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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Review

Movies.com Critics

1.5

Dave White Profile

Yes, it burns when he pees. And that's all. Read full review

2.0

Grae Drake Profile

To hell with it. 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
    32

    out of 100

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

  • 25

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    For acting to be this bad in movie not directed by Michael Bay or George Lucas, it has to be intentional.

    Read Full Review

  • 33

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Adam Markovitz

    Most of the movie's action-horror set pieces play like lame Gwar music video outtakes, and Cage's signature mix of irony and off-the-rails mugging only works when you can see the actor's face. In Ghost Rider form, his character is just a skeletal automaton with neither a tongue nor a cheek to put it in.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    A water-treading sequel offering just enough kooky color to keep less-discerning funnybook fans occupied, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance nudges its obscure hero's mythology forward a bit without seeming to care much how it gets there.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

Crazy, violent, dumb action sequel quickly burns out.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is the sequel to the 2007's Ghost Rider and is based on a Marvel Comics character (albeit one who seems more on wreaking vengeance than assisting people in need). There's lots of strong, if mostly bloodless, fantasy violence; unlike the original movie, this one is in 3-D, which makes some of the action/violence even more intense. Characters burn and decay; a woman and a boy (about 13) are slapped around; there are fights, explosions, guns and shooting; and lots of stuff catches on fire. Ghost Rider's skull face is pretty creepy, too. Language is infrequent but includes one use of "f--k"; there's also some brief sexual innuendo and a quick reference to a minor character being an alcoholic (he's shown drinking but not drunk).

  • Families can talk about Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance's fantasy violence. Was it gruesome or thrilling? How does the impact of this kind of mayhem compare to more realistic violence?
  • What kind of superhero is Ghost Rider? Is he a good guy -- a role model? How does he compare to other superheroes?
  • When Ghost Rider agrees to take back his powers to help others, is this an admirable act, or a selfish act? Or can it be both?
  • Why are so many action/superhero movies based on comic books? What's the appeal?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: A similar message/theme as most other Marvel superhero movies: With great power comes great responsibility. Here, a character agrees to take on great suffering in order to help others. Unfortunately, his power also involves a deal with the devil, and violent behavior with no consequences goes hand-in-hand with the impulse to help.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Ghost Rider isn't one of the more admirable heroes in comic book movies. He struck a deal with the devil, and he's in constant torment. His power involves punishing and/or destroying the wicked -- i.e. vengeance rather than assistance. A boy is shown to be a skilled pickpocket.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Very little blood, and all of the violence is heavily FX-based, but viewers do see characters rotting and burning. A boy of about 13 and his mother are in danger; they're both physically attacked, pushed around, and hit. The boy is kidnapped and treated roughly (he's injected with a needle and gets a small cut on his face). There are also threats and heavy fighting, guns and shooting, car chases, crashes, and explosions. Minor characters die. Some scary stuff (Ghost Rider's skull face is quite creepy). Characters behave angrily and crazily.

  • sex false1

    Sex: In an animated graphic, the main character's bare butt is glimpsed during a motorcycle stunt. In another scene, it's implied that a businessman is trying to pick up a beautiful woman for sex, but nothing overt is said.

  • language false3

    Language: One use of "f--k." Also "merde" (which is French for "s--t"), "ass," "d--k," "goddamn," "a--hole," and "hell." "Idiot" and "balls" are seen in subtitles.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: A Twinkie is part of a well-placed joke, but the label isn't shown, and the product isn't mentioned by name.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A secondary character is referred to as an alcoholic. He's seen drinking briefly from a flask and sipping from a bottle or two of fine wine, but he isn't shown drunk, nor does he really demonstrate alcoholism. He's also seen (nearly) lighting a cigarette.

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