Parents' Guide to

The Marksman

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Guns and violence in well-made but cliche-ridden thriller.

Movie PG-13 2021 108 minutes
The Marksman Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 14+

"Woke" reviews by Commonsense media

It's pretty sad that the "wokeness" has now even hit common sense media reviews done by it's staff. I will now stop all donations that I make to your organization. This woke cancel culture needs to end its stupidity. Seriously your review about the "cliche" of a white man savior rescuing people escaping across the border. Can you please explain what is wrong with that? It's quite plausible and why do you think people are lining up to come to America and yeah it's very likely the person on the other side of that fence is a white rancher. Focus on giving good movie reviews and end this cancel culture.
age 15+


I stopped watching after the main character "rescued" the kid from the Border Patrol station because his life was in danger. Jim noticed the cartel watching the station and that moment decides to grab the kid, put it in his truck and drive off right in front of them. Wasn't this even riskier for the kid? All these characters feel so cartoonish. This movie is formulaic from the go. It is full of cliches and simpleton takes, like Jim taking a full-body camera shot with a folden USA flag over his shoulder or his excessive use of "¿Comprende?". I can't even comprehend how stellar actors like Liam Neeson agree on being part of this type of project proper of a B-list actor. I love grounded movies based on the story, dialogues, and solid acting but they must be balanced with smart shots and well-thought-out camera angles. I didn't see any of this on the first quarter that I forced myself to watch before I quit driven out by a bland plot, telegraphed acting, and soulless direction.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Thanks to Robert Lorenz's smooth, simple direction and Neeson's appealing, sympathetic bond with young Perez, this action-thriller, which is steeped in cliché from top to bottom, very nearly gets by. Lorenz, a producer and/or assistant director on many Clint Eastwood movies, channels his mentor with The Marksman, using unhurried, classical storytelling and treating the creaky old material with care. Neeson's Jim Hanson is shown both with an American flag draped over his shoulder (as the bank tries to take his ranch away) and showing concern for an injured immigrant ... even as he calls border patrol.

Perez is a sweet kid who's positively portrayed, but too little time is spent on other characters of color, and the Mexican villains are crushingly one-note: They're depicted as pure evil with no humanity. Neeson is fine in his low-key role: Hanson is a good man at heart (like Tom Hanks' similar role in News of the World) who just happens to be handy with firearms. The actor's fans will be pleased with the traditional shootout ending, which is presented neatly and without cluttery shaky-cam or choppy editing. But even as The Marksman wraps up, it already starts to fade from memory.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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