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Scream 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 Susan Wloszczyna

    While Scream has its frights, it feels more like one of those solve-the-mystery jigsaw puzzles than a real movie.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune John Petrakis

    Pretty run-of-the-mill stuff. [20 December 1996, Friday, p.J]

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Scream is a rarity: a horror movie spoof that succeeds almost as well at provoking scares as laughs.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    What did I think about this movie? As a film critic, I liked it. I liked the in-jokes and the self-aware characters. At the same time, I was aware of the incredible level of gore in this film. It is really violent.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    A deft, funny, shrewdly unsettling tribute to such slasher-exploitation thrillers as "Terror Train," "New Year's Evil," and Craven's own "A Nightmare on Elm Street."

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  • See all Scream reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Graphic mystery-homage to teen-slasher movies.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie nearly got an NC-17 rating for violence. Be aware especially that the "unrated" home-video editions contain the extra frames of bloodshed, usually mutilation by knife. Despite the (often foulmouthed) dialogue's flirtation with self-awareness and satire, the gore here really comes across as intended -- brutal and intense.

  • Families can talk about why the film was so popular.
  • Do fans consider it a realistic movie, a dark comedy, or a hip whodunit with post-modern twists?
  • Why are teens in particular so interested in horror movies?
  • Families can talk about how the teenagers are protrayed. What kind of role models are they?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The film may scream but it doesn't say anything good.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Almost all the principle characters are sarcastic, if not downright malicious teens, with very little evident empathy for the deaths of their buddies. Sidney, the heroine, seems to have the strongest sense of conscience, yet she unintentionally frames an innocent man for murder and commits some other very questionable acts.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Savage stabbings and throat-slittings, close-range shootings, lots of hand-to-hand fights with the killer. One casualty has her neck broken by a rising garage door. Another is electrocuted by a toppled television set.

  • sex false2

    Sex: The young characters speak frankly about sex and nudity. Though the act isn't explicitly shown, the heroine becomes intimate with her treacherous boyfriend, giving up her virginity, apparently (another frequent topic). Her late, offscreen mother is repeatedly described as a promiscuous home-wrecker, and apparently she was.

  • language false3

    Language: Abundant profanity.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Primarily references to other highly rentable horror movies.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Alcohol flows abundantly (before the blood does) at a teen party. Another character referred to as drunken enough to be framed for a killing.