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The Descent Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… tons of gore … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    It's made expressly for fans of unmitigated gore.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Neil Marshall's horrifically terrific The Descent cannily recasts 1972's "Deliverance" as a female-bonding thriller with some "Hills Have Eyes"-style mutant terror tossed in for truly harrowing effect.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The director of The Descent is savvy enough to suggest even more than he shows. And he's old-school enough to load up on glimpses of good, clean, gruesome gore.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Descent reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

A scary gorefest underground. Not for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the violence in the movie is visceral and bloody. A car accident puts spikes through a character's head (visible from the rear) and kills a child (off-screen). Once inside the very small-spaced cave, the women argue and show fear (in alarming scenes conveying subjective states). The monsters are gruesome, both pasty and slimy, as well as vicious. Some characters lie to each other, but the reasons are more complicated than in most horror films.

  • Families can talk about the sense of loss embodied by Sarah, whose family dies in a car crash before the main action. How are the women's friendships tested by their increasing horrific circumstances? They could also talk about the popularity of horror movies: Why do we love to be scared? Does this one break any new ground in the genre?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Some of the women courageously look out for each other; some are selfish, tricky, and fearful.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Brutal, grisly violence inflicted on and by women cave-climbers: Images include dismembering, penetrations, crushed heads and chests.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Mostly unspoken tension concerning a husband who cheats on his wife with her best friend.

  • language false5

    Language: Plenty of f-words, increasing as the women go deeper into the cave, as well as other obscenities.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters smoke a couple of cigarettes and drink beers the night before the descent.