movie's teen characters now spend a lot of time on social media (Facebook is mentioned once). Teens are quite likely to want to see this one, but parents should take the R rating seriously.
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
Based on 23 parent reviews
There was only one reason to make this movie and this wasn't it....
Report this review
Report this review
What's the Story?
Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to the small town of Woodsboro on the last stop of her successful book tour. She reconnects with Dewey (David Arquette), now the sheriff, and his wife, Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), who has given up reporting to write fiction. But no sooner does Sidney arrive in town than the Ghostface killings begin again. Before long she discovers that her entire family -- including cousin Jill (Emma Roberts) and aunt Kate (Mary McDonnell), as well as Jill's friends -- are in trouble. Worse, this time the rules regarding sequels, remakes, reboots, and webcams are far too complicated and no longer apply. Will this finally be the end of Sidney?
Is It Any Good?
Director Wes Craven more or less phoned in Scream 3, but here, he and screenwriter Kevin Williamson appear refreshed and ready to attack the franchise with renewed vigor. With Williamson's clever, grinning screenplay and Craven's sharp, crisp direction, the movie juggles many postmodern themes, including the issue of many horror sequels, remakes, and reboots, as well as the explosion of social media and the Internet.
But these many themes never become unwieldy; rather, the movie constantly stays on its toes. Just as something begins to smell fishy, the movie points it out before anyone else can. It's alternately funny and tense just when it needs to be. And even though the younger characters barely resonate, the older ones bring their histories to this new movie and build on them dramatically. It's just too bad that Sid and the others don't have a relationship with old Ghostface, who's brought to life by a new character in each film; that could have been an interesting take.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the film's intense violence and blood. Is it necessary to get the movie's point across? How does it compare to other horror movies you've seen? What's the impact of these kinds of images?
Is the movie scary? Does it concentrate more on fright, suspense/mystery, or clever references? What would make the movie scarier -- or less scary?
How does the movie depict teen drinking? Are there realistic consequences?
How does the movie portray use of social media like Facebook? How has media's influence on teens changed since the original Scream movies came out?
- In theaters: April 15, 2011
- On DVD or streaming: October 4, 2011
- Cast: Courteney Cox, Emma Roberts, Neve Campbell
- Director: Wes Craven
- Studio: Dimension
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 103 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong bloody violence, language and some teen drinking
- Last updated: June 2, 2023
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
Scary Movies for Kids
Best Horror Movies
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