Share

Watch It

On DVD: TBD | On Blu-ray: TBD

Blade Runner Review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0
    88

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times

    May be the best "new" American movie released this year. [11 Sept 1992]

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    Most important, several elements -- the film's tough, new ending; a sly, fleeting dissolve of a unicorn, not in the original; and a brilliant, trompe d'oeil flicker of life in a shot of a still photograph -- bring Deckard's existential dilemma into focus. [11 Sept 1992]

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    It looks fabulous, it uses special effects to create a new world of its own, but it is thin in its human story.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Susan Wloszczyna

    What remains is a great Vangelis score, astonishing production design, Hauer's career role -- and a movie that deserves its cult reputation despite an unloving heart. [11 Sept 1992]

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    This is perhaps the only science-fiction film that can be called transcendental.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Blade Runner reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

A dark, philosophical sci-fi drama for older teens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Blade Runner envisions a bleak 2019 Los Angeles that's dark, oppressive, polluted, steeped in fear, and features genetically engineered organic robots called replicants that look just like humans. It's a very violent film, with multiple fights and killings, some gruesome and disturbing. Characters are killed by gunfire at close range and in brutal hand-to-hand combat. Characters dangle over the side of skyscrapers; multiple fingers are broken graphically; people are gagged and choked; a man's eyes are poked out (how much is seen depends upon the version of the film). There are repeated close shots of bloodied corpses and dying characters. While there's no overt sex, it's implied, and there's some partial nudity (breasts), passionate kissing, and several scenes that border on rough or nonconsensual sex. Smoking is pervasive; multiple scenes show characters drinking, and the hero often turns to alcohol when he's under stress. Editor's note: Families should avoid the earliest version (1982) of the movie; instead, go with Ridley Scott's 1992 "Director's Cut" or 2007's "Final Cut," a remastered version by Scott with few changes from the 1992 release.

  • Families can talk about the ethics of replicating humans. Replicants look and behave exactly like humans, but should they be treated as such?
  • How does Blade Runner's bleak urban vision of the future differ from that in other dystopian books and movies?
  • What do you think about the violence in Blade Runner? Is it effective? Artful? Over the top?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: It's 2019, and progress hasn't been kind. The city is in chaos: polluted, gloomy, overcrowded, and cruel. Darkness and steady rain enclose the loud, gaudy, and teeming streets. The film, which can be seen as a cautionary tale, poses some profound questions: What does it mean to be human? In a tortured world, who can be trusted? And, while we strive senselessly for immortality, will we destroy ourselves?

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Deckhard, the closest thing to a hero in Blade Runner, is flawed at best. Given a dangerous mission on the side of "good," he recklessly fights, drinks, kills, and falls passionately in love. In almost every other instance, characters are not what they seem; they move from good to evil and back again in the blink of an eye. Scientists, law enforcement, strippers, street people and even replicants (androids) continually surprise us. Both men and women prove to be savage fighters and/or conscienceless killers.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Blood, howling, and anguish accompany the countless violent actions in this film. Characters are killed by gunfire at close range and brutal hand-to-hand combat. Characters dangle over the side of skyscrapers; multiple fingers are broken graphically; people are gagged and choked; a man's eyes are poked out (how much is seen depends upon the version of the film). There are repeated close shots of bloodied corpses and dying characters.

  • sex false3

    Sex: No overt sex acts, but sexuality is pervasive in many scenes. A stripper undresses, and her breasts are seen briefly. Other females wear revealing clothing. There are a number of passionate kisses (one between two males; one in which a man kisses a dead female lover). Most of the sexual behavior is hard-edged, with little tenderness or love expressed.

  • language false3

    Language: A few curse words (dependent upon the version) "ass," "f--ker." 

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: In the dystopia the film portrays, loud, bright, intrusive advertising is everywhere. It's part of the fabric of the city. A few recognizable products are shown: Coca Cola, Atari, Budweiser, RCA, TDK, Tsing Tao, Bulova.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters drink alcoholic beverages in many scenes; the hero drinks hard liquor throughout the film, at least once to excess. Many characters smoke throughout. 

Advertisement