Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Uneven superhero film is wacky but violent, dark.

Movie R 2011 96 minutes
Super Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 13+

Better than any other R rated superhero comedy (including Deadpool)

Ok let's get this out of the way first- Ellen Page's character does not have sex with Rainn Wilson like the "sex" category claims. She flat-out rapes him. So yeah, if anyone interested in Super is triggered by scenes of sexual assault, stay FAAAAAAAR away. That's actually why I created this account (and will probably never use it again), to tell people that SUPER HAS A SCENE WHERE ELLEN PAGE RAPES RAINN WILSON, AND Y'ALL PASSED IT OFF AS JUST ANOTHER SEX SCENE. That having been said, Super is a revelation. Most audiences are probably familiar with writer/director James Gunn's work through Guardians of the Galaxy, or the two live action Scooby Doo movies (which he wrote), but here you can get a feeling of who he really is as a filmmaker, which is a nasty as heck genre auteur akin to the likes of early Sam Raimi, or pre-Lord of the Rings Peter Jackson. He films the deranged acts of violence in Super with the same childlike glee Ellen Page's character takes from committing said acts. And if the film were to stop there, I'd still enthusiastically recommend it. But surprisingly, Super decides to go the extra mile and actually give us a story with heart, and real emotional resonance. The main theme of the film lies in the moral grayness of Rainn Wilson's character, The Crimson Bolt. We are meant to sympathize with this clearly unstable individual, but not necessarily condone his actions, and this theme is driven home by Ellen Page, as his sidekick, Bolty, who is basically doing the Hit-Girl schtick, but here it's meant to be something other than cheap shock value. She is the film's id, and while she is a joy to watch, her ACT OF SEXUAL ASSAULT, and frequent use of homophobic language are used effectively to elicit feelings of extreme discomfort. But underneath all that is a surprisingly touching story of one man's desperate need to be loved, and his journey towards self discovery, and a realization that true love does not come from forcibly trying to reclaim a person you've idealized in your head, culminating in a final shot that kills me every time. Super is basically the Observe and Report to Kick-Ass's Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which is an unfair comparison because Kick-Ass is way better than Paul Blart, but Super and Kick-Ass came out around the same time, and like Observe and Report, and Paul Blart, one is superficial fun (to a certain audience. The Paul Blart crowd probably hates Kick-Ass and vice versa), and the other is a dark, uncomfortable, and so so much better film that has a point other than the central joke.

This title has:

Great messages
1 person found this helpful.
age 4+


This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (13):

The first third of SUPER is promising, with enough subversion and outright wackiness to gratify viewers hoping for more than the usual superhero routine. Frank, played with surprising pathos by Wilson, is like no hero we've seen before, his choices both unpredictable and interesting. He's inspired to become the Crimson Bolt by two things: a psychedelic vision involving an eel-like creature, and a superhero series that appalls him with its insipid writing and bad acting. He wants to fight for good but sees nothing wrong with whacking two people who cut in line on the head until they bleed -- the same punishment he applies to drug dealers.

Then, two-thirds of the way through, the film takes a big turn, and suddenly everything and the kitchen sink is thrown into the mix. There's addiction-speak, cartoon whimsy, buddy comedy, sad sex, brutal (very brutal) violence -- and it doesn't all gel. Instead, it feels like the filmmakers loaded the car, gassed it up, drove full throttle, then jumped out at the last minute. The car bobs and weaves, pitches off the cliff, explodes, then suddenly softens. Say what? Exactly.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: April 1, 2011
  • On DVD or streaming: August 9, 2011
  • Cast: Elliot Page, Liv Tyler, Rainn Wilson
  • Director: James Gunn
  • Inclusion Information: Non-Binary actors, Queer actors
  • Studio: IFC Entertainment
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 96 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong bloody violence, pervasive language, sexual content and drug use
  • Last updated: June 2, 2023

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