The Green Hornet

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Green Hornet Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Superhero "bromance" is funny but overly childish.
  • PG-13
  • 2011
  • 119 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 41 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 77 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Britt and Kato learn lessons about friendship, freedom of the press, the dangers of political corruption, and the need for newspapers to report the truth ethically.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The only clear role model in the movie is Lenore, who's smart and hardworking and doesn't predictably fall for either guy in the movie.


Although the violence is bloodless, there's a high body count, with the deaths occurring in various ways -- from (double-barrel) guns at close range to explosions to being buried, crushed, etc. Most of the violent scenes involve hand-to-hand fights, martial-arts, and some punching and kicking.


In the first few scenes of the movie, Britt is shown hanging out with many beautiful women, slapping their bottoms and dancing with them. Many women at his parties are dressed provocatively. Britt makes out with a woman in one scene and another in the next. He wakes up next to a woman he's obviously slept with but can't remember her name (she's dressed only in a bra). He tries to kiss his assistant, but she pushes him off of her.


Lots of swearing, especially "s--t" and "ass," but also "p---y," "bitch," "d--k," "damn," "hell," "crap," "douche," "goddamn," and the like. One use of "f--k."


Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise. Red Bull, a Jaguar, and the cars that Britt has in his garage.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Britt parties hard, and at the beginning of the film he's shown drinking with all his friends. Later he tries to mix a drink of vodka and Red Bull. References to crystal meth and a drug lab.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this superhero flick is really more of a "bromantic" comedy, with lots of childish language and violence. Fairly frequent strong language includes "s--t" and "ass" and their many variations, plus "p---y," "d--k," and one use of "f--k." Sexuality and alcohol are concentrated in the first third of the movie, including a fair bit of partying and one scene in which Britt (Seth Rogen) wakes up in bed with a bra-clad woman. There are no big life lessons to learn or strongly positive role models, as the two main characters aren't morally righteous superheroes we're used to in similar films. Instead, they're basically independently financed boys with toys who do good more for kicks than out of a real sense of duty. Note: The 3-D version of the movie has heightened martial arts/action sequences.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byMichelle H. November 23, 2012

Green Hornet Review

It was a good movie but the main character was a jerk until the very end. He didn't fully redeem himself but he got better.
Adult Written byCMW770 October 13, 2012

The green hornet

I think the Commonsense review is about right for this movie re: language, sexual content etc. but parents should also be aware that there is quite a lot of kil... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byRatings4U November 4, 2020

Entertaining but quirky superhero flick is average.

This is a good movie for teens, but it’s not amazing. There were good special effects and interesting characters. The story was fine, and it was funny, too. The... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byFloatingtable101 August 8, 2020

What's the story?

Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) is the heir to a storied Los Angeles newspaper dynasty, but he prefers to spend his time -- and his father's money -- partying and wooing a parade of beautiful women. When his publisher father, James (Tom Wilkinson), suddenly dies, Britt is left with a newspaper to run, but all he cares about is finding the servant who makes an unforgettable latte. It turns out the coffee guy is James' car mechanic, Kato (Jay Chou, stepping into the role that Bruce Lee made famous in the '60s TV series), who has hidden engineering and martial arts skills. Britt decides the two of them should use his money and Kato's talent to be the "good guys" in a city that's slowly slipping into the dangerous grasp of crimelord Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz). With help from unsuspecting secretary/amateur criminologist Lenore (Cameron Diaz), Britt and Kato try to clean up the streets and sever the paper's ties with a corrupt politician.

Is it any good?

Although the movie's opening is well acted, brilliantly written, and comedically paced, the rest of THE GREEN HORNET is a mixed bag. Yes, Rogen is perfect as a rich party boy who never amounted to much, but the movie hinges on his chemistry with his man/bro/employee, Kato. Chou is difficult to understand at times, and his rapport with Rogen seems forced, which is a first for a Rogen film. The Green Hornet is, at heart, a superhero "bromance," and since the bromance in question is so silly and unbelievable, it doesn't add up to the pleasant odd-couple pairings we're used to (Jackie Chan's goofball sidekick comedies come to mind).

Obviously director Michel Gondry isn't trying to make a Serious Superhero Film a la Christopher Nolan, Tim Burton, or Bryan Singer. But did Britt really need to sound like a 9-year-old boy who's just gotten ahold of some really cool toys? That works for an audience of, yes, tween boys, but adults may find it tiring. On the bright side, it's refreshing to see Diaz play a woman who has no interest in the superheroes. She's no Lois Lane or Mary Jane Watson hoping to steal another kiss from a dashing hero ... because Britt and Kato basically aren't superheroes. They're two guys with enough money (courtesy of Britt) and smarts (courtesy of Kato) to pull off some brave stunts. But that's not to say there aren't laughs, because there are -- however puerile they might be -- and there's even a tiny tribute to Lee in one quick scene. Perhaps the Lee nostalgia will be enough for grown men and teenage boys, but the movie may leave many moviegoers checking their watches between laughs.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Britt and Kato compare to other superheroes. Are they role models?

  • How is Lenore different than other women in superhero movies?

  • What kinds of things do most superhero/comic book movies have in common? How does this one compare?

Movie details

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