Movie review by Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media
Upgrade Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 17+

Extreme violence in inventive sci-fi actioner.

R 2018 95 minutes

Parents say

age 16+

Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 15+

Based on 8 reviews

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Expected a Revenge Tale, Ended Up with a Smart and Chilling Cerebral Tale

I was dying to see Upgrade after its trailer, which promised an exceptionally violent sci-fi revenge film that made up for its small budget with creative camerawork, editing, choreography and some truly inventive gore. This is not what this movie is. Er...actually it IS, but it's also not - let me explain. To avoid spoilers (by just recounting the events from the first 15-20 minutes of the movie), he movie tells the tale of Grey, a simple man in a happy marriage who was tricked, trapped and brutally attacked, resulting in his wife's murder and himself becoming paralyzed. He is then infused with an experimental chip that allows him to function again, but then comes the twist that even the manufacturer didn't seem to realize was a factor: The chip's programs are a fully functional AI in themselves (called 'STEM'), and it begins to help Grey analyze clues as to his wife's murderers. What makes Upgrade somewhat brilliant is two factors. First, for a little bit it seems like a cyberpunk power fantasy, but slowly the words and actions of STEM, while always in Grey's favor, are increasingly difficult to accept and justify, making the story increasingly dark and unsettling. The Second is that the movie plays out as a Mystery and the main twists throughout the Third Act do play largely as you'd expect...but then it reveals that there was additional information it was feeding you, and how this all culminates in the closing minutes results in easily one of my favorite endings I have ever seen, as it's emotionally draining, but thematically PERFECT. I add the 'Too Much Violence' not because I believe that the violence is Too Much, but because I wanted to emphasize that the Violence is very, very extreme. I would never recommend anyone watching this movie below 17, as it features some very heavy themes and sequences, and the violence and gore are very hard-hitting. Genuinely excellent, but purely for an adult audience.

This title has:

Too much violence
age 16+


So. Thr thing about his movie, is where it might pass itself off as anothr scifi action movie, it covers themes that go far deeper. Its incredibly violent and bloody, with a good bit of language, but these help the movie along more than deter it. Definitely suggest that yall watch this.

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