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Pitch Black 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

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Clever, done with skill, yet lacking in the cerebral imagination of the best science fiction.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Susan Wloszczyna

    Nothing really fun, scary or exceptionally gross occurs.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    So jaunty, so limber, and so visually self-assured that art peeks through where crap has traditionally made its home.

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  • See all Pitch Black reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Original Riddick pic is violent, with teamwork rewarded.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Pitch Black is the sci-fi action movie that spawned Vin Diesel's "Riddick" franchise. This first movie, however, is mostly about characters working together to survive a greater threat. It features strong sci-fi violence, with creature attacks, blood splatters, shooting, fighting, and death. Language is also very strong, with many uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "a--hole." One character keeps a stash of fancy liquor, another smokes cigars, and a third is addicted to painkillers. Sex isn't much of an issue, though two of the female characters are dressed in skimpy/sexy outfits. Overall, older teens should be OK, especially given the movie's admirable themes.

  • Families can talk about the movie's sci-fi violence. How much is shown and how much is only suggested? How effective is this style of violence? How did it make you feel?
  • How does teamwork operate in this movie? How does being selfish lead to one's demise?
  • What is the appeal of the Riddick character? Is he a good role model?
  • Are the monsters in this movie scary? Why or why not?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Teamwork rules the day in this movie. Whenever characters don't cooperate, or think mainly of themselves, they end up as beastie chow. Characters that work together, for the most part, manage to beat the odds. (There are exceptions, however, even to this rule.)

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Riddick is a natural born leader, although he's also a killer. Characters begin by not trusting him, but eventually look up to him and depend on him for survival. He's not particularly nice, but he's resourceful and confident. There's a fairly strong female character in Carolyn Fry, but she also has her dark secrets and her moments of weakness.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: The movie features very strong sci-fi violence, creature attacks, and gore. Several characters die, including main characters. There's a huge spaceship crash. We see splatters of blood. Characters are shot, stabbed, and slashed. Characters fight and argue with one another.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Not an issue, though two female characters wear somewhat revealing clothing.

  • language false4

    Language: Language includes several uses of "f--k," as well as "s--t," "hell," "ass," "dick," "motherf----r," "a--hole," "Goddamn," "piss," and "God" as an exclamation.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: One of the characters is a liquor connoisseur. He has several bottles on hand that he's constantly sipping from and trying to protect (he ends up donating them as flammable illumination devices). Characters also smoke cigars, and one character is shown to be addicted to a painkiller, the result of a bad injury.