Triple 9

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Triple 9 Movie Poster Image
Complex, vivid crime story; very strong violence, language.
  • R
  • 2016
  • 115 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Though they're somewhat ambiguous, the movie does show consequences for problematic actions. Some deliberately cruel racial stereotyping.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No clear role models here; the complex characters are a mix of bad people doing bad things, good people doing bad things, and troubled people trying to do good things.


Extremely strong, realistic violence, loaded with tension and stress. Bloody severed heads. Guns and shooting, with bloody, gory bullet wounds. Many characters die. Taser guns. Fighting and punching and other bloody wounds. Bag full of bloody teeth. Plastic bag over a man's head. Crashing cars. Exploding cars and buildings. Images from a violent video game.


Topless women in a bar. Naked bottoms. Male character sleeps naked; outline of his bottom visible. A woman is objectified: The camera shows her tight dress over her curves, and she's shown removing her top (bra underneath) and in a bikini. Men pat/grab women's bottoms. Some innuendo.


Extremely strong, constant language includes "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "bulls--t," "a--hole," "c---sucker," "bitch," "goddamn," "stupid," "piss," "son of a bitch," "d--k," and "badass."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

At least two characters may be drug users and/or addicts (pot and harder drugs). Characters are shown snorting and/or smoking unnamed substances (heroin? cocaine?). Minor characters may be drug dealers. Regular smoking. Drinking in bars, with brief, heavy drunkenness.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Triple 9 is an Atlanta-set crime thriller about crooked cops, robbers, gangsters, and a (very) few honest cops. Violence is extremely tense, strong, and realistic, with guns and shooting, punching and fighting, blood and gore, and dead bodies, as well as explosions and crashes, severed heads, and a bag of bloody teeth. Language is also constant, with uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," and much more. Topless women are shown, and both male and female naked bottoms. Characters smoke frequently and drink heavily; some characters are shown very drunk. Characters are also shown snorting and/or smoking unnamed hard drugs, and minor characters may be drug dealers. Though the movie is complex and filled with many shades of gray, it generally has a moral center: "Bad" characters eventually pay for their crimes, and "good" characters get to live to see another day.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byThisIsTed419 July 4, 2019

Not hard to figure out

Triple 9 was well acted with tons of action scenes added to it. There is a lot of parts in it that anyone under 16 shouldn't know or see. Language is as us... Continue reading
Adult Written byRabee24 September 4, 2016
Teen, 15 years old Written byDj25king June 25, 2017

twisty, terrific, intensity, & thrilling.

A great opening, strong cast, brutally. Everything is so messed up about how this was all going to be planned out.
Teen, 16 years old Written byInvalidReviews2017 March 31, 2017

Complex, intense crime thriller of cops.

Drug content throughout, pervasive language, bloody violence, and some strong sexual content/nudity.

NOT for kids.

What's the story?

Terrell Tompkins (Chiwetel Ejiofor) leads a team of professional criminals and crooked cops. He once married into a family of Russian-Jewish mobsters and now, in order to keep seeing his son, must placate their evil, ice-cold matriarch (Kate Winslet) by pulling off a nearly impossible robbery. Things become complicated when dirty cop Marcus Atwood (Anthony Mackie) gets a new partner, Chris Allen (Casey Affleck), a war veteran whose uncle (Woody Harrelson) is a sergeant detective on the force. The gang decides that, in order to pull off the job, they must cause a code 999 -- "officer down" -- to happen ... and that Chris is the perfect target. But another team member, Gabe (Aaron Paul), has been talking too much.

Is it any good?

Establishing himself as a director of tough genre films, John Hillcoat offers this multi-faceted, devilishly complex crime thriller without wasting any time on needless background. Ragged and colorful, TRIPLE 9 -- the title comes from the police code for "officer down" -- doesn't offer any expository background for its characters. What's there is observed and inferred through behavior and interaction; the characters come alive organically.

Hillcoat (The Proposition, The Road, Lawless) does a remarkable job of juggling all the characters; even those with smaller roles have vivid personalities. But the complex plot can sometimes fall prey to the movie's melting-pot quality. It's easy to lose track of things. Likewise, the action sequences, while appropriately raw, have a reckless quality that might be disorienting. But this is a strong piece of work, rugged, sturdy, and entertaining in the best way.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Triple 9's violence. What effect does it have? Is it thrilling or shocking? How much is shown/not shown? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • What role do sex and nudity play in the movie? Are characters objectified, or are they seen as loving partners? What message does that send?

  • How are drinking, smoking, and drugs portrayed in the movie? Do they look cool or appealing? Are there consequences for their use?

  • How are characters painted in "shades of gray" here? Who are the "good guys" and "bad guys"? What sets them apart from each other? Are any of them role models?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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