The Nun

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Nun Movie Poster Image
Violent entry in Conjuring series feels rushed, dashed off.
  • R
  • 2018
  • 96 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 36 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 42 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Brief but interesting dialogue about how the Bible is "God's love letter to us" and how asking questions and discussing things (rather than everything being fixed/rule-bound) are likely part of God's plan.

Positive Role Models & Representations

A priest and a novitiate, clearly good people, act bravely and risk their lives to save each other and, hopefully, the world. A kind-hearted local risks his reputation to help them. That said, so little happens here that even the characters' bravery and good intentions don't seem to amount to much.


Jump scares. Monster attacks. Scary stuff. An act of suicide. Characters die. Bloody, decimated corpse shown. Blood-covered body parts. Pools of blood. Brief image of blood flowing down stairs. Character buried alive. Gun/shooting. Whip marks/cuts appear on a woman's back. Man is stabbed by the pointed end of crucifix. Woman on fire. A man performs a scary/noisy exorcism on a young boy. Characters discuss a 12-year-old girl's death by suicide. Snakes attack.


Brief flirting.


One use of "s--t." Mentions of "God," "hell," and "Jesus Christ," mainly in a faith-based context.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A man drinks a glass of wine with dinner. Characters drink beer in a pub.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Nun is the fifth movie in the Conjuring franchise (which also includes The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2, Annabelle, and Annabelle: Creation). Violence is quite graphic: Expect to see pools of blood, a river of blood, slashed skin, stabbing, dead bodies, bodies on fire, and blood-covered body parts. Characters die (both at others' hands and by suicide), and there's a scene with guns and shooting. The movie is also full of jump scares and scary images. Language is infrequent; there's a single use of "s--t," plus "God," "hell," and "Jesus Christ" in a faith-based context. There's brief flirting and light drinking (a glass of wine with dinner, beers in the local pub). This film sadly feels like a dashed-off quickie, without much effort put into it, but its characters and setting may still appeal to some horror fans.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bythelosersclub September 9, 2018

I mean this movie could be fun

Go into this movie with a beverage of your choice. Every time Frenchie/The Priest forget to speak with an accent, take a shot. Every time theres a terribly done... Continue reading
Adult Written byChris007 September 7, 2018

Mild Scares

I’m not sure why this movie was rated R. Except for one curse word and a handful of bloody scenes - I can’t think of why it garnered such a rating. I think this... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byrossgrand September 26, 2018

It’s not scary, it’s gross

I just saw this movie recently and I believe that it honestly isn’t very scary (and I’m a HUGE scaredy-cat). Don’t get me wrong, it’s full of jumpscares, but yo... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byHumbugfish March 15, 2021

Good For Halloween Movie

Me and my friends watched this on Halloween, ending is disappointing but overall it’s ok, kinda scary

What's the story?

In THE NUN, which takes place before the events of the Annabelle and Conjuring movies, a young nun kills herself by jumping out the window of her Romanian abbey. It's 1952, and the Vatican calls upon Father Burke (Demian Bichir) -- who's experienced in exorcisms -- and young, idealistic novitiate Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), who has yet to take her vows, to investigate. They get help from a local called "Frenchie" (Jonas Bloquet), who delivers supplies to the abbey. Father Burke and Sister Irene are asked to spend the night at the abbey, but strange things start happening almost immediately. Soon it becomes apparent that an evil that has lived in the abbey has been released. The visitors must find the key to sealing it up again before it's too late.

Is it any good?

Sadly, this fifth chapter in the Conjuring franchise is, despite a temptingly promising locale/premise, nowhere near as scary, inspired, or coherent as its predecessors. The Nun boasts a strong cast -- led by Oscar nominee Bichir and Farmiga (the younger sister of Vera Farmiga, who played Lorraine Warren in the two Conjuring movies). Early images of dimly lit rooms in the Vatican and the first glimpses of the haunted abbey bring to mind atmospheric chillers like The Exorcist or The Orphanage. But viewers' hopes are quickly dashed by the quick onslaught of jump scares (punctuated by sudden loud noises on the soundtrack) or characters waking up from "surprise" nightmares.

Most of the action takes place at night, so the filmmakers cloud everything with a grayish dimness, which allows the hastily assembled (or perhaps recycled?) digital effects to blend in. Scenes that could have been moody or scary then play out like action scenes, with characters wrestling zombie nuns/nuns with shark teeth or chasing demon-possessed boys through the woods, etc. After all the noise and scuffling, it turns out there really isn't much of a story here, nor much of a point. Perhaps worse, The Nun veers further away from the intriguing "true story" that inspired the original. Overall, The Nun feels dashed off, like a placeholder until the (hopefully) next real movie comes along.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Nun's use of violence. How much is suggested vs. shown directly? Did it make you feel shocked or thrilled? Why? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • What's the appeal of scary movies? Why is it sometimes fun to be scared?

  • Do you agree with what Sister Irene says about the Bible being like "God's love letter to us" and that it's OK to ask questions and discuss different ideas? What would be the rationale to not do those things?

  • How does this movie fit into the Conjuring cinematic "universe"? Do you like ongoing, multiple-chapter movie franchises like this one?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love horror

Themes & Topics

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