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The Expendables Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Stab, Grunt, Kill. Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

Bullets! Bombs! Botox! Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Sadistic mess of a movie.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    An effective mix of lean and over-the-top, The Expendables is often preposterous, but it achieves the immediacy of a graphic novel without the overdone mythology.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The way that Stallone directs, though, every machete thrust and relentless round of bullet spray is staged with a certain undeniable...conviction.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Expendables reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Legendary action cast teams up for a violent, messy muddle.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Expendables will definitely appeal to teens (and, frankly, boys of all ages) thanks to a cast filled with living action legends like Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. But since it's filled with over-the-top action violence -- including shootings, stabbings, severed limbs, spurting blood, explosions, and burning bodies -- it's not age-appropriate for younger viewers. There's also some violence against women, and language is strong (including both "f--k" and "s--t"), though not constant. Drugs are a key part of a subplot, and one character has a drug problem, even though viewers never see any drugs consumed. Other characters smoke cigars, pipes, and cigarettes. It has perhaps the most impressive action cast ever assembled for a movie, including some living legends, and so it will be irresistible to boys of all ages.

  • Families can talk about the film's violence. How did it affect you? What impact did it have?
  • What did Barney learn over the course of the movie? Did any of the other Expendables share his journey? Are they heroes? Why or why not?
  • Many of the characters in the film smoke. How does this make them look? Do they seem cool? Do you think that was the intent?
  • The movie features some violence against women. What is the movie's attitude toward this kind of violence?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: One of the movie's major recurring themes is that these "heroes" are mercenaries; they work for money rather than for any personal beliefs. Some do express regrets for actions not taken in their pasts.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The main characters are all mercenearies, and Barney is headed down a pretty heartless path -- but then he meets a girl who reaffirms his ability to believe in something. Sandra tries to stand up for what's right, and her actions are enough to inspire Barney. Unfortunately, she also manages to get kidnapped and must be rescued by the men, so she's not as strong as she could have been.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: The characters shoot, stab, impale, pummel, pound, and blow up just about everything and everyone in sight. Some of them prefer guns -- including some of the biggest, loudest weapons you've ever seen -- while others are knife experts. Many minor characters die without much consequence. Viewers see blood spurts, explosions, car chases, and burning bodies. There are severed limbs and heads and exploding torsos. A woman has bruises on her face from an abusive boyfriend, and another woman is kidnapped and tortured (with water).

  • sex false1

    Sex: No kissing or sex, but one character sulks over finding another man in his girlfriend's house. Tool brings home an attractive woman and pats her on the bottom. Some brief talk about sex and relationships. Barney becomes obsessed with a girl nearly four decades younger than he is, but the movie doesn't necessarily define this as a romantic obsession (it could be something like mutual respect).

  • language false4

    Language: A few uses of "f--k" and several of "s--t." Other words include "suck d--ks," "ass," "goddamn," "balls," "hell," "a--hole," and "damn."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The main villain is essentially a drug dealer; he controls the cocaine industry on a small island, and there are stacks of cocaine bags in one scene. One of the good guys is said to have a drug problem, though viewers never see him actually taking drugs. Two characters smoke cigars, and one character smokes a fancy pipe. Some of the villains smoke cigarettes. The main characters are seen clinking beers while flying a plane. A character brings champagne to a girl's house, but it's never opened. Another character orders a martini with olives that viewers never see.