A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Amid largely consequence-free violence, some deaths are shown to have meaning; deceased characters are missed, mourned. Teamwork is on display, as is prioritizing doing the right thing over following orders. Redemption is possible, even for villains. A character argues about the need to fight for peace at "any cost" (including loss of innocent lives), which is a complicated topic.
Positive Role Models
The characters, who've all been convicted of crimes, start out behaving selfishly; they kill frequently and with little consequence. But they eventually show better qualities and move toward a kind of redemption. They start working together well, even care about each other. They risk their lives to do the right thing and save innocent lives. Most of the large cast are White men, but the three most important characters are a Black man (Bloodsport) and two strong women (Harley and Ratcatcher), the latter of whom is said to be from Portugal. Less positive: A Black female commander is portrayed as ruthless, willing to risk lives of anyone to achieve her (possibly nefarious?) goals.
Violence & Scariness
Extremely graphic, over-the-top comic book-style violence, with blood and gore, death, explosions, brutal killings, etc. Many, many guns, including enormous super-rifles. Lots of people die, including important characters. Characters are shot, stabbed, sliced to pieces (heads, arms cut off). Heads and bodies get ripped in half or blown apart, with huge blood and gore spatters, puddles of blood. Arrow shot into a character's eye. Characters eaten by King Shark. Fighting, with brutal punching, slamming, hitting with hard objects, choking. Woman tortured with cattle prod. One character strangles another with her legs. Character kills tons of guards with a javelin. Characters on fire. Enslaved people are shown in cages, being experimented on in a lab (bodies sliced in half, face torn off, etc.). Crashing vehicles with explosions. Exploding, collapsing building. Rampaging giant monster, with massive destruction. Bird killed with rubber ball; cage full of birds set on fire (sound of birds shrieking).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two characters have energetic sex; they're shown slamming around room, knocking things over, crashing stuff to the floor. Kissing shown, but no nudity. A penis is shown, briefly, in the background. Topless women briefly seen in a nightclub. Man shown in nothing but briefs. A man makes a gesture that suggests masturbation. Shirtless man emerges from a tub. Sex-related dialogue.
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Very strong, frequent language includes uses of "f--k," "s--t," "motherf----r," "p---y," "t-ts," "son of a bitch," "hell," "d--k" and "d--khead," "goddamn," "damn," "butthole," "bollocks," "idiot," "douche bag" and "D-bag," plus exclamatory use of "Jesus Christ" and "good God." Middle-finger gesture.
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Products & Purchases
Part of the DC Extended Universe.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Flashback shows a character shooting heroin, with a rubber hose around his arm, a needle, etc. (there are consequences). Characters drink in a bar, and start laughing, dancing, and having a good time (no consequences). Characters smoke cigarettes and a cigar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Suicide Squad is a reboot of/follow-up to the 2016 misfire Suicide Squad, as well as a follow-up to the 2020 Harley Quinn movie Birds of Prey, all of which are part of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). It's vulgar, extremely gory, and irreverent, but it's also exhilarating and it has a lot of heart, as well as clear themes of teamwork. This movie is notably more graphic than the 2016 film: Expect intense blood and gore (bodies are slashed, blown apart, etc.), lots of death (including important characters), heavy weaponry, brutal fighting, torture, crashes/explosions, and more, all with an over-the-top, quasi-humorous, comic book style. Language is also very strong, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," "t-ts," "p---y," and much more. Characters have comically energetic (but not explicit) sex, wrecking the room and crashing objects to the floor. Nudity is mostly in the background but includes glimpses of breasts, chests, and a penis. There's some sex-related dialogue and sexual gestures. Main characters smoke and drink, and a character is seen shooting heroin. Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, and many more familiar faces co-star. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Full of gleeful gore and carnage, infectiously silly jokes, and an overall vulgar, irreverent attitude, this wily, invigorating DCEU movie also offers surprisingly strong teamwork and lots of heart. A quasi-sequel (but more like a reboot) to the 2016 misfire Suicide Squad -- with only Harley Quinn, Rick Flag, and Amanda Waller carried over -- The Suicide Squad rambunctiously avoids the problems of that earlier movie, barreling over them like a noisy party bus. It's all thanks to writer-director James Gunn, who brought a similar dose of energy to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Despite his commercial successes, Gunn seems to retain the spirit of the low-budget exploitation studio Troma where he got his start.
The Suicide Squad feels a little like a guerrilla effort, fast and loose, with wild invention taking precedence over visual effects. For example, Starro may be a giant effect, but its weird, googly eye and flailing movements make it genuinely memorable. But Gunn's secret weapon, borrowed from the Marvel Universe, is that the characters are actually quite lovable and even relatable (as opposed to the earlier gloomy, brooding DC heroes). The key here is Ratcatcher 2 (so called because she took over the mantle from her father). Her devotion to her fuzzy little rats gives her a strong, touching empathy that spills over to the rest of the characters, even the hard-headed Bloodsport. It all works together to make this a Squad that we'd certainly want to sign up with.
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.