The Hitman's Bodyguard

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Stars have great comedic chemistry in violent buddy comedy.
  • R
  • 2017
  • 111 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 18 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Amid the violence and the humor are messages about teamwork, forgiveness, and redemption -- though the story does focus on two men who use guns professionally: one to kill and one to protect.

Positive Role Models & Representations

It's hard to consider a hit man/contract killer and a bodyguard-for-hire role models, but they're at least aware of morality and have rules about who they kill. Kincaid refuses to kill for a dictator when he realizes the man has ordered and participated in the shooting of a village. Bryce doesn't kill people unless he has to, and his job is more to keep someone alive than to kill anyone. They both love the women in their lives.

Violence

Both main characters use their guns a ton, and the movie's body count is ridiculously high. Several disturbing scenes of a country's leader ordering the deaths of or directly killing people, including a dissident professor's wife and children (it happens off camera, but viewers see the gun being pointed at them and two shots). Many, many shoot-outs and car chases that leave people dead.

Sex

Both Kincaid and Bryce have flashbacks in which they recall how they met their significant others, and both sequences involve close-ups of the women's bodies (there's much more in the one featuring Salma Hayek -- i.e., cleavage and butt shots). Two different couples kiss.

Language

Constant use of strong language, with expletives (mostly "f--k" and "motherf----r") peppered throughout. Other words said quite often include "bitch," "p---y," "d--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and "Jesus Christ," "Christ," goddammit," and "retard," as well as Spanish curses like "hijo de puta," "mierda," and more.

Consumerism

BMW, Ford, Range Rover, Land Rover, Jaguar, Mercedes.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Kincaid drinks liquor from a flask. People at a bar are shown drinking, mostly beer. One of Bryce's clients swallows a bunch of pills.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Hitman's Bodyguard is a violent, swearing-filled buddy action-comedy about two men who are experts with guns, but for different reasons: Samuel L. Jackson plays an infamous hit man, while Ryan Reynolds plays a bodyguard-for-hire. Not surprisingly, there's tons of gun use; expect frequent shoot-outs with automatic/semi-automatic weapons, as well as explosions, close-up brawls/killings, and an enormous body count. But, thanks to the stars, there's also a whole lot of humor ... as well as nonstop cursing, particularly "f--k" and "motherf----r." There are underlying themes of teamwork and redemption, but the plot also includes disturbing scenes related to a genocidal Belarusian dictator (Gary Oldman) whom Jackson is supposed to testify against. The tyrant is known for committing widespread murder of any man, woman, or child he considered an enemy. A few scenes show drinking and kissing, as well as lingering shots of women's bodies, but violence and language are the main issues here.

Wondering if The Hitman's Bodyguard is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDianne H. September 9, 2017

Language ruined it

I knew there would be bad language but it was every other word and about 70% not needed. Totally ruined what would have been a good movie.
Parent of a 17-year-old Written byTracie C. January 6, 2018

Take out the F word and it would only be 20 min long!

The swearing was so unnecessary and distracting in this ho hum movie. I’m fine with a well placed swear word for meaning or emphasis but this was ridiculous!

V... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bymurdermystery March 7, 2020

Boring Action Film

THE HITMAN'S BODYGUARD contains kissing and plenty of coarse language used unnecessarily frequently. Parents will need to know about the violence and blood...
Teen, 14 years old Written byVladimirTheLadimir December 21, 2018

What's the story?

THE HITMAN'S BODYGUARD starts with a tightly edited glimpse at the life of a high-end bodyguard for hire: London-based Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) dons a beautiful suit, holsters shiny guns, and manages to keep a Japanese millionaire from harm -- until he's unexpectedly and unavoidably killed. Two years later, Bryce has gone from being a slick personal security officer to a low-rent bodyguard for shady types with cash. Meanwhile, renowned contract killer Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) accepts an offer from INTERPOL: He'll trade his eye-witness testimony against a Belarusian dictator (Gary Oldman) in exchange for the freedom of his wrongfully imprisoned wife, Sonia (Salma Hayek). With most of the other witnesses against the tyrant turning up missing or dead, Kincaid must make it from Manchester to The Hague in just one day. After the initial INTERPOL escort team is ambushed by a Belarusian kill squad, leader Amelia (Elodie Yung) calls Bryce -- who happens to be her ex -- to personally accompany Kincaid to the international court. It turns out the hit man and the bodyguard have a history, but together they manage to hilariously put their differences aside, shoot whomever needs to be shot, and find their way on a mission for good ... for once.

Is it any good?

This action-comedy is unnecessarily violent and has an uneven tone, but the comedic banter between Jackson and Reynolds is undeniable. If only there was slightly less bloodlust and a less over-the-top body count, The Hitman's Bodyguard would have been a fine example of an odd-couple comedy bromance. No one's performance is a stretch: Jackson is a quick-witted, foul-mouthed, eyebrow-raising assassin who justifies his work, a role he's been perfecting since Pulp Fiction, while Reynolds is a sharp-tongued, super-detailed bodyguard who can't stop talking. No surprises there, but there was no guarantee the two stars would click, and they do.

The rest of the movie is bolstered by a funny supporting turn from Hayek, who plays Kincaid's beloved Sonia. She calls her husband her cucaracha ("cockroach") because he's basically "unkillable." She's right. The action sequences are nearly nonstop, and each shows how Kincaid is the grim reaper, but with a gun instead of a scythe. The parts of the movie featuring Oldman's irredeemable dictator, Dukhovich, are considerably less funny and should come with a trigger warning. A leader who kills a man's wife and child in front of him and is responsible for genocide is a little too scary and realistic for times when you'd be forgiven for hoping that a buddy comedy would prove to be pure escapism.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in The Hitman's Bodyguard. Does the movie's humor affect its impact? How does it compare to the violence in other action movies you've seen? Does exposure to violent media make kids more aggressive?

  • Do you think audiences are more comfortable hearing strong language when it comes from certain actors, like Jackson? When we hear actors swear frequently, does that lessen the impact of the words?

  • Compare this buddy comedy adventures to other similar movies. What do you notice about them? How does this one stack up to other favorites?

  • How would you describe the role of the movie's female characters? Did you notice any stereotypes?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

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