V for Vendetta

  • Review Date: July 31, 2006
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 131 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Complex but heavy-handed action film. Adults only.
  • Review Date: July 31, 2006
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 131 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

Primary terrorist justifies his violence as resistance to the completely corrupt state.

Violence

Violence includes a hanging, explosions, knife and martial arts attacks, shootings, and scenes of torture, invasions of homes, war scenes on background televisions; bloody smears on walls; police are threatening and militaristic; threatened rape; murder by poisoning; man's figure appears burning during building fire; image of girl's mother dragged away by bad cop); discussion of epidemic fatal virus.

Sex

An elderly bishop arranges to have sex with underage girl (the actual girl is only pretending to be that young; gay character discusses being closeted as "wearing a mask."

Language

Chatty terrorists use some profanity (including at least one f-word, and infrequent uses of "bloody hell," "damn," "bitch," s-word).

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Bar scene shows drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film includes recurring and explicit violence, including explosions, martial arts fights, knifings (with bloody results quite visible), shootings, and torture inside prison cells (where one character shares her space with a rat). The film opens with a flashback to a 1605 hanging, and then, in the present, an imminent rape (stopped by V's violent intervention). The film includes scenes of war and police state tactics, including the brutal incarceration of race and sexual minorities in Britain. A young girl sees her mother kidnapped by government flunkies, then witnesses a similar brutality as an adult. When a bishop arranges for sex with an underage girl (apparently a regular practice), he's killed as punishment (but not before he pushes his would-be girl victim onto his bed). Characters curse occasionally (infrequent use of the f-word, plus "bloody hell," "bitch," and the s-word).

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

More generic action movie than philosophical investigation, V FOR VENDETTA focuses on a young woman's political education. The underlying, irresolvable question has to do with terrorism: why and how are people pushed to commit it, and what might it achieve, aside from fear and oppression? Can calculated violence, ever, as its proponents argue, lead to "freedom"? At the center of is masked terrorist V (Hugo Weaving), who battles against a very corrupt British regime. Out after curfew, Evey (Natalie Portman) is about to be raped by some bad cops when V appears, kills them, and initiates his instruction of the vulnerable Evey in his anarchistic plot. V's rage is fueled by the usual superhero's past trauma. While the movie allows that torture only reproduces terrorism and violence, it also presents V's scheme as revolutionary and effectively symbolic. While V is hunted by a decent cop Finch (Stephen Rea), he keeps Evey at his secret lair, where he makes her tea and eggs for breakfast. Her eventual escape only leads her to a more awful place, imprisoned and tortured. At last, she admits, she is no longer afraid to die. And in this, she finds what V calls "freedom."

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Heavy-handed pronouncements exemplify V for Vendetta's distrust of viewers to interpret what they see, making the film's political and social commentary seem more cartoonish than insightful. Yes, imperialism is really bad, and yes, Nazi-ish iconography is a sure sign of a regime's need for change. What's less clear, and could use some reflection, is how V's violent acts will or will not produce more victims and vigilantes. "Freedom and justice are more than words," he says, "They are perspectives." And as such, they need rethinking at every step.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the film's presentation of terrorism as reasonable response to state oppression. Is violence ever an appropriate response? How do the evil chancellor's raging and V's tragic background (abused and institutionalized as a child) make V's cause seem sympathetic, even if it's illegal and aggressive? How does Evey's own childhood loss of her parents make her ready to be V's protégé? For fans of the book, families can discuss the differences between the film and its inspiration.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 17, 2006
DVD release date:August 1, 2006
Cast:Hugo Weaving, John Hurt, Natalie Portman
Director:James McTeigue
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Action/Adventure
Run time:131 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong violence and some language

This review of V for Vendetta 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.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 9 years old May 15, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Blasphemy!

You have to be kidding me, TWO STARS! This is blasphemy that they rated it that, language:Mild, Sex:There is a scene about a pedo bishop Violence:There is a lot like the review says but not a lot of blood, should be fine for younger viewers Messages:Bull, he stopped a torturing, oppressive government who were brainwahsing there freaking' citizens, now you telling me stopping them means he was a FREAKING' TERRORIST YOU LIBERALS!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written byMovie Man August 15, 2009
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Intense and Disturbing, but very Well Made for 17+

Parents: This is not an action extravaganza; it is a highly disturbing, complex, and well made sci-fi morality tale with intense politics, provacative material, and some good action sequences. There are many disturbing issues (many of them graphically flash or are protracted on-screen), including torture, mass murder, governments killing hundreds of thousands, experimentation, child molestation, families being taken away from children and tortured/murdered, imprisonment, discrimination against homosexuals, and, finally, anarchy. A child is shot on screen (disturbing). A man is burned alive (his hands are seen on-screen; quite frightening). The action can get rough too; throats are slit, chests are impaled, people are smashed against floors and walls, etc. But, if you can stomach this material (and there is something almost constantly disturbing going on), then you should be in for a rare film that puzzles the mind, makes you think, and best of all, shocks you with two great twists in the middle, leaving you eagerly awaiting grand finale. But know this: if you are looking for a spectacular, epic final battle, I'm afraid you must go elsewhere. Otherwise, enjoy!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written byWolfySadamara April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Fascinating

V for Vendetta is fairly violent, mature, with a good, but slow storyline. Overall an extremely good movie, highly recommended. Dont take kids without some background knowledge on politics or under the age of 12.

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