The Wolverine

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
The Wolverine Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Thrilling, action-packed adventure treads dark waters.
  • PG-13
  • 2013
  • 136 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 21 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 56 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

There's no shame in wanting to defend those who are disenfranchised and disempowered. And if you're made for that mission, you shouldn't -- and possibly can't -- avoid it.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Logan is a tortured soul, desperate to escape the immortality of being the Wolverine. But he's also a staunch defender of those who can't defend themselves or are persecuted by others, and he can't ignore his strong sense of justice. Yukio and Mariko are strong women who won't stand for evil overcoming good, even if it requires putting their lives on the line.

Violence

Lots of action violence in scene after scene, many of which involve knives, swords, and guns. Wolverine has metal claws that slash at his enemies, maiming and killing them. Soldiers gut themselves and others, and ninjas wield swords and engage in brutal hand-to-hand combat. Many, but not all, of the scenes are bloody and are accompanied by bone-crunching sounds. A massive explosion decimates the land in the first 10 minutes of the movie. A villain attacks by injecting venom in others; their skin turns yellow and blistery. Attackers shoot arrows into victims, and they're shown staggering around.

Sex

Some kissing and flirting. A couple is shown presumably after having sex, under covers cuddling together. A man is shown with two women at a private rendezvous, all of them kissing and in their underwear. A villain wears very revealing clothes and sometimes attacks her enemies with a passionate kiss that turns dangerous.

Language

Language includes infrequent use of "bitch," "s--t," "a--hole," "ass," "hell," "damn," "my God," and, in one particularly intense moment, "f--k."

Consumerism

Coors, Molson Canadian, and Audi make notable appearances. There are off-screen marketing/promotional tie-ins as well, with Adidas and other brands.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A man drinks whisky alone to blast away his loneliness. Some drinking in bars and at parties.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Wolverine is a fascinating look at the iconic X-Men character and how his past intersects with his present. It's a bleak journey that's often punctuated with violence -- the action scenes are ferocious and vicious, with weapons (guns, knives, arrows, claws, and more), explosions, and bloody hand-to-hand combat -- and some melancholy. Expect some swearing ("s--t" and one use of "f--k"), a bit of drinking, and some romance (one scene shows three underwear-clad characters kissing each other) between the unrelenting action sequences.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9-year-old Written byGreyhoundgrizzle September 6, 2013

Not for some kids, just too much blood

the movie was going ok until a scene where Wolverine sticks his hand inside his chest--too realistic with lots of blood and my 9 year old got quesy, almost pass... Continue reading
Parent Written byDan G. August 16, 2013

Too much objectionable material for children

Mildly entertaining for adults, but loaded with too much serious and obejctionable material for children. The violence is almost non-stop, some of it bloody, t... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byjohnstewart May 13, 2015

NOT for kids!!!

(Note that I only saw the Extended Cut which was really violent)
Since most kids may be familiar with the Wolverine from the X-Men movies and/or comics, they mi... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byTom Cruise Fan September 19, 2014

"The Wolverine" movie review

Hugh Jackman is fantastic as Wolverine. He is so likable. "The Wolverine" started out tremendously. I really liked the introduction to "The Wolve... Continue reading

What's the story?

Logan, aka THE WOLVERINE (Hugh Jackman), is lost in the far reaches of the wilderness. Struggling with nightmares that plague him daily -- often starring his beloved, late Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) -- Logan wants out of his immortal, superhuman existence. But a stranger from Japan named Yukio (Rila Fukushima) won't let him be. After Logan avenges the death of a grizzly bear at the hands of a cruel hunter, Yukio finds him and spirits him to Japan at the behest of Yashida, a Japanese soldier in Nagasaki whom Logan had saved. Yashida is dying, and he longs for Logan's immortality. His death sparks a kidnapping attempt on the life of Mariko (Tao Okamoto), Yashida's granddaughter, which raises bigger questions that even Wolverine himself may not be able to answer.

Is it any good?

Director James Mangold's venture into the X-Men canon doesn't let its romantic plotline interfere with the action -- which borders on the overwhelming. (Note to filmmakers: The violence doesn't have to be unremitting for a thriller to be thrilling.) The script still sounds wooden at times. But there's enough here to make us fall in love with Wolverine all over again (past appearances in previous disappointing outings notwithstanding).

Superhero movies often use their characters' pain as catalysts for more mind-bending (and sometimes mindless) action sequences. Not so with The Wolverine. Here, Mangold informs the action with a relevant, significant look into Logan's origin story, turning the past into Wolverine's haunting -- and ultimately freeing -- present. Jackman is more than well-equipped to handle the complications. His beefy physique is in stark, affecting juxtaposition to Logan's vulnerability. And it's so nice to see an action movie in which the women aren't just window-dressing to be calmed and rescued after carnage. Fukushima and Okamoto stand shoulder to shoulder with Jackman, sometimes saving him from the brink. Stick around for the end credits, which offer a tantalizing hint of things to come.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether the violence in this movie has more impact than that of the earlier X-Men movies. Why or why not? Does the violence serve the story?

  • How are Wolverine's fights different than those of characters with different powers/abilities? Is he comfortable with his strength? How does he control it?

  • Why is Logan so tortured by his identity as Wolverine? Are his feelings understandable?

  • What did you think of Viper's character? Did her outfit seem practical for a supervillain? Would she have had the same impact if she wasn't so sexualized, or does that make her seem even more evil? Why?

Movie details

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