Unbreakable

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Unbreakable Movie Poster Image
Creepy drama/mystery has some violence, language.
  • PG-13
  • 2000
  • 106 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 30 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Explores the duality of good and evil as conveyed through comic books. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

No positive role models. 

Violence

After home invasion, a family is held hostage, wrists tied up, looking extremely traumatized. Brief shots of father dead in stairwell. The son of a lead character pulls a gun on his father, believing that if he shoots him, the lead character won't be hurt. Strongly implied date rape of young woman passed out in bed at party. A man in a moving car hits an African American person standing on street corner with a bottle, yells, "Go back to Africa!" Talk of several disasters in which there were no survivors. Footage of derailed train in which nearly everyone was killed. Son of a lead character shown scratched up after trying to stand up to bullies in school. 

Sex

When one of the lead characters doesn't respond to a comic book store clerk's announcement that they are closing and that he needs to leave, the clerk tells him that he "better not be jacking off to Japanese comics." 

Language

Infrequent profanity: "s--t," "ass," "goddamn," "Jesus," "Jesus Christ." Man in a car shouts a racist comment at African Americans on a street corner. Reference made to masturbation. 

Consumerism

Tropicana orange juice carton prominently featured in one scene. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters have drinks at dinner. Antagonist drinks from a bottle of beer, spits some of it on his victim. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Unbreakable is a 2000 M. Night Shyamalan movie in which Bruce Willis plays a security guard who begins to understand that he has special powers. Although most of the violence is either brief or offscreen, there are some disturbing scenes. A family is held hostage by a home invader: The father is briefly shown dead in the stairwell while the rest of the family is tied up to radiators looking traumatized. An African American standing on a street corner is hit in the head with a bottle by a man in a moving car who yells, "Go back to Africa!" It's strongly implied that date rape (not shown) has occurred; viewers see a young woman passed out in a bed at a party. The son of the lead character pulls a gun on him and threatens to shoot him as a way to prove that the lead character is impervious to injury. Violence includes news footage and discussion of various disasters (natural and humanmade) and news footage of a train derailment in which nearly everyone is killed. One reference is made to masturbation. Infrequent profanity includes "s--t," "ass," "goddamn," "Jesus," and "Jesus Christ."

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMovieMan26 October 10, 2010

Intense, disturbing, and brilliant!

This is an mazing movie! Definitely one of few M. Night movies that worked! I love the realism of this superhero story. It was gritty, dark, and had an awesome... Continue reading
Adult Written byMoneydog23 January 18, 2020
Teen, 15 years old Written byMatureFungus October 9, 2018

CSM review is totally wrong

Unbreakable is dark, but that violent, as very little blood is shown. Date rape is implied and one s-word is uttered. Several uses of damn, hell, and b--ch. 16+... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byia1746 May 14, 2020

Umm..okay

Unbreakable is an okay movie, but not a great one. Still there are quite a few good moments, despite it being slightly average in my opinion. There are some vio... Continue reading

What's the story?

UNBREAKABLE stars Bruce Willis as David Dunn, a security guard who seems disconnected from his own life, unable to remember very much about his past and unwilling to connect to his wife and child. When he is the only survivor of a train crash, walking away without a single injury, bruise, or scratch, he is contacted by Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), a comic art dealer who has a congenital bone disease. Price has bones that break easily; Dunn has bones that never break. Price believes there must be a connection, and that he must help Dunn find his destiny. Themes of good and evil, hero and enemy, strength and vulnerability, thesis and antithesis, and destiny and choice appear throughout the movie. Several times, characters see something upside-down at first, and then have to turn it around to see it clearly. Price helps Dunn realize that he's more than a security guard. He's a protector. When Dunn begins to use his gifts, he begins to lose the sadness that has always engulfed him. When he tells his wife he had a nightmare, he's not referring to the murderer he has just battled but to a past in which he was able to sense tragedy around him but was not aware that he had the ability to protect people from it.

Is it any good?

The big surprise ending of Unbreakable is what a disappointment it is. The writer/director of The Sixth Sense begins with many of the same elements: Bruce Willis, a Philadelphia setting, a strained marriage, a child who is grappling with some big issues, elements of the supernatural, and a twist at the end. Once again, he creates a haunting and portentous mood with subdued performances, somber hues, and fluid camera movements. But unlike The Sixth Sense, in which a surprise at the end kicked the entire movie into a higher gear (and inspired audiences to go see it again to help them unravel it), this one has an uninspired ending. It's a shame, because the premise is fascinating but the movie never lives up to its promise.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about pop culture conceptions of "good versus evil." What are some of the ways that this movie plays with themes often explored in comic books -- the "reluctant hero" for instance, or the hero who doesn't realize he or she has the abilities of a superhero? 

  • What are some other indirect ways that the movie references a comic book aesthetic -- the clothing colors of the lead characters, for instance? 

  • M. Night Shyamalan has a distinctive style to his movies. What are some of the features of that style? Who are some other film directors with a distinct style? 

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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