Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks


Movie review by
Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media
Shooter Movie Poster Image
Gory vigilante political thriller for adults only.
  • R
  • 2007
  • 124 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 25 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Bob steals, lies, and kills lots of people. The government is exposed as a corrupt sham that kills people and leaves Americans to die.


Extensive and graphic violence, including dozens of men shot in the head, with brains and blood flying included. Bob stabs several men, plants pipe bombs, and ignites napalm on attackers. Several explosions kill people. A man kills himself. The FBI torture another man and rig it so that it seems he's going to kill himself. It's implied that Sarah has been tortured and perhaps raped. Bob gets shot twice, falls through glass twice, and nearly dies when he drives his car into a river. Sarah must perform surgery on Bob. Images of dead and decaying bodies in a mass grave.


Bob and Sarah nearly kiss, and it's clear there's an attraction between them, but nothing happens. Sarah is shown in several scenes wearing only jeans and a bra.


Some cursing, including "s--t," "goddamn," "hell," "asshole," and "f--k."


A few brands are briefly shown, including Dinty Moore and Dell computers.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Bob drinks a beer and gives some to his dog. Later, he inhales nitrous to knock himself out during surgery. Johnson smokes a cigar. Meachum drinks liquor.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this mature, graphically violent political thriller about vigilante justice includes shots of men being shot in the head, with their brains and blood flying everywhere. One man kills himself, and there are two images of characters being tortured. There are also photos of people buried in a mass grave, and it's implied that the central female character has been tortured and raped. The movie's extensive discussion of political corruption might confuse and/or disturb kids (even teens). Overall, there's no attempt at diplomacy, and violence is shown as the only option.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written by4Spice October 24, 2009
very good for you action lovers lots of shooting watch it its worth it trust me 12 and over for the violence
Adult Written bypolimylove April 9, 2008

Very Exciting movie!

When i watched this movie I was definetly intersted the whole time! There was never really a dull moment and the movie was not difficult to understand which is... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bySkyrock5 March 26, 2011

Amazing fast-paced thriller offers everything a good movie should.

Just...Amazing! I'm all for political thrillers, and movies with twists. This movie was so interesting, and although they could have cut some of the violen... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bygodawgs56 July 30, 2009
A very good movie with lots of glory action but it's not a 2 star movie or not for kids rating. THEY NEED TO RE-RATE THIS

What's the story?

Mark Wahlberg stars as Bob Lee Swagger, a government-trained sniper with a keen eye for accuracy and a long memory. Destroyed by the fact that the government left him behind in Ethiopia and by his best friend's death in a gun fight, Swagger has retired into the far reaches of the mountains. But then Colonel Isaac Johnson (Danny Glover) comes calling, asking Swagger to defend his country from an imminent presidential assassination. Soon, Swagger is consulting on how a marksman would shoot the president -- only to be shot twice himself and then accused of the attempted assassination. Along the way, FBI agent Nick Memphis (Michael Pena) starts to unravel the weak case against Swagger, and eventually the pair find themselves facing down the U.S. military. But can they stop the bad guys and get justice for the people unfairly killed in Africa?

Is it any good?

With a name like SHOOTER, you wouldn't expect this political thriller to be sedate and dignified. But you also might not anticipate the extent and graphicness of the movie's violence -- or its unrelentingly depressing message. Over-the-top violence aside, Shooter is determined to sell viewers on the belief that the U.S. government is rotten to the core. By the time Senator Charles F. Meachum (Ned Beatty) says "There's always a confused soul who thinks one man can make a difference, and you have to kill him to convince him otherwise," viewers aren't surprised -- they're nauseated.

That's not to say there aren't fun things about Shooter. It's like a combination of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, MacGyver, Syriana, and Rambo. People who love shoot-em-ups, explosions, and car crashes will be in heaven (no pun intended). And Pena is a standout as the sharp-minded recent academy graduate. He provides the heart in this otherwise bloody-but-heartless film.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why these sorts of violent movies are appealing. After a movie like this, how do you feel? Do you feel more or less safe in the world? Is the violence necessary to convey the movie's message? Why or why not? Families can also discuss how to react when you're unhappy about how the government is acting. If you believe, as Bob does, that the government is corrupt, how do you deal with that? What are the options? What do you think of Bob's choice?

Movie details

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

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate