Parents' Guide to

Silent Night

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Brutal, holiday-set tale of vengeance has gun violence.

Movie R 2023 104 minutes
Silent Night Movie Poster: Against a background like a blood-stained Christmas sweater pattern, Brian Godlock (Joel Kinnaman) holds a gun to his lips

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 11+

Anyone who has seen Stranger Things or basically any R-rated movie should be fine.

Listen here! This movie isn’t that bad! The violence is much lighter than John Wick, and honestly, if you let your kid watch Stranger Things or something, the violence isn’t too much worse, besides the fact that there’s a lot of gun violence and fist fights compared to other media’s fantasy violence. If your kid has seen literally any R-rated movie this should be fine. Quick warning, they say the f-word pretty consistently, but really, kids hear this word almost daily nowadays. There is romance, but no sex.
age 10+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

A simple tale of vengeance, this action movie with little to no spoken dialogue benefits from superior filmmaking, as well as a serious undercurrent about the destructive, circular nature of violence. Silent Night is master Hong Kong filmmaker John Woo's first movie to be released in U.S. theaters since 2009's Red Cliff (the last film he made for a Hollywood studio was 2003's Paycheck). Happily, his immense skill as an action director hasn't diminished. Not only does Woo have a firm knowledge of space, rhythm, and motion, but he also knows how to instill his sequences with a strong, almost operatic, emotional core. When his characters fight, they fight with everything they have, for something that means the world.

But while Silent Night is thrilling -- and it is a tour-de-force, with its emphasis on visual storytelling and Kinnaman's intensely physical performance (perhaps even surpassing Michael Fassbender in The Killer) -- it also understands that this mission is futile. Brian's path of vengeance, of vigilantism, will bring no peace, no rest, and no return to normal. There's a great moment in which Brian holds Saya in his arms. They're on the couch, and the camera hovers above and behind them, taking in the whole, empty room. It's their last embrace before they part ways, Saya looking to move on and Brian choosing violence, because he can't stand the thought of choosing nothing. Silent Night may not be a joyous holiday celebration, but it certainly packs a punch.

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