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Piranha Review

Movies.com Critics

4.5

Dave White Profile

The Citizen Kane of killer piranha movies. Read full review

3.5

Jen Yamato Profile

Blood (and arms and legs) in the water. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 3.0
    53

    out of 100

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

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    I call Piranha 3D ''exploitation,'' rather than a quality scare movie, because it serves up well-timed gross-outs instead of genuine suspense and because the movie has no pretense of providing character, plot, acting, or dialogue that's anything more than boilerplate.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    A pitch-perfect, guilty-pleasure serving of late-summer schlock that handily nails the tongue-in-cheek spirit of the Roger Corman original.

    Read Full Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Not for kids

Extreme gore, sex, teen drinking in fishy remake.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Piranha 3D is a graphically gory remake of the 1978 cult favorite. The new version is very, very heavy on gore, with a stomach-turning sequence of post-piranha carnage -- complete with skeletal remains; hanging, wobbling flesh; and gallons of blood. There's also plenty of sex on display, including a long sequence in which two fully naked women swim and kiss underwater, not to mention dozens of other teens wearing (and sometimes not wearing) skimpy bikinis. Teens drink openly, with very little consequence. Language is strong and constant, with many uses of both "f--k" and "s--t." The 3-D factor makes the effects and violent scenes even more intense and relentlessly bloody.

  • Families can talk about the movie's extreme violence and gore. How did it affect you? Which parts were funny -- and which were squirm inducing? Why?
  • Was the movie scary? What makes the fish effective horror movie monsters?
  • How is teen drinking portrayed in the movie? What would the real-life consequences be for this kind of behavior?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The movie is basically one long, unapologetic celebration of sex and gory violence. There's a minor message about how the teen partiers mess up the lake with their trash, but it's drowned in blood. There's some attempt at teamwork and problem-solving toward the end, but it's perfunctory and rushed.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Teen hero Jake eventually steps up to rescue his friend -- and finally gets to express how he really feels about her -- but before that, he lies to his mother and abandons his younger brother and sister in order to work on a boat with porn stars, booze, and a drug-snorting director. Both bad and good characters die, in the most horrific ways imaginable.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Tons of grisly gore, with the expected blood-in-the-water and bubbling as the piranhas go to work just below the surface. There's also a gruesome, post-carnage sequence of torn and shredded Spring Break bodies, tattered, hanging flesh, and gallons of blood. Bloody skeletons, and the fish munch on flesh, eyes, and one penis. A cowardly teen tries to escape in a motorboat and runs over several other teens in the process (a girl's hair is tangled in the motor). In one very squirm-inducing moment, a small girl steps on a broken bit of glass in the water. Two children are in peril during the course of the film.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Real-life porn star Riley Steele plays an actress shooting a sexy video. She's seen completely naked, swimming around underwater with another naked woman. One character's penis is ripped off by the fish; it's seen floating in the water. Dozens of girls in bikinis at the Spring Break festivities; some remove their tops (one girl parasails while topless), and there's also girl-on-girl kissing and a wet T-shirt contest. A teen looks at a porn website. Lots of additional sexual innuendo.

  • language false3

    Language: Very frequent use of "f--k" and "s--t." Other words used often include "son of a bitch," "goddamn," "piss," "ass," "boobs," "t-ts," "tatas," "chocha," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation) and "penis."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: A Mountain Dew banner is seen during the wet T-shirt contest.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: An old man drinks beer in the opening scene. Teens are seen drinking heavily during the Spring Break festivities. The "porn" director snorts cocaine and drinks champagne and tequila. He shares champagne and tequila with the teens on his boat; one teen girl drinks some and throws up afterward.

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