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Pulse Review Critics


Dave White Profile

You'll hate this one. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 2.0

    out of 100

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

  • 25

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    It's not scary, it's not chilling, and it's not interesting.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    A horror film dealing with the terrors lurking via our computers, cell phones and other electronic devices, Pulse isn't nearly as scary as watching your hard drive crash or having your BlackBerry conk out in the middle of a vital call.

    Read Full Review

  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    In this American remake of the spooky, more-atmospheric-than-coherent 2005 J-horror thriller, the ghosts blink and crackle into existence with an electromagnetic sputter, but really, they're not so different from the gauzy, see-through spirits of yesteryear.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Moody horror remake is too creepy for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the movie is relentlessly dark, with a buzzing, spooky soundtrack: The grim music and noise hardly let up. It includes several deaths by grisly means: a college student hangs himself, while others are consumed by the machine-derived "ghost." All these deaths include screaming and shuddering, and are generally spooky and abstract. A couple of minor characters wield (but don't shoot) guns, demonstrating their desperation. Characters smoke cigarettes and drink; one of the girls sleeps with a guy she's just met at a bar. Some profanity, including one f-word, uttered in despair.

  • Families can talk about the subjects of depression and suicide. How might the victims have been better able to cope with their psychic pain if they had communicated it with one another? They could talk about the metaphor of the ghosts: lonely, isolated people who literally disappear. They may also discuss the enduring popularity of horror movies and why young people in particular are so drawn to them.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: College students function without effective adult guidance, feel alienated by their reliance on electronic communication devices.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: "Ghosts" emerge from machines and appear to ravage/suck life out of human victims repeatedly; nearly dead cat in closet; a young man hangs himself (close-ups of face and shoes only); car crash; fiery airplane crash; a fall off a rooftop; lost inside "the system," Mattie feels like hundreds of hands are grabbing at her; a couple of guns pointed (one by ghost at self, one by man on street at Dexter); ghost attacks Mattie and Dexter in truck, leaving their faces bloodied.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Girls wear revealing clothes; discussion of porn sites at beginning mentions "tranny grannies" and Japanese girls in bondage; one girl appears in bed with a guy after she's slept with him (she puts on her jeans and leaves the room); flashbacks to young couple in bed kissing (his hand on her bare back, otherwise no skin); girl takes bath (only face and shoulders visible).

  • language false3

    Language: One f-word; five uses of "s--t," other mild language (including "bitch" and "hell").

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters drink (beers mostly), several smoke cigarettes, including protagonist Dexter; verbal reference to "booze" in coffee.