Suicide Squad

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Suicide Squad Movie Poster Image
DC's antiheroes disappoint in muddled, violent mess.
  • PG-13
  • 2016
  • 130 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 60 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 200 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Amid plenty of iffy stuff, there's a sense of "honor among thieves" and the idea that even the most hardened criminals can feel remorse, do the right thing, and help others, despite their reputation for being self-serving violent criminals. Deadshot's storyline is about the unconditional love between parent and child, and Diablo's story demonstrates the power of remorse and redemption. On the downside, sexist jokes/insults about men needing to control their women.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There are few role models in the movie, but at least Deadshot fiercely loves his daughter. Plus, Flag wants to save June from the clutches of the Enchantress, and the crew (mostly) agrees to fight even when they're not being forced to do so.

Violence

Lots of violence: people are assassinated/executed, shot, and killed instantly by both human and supernatural characters. Fights include a wide range of weapons, from boomerangs and baseball bats to military-grade explosives and automatic guns. Diablo sets fire to people and recalls losing control in a devastating tragedy. Characters die or are presumed killed.

Sex

Several passionate kisses between both Harley and the Joker and June and Flag. Harley dances on a pole and in a club, acts and dresses seductively, and is all about sex appeal. Flag mentions he was sleeping with a witch; Boomerang comments that "you know what they say about the crazy ones." The Joker asks an associate if he "wants" Harley.

Language

Several uses of "s--t," "ass," "a--hole," "p---y," "d--k," "balls," "hell," "damn," "bitch," "crap," and more. Possible use of "f--k."

Consumerism

Chevy, Adidas.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The Suicide Squad drinks together at a bar. Adults drink at the Joker's club.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKatie F. August 6, 2016

If you're an overbearing parent or you kid is impressions easily, don't see it..if not, it's an amazing movie!

This movie was no different than spiderman, Batman or theven avengers. There was mild cursing, 2 scenes where Quinn is a little on the sexy side, normal violenc... Continue reading
Parent Written byWitchhazel100 August 25, 2016

sadistic

Could not get beyond abusive and sadism of Joker and Harley Quinn relationship. Typical victim-falls-for- captor/tormenter message as well as "I love you... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byharlequinnn123 August 5, 2016

Please keep away from younger kids, and anyone with any type of anxiety/depression or heart condition.

I had to leave the movie theatre because it was far too intense and gave me a panic attack. {Spoilers?} In the first few minutes, it shows Harley being shocked... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byJflores14 August 4, 2016

Violent and humorous tale of DC's most notorious villains

This film was exactly what I expected going in: humorous, violent, and a little messy. The characters were great, the humor was perfect, but the ending was a bi... Continue reading

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?

Movie details

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