The Mechanic

  • Review Date: January 25, 2011
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Exceedingly violent action remake also has sex, drinking.
  • Review Date: January 25, 2011
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 92 minutes





What parents need to know

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

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).

Not applicable
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.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:January 28, 2011
DVD release date:May 17, 2011
Cast:Ben Foster, Donald Sutherland, Jason Statham
Director:Simon West
Studio:CBS Films
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong brutal violence throughout, language, some sexual content and nudity

This review of The Mechanic was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byDKR725 February 2, 2011

Short and To the Point

Uhh, this one's pretty simple. The movie was okay. The action was good, but short. As a matter of fact, the whole movie was SHORT! It seemed like watching a 10 minute movie. If you watch the trailer for the movie, you pretty much have seen everything. The violence is a bit brutal, and there are a few bloody scenes, but as said, not many. There are also about 4 scenes with strong sexual content, more than there are action. (maybe) Also some strong language is throughout, but not the most horrible to grace the silverscreen. My Point; if you don't really know if you want to see this movie, you really don't need to. There are plenty of other good action movies out there.
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
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great role models
Adult Written bykhan2705 February 22, 2011

a not so special but still ok action thriller (typical)

Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is a 'mechanic' - an elite assassin with a strict code and unique talent for cleanly eliminating targets. It's a job that requires professional perfection and total detachment, and Bishop is the best in the business. But when his mentor and close friend Harry (Donald Sutherland) is murdered, Bishop is anything but detached. His next assignment is self-imposed - he wants those responsible dead. His mission grows complicated when Harry's son Steve (Ben Foster) approaches him with the same vengeful goal and a determination to learn Bishop's trade. Bishop has always acted alone but he can't turn his back on Harry's son. A methodical hit man takes an impulsive student deep into his world and a deadly partnership is born. But while in pursuit of their ultimate mark, deceptions threaten to surface and those hired to fix problems become problems themselves. this movie i was seriously not waiting for it to come and than i will see it, not a Statham fan. did not had any expectations from it but when i saw it i liked it a little bit. i mean it is not a great movie but not bad either. its better than some of the movies of past 2 years, the low budget low profiled one, like last years like say for example FASTER, last year movie which was a bad movie. don't make your expectations too high though. this movie has some good action and fight scenes, over the top explosive action with guns and bullets. the movie is nothing special but the action scenes are intense. story is ok, plot could have been tighter and more interesting, first half is kind of boring and empty. direction was ok, not bad but needed some more work. movie seems stylish in a strange way. characters are cliched. i can't really talk about acting i mean you know how that would be. it is average or below average. Jason Statham looks good, but he is doing all these same movies with same storyline and same character. i mean that seriously sucks. Ben Foster though was good and they looked good together. but i will say that they never needed to remake that old movie. they ruined it and it is now a typical action film with nothing special. ruined. not on the whole but slightly entertaining. for Jason Statham and these type of typical action thriller fans, watch it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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