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Outlander 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.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Variety Derek Elley

    Not helped by a wooden perf from Jim Caviezel as a humanoid alien who accidentally imports a real alien to eighth-century Earth.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Outlander is interesting as a collision of genres: the monster movie meets the Viking saga. You have to give it credit for carrying that premise to its ultimate (if not logical) conclusion.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    The nuttiest hunk of junk in many months.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Ray Bennett

    It's entertaining nonsense with major league special effects, larger-than-life characters and inventive monsters that draw on the "Aliens" and "Predator" models, being terrifying but also vaguely sympathetic.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Beowulf with aliens and lots of gore, violence.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sci-fi action-adventure has plentiful bloody violence and gory killings, committed against alien and earthlings alike. Children are stated to be among the casualties of the monster. There is plentiful liquor use and manly bonding over a Viking drinking game. There's one f-word as well.

  • Families can talk about the monster's motivation. Is the ravenous moorwen truly a villain, or the victim? Does that make Kainan a hero or guilty of genocide?
  • Outlander clearly has a notion to be a science-fiction movie takeoff on Beowulf. There have been others (including an R-rated Christopher Lambert one with more severe gore and eroticism), but parents might use the gimmick to try to get kids to read the original epic-poem. Or John Gardner's novel Grendel, which tells the doomed monster's side of it, or Michael Crichton's Eaters of the Dead, another clever re-imagining.
  • Study up on the actual Vikings and the mystique that surrounds them. Local "Norsemen" ethnic clubs are proud of their traditions and heroes. Does Outlander get the cultural details correct?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Humanity committed an unforgivable crime by destroying a species. But Kainan has no choice but to fight against the moorwen and stop its killing spree. In a connected note of taking responsibility, Kainan gives up his chance of escape and links to his past history to stay and help his new Viking friends.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Kainan is a brave, heroic type, with the qualifier that he's also wiped out an entire species (he's suffered for it, but can't or won't atone). In contrast to stereotypical "barbarians," the Vikings here, though spirited warriors, are fair-minded enough to give Kainan a chance and accept him. A Viking princess demands to be a warrior-equal of the males.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Humans slashed, clawed, decapitated, dismembered, bitten, and killed by the monster. Swords, spears, arrows, and fiery infernos are deployed against the beast. The hero is chained up and beaten.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false3

    Language: One f-word.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lusty liquor imbibing and tribal drinking games create a "bonding" between the foreigner hero and the Vikings.