The Intruder

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Intruder Movie Poster Image
Lifeless but violent "psychopathic stalker" movie.
  • PG-13
  • 2019
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

No real messages here, except that perhaps it's wise to ask more questions before you buy a house -- and also, be careful where you put out your cigarettes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are all mechanical/without any inner life; they switch back and forth between irresponsible behavior and heroic behavior as the plot demands it.

Violence

Guns and shooting. Dead body. Dead deer. Imagined sequence of smashing a wine bottle in someone's face. Murder with axe. A man fights with a woman, slamming her around, against walls, etc. He licks her unconscious body. Fight with knife, stabbing. Fighting and punching. Character bashed in head with baseball bat; blood spray. Jump scares. Truck runs into jogger on road, knocks him down. Bloody flashback, woman with shotgun in mouth. Some blood. Fall from upstairs balcony. Big cat kills a zebra on a nature TV show. Poison mentioned but not used.

Sex

Two non-explicit sex scenes, with characters half-clothed. Kissing. A naked woman's side-view silhouette is seen through an opaque shower door. Man ogles a woman's bottom. Married man flirts with a server; some innuendo. Other woman briefly kisses a married man.

Language

A use of "f--k," plus "s--t," "bulls--t," "p---y," "damn," "goddamn," "ass," and "hell."

Consumerism

Google mentioned; Apple iPhones shown.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Main character drinks several tequila shots, gets belligerent. Characters smoke cigarettes in several scenes. Several scenes of social drinking, mostly wine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Intruder is a mechanical thriller about a psychopathic stalker (Dennis Quaid) who terrorizes a young couple (Michael Ealy and Meagan Good) who bought his old house. Violence is pretty intense: Expect guns and shooting, dead bodies, blood spurts, a man beating up a woman, fighting with knives, stabbing, punching, a character getting knocked over by a car, jump scares, and more. There are two relatively tame sex scenes, in which the partners are half-clothed and covered; kissing is shown. A woman's naked silhouette is visible through an opaque shower door, a man ogles a woman's bottom, and a woman tries to kiss a married man. Language includes one use of "f--k," a few uses of "s--t," and a few other words. A man drinks several tequila shots in one scene, but otherwise drinking is mainly social and mostly wine. A character smokes cigarettes.

Wondering if The Intruder 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 byIngIng May 11, 2019

How About a Security System????

Movie was a bit graphic for 13 year olds. And the sex/violence was a bit much. However in this day of technology, the movie did not make sense. How can you b... Continue reading
Parent of a 5, 10, and 10-year-old Written bysilwuttke November 29, 2019

DON'T ANSWER THE DOOR........... IT'S THE INTRUDER!!!!!!

VERY BAD MOVIE DESERVES AN M RATING!!!!!! Worst thriller I've seen in my life!!!! This movie includes EXTREME VIOLENCE AND SEX, AND DRINKING THROUGHOUT!!!!... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byHorrorFan06 April 20, 2020

Very good...

The movie was great it was very good acting but there are couple of scenes that are inapropiate i recommend watching it.
Teen, 13 years old Written byram234533ds March 28, 2020

Very good but.......

I really liked the movie even though some parts weren’t the best. There is one scene where Charlie hits another dude with a axe. Off screen but then you see... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THE INTRUDER, San Francisco advertising man Scott Russell (Michael Ealy) has just closed a big deal, and his wife, Annie (Meagan Good), decides it's time to buy a house in Napa and start a family. They find the perfect place, and the previous owner, Charlie Peck (Dennis Quaid), seems nice enough. But then he keeps showing up -- at first to mow the lawn, but then dropping by for dinner or with gifts. And while Charlie was supposed to move to Florida to be with his daughter, he doesn't ever seem to leave. As things begin to get stranger and scarier, Scott worries that Annie may be in danger. He does some research into Charlie's background and discovers that his story may not be entirely true.

Is it any good?

Yet another example of the "psychopathic stalker" subgenre that was popular in the early 1990s, this thriller is thoroughly mechanical and laughable, almost totally lacking in any kind of humanity. The Intruder thankfully isn't as offensive as director Deon Taylor's last movie, Traffik, which tried to combine exploitation filmmaking with message-mongering, but it's still empty and lifeless. Weirdly, it's similar in some ways to Jordan Peele's Us, but without that movie's cleverness. Rather, the screenplay for The Intruder is a computer-like contraption that simply moves pieces from one place to another to make things happen. The characters, and the actors stuck playing the roles, have little choice but to follow along.

If the main characters agree or disagree, they're only doing so because the plot requires them to at that precise moment. They have no inner life -- and, other than occasionally sitting down for a meal, they never seem to actually do anything. Quaid's Charlie switches gears radically from a polite character to a savage, grunting monster with nothing in between; there's no hint of what he's actually like or where all this might have come from. Good is the only thing worth seeing in The Intruder. As with her brief role in Shazam!, she brings a warm kindness and humanity to her character, as well as humor and toughness, that somehow still come through as she makes genuine attempts to connect with Charlie. It's a shame the movie couldn't have been worthy of her talents.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Intruder's violence. How did it affect you? Was it thrilling or shocking? Why? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • How is sex depicted? What values are imparted? Is the central marriage a healthy one?

  • How is smoking shown? Is it glamorized? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?

  • Is the movie scary? What's the appeal of this subgenre? Why are psychopathic stalkers so compelling as movie subjects?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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