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The Manchurian Candidate 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.

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    A case of smart and talented people trying to jam a Cold War square into a Gulf War circle. You can feel the chafing, to say nothing of the burden this capably crafted shrug has taken on.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    What this Manchurian Candidate for a new generation makes up for in timing, it lacks in discipline and edge.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    The updated classic is a chiller of a political thriller in its own right.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Shrewdly reconceived, powerfully acted and hugely entertaining.

  • See all The Manchurian Candidate reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Sleek remake is more violent than original.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Manchurian Candidate is a thriller with intense and graphic violence, including many murders (gunshot, strangling, drowning) and injuries. Characters drink, smoke, and use drugs. There's some very strong language. A strength of the movie is its portrayal of strong, intelligent, loyal, and capable citizens.

  • Families can talk about how this movie compares to the original and how each film is a reflection of its times. Marco says, "I thought I knew who the enemy was." Who was the enemy? What does the choice of bad guy tell us? Is an "emotionally compromised past" a "terrible burden" from which someone must be freed?
  • How does this remake compare to the original? How are the issues of the 1950s different than the issues of the 2000s? How are they similar?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Loyalty, patriotism, service, bravery, and honesty are all positive themes in the movie that is critical of political machinations.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: The main character is driven to uncover the truth out of a sense of loyalty and patriotism.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Intense and graphic violence, battle violence, characters in peril, several murders, lab animals mistreated.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false3

    Language: Some strong language.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking, smoking.