A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No real message except that bad things sometimes happen to good people for no reason.
Positive Role Models
The Tildens seem to be good people; the father has plenty of lessons to teach his son, both about a coroner's job and about life. They have a good relationship and seem to be able to talk openly and respectfully.
Violence & Scariness
Very strong morgue/horror gore: slicing into a corpse, streaming blood, blood spatters, slicing into organs, brains, bone saws, peeling skin back, etc. Also scary stuff. Neck-slicing, severed tongue, blood puddles. Characters die. Cat is hurt and put out of its misery. Burned body, corpse with face blasted off. Mentions of human trafficking.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The "Jane Doe" of the title may be dead, but she's also naked throughout the movie. Her breasts are shown frequently throughout. Also very brief full-frontal nudity. Reference to "getting laid." Flirting/kissing. Mention of prostitution. Mention of "vaginal trauma."
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Several uses of "f--k," plus "s--t," "hell," "pissing," "oh my God," "Jesus," and "Jesus Christ" (as exclamations).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a clever, well-made horror movie that takes place in a morgue. It has its share of scary stuff, ghosts, dead bodies, and blood, plus bodies sliced open in various ways, with organs and brains shown. In other words? Expect tons of gross/gory stuff. A cat is also injured and put out of its misery. The corpse in question -- played by a real actress -- is naked throughout the movie, with her breasts shown frequently. There's also a moment of brief full-frontal nudity, as well as sex talk, flirting, and kissing. Language includes several uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Norwegian director Andre Ovredal follows up his terrific Trollhunter with an equally smart and satisfying chiller. The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a fun, spooky movie driven by interesting characters in an interesting setting. After its gory crime-scene opening, the film takes place entirely inside the morgue, the Tilden family's business for three generations, which has expanded into a moody, sprawling, underground chamber accessible only by a creaky elevator and a storm door.
This setting is the perfect place for scary things to happen, but it's also perfect to see the father-son relationship between Cox and Hirsch. Tommy is a dad trying to teach his son important lessons, and Austin is trying to connect with his father on an emotional level. Ovredal's storytelling is sharp and coy, with beautiful, exploratory camera work and clever editing; Trollhunter was a "found footage" movie, but there's no hint of shaky-cam or quick-cutting here. Credit also goes to actress Olwen Kelly, who plays Jane Doe, expressing a kind of mystery and personality without ever uttering a word or making a move.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.