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The Mechanic

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Mechanic Movie Poster Image
Exceedingly violent action remake also has sex, drinking.
  • R
  • 2011
  • 92 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 9 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The characters' destructive actions -- which cause many deaths -- have no (or few) consequences. They live selfish, solitary lives and are cynical, trusting no one -- not even each other.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Arthur is highly skilled, professional, cautious, and wary, and he makes a lot of money at his job. But he doesn't seem particularly happy, and the movie continually shows the lack of trust, empathy, and friendship in his life. He's such an empty person that as soon as he opens himself up to other people, his life is in danger.


Constant action violence, with dozens of shootings, stabbings, beatings, stranglings, explosions, various other brutal killings, and lots of blood. The hero threatens to grind up a teen girl's arm in a garbage disposal. These acts are shown with few or no consequences.


A sex scene includes grinding/thrusting; editing covers up most of the nudity, though the woman's breast and buttocks are glimpsed. Later, characters have rough sex in the alley of a bar, but no sensitive body parts are shown. A porn video with two naked women kissing is briefly seen on a computer screen. One character allows himself to be picked up by a sexual predator in order to kill him.


Very strong language includes multiple uses of "f--k" and "s--t" in various permutations. Other words include "p---y," "damn," "goddamn" and "Jesus Christ" (used as an exclamation).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character is often shown drinking hard liquor and/or smoking cigarettes. He gets sloppy drunk in several scenes. A minor character is a junkie and is shown getting his fix. Another minor character is a drug dealer.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this remake of a 1972 hit man action-drama is extraordinarily violent, with dozens of shootings, beatings, stabbings, stranglings, and killings, with lots of blood. Language is strong (including many uses of "f--k" and "s--t"), and there are some pretty graphic sexual situations (with breast/buttock nudity). One character drinks hard liquor and smokes incessantly (other, minor characters are drug dealers and junkies). The characters have few redeeming or admirable qualities, and there are few consequences for their destructive actions.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydarthsitkur April 22, 2014

not as good as I thought it would be

the mechanic wasn't as good as I thought it would be, I would've liked more action since it is a statham flick, but what action was there was pretty i... Continue reading
Adult Written byverum December 18, 2011

An action film that serves its purpose as entertainment.

If you're looking for something deep and meaningful, go elsewhere. This film is incredibly predictable and has a lot of violence (the film is about a hitma... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byfrancoise February 2, 2011

only for kids about 17 and more.

i think it's cool somewhere but for kids under 17 it's not the best movie to watch
Teen, 14 years old Written byStevie111 March 3, 2012

Extremely violent

This is a very graphic and violent film. Some language. There is some strong sexual content and nudity, but not too frequent

What's the story?

Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is a skilled, effective hit man thanks to careful planning. Unfortunately, he gets assigned to take out his boss/friend, Harry (Donald Sutherland). Harry, it seems, was involved in a bloody double-cross that resulted in the deaths of several good men. After the painful job is performed, Harry's son, Steve (Ben Foster), comes around and appeals to Arthur to train him for the same line of work. Arthur reluctantly agrees, and after a rocky start, the two begin to make a pretty good team. Until, that is, Arthur discovers a clue to the origin of the double cross. A bit of revenge is in order.

Is it any good?

Statham is one of the best action heroes in years, and he steps easily into Charles Bronson's shoes (Bronson starred in the 1972 original). THE MECHANIC is less sprightly and sleek than Statham's Transporter and Crank films, but it adds a bit more heft to the drama. Foster matches him as a severely damaged, slightly demented soul who eagerly and easily takes to the assassination game, and Sutherland and Tony Goldwyn offer sturdy support.

On the downside, Simon West's direction is pretty sloppy. He cut his teeth in the Jerry Bruckheimer school of filmmaking, and his action scenes are ugly and choppy. When in doubt, he makes things bigger. Add to that some slight script improbabilities -- such as Steve's sudden, drastic improvement in skill level -- and the movie is knocked down a few pegs. But it still offers some solid thrills.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's extreme violence. What impact does it have? What consequences does it have in the movie's world? How do you think that would change in real life?

  • Why do you think Steve smokes and drinks so much? What are the consequences of those choices? Would they be the same in real life?

  • What makes movies about hit men so fascinating?

Movie details

For kids who love action

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