Parents' Guide to

Sisu

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Exceedingly gory but well-crafted anti-Nazi revenge tale.

Movie R 2023 91 minutes
Sisu Movie Poster: Aatami Korpi holds a knife blade up to his forehead; reflected in it is a platoon of Nazi soldiers

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

Brutal, violent and intense at times, it has its moments but lacks the thrill of action!

age 16+

A Finnish WWII movie that rivals Quentin Tarantino

This is a brutally violent WWII movie about a solitary gold prospector who has to deal with Nazis who have destroyed his home in northern Finland. When the Nazis steal his gold, they have no idea that he is a almost super human ex-commando. Sisu means “ heroic courage and godlike determination”. This character shows the bravado and bravery, ferocity and tenacity, that embodies this "Finnish spirit”. But this is a bloody, Quintin Tarentino like movie where no matter what the Nazis try to do to him, he is a one-man death squad who cannot die. Like Brad Pitt’s Inglourious Basterds, this movie is about killing Nazis in horrific and grisly ways -shot, run over, burned, exploded, vivisected, and thrown from airplanes. There is a serious tone to the movie, but it also becomes a farce, and viewers may find themselves laughing while blood is being splattered. But that’s alright, isn’t it? Its Nazis after all. This isn’t a movie genre where character development or the tragedies of war are explored. This is a beautifully filmed movie about destruction and death. Riveting visual effects, incredible editing combined with ridiculous stunts. The only theme in this movie that is didactic, is that is shows how prospectors/ gold miners are usually a trop for theft and colonization. They arrive in the wilderness and are careless with the resources local indigenous people. ( think Gold miners and native Americans). But this movie stands that on it’s head, since the main character is digging for gold, and then killing Nazi’s to protect Findland. The Nazis are the colonizers, and they are brutalized in glorious revenge.

Is It Any Good?

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

This exceedingly gory and wildly entertaining Finnish "one-man army" movie readily recalls other, similar genre entries, but it's superbly crafted in a stripped-down, smartly paced way. It's easy to think of John Wick, Rambo, Liam Neeson's Bryan Mills, and Bob Odenkirk's character in Nobody (as well as Brad Pitt's Nazi-killin' Lt. Aldo Raine in Inglourious Basterds) while watching Aatami Korpi do his thing in Sisu. (The opening crawl informs us that the title is a Finnish word that can't be directly translated but means something like "unstoppable courage.")

But Korpi quickly emerges as his own character. While he's as scant as a character can get -- he speaks maybe 11 words in the entire movie -- we still know precisely who he is through his deliberate actions. And we want to root for him. For example, the Nazi platoon has six female prisoners in the back of one of their trucks. When the time comes, Korpi doesn't just rescue them, he empowers them, enabling them to rescue themselves. Writer-director Jalmari Helander (of Rare Exports: A Christmas Story and Big Game) keeps inventing substantial challenges for his hero that require quick thinking -- and, at just 91 minutes, Sisu uses them to establish the perfect pace, quitting while it's ahead.

Movie Details

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