Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The killer is angered by violence's exposure in the media and makes his viewers complicit in his crimes. Agents are frustrated, angry, and eventually triumphant.
Violence & Scariness
Incessant violence (on computer screens and "live") committed by the serial killer, who tortures victims in front of a Web cam. These scenes are bloody, loud, and variously creepy: one involves the death of a kitten, while others show poisoning/bleeding, burning by sunlamps, bodily immersion in a vat of acid, and suspension over roaring lawnmower-style blades. The killer uses a Taser to zap his victims unconscious. SWAT teams burst into a couple of suspects' homes. Frequent tense moments as characters make their way through dark shadows. Plenty of guns wielded by agents -- and shot at suspect. Repeated viewing of a graphic scene in which a man shoots his head off. References to terrorism and using the Internet to publicize violence. Verbal references to a cop killed on the job, and several references to sex-related crimes (soliciting children online, for instance).
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some brief shots of porn Web sites on FBI computer monitors; images of "bondage" found in one suspect's home are shown briefly. A couple of non-explicit shower scenes suggest a woman's vulnerability (camera hovers outside shower or above her crouched form). Passing references to a male flirting with a "men's chorus soprano."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Many uses of "f--k," in addition to frequent instances of other language ("s--t," "damn," "hell," "ass," etc.) In one instance, "f--k" is carved into a victim's chest.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Pepsi vending machine in cops' office.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this violent thriller features several long, disturbing scenes of torture -- bodies are bloodied, burned, dissolved in acid, and nearly decapitated by whirling blades. Other upsetting scenes feature Tasering, shooting, and a threat against a young girl, as well as plenty of images of dead bodies. All of this is framed within an argument against easy access to images of violence and abuse via the Internet, but that doesn't make it any less disturbing. Language includes repeated uses of "f--k" and other profanity. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Even if you take the film's moral lesson at face value, the overkill is discouraging, and not very instructive. With Marsh at the center of the action, there's a lot of focus on Lane's performance. She's certainly up to it -- particularly as Marsh's personal relationships are put at risk, and she becomes increasingly vulnerable in conversations with friends and family -- but the film depends on repetitive reaction shots as she and others gaze on grisly scenes, with viewers invited to gaze along with them. The movie essentially implicates its own audience in the commercialization and mass mediation of violence.
In fact, by the time the killer articulates his outrage against easy access to violent images, the rest of us have long since figured out that his strategy is faulty. He's trying to teach users that watching the abuse and murder of people they don't know is wrong and cruel -- but his own means are excessively cruel and don't teach anyone anything. Instead, the viewers he invites to his Web site -- where victims are set up in diabolical contraptions that increase their suffering as more users log on -- are just made culpable in the abuse.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate