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Conan the Barbarian Review

Movies.com Critics

2.5

Dave White Profile

Who ordered the Soulful Barbarian? Read full review

1.0

Grae Drake Profile

As bloody as it is pointless. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 2.0
    36

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    There is no purpose to the film other than random blood splattering amid scenes of bondage, primitive savagery and S&M eroticism. The film is numbing and dumb with its hero indistinguishable from its villains.

    Read Full Review

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Scott Bowles

    Conan the Barbarian lives by a pretty simple ethos: He lives, he loves, he slays. What he doesn't do, alas, is act.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    There's something and nothing for everyone in Conan the Barbarian 3D.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    It's mostly noise and splurch and, as I mentioned, aaaaarrrrggggghhhhh!

    Read Full Review

  • See all Conan the Barbarian reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Not for kids

Gruesomely violent sword-and-sorcery tale is terrible.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this extremely violent sword-and-sorcery tale -- which was inspired by Robert E. Howard's 1930s pulp stories, as well as 1970s comic books and two Arnold Schwarzenegger movies from the 1980s -- is in no way a kid-friendly comic book adaptation. There's tons of gruesome blood and gore, including severed heads and body parts, stabbings, bashings, slayings, violence aimed at women and children (including an unborn baby), and many other brutal acts, all of which are even more intense when seen in the movie's 3D version. Conan is motivated by revenge and relies on all of this violence to solve his problems. Women in general are treated like props; several are shown topless for long moments, and there's what amounts to a softcore sex scene. Language is infrequent but includes one use of "s--t," and the heroes drink something alcoholic (mead?) when celebrating.

  • Families can talk about the movie's extreme violence. Is it shocking? Why did the filmmakers choose to go over the top? What makes it more extreme than what you see in other fantasy/action movies?
  • Is Conan a role model? What positive traits does he show? What negative ones? Are viewers intended to admire him?
  • If you've seen earlier Conan movies, how does this one compare? Is it more extreme? Why do you think that is? Is it the filmmaker's decision or a reflection of how culture has changed?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Conan is mostly motivated by revenge, and he achieves his goals through violence. Women are treated as objects, and women and children are sometimes the targets of violence.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Conan occasionally works with others, but he mostly looks after himself. He's primarily motivated by revenge and uses violence to achieve his goals; he leaves destruction in his wake and doesn't pay any price for that.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: The movie's gruesome violence may be fantasy related, but it's still graphic and bloody, with children and women sometimes the targets. In the first few minutes, a pregnant woman is stabbed in the belly, and viewers see a shot from inside the womb (the sword enters near the baby, and blood begins to fill the womb). There's constant fighting, bashing, burning, stabbing, slicing, whipping, slaying, brain-spattering, and nose-slicing, plus severed heads and limbs, with large amounts of blood. A man is left with a key in his stomach, with the intention that slaves will slice him open to obtain the key to their freedom -- and more.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Conan rescues several topless slave women and brings them to a tavern to celebrate. Some of them dance on tabletops, and they're on view for long moments. Later, Conan has a full-fledged softcore sex scene. It's softly lit, with frequent dissolves and very little actual nudity, but it's very clear that the couple is having sex (there's thrusting). Afterward, there's a gratuitous shot of Conan's naked behind.

  • language false2

    Language: Language is infrequent but includes one use of "s--t." "Hell" is used once, and possibly "whore" (though that word comes during a particularly noisy scene, and it's hard to hear).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: After a victory, Conan and his friend drink heavy amounts of something alcoholic (mead?) from large mugs. They appear spirited but not really drunk.

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