Unbreakable

  • Review Date: May 11, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 106 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Interesting premise, but ultimately disappointing.
  • Review Date: May 11, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 106 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence

Some strong violence (mostly offscreen), characters in peril. Implication of date rape.

Sex

Brief vulgar reference.

Language

Brief strong language.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has a lot of violence. Although most of it is offscreen, its themes -- including sexual assault, murder of the parents of two children, and genocide -- may be especially disturbing. A child uses a gun. There's a brief vulgar reference and an implication of date rape.

Parents say

Kids say

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 is more than a security guard. He is 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 is 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?

QUALITY
 

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 ending that inspired hoots and boos at the screening I attended. In particular, the "what happens after the movie ends" description that appears onscreen just before the credits is the worst I have ever seen.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how we find our "place in the world," and the importance of recognizing our special gifts so that we can make the best use of them. If members of the family enjoy comic books, they may want to talk about the tradition of pictoral story-telling, the themes of hero and arch-villain and what makes them so enduring. We often think of good guys and bad guys as opposites, but we should also think about what they have in common.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 22, 2000
DVD release date:June 26, 2001
Cast:Bruce Willis, Robin Wright Penn, Samuel L. Jackson
Director:M. Night Shyamalan
Studio:Touchstone Pictures
Genre:Fantasy
Run time:106 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:mature thematic elements including some disturbing violent content, and for a crude sexual reference

This review of Unbreakable was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

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 our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

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

Adult Written byAshnak April 9, 2008
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Cult Classic

One of the best movies I have ever seen
Teen, 14 years old Written byluna2211 March 15, 2015
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Spoilers

This is one of M. Night's best movies (the best movies include this one, Sixth Sense, and Signs). This movie is a superhero movie that isn't based on a comic book. I grant it is a little slow, but it's just amazing. There is some violence, but almost all of it is offscreen and you only see the aftermath. Two kids parents are murdered and you do see some blood. The protagonist almost drowns in a swimming pool as water is his weakness and Samuel L. Jackson's character has a genetic disorder that makes his bones broken extremely easily, and when he falls down the stairs you feel every crack of every bone. Not for young children because it is a very intense movie. There is no sex in this movie!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old March 12, 2015
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

So-so thriller has mature themes and violence.

Parents need to know that this thriller isn't for kids. This is because of some mature themes including mental illness, sexual assault, intimidation and some other shocking scenes. A child holds his dad at gunpoint as he thinks his dad is immortal. There is some language. There is one scene of intense violence which is prolonged and sustained. There are other acts of violence in the film, but most is off-screen.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

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

Common Sense Kids Action