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Disturbia Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… caffeinated jolts and creepy suspense … 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.

  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The most disturbious part of Disturbia is how engaging this teenage thriller manages to be, even though it's a shameless rip-off of "Rear Window."

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    If it's possible to be a rip-off with wit, Disturbia qualifies.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Though it's not likely to become a classic like the Hitchcock film, it's a smart and well-acted teen thriller that serves up some lively scares.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    There's plenty to ensure fresh jolts for viewers who know Hitch's tricks inside out, to say nothing of young moviegoers who don't know Grace Kelly from Thelma Ritter.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Disturbia reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Voyeuristic teen Rear Window update.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this thriller will likely appeal to teens, despite (or maybe because of) the fact that it's quite violent for a PG-13-rated film. In an early scene, the young hero sees his father killed in a car accident; later, he must explore a scary house in order to save his mother from a serial killer. There's also punching, stabbing, beating, strangling, and neck-breaking, as well as images of human and animal corpses in various states of decay. The main character catches glimpses of sexual activity through his binoculars -- a couple through a window, young boys watching porn on TV (breasts are visible), a teen girl getting undressed, etc.. Language includes frequent uses of "s--t," plus other profanity.

  • Families can talk about voyeurism. Has the rise of things like reality TV and user-generated online video made people accustomed to the idea of scrutinizing others for entertainment? What role does media -- or the lack thereof -- play in Kale's decision to observe his neighbors? Does the fact that he discovers a terrible criminal make up for the fact that he's spying? What are the movie's messages about connections and relationships between people in modern life? Families who've also seen Rear Window (the inspiration for this film) can compare the two movies. What's changed since the original was made?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: A traumatized boy punches his teacher. During house arrest, he spies on his neighbors; one is a serial murderer. A cop behaves unprofessionally. Mocking characterization of geeky "Asian" best friend.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Pushes the edge on PG-13 violence: Images include a harrowing car crash (son sees father killed), a boy punching his teacher in the face, a man using a knife to take off a woman's bra, fast-cut/close-up video camera footage suggesting Ronnie is being attacked, decaying dead bodies, a grisly deer head in a plastic bag, and human skulls and bones stored in a serial killer's house. Also, the hero breaks into a house with a bat and attacks the villain with garden shears (scenes are quite bloody), and the villain menaces a girl in her car, breaks a victim's neck, attacks another with a knife, and tapes and ties up a woman.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Repeated images of Ashley in underwear and bikini (boys watch her with binoculars); off-screen moaning sounds suggest Kale is masturbating (but he's really itching under his security ankle bracelet); young boys watch porn on TV (breasts visible); Kale refers to neighbor as "Betty Big Bangs" and watches sexual activities (kissing, undressing) through neighbors' windows; phrases include "growing bone," and "horny as s--t" open-mouthed kissing between hero and girlfriend; cell phone ring tone is "Me So Horny."

  • language false3

    Language: Repeated uses of "s--t" (some with "bull"), in addition to other language -- "ass," "jackass," "d--k-hater," "bastard," "damn," "Jesus!," "sucks" -- and phrases ("What a retard!").

  • consumerism false5

    Consumerism: Visual and verbal references to iTunes, XBox, Skippy peanut butter, Hershey's chocolate syrup, HDNet, Red Bull, Mac powerbook, Us Weekly, iPod, Twinkies, OxyClean and Cascade detergents, Mayflower movers, Mustang car, Barnes & Noble, and band names (Afroman, Ramones, Led Zeppelin). Joke about Martha Stewart's house arrest.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Possible teen drinking at a party (kids carry plastic cups, but the content is unspecified).