Seven

 
Grim, slick, shocking thriller. Older teens only.
  • Review Date: October 31, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1995
  • Running Time: 127 minutes

What parents need to know

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.

Violence

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

Sex

References to prostitution, sex.

Language

Lots of swearing.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:January 1, 1995
DVD release date:June 7, 2001
Cast:Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman
Director:David Fincher
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Drama
Run time:127 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:grisly afterviews of horrific and bizarre killings, and for strong language.

This review of Seven was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Written byAnonymous October 19, 2013
age 18+
 

I don't want to see this film. Even if there is an age they can see it. I will say Noone should see it.

One of the Seven Deadly sins is Sex & Violence and that's Lu*t. The Other Six have just Violence in them. So I say if people see these sins broken in this movie. Only 1 has to deal with 2 Contents. I say it's a sin to see this film. Not for Kids. In Fact: Not for Anyone. I Don't Bother seeing this film. I Personally Banned this Film from me.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bybballdiaries April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

modern day classic

great great movie, i do think this movie was the reason for saw 1 and 2, this movie is awesome, never shows the grusome deaths, its purely fantastic,even though it dosent show anything its still horryfying, expertly plotted, great acting, not reccomended for kids under 8
Adult Written byYankeeman242003 April 9, 2008
Teen, 14 years old Written byleahxo August 15, 2011
age 16+
 

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.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass