The Da Vinci Code

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
The Da Vinci Code Movie Poster Image
Slow-moving, talky translation of popular novel.
  • PG-13
  • 2006
  • 147 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 18 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 34 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

To protect a secret, characters kill, lie, rob, and injure -- while others are determined to uncover the truth. The movie's plot presumes upon long-standing, deep-seated cover ups among very important people.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Langdon is resourceful and very intelligent; his determination to uncover the truth never flags. But other characters are far less worth emulating, whether because they lie and betray others or because they purposely harm themselves.

Violence

Shooting murder opens the film; Silas whips and cuts himself, showing blood and cringing/grimacing in pain; grainy flashback scenes repeatedly show violence (Crusades/knights, battles/armies, witch hunts/burnings, visualizing various narrations of "history"); personal flashbacks include Silas' abuse as a child, young Robert trapped in a well, and young Sophie crying/afraid in the harrowing car accident that killed her parents. General action includes shootings, fisticuffs, poisoning, kicks/slaps; Silas kills a nun by smashing her head; blood on shirts and faces.

Sex

Some famous paintings show women's naked body parts; Silas appears naked as he performs self-flagellation (you see only his backside and close-ups of limbs); discussion of gender roles includes mention of penises (emblem of "male aggression").

Language

Some swearing, including French with subtitles ("s--t," "bastard") and English ("Jesus," "hell").

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Da Vinci Code opens with a brutal murder and includes several other bloody scenes, including a naked man beating himself. The subject matter is too convoluted to interest young kids, so unless you want to shush them, leave them home. A couple of characters use mild profanity, although most of the cursing shows up in French and in subtitles. Spoiler alert: The film's plot, based on Dan Brown's best-selling novel, suggests that the Catholic Church has for centuries repressed the "truth" that Jesus was human, married Mary Magdalene, and fathered a daughter. Some viewers may find the issues raised -- Jesus' divinity and the Church's cover-up -- upsetting.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDerekthecleric May 20, 2017

Poor thriller

It's not awful, nor is it great or even good by Grail-quest standards. I'm not sure that anyone who came wanted to see a reverse car chase, and, while... Continue reading
Adult Written byTheresa L. March 27, 2017

All Lies. ... the Bible proves it !

John 21:20 -21 in the New International Bible states ..." Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved - the one who had leaned over t... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bySmartTeen42 January 11, 2020

Enjoyable book for young adults

Good book. Enjoyable and for mature audiences
Teen, 14 years old Written byAuthenticAestetic June 24, 2019

surprising

It was pretty good in my opinion. some scenes where a child sees two people having sex as a some religious ritual. i think it would be a bit scarring for kids y... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THE DA VINCI CODE, world-renowned symbologist Dr. Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is called by Parisian policeman Capt. Fache (Jean Reno) to consult on a murder case, the scholar is briefly flattered, then daunted when he learns he is a suspect, owing to a note left by the victim. Along with the victim's granddaughter, cryptologist Sophie (Audrey Tautou), Langdon tries to decipher the message, which begins with the victim's arranging of his own body to approximate Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. "Symbols," says the doctor early on, "are a language that can help us understand our past." The film reveals various characters' pasts, including the murderer's (a self-flagellating albino Opus Dei monk named Silas [Paul Bettany]), Sophie's, Langdon's, and significant events in history. Robert and Sophie end up on a kind of scavenger hunt from Paris to London, and are tracked by Fache and aided by Robert's colleague, Sir Teabing (Ian McKellen), who claims to be thrilled to be on a "grail quest." The mystery involves a Catholic Church's cover-up -- for thousands of years -- concerning Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

Is it any good?

Based on Dan Brown's bestseller, this movie is surprisingly unwieldy and conventional, despite and because of the controversy surrounding it. While The Da Vinci Code often looks like it's offering subjective views into Robert Langdon's mind, in effect these images are silly and slow. The special effects are unconvincing as paintings and sculptures move, and the explanatory voice-overs tend to repeat what's obvious.

For all the mystical blurring of edges, the film doesn't make smart connections between periods or characters, and it offers too much explanation and tedious literal flashbacks. The untangling of all the plot strands leads not to an interrogation of various institutions (academe, the cops, the Church), but to a pile-on of much less interesting personal pathologies.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Da Vinci Code's premise and the controversy it has inspired. How does the controversy help to promote the movie?

  • What's the appeal of conspiracy theories?

  • If you've read the book, how does the movie compare?

Movie details

  • In theaters: May 19, 2006
  • On DVD or streaming: November 14, 2006
  • Cast: Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Tom Hanks
  • Director: Ron Howard
  • Studio: Columbia Tristar
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Run time: 147 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: disturbing images, violence, some nudity, thematic material, brief drug references and sexual content
  • Last updated: March 04, 2020

For kids who love adventure

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