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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Corporate team members range from greedy and selfish to sweet and community-oriented; villains remain hidden by masks and are especially vicious.
Violence & Scariness
Ongoing, very bloody violence includes kicking, hitting, shooting, knifing, decapitating, skinning, burning (by a flamethrower), exploding (landmine under victim's foot), dismembering, and gutting. Villains chase victims through the woods and a dark, scary house; a bus accident leaves broken, bloody bodies; corpses frequently appear in close-up, showing wounds and blood; leg is cut off by bear trap (repeated efforts to free it only mangle it) and stored in mini-fridge; victim spits up blood. Weapons include missiles, hatchets, automatic weapons, hammers, knives, ropes, and machetes.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Several scenes show strippers with breasts exposed; a man's naked behind; sexual remarks (a woman will "ride you like Seabiscuit"); sexual slang ("c--k," "winkie"); joke about a foursome.
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Repeated profanity, especially "f--k," plus "s--t," "hell," and "bastard." Rude hand gesture.
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Products & Purchases
The movie is about a corporate sales team that revels in profiteering. Also, references to Hilton hotels, Bacardi, and Rambo.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigarette smoking, plus drug use (Ecstasy, marijuana, magic mushrooms) that results in delirium.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this bloody horror-comedy isn't for kids. It's full of explicit, grotesque violence and outrageous injuries (decapitation, a severed leg); weapons range from knives, guns, and ropes to missiles, hatchets, and bear traps. Also watch out for naked breasts (and one naked male bottom) and some brief-but-boisterous sex play when the boss cavorts with sex workers. Foul language includes "f--k" and "s--t," and characters smoke (one thin woman who's concerned about her weight opts for cigarettes instead of food) and use drugs, including Ecstasy, mushrooms, and pot. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A rowdy horror-comedy combo, SEVERANCE takes dual aim at global arms dealing and mundane office politics. Director Chris Smith's movie is at once gleeful and graphic (the joke extends to a mock Web site extolling the firm's motto: "We're hitting a home run for freedom and giving terrorism a time out!"). No one on the team looks a likely hero: Steve (Danny Dyer) gets high on mushrooms, social-minded Jill (Claudie Blakley) seems like a poor fit for the company, and executive assistant Billy (Babou Ceesay) is African American --- and thus, according to the rules of this spoofy genre picture, doomed.
Though she initially looks wan and self-interested, it's Maggie (Laura Harris, the sweet-looking blond terrorist from Season 2 of 24) who ultimately proves angry and resilient, exhorting her colleagues to fight back ... even when one loses his leg in a bear trap, another is burned alive by a flamethrower, and others are subjected to horrific torture. While the survivors begin to show gumption, the killers remain dark, lurking, cartoonish incarnations of existential payback for the arms dealers' crass profiteering. The point may not be subtle, but it is fairly satisfying (arms dealers are, after all, pretty easy to hate). Although Severance's lost-in-the-woods terror is a familiar plot premise, it offers clever dialogue, sharp performances, and some outrageous gross-out humor. And while it's not for the faint of heart, it is, in the end, strangely heartening.
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Our Editors Recommend
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