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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 11+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 29 reviews

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCriticus February 22, 2019

A Great Big Hulking Mess?

I kicked off my weeks-long Marvel-thon the other night with an oldie - Hulk. I've yet to re-watch the far more famous 2008 Edward Norton version, and accor... Continue reading
Adult Written byRarityfan October 14, 2018

No bulk up

It was not that worth the hype back then. These days the Hulk will be seen so dated in places for some. Lots of destructions since it is classic Hulk.
Kid, 12 years old March 4, 2019

Dark, emotional tale has depth!

The Hulk is a sad film that focuses on the monster inside ourselves. It is not a typical superhero film as it is darker and sadder. Lots of violence.
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

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

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