Parents' Guide to

Watchmen

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Not a superhero movie; a dark, gory, complex morality tale.

Movie R 2009 163 minutes
Watchmen Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 84 parent reviews

age 10+

It is ok a good movie but there is a lot of sex and nudity and one guy always has his penis showing
age 15+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (84 ):
Kids say (106 ):

Purists, take heart: This big-screen adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' revered graphic novel hews fairly closely to the written page, right down to the darkly beautiful world it renders. But that may be its biggest downfall. For no matter how respectful it is to the novel (save for a tweak here and there, including a simplification of the ending), WATCHMEN is curiously unenergetic. Much of it is told in flashback, and the plot moves from one back story to the next. Plus, the dialogue falls flat -- lines like "Here I am, spilling my guts to my archenemy" are best left on the page -- and scenes meant to be climactic are decidedly not. That's not to say that director Zack Snyder didn't try. In fact, he amps up the fight sequences so much that they're martial arts-movie-worthy and even gratuitously violent. That's actually a departure: Watchmen is famously cerebral -- the action isn't the point, and by focusing on the superheroes' battle prowess, the film undercuts the novel's attempt to humanize them.

The cast is uneven. As Sceptre II, Akerman is wanting. She struggles to plumb depths and pales in scenes that pair her with the deeply serious (and, not surprisingly, first-rate) Crudup. But even he is outshined by Haley, whose continued success is heartening (it's good to see him cement the comeback he achieved with Little Children). Haley's Little Children co-star, Wilson, is also fantastic, perhaps because he, too, has opted for a palpably realistic performance, instead of the stylized one that Goode unfortunately adopts. All of that said, Watchmen deserves to be watched. The special effects are impressive, the cinematography admirable. Just don't expect the same thrill that fans of the novel must have experienced when they first cracked open the book.

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