The Village



Thought-provoking thriller too intense for some.
Popular with kidsParents recommend
  • Review Date: January 10, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

What parents need to know


Intense peril, characters killed, some graphic images and scary surprises.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a very tense and scary thriller that may be too much for some tweens. Know your kid. While much of the scary stuff is in the audience's imagination, there are some scary jump-out-at-you surprises and some gory graphic images. Characters are attacked and killed. Some viewers may be concerned about the portrayal of a developmentally delayed and possibly disturbed character.

What's the story?

The people of the village of Covington have an uneasy truce with creatures who live in the woods that ring their town. Fear keeps most residents well inside the boundaries ringed by flags, but reckless teens dare each other to test the boundaries, and developmentally disabled Noah (Adrien Brody) doesn't always do what he's told. The story centers on sisters Ivy (Bryce Dallas Howard), who's blind, and Kitty (Judy Greer). Both are drawn to Lucius (Joaquin Phoenix), but he only has eyes for Ivy. Lucius angers the creatures by venturing into the woods, and there's an attack. But then something else goes very wrong and someone else must enter the woods...

Is it any good?


Producer/writer/director M. Night Shyamalan is in some ways the victim of his own success. He's under a lot of pressure to keep pulling surprise endings out of cinematic hats. The problem is that an expected surprise is, in addition to an oxymoron, inevitably disappointing. Yet he knows how to use the camera to tell the story and has a sure control of tone and pace, alternating gasps and laughs to keep things moving. The heart of the movie is Dallas Howard (daughter of actor/director Ron Howard) as Ivy, who is always fresh, touching, and real.

The plot is a familiar yet compelling quest into the woods, a soul journey, and we get a nod to that when a young yellow ridinghood (red upsets the creatures) enters the woods on a mission of mercy. Shyamalan is not, well, afraid, to take on some big notions about fear and inhumanity and he creates characters we are willing to trust and care about.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what drew the families in the village to settle where they did in spite of the risks. They could also think about whether there were any clues in the movie that pointed to the ultimate twist. Why did Edward send Ivy? The movie was originally called "The Woods." Is that a better title? What is the scariest part of the movie and why?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 30, 2004
DVD release date:January 11, 2005
Cast:Adrien Brody, Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix
Director:M. Night Shyamalan
Studio:Buena Vista
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:a scene of violence and frightening situations

This review of The Village was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

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

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Great, but sometimes scarier than R-rated horror.
  • Excellent, but has some extreme tension and peril.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 15 years old Written byCRITIC007 November 1, 2009

Awesome movie that has been extremely underrated

This movie is genius. It has got to be one of my favourite movies and definitely M.Night Shyamalan's best. The style and way that it is directed is amazing. There are some jump out parts but the twists are just awesome. Watch it with the volume turned all the way up if you want the full effect.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Teen, 17 years old Written bydavyborn January 2, 2012

Underrated masterpiece of a thriller is too scary and intense for tween's

M. Night Shyamalan's thoroughly underrated and extremely unjustly hated 2004 masterpiece, The Village, is yet another film in the long list of masterpieces from Shyamalan, a list that includes other great films that he has directed like The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. But, probably the reason why this film was so harshly panned by critics and audiences alike during it's original release was because audiences had not come to expect a film of such a different style from his previous efforts, so I guess it was just surprise and unexpectedness. Despite having the story set in measly little village, Shyamalan immediately confronts the audience with haunting images, beautifully dark and creepy, even eerie, atmosphere, and finally, plunges the viewer into a unforgettable climax and twist ending that he is also well known (and so well parodied) for. But, despite the PG-13 rating, this thriller is for mature audiences only: there in infrequent but disturbing violence including numerous images of dead and skinned dogs which are quiet graphic and will no doubt disturb many animal loving viewers. but, besides that, there really isn't all that much to offend, here. But, if you really haven't watched this movie yet, than i reccomend strongly to you that you most certainly do go ahead and check it out, and ignore all the haters that bashed this movie, originally.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old February 9, 2010
i liked it, but it dosent have very much action at all. there is a pretty small amount of violence, but lots of scary scenes. there are a few parts that are bad messages
What other families should know
Too much violence


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide