The Final Destination Movie Poster Image

The Final Destination



Horror franchise's leap to 3D is gorier than ever.
  • Review Date: August 20, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 82 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The way the film treats death as a relentless, bloody pursuer negates any more positive potential take-aways (i.e. quit planning, start living, and enjoy every day).

Positive role models

The lead character makes a concerted effort to save his friends from death, even if it's futile; one character conveys real regret over past tragic mistakes.


Constant, brutal, bloody, and graphic violence, including (but not limited to) the following: People cut in two by shrapnel from an explosion, crushed by falling pieces of metal, graphically impaled on stakes, struck by vehicles, dragged behind a tow trick while set aflame, smashed into bloody gobbets by a flying tire, killed by having their guts sucked out of their body by a defective pool pump, struck in the eye by a high-velocity rock, penetrated with flying nails, a man struck by a flying heavy object that jams him through a fence until he's cut into diagonal shards of bloody flesh, and much, much more. And it's all shown in excruciating detail, with realistic, bloody special-effects makeup in 3D.


Kissing; suggestive talk about oral sex; a sex scene featuring topless male and female participants in 3D.


Plenty of strong language, including "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "prick," "dick," "p---y," "damn," "hell," "oh my God," "goddamn," and more. Also racial epithets, including the "N' word, "chocolate," and "redneck."


Brands visible on-screen include Pepsi products on multiple occasions, Nokia, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink beer and hard liquor and smoke cigarettes. A character is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and seems to be handling recovery well.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this 3D horror movie is full of bloody, bleak, and violent deaths -- including dismemberment, disembowelment, explosions, impalements, brutal mutilations, crushing blows, and more. Although we rated earlier entries in the franchise differently, the nature of 3D makes the violence here so much more brutal and intense that we don’t recommend this movie for any kids. There's also a sex scene with nudity, plenty of strong language (including "f--k" and "s--t"), and some drinking and smoking.

What's the story?

As in previous Final Destination films, THE FINAL DESTINATION begins with a vision, as Nick (Bobby Campo) joins his friends at an auto race and has a premonition of a horrible disaster that kills his friends and others. Snapping back to the present, Nick freaks out and gets his friends and some of the surrounding people to leave, meaning that they're saved when a crash does end up sending flaming debris flying into the stands. Spared, the group reflects on their good fortune -- and then start dying, one by one. Death, it seems, has a to-do list. ...

Is it any good?


Even with 3D making for a unique viewing experience, the fact is that The Final Destination is a fairly dull affair. And the gloss of spilled blood can't make up for the dreary tedium of the film's central pitch: If death is coming, and unavoidable, then watching these films mostly involves waiting for people to die, with no hope of their salvation. The actors are all adequate -- although one-time Oscar nominee Mykelti Williamson is far better than this material.

Director David R. Ellis knows what the fans of this series expect, and he doesn't fail to deliver the bloody accidents and deadly blows of the franchise. But he doesn't deliver anything else -- character development that would make us care about the people being killed, for instance, or twists in the narrative other than wondering when the next victim will die and how ... which is intermittently amusing, but not a foundation for a film, especially one we've seen three times before. At the very least, the 3D gimmick makes The Final Destination pop a little more than a conventional part four, but even the guts and gore leaping off the screen can't make up for the way The Final Destination's story just lies there. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the recent rise in 3D films. Is this a new way to return to the excitement of going to the theater in the age of fancy home theaters, or just a gimmick that's being exploited?

  • How does the 3D affect the impact of the movie's gory, grisly murder scenes and other violence?

  • What's your opinon of the nature of fate, chance, and bad luck? What, if anything, can be done to avoid the random chance of death that fills life's every corner?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 28, 2009
DVD release date:January 5, 2010
Cast:Bobby Campo, Nick Zano, Shantel VanSasten
Director:David R. Ellis
Studio:Warner Bros.
Run time:82 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong violent/gruesome accidents, language and a scene of sexuality

This review of The Final Destination was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Creepy suspense/horror film. Older teens plus.
  • Trendsetting shocker about a possessed child.
  • Keep children away from this scary classic.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written bylittlemonster98 April 6, 2011


What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byBoti95 June 28, 2010

For adults only!

This movie is extremely greusome. The deaths are way off. This one chick gets her smashed into mush. A girls legs get stuck in the escalaters. and much much more.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byjoshua martinez July 24, 2010

not for kids.

The Final Destination 3D is a waste of money and a waste of time this movie is not for kids only for adults and parents you need to know that this movie is very disturbing filled with a lot blood, violence, and gruesome deaths there's one sex scene plenty of strong language used and characters drink beer and hard liquor and smoke cigarettes.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?