A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Suicide Squad is a super(anti)hero adventure based on characters who tie in to the DC movie-verse, like Batman v. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Justice League. This particular story follows a group of shady meta-humans and anti-heroes -- including Will Smith as Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn -- who are forced to team up for the greater good. Expect lots of action violence, from close-up execution-style murders to large-scale battles and widespread destruction that leads to the deaths of innocent bystanders. Characters die or are presumed killed. Language includes swearing ("s--t," "p---y," "ass," "bitch") and sexist jokes/insults about men needing to control their women (i.e. "what they say" about "crazy" women). There's also a man who hits a woman because she "had a mouth on her." There's some sex and romance here, too, with several passionate kisses, mentions of characters sleeping together, and shots of Harley dancing in a sultry way and dressed in very small, tight, revealing outfits. While there's plenty of iffy stuff, ultimately the group dynamic does hinge on teamwork, collaboration, and trying to do the right thing.
If you're an overbearing parent or you kid is impressions easily, don't see it..if not, it's an amazing movie!
Please keep away from younger kids, and anyone with any type of anxiety/depression or heart condition.
What's the story?
SUICIDE SQUAD is a DC Comics-based superhero adventure about a group of villains forced to band together for a deadly mission to save humanity. Ruthless intelligence official Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) heads a secret government task force that uses imprisoned meta-humans and criminals with special skills to fight other enhanced humans in exchange for reduced sentences. Waller's group includes father/assassin-for-hire Deadshot (Will Smith); the Joker's maniacal love, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie); Aussie thief Boomerang (Jai Courtney), sewer-dwelling creature Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje); fire-starting gangster Diablo (Jay Hernandez); and ancient witch Enchantress (Cara Delevingne). When the Enchantress escapes and begins building a weapon of mass destruction, the team's first mission -- under the leadership of Col. Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) -- is to stop her. Meanwhile, the Joker (Jared Leto) will stop at nothing to free Harley.
Is it any good?
Despite the talented cast and Robbie's stand-out performance as Harley Quinn, this antihero story is a disappointment. That's especially apparent when you contrast it with the similarly themed Guardians of the Galaxy. Perhaps it's unfair to compare the relatively newly resurgent DC movie-verse with Marvel's big-screen machine, but in nearly every way that Guardians shone -- lots of humor, straightforward plot, nuanced relationships, emotional investment in characters' back stories -- Suicide Squad flounders. Aside from Deadshot's love of his daughter and Diablo's undeniably tragic story, there's not much about the Squad members to make audiences care whether they live or die. The plot is unnecessarily convoluted, and there are a few too many characters who get short shrift -- like Croc; Boomerang; Flag's mysterious sword-wielding pal, Katana (Karen Fukuhara); and the Enchantress' invulnerable brother.
Plus, the performances are uneven. Davis is perfectly cast as the sneering, hard-nosed antagonist (she may be the boss, but she clearly doesn't care about these criminals), and Robbie is obviously having a blast as the unstable Quinn, who's up for anything but really just wants to be with the Joker. Speaking of the Joker, so much has been reported (and hyped) about Leto's take on the iconic villain that it's utterly disappointing when he ends up as a side villain who takes a back seat to the Enchantress, because Delavingne isn't up to the task. The Enchantress looks like a costumed model trying out new belly dancing moves rather than a formidable figure like Marvel's Scarlet Witch or Phoenix. The cameos by Justice League characters tease more to come from the DC world; let's just hope it's a considerable improvement from this and Batman v Superman.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Suicide Squad's violence. How does the violence compare to that of other superhero movies? Do the supernatural or superpower-based characters make the violence seem less realistic? What impact does media violence have on kids?
What role do women play in the movie? There are four key female characters, but there's also a lot of gender-based humor and language. Did you find any of the comments sexist? Why or why not?
Are any of the Suicide Squad members role models? Why or why not?
What does the word "antihero" mean? Why are antiheroes appealing? What sets them apart from "regular" heroes?
How does the movie fit into the DC universe franchise? Do you think there should be sequels featuring the Suicide Squad?
- In theaters: August 5, 2016
- On DVD or streaming: December 13, 2016
- Cast: Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Jai Courtney, Jared Leto
- Director: David Ayer
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes
- Run time: 130 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sequences of violence and action throughout, disturbing behavior, suggestive content and language
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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.