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Parents' Guide to

The Spirit

By James Rocchi, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Violent, sexy superhero flick is all style, no substance.

Movie PG-13 2008 103 minutes
The Spirit Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 13+

This title has:

Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 15+


might be in black and white kinda but it isnt the average superhero movie. bloody and kinda of brutal. like the part when the octopus explodes and his rib flies into the wall and a chunk of meat falls off the rib. pretty bad sexuality. and violent gunwise. but what the hell!!!! it was a great movie i loved it!!!!!

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (12 ):

Directed by Frank Miller -- the comic book creator behind 300 and Sin City -- THE SPIRIT takes comic book icon Will Eisner's 1940s character and updates him in all the wrong ways. The classic Spirit strips had a noir sensibility, but they also had rich, well-drawn characters and a brilliant sense of urban setting; Miller, making his directorial debut, jettisons all that for flashy visuals, sexy posing, and over-the-top violence.

All of the actors are capable -- even the bland, handsome Macht in the title role -- but Miller's script is so shabby and threadbare that it's impossible to care about the characters or their situations; awash in fake blood and infantile sexuality, The Spirit doesn't so much represent the triumph of style over substance as represent the triumph of style over everything, including sensibility, storytelling, the look and feel of the original material, and the need to create a coherent film. Miller may be able to craft a story on the printed page, but with The Spirit, it's clear he can't make the jump to the big screen.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: December 25, 2008
  • On DVD or streaming: April 14, 2009
  • Cast: Eva Mendes , Samuel L. Jackson , Scarlett Johansson
  • Director: Frank Miller
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors, Latino actors, Black actors
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Run time: 103 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: intense sequences of stylized violence and action, some sexual content and brief nudity
  • Last updated: September 5, 2023

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