The Final Destination

Movie review by
James Rocchi, Common Sense Media
The Final Destination Movie Poster Image
Horror franchise's leap to 3D is gorier than ever.
  • R
  • 2009
  • 82 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 27 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 48 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 15-year-old Written byJames Owen July 9, 2018

Fairly Interesting

The final destination 2009, has a really twisted and gruesome storyline. However, the movie is rated 15 because of the gore, and one sex scene, however, if like... Continue reading
Adult Written byRaritysfans December 20, 2020

Blow Up

Typical FD movie full of gore, accidents and out of context. Good for a mans nights out on a Weekend. In consumerism Paris, malls and more.
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 mo...
Teen, 14 years old Written byAlyssaJorden July 1, 2012

Average "Destination" Gore, but Surprising Sex Scene

I saw this film a couple years ago with my brother and it still haunts me. Not necessarily the bountiful grisly deaths but the one sex scene that surely should... Continue reading

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. 

Talk to your kids 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 opinion 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love scares

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

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

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

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate