The Divide

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Divide Movie Poster Image
Grim, unpleasant, gruesome nuclear holocaust thriller.
  • R
  • 2012
  • 121 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

In this very grim, hopeless movie, all human relations fall apart after a disaster, with virtually every character betraying, killing, or brutalizing someone else.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main female character, Eva, shows some civility, kindness, and empathy through most of the movie, but even she eventually succumbs to degradation.


In addition to beatings, shootings, dead bodies, gurgling blood, and gore, The Divide has rape, torture, humiliation, severed fingers, and the chopping up of decaying bodies. A little girl is kidnapped; children also are seen shaved and experimented upon and stuck in hibernation chambers. There's a sense of fear and dread around nuclear fallout; the characters grow sicker and more horrific-looking as the movie goes on. And the tone of all this is realistic, mean, and hopeless rather than thrilling in any way.


At first a female character willingly engages in sex with a male character, but their relationship soon degrades into violence (sexual and physical). There's also some innuendo and "girlie pictures" pinned to the walls of the basement.


Constant very strong language includes multiple uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "p---y" plus fewer uses of "ass," "a--hole," "c--k," "goddamn," "c--t," and "faggot."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A main character smokes cigars. Other characters occasionally smoke cigarettes and take swigs from bottles of booze (whiskey?).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Divide is an unpleasant, incredibly gruesome nuclear holocaust movie in which survivors slowly turn on one another and sink into degradation. It's filled with blood, gore, humiliation, torture, beatings, and a constant sense of fear and dread. A consensual sexual relationship between adults eventually turns into sexual slavery, followed by rape. Language also is very strong and frequent, with constant use of words such as "f--k," "s--t," and "p---y," and characters occasionally smoke and drink. For those interested in the nuclear holocaust genre, something like The Road would be better worth your time.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBrutaltruth21 March 19, 2021

Although realistic it's despicable

Movie includes graphic sexual depravity& language including brutal rape. It's what would happen if you had the most evil of people trapped in 1 roo... Continue reading
Parent of a 13-year-old Written bylottichapman October 6, 2018


I normally like post apocalyptic movies, but this was awful. It is filled with extreme violence, rape, torture, sadistic behaviour. I also have a very strong st... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bylittlemonster98 January 14, 2012


SO MUCH DEATH!!! There is rape, tourture, mutalation and pretty much everything else in this movie! It is sooo good, but I have been mentally scarred!
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 January 14, 2012


NOT FOR KIDS?WHAT THE???this dosent even contain anything bad that would get a not for kids!!at least iffy 16!wtf!i saw this with my dad(had to,bcuz it's R... Continue reading

What's the story?

As a nuclear bomb drops, a band of humans races down into the basement of an apartment building, where the super, Mickey (Michael Biehn), has prepared a stockpile of food and survival tools. At first they hope for survival -- but instead they're attacked by men in radiation suits, who kidnap a little girl. After that, the group falls apart, slowly turning on one another and slipping into degradation, chaos, and violent struggles for power. Only one among them, Eva (Lauren German), seems to have enough heart to survive.

Is it any good?

The Divide is both extremely dismal and extremely uncomfortable. Though nuclear holocaust movies are grim and depressing as a rule, it's certainly possible to make good movies in the genre, such as 2009's The Road. But this one aims for a dark, cutthroat tone, focusing on exploitation elements without the thrills that are usually involved.

The characters consist of a bunch of standard-issue types that are easily manipulated into conflict without much challenge or depth. Only Rosanna Arquette as a grieving mother seems to go the extra mile. Director Xavier Gens lets his camera restlessly roam the basement corridors without much else to do, and the effect is like pacing; it's tense, but in a bad way. Finally, at 122 minutes, the movie is needlessly, relentlessly, torturously long. Bottom line? Avoid this at all costs.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Divide's brutal, gruesome violence. Is it necessary to the story? How else could this movie have made its point?

  • Is there any glimmer of hope in this story? Is it possible for kindness and empathy to win the day over savagery?

  • Eva is arguably the most likable character here; do you consider her a role model?

  • How does the movie portray sex? What message does that send to viewers?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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