Movie review by
Elliot Panek, Common Sense Media
Seven Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Grim, slick, shocking thriller. Older teens only.
  • R
  • 1995
  • 127 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 35 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Though justice is said to be "worth fighting for," the world is so bleak and full of horror that this doesn't seem believable.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Though Seven aims to show that all people are capable of great sin, Detective Somerset is level-headed, wise, and kind.


The gory aftermath (and allusions to) horrific torture and murder. Gunshots. Off-screen murder. Rape.


References to prostitution, sex.


Lots of swearing.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this film contains graphic depictions of the aftermath of grisly murders involving the seven deadly sins. While none of this takes place on-screen, the vivid descriptions prove to be nearly as chilling. For example, an obese man is forced to eat until his stomach bursts. A man is forced to kill a prostitute by stabbing her reproductive organs with an 8-inch knife. A beauty queen's face is cut off. A lawyer must cut out his own stomach. A police officer's pregnant wife is beheaded. In the end, the line between good and evil is blurred, with evil more or less coming out on top.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 17-year-old Written byTsion July 22, 2012

Brilliant, Rough, and Explicit

Here it is in a nutshell: "Se7en" is a miraculous thriller. It mixes elements of tragedy, noir, and horror to achieve a stunning atmosphere and ambia... Continue reading
Adult Written byDre N. March 13, 2018

Positive Stuff

One bar scene with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, talks about how nowadays Apathy = Virtue and how Love requires hard work!

"It's easier to lose yours... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byleahxo August 15, 2011

Loving This Movie Should be a Virtue, not a Sin.

Lovely movie. I was mesmerized from beginning to end - it is sick and twisted, but tragically beautiful. Definitely a masterpiece.
Teen, 14 years old Written bylayicorn May 30, 2020

[possibly] My All-Time Favorite Movie

I watched this film when I was 13 or 14, and it is possibly the most grizzly film I have ever witnessed. Se7en remains one of the most disturbing movies I have... Continue reading

What's the story?

SEVEN combines horror and film noir genres, with overconfident rookie David Mills (Brad Pitt) as the doomed detective of the noir tradition, and book veteran William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) as the desexualized, pedantic survivor familiar to slasher movie fans. The story follows the archetypal pair as they wind their way through a dark world of urban violence in search of a serial killer (Kevin Spacey). Mills and Somerset conclude that each murder corresponds to one of the seven deadly sins from the Bible, and that the killer is trying to preach his message of religious morality through his murders and the press they receive. Even after being willfully apprehended, the killer has one final trick up his sleeve -- a horrific gesture designed to goad Mills into crossing the line between lawful justice and sinful vengeance.

Is it any good?

Dark, disturbing and occasionally gory, Seven is a psychological thriller that, along with Chinatown, is among the bleakest films in mainstream cinema history.

The murders are not shown on screen, but the film has a morbid fascination with the pain inflicted on the victims. And it depicts a dark universe, where the lines between good and evil are blurred. There's no question that it aims to be more philosophical than other detective/horror films (namely The Silence of the Lambs). Attempts at deeper meaning might be pretentious or profound, depending on how serious you can take Brad Pitt as an actor.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about horror movies. How is this movie different than a slasher film? What makes it disturbing? Is it any less chilling because the violence is not shown on screen?

Movie details

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