The Magnificent Seven

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Magnificent Seven Movie Poster Image
Crowd-pleasing Western remake is very violent.
  • PG-13
  • 2016
  • 132 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 16 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Positive messages

The movie champions teamwork -- especially teamwork involving people of different races, cultures, and walks of life. Some racial tension and/or fears are shown, but these are viewed as small-minded or short-sighted. That said, the central characters also commit many acts of violence, sometimes without consequence. But they band together against impossible odds and stand up to bullies to help those who can't help themselves.

Positive role models & representations

Though teamwork is strong in this movie, the individual characters are outlaws with violent tendencies and other vices (drinking, etc.). And they rarely face any consequences for their violent actions. The cast is diverse but very male-centric, with few notable female characters.

Violence

Tons of shooting/gun use, with countless bullet wounds and lots of dead bodies. Knife fights, with slicing and stabbing. Arrows pierce torsos and legs. Axes thud into chests and backs. Some mildly bloody wounds. An ear is shot off, with a bloody ear piece shown on the ground. Shovel to the head. Many explosions. Gatling gun. People are bashed with gun butts and kicked. Burning buildings/burning church. References to rape. Eating raw deer liver.

Sex

Verbal innuendo and sexual references. Women dressed as prostitutes. Reference to "whores." A female character's cleavage is highlighted.

Language

Language includes "s--t," "son of a bitch," "hell," "goddamn," "damn," "ass," "balls," "whore," "godforsaken," "God dang." Also "redskins" and some very colorful (if not technically swear-filled) insults.

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

Characters drink often. One character is referred to as a "drunk" and appears to be drinking frequently, though no consequences are shown. Characters also smoke cigarettes and cigars.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the classic 1960 Western (which itself was a take on Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai). The biggest issue is the movie's relentless violence: It's not particularly gory, but there's tons of shooting and killing, as well as stabbing and slicing with knives and arrows. Characters are bashed with blunt objects or kicked, bloody wounds are shown, and rape is referenced. Language includes a few uses of "s--t" and "bitch," and more. Sexual content is limited to verbal innuendo/references, though one female character's cleavage is highlighted. Another character is referred to as "drunken," and most characters drink and/or smoke cigarettes or cigars. But teamwork is a strong theme, as is overcoming racial tensions and stereotypes. The titular seven are a diverse bunch, and they work together against difficult odd for the greater good. But the lack of consequences for their violent actions should also be considered (as should the fact that the cast is almost all men).

User Reviews

Adult Written bychrijeff50 September 24, 2016

What you have to remember

When you consider a movie like this one, you have to keep in mind that the director is trying to re-create a time and place in which established "law and o... Continue reading
Adult Written byB B September 23, 2016

Too gory

Pretty good film, though we had to walk out after 40 minutes. My son can usually handle things rated on this site at 13-14, but this was too gory, particularly... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMovie_Expert1 September 27, 2016

Remake of a classic with some potentially iffy material

This film was pretty good. It kept me and my friend entertained. However, there are some concerns going into it. The violence is pretty extreme for a PG-13 m... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byweird13 September 24, 2016

What's the story?

In THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, it's 1879, and murderous robber baron Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) is persecuting the town of Rose Creek, intimidating its simple farmers into giving up their land. When bounty hunter Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington) arrives in town, the newly widowed Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) begs him to put a stop to Bogue's evildoing. So Chisolm recruits a team of outcasts -- including a quickdraw Irishman (Chris Pratt), a Southern gentleman (Ethan Hawke), a Chinese knife expert (Byung-hun Lee), a Mexican bandit (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), a grizzly bear-like tracker (Vincent D'Onofrio), and a Comanche warrior (Martin Sensmeier). But with only a short time to prepare and Bogue heading up an entire army of gunslingers, can Chisolm's team finish what's been started?

Is it any good?

It's perhaps a bit too noisy and relentlessly violent, but this remake adds a new, multicultural angle to a sturdy old story and looks good doing it. The Magnificent Seven is a Western that's worth re-telling to a younger generation. Re-teaming with Washington for the third time (after Training Day and The Equalizer), director Antoine Fuqua takes inspiration from many classic Westerns, as well as Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954), which is the original source of the story. His sense of rhythm and space is admirable, though he often errs on the side of too much, rather than not enough.

Yet even if Fuqua's direction isn't on par with that of Kurosawa or Western masters like Sam Peckinpah, he effectively uses the language of the genre to underline its strong, simple themes and codes of honor. The movie occasionally acknowledges racial differences and fears but quickly gets the seven on equal footing, and they come to life in entertaining ways. The thundering score (begun by the late James Horner and completed by Simon Franglen) helps, using bits of Elmer Bernstein's legendary music from the 1960 version. The Magnificent Seven has always been, and still is, more crowd-pleaser than great poetry, and that's OK.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Magnificent Seven's violence. How does the fact that much of the shooting and killing is bloodless affect its impact? Does exposure to violent media desensitize kids to violence?

  • Do you consider Bartholomew Bogue a bully? How is he dealt with? What is learned? How else can bullies be handled?

  • How do the characters in The Magnificent Seven demonstrate teamwork? How do the individuals contribute to the team? Why is teamwork an important character strength?

  • How does the movie deal with the characters' different races and cultures? Does it seem to take a positive, pro-diversity approach? Does that make up for the fact that there are few female characters of note?

  • Faraday drinks a lot and is referred to as "drunken." Why does he drink? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?

Movie details

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