The Hulk

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
The Hulk Movie Poster Image
The Hulk lacks personality; not a great movie.
  • PG-13
  • 2003
  • 138 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 33 reviews

We're committed to diversity in media.

We're updating our reviews to better highlight authentic stories and accurate, diverse representations. See something that needs to be addressed? Suggest an update to this review

A lot or a little?

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

Violence

A great deal of comic-book-style "action violence," meaning that there is a lot of destruction, but it is not very graphic. Intense action and peril.

Sex

Brief non-sexual nudity.

Language

Mild.

Consumerism

Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has a great deal of comic-book-style "action violence," meaning that there's a lot of destruction, but it's not very graphic. Some viewers may be upset by the tragic family events in the story.

Wondering if The Hulk is OK for your kids?

Parents: 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 bymotherelder3 September 26, 2020

Surprise at language

I was surprise they said no language and Sam Elliot let's out a G#[email protected]#$m. This is offensive to me and my family.
Adult Written byUgzilla September 18, 2020

Boring, but fine for the teenagers obsessed with Marvel

Not a good movie, except for seeing Nick Nolte in his full glory. I mean come on, that's the real win here for humanity, basically Nolte playing himself o... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old January 22, 2019

Boring Movie With Poor Acting

I don’t like to insult Marvel movies (except Spider-Man 3), but this movie is fine at best. You can’t follow the story and it is full of these weird triple spl... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byIsaacreviews December 28, 2017

One word: Disturbing!

This movie is great, but it is very disturbing. There are scenes of violence and some abuse. There is a scene where a child hears his dad yelling at his mum in... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THE HULK, Eric Bana plays Bruce Banner, a scientist who has repressed memories of childhood trauma and as a result represses his emotions as well. He cares for fellow PhD Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly) but is unable to let her get close to him. When he is exposed to gamma rays in a lab accident, it triggers a genetic mutation that was the result of his father's experiments. When all that repressed anger is released, he becomes the physical embodiment of rage: an enormous green guy known as the Hulk. After the Hulk saves Betty's life, he winds up being held captive at an Army base, where Major Talbot tries to obtain the Hulk's superpowers in order to make a profit.

Is it any good?

Director Ang Lee creates images of great grace, elegance, and dignity, but he tries to make the inner conflicts the focus of the story and so this movie doesn't work. It's also way too long. The decision to make the Hulk character computer-animated was a mistake. The Hulk doesn't speak (except for one sentence), so he never comes to life. And his interaction with the physical world isn't believable. He's supposed to be extremely heavy, but when he jumps, he lands like a grasshopper. We never really care about him or root for him, and his fights, while impressively staged, aren't compelling. He doesn't fight bad guys; he fights the Army, which is trying to stop him from destroying everything around him. He's more like King Kong than Spider-Man.

Jennifer Connelly looks lovely, but basically carries over her Beautiful Mind role, except this time instead of being in love with a brilliant crazy guy she's in love with a brilliant green crazy guy. Nick Nolte, looking worse than his mug shot, overdoes the mad scientist bit as Bruce Banner's father. His character is supposed to add dark, Oedipal themes of destiny and consequences, but his appearances frequently sparked laughter from the audience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of comic book characters, especially the Hulk, the tangible representation of repressed anger.

Movie details

Our editors recommend

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