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The Spirit Review Critics


Dave White Profile

...maximum crap overdrive. 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.

  • 20

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    It is truly a mess.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    There are good things to be said about The Spirit, but not enough of them to outweigh the bad.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    As the vamps, Eva Mendes and Scarlett Johansson might be posing for a fashion spread with just one note to play -- gorgeous high-bitch mockery.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The Spirit is uneven, but its campy adventure provides some amusing, escapist fun.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Spirit reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Violent, sexy superhero flick is all style, no substance.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this update of a 1940s comic book from one of the creative forces behind 300 is overflowing with hyper-stylized and excessive violence -- and suffused with smirking sexuality. There's only one instance of nudity (female buttocks), but the movie's sexual politics are decidedly retrograde -- all the female characters are either tarted-up villains, "bad" girls with hearts of gold, or long-suffering true loves who stand by their men. Also be prepared for buckets of stylized (but still graphic) bloodshed and lots of gory wounds and deaths. While the violence has the hyperactive, cartoony feel of a comic book, it's also brutal and depicted with extraordinary detail.

  • Families can talk about the appeal of comic book cinema. Why do so many comic characters, no matter how marginal or lesser-known, seem to wind up on the big screen? Do all comic book movies have the same appeal? Why or why not? Families can also discuss the movie's broad, almost cartoony violence -- is a violent film that's so over-the-top more or less problematic than a realistic one? What would be the real ramifications and consequences of violence like what's shown here? Also, how does the movie depict women? What role do they play? And how much of the film's marketing and iconography is about selling sex?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: A career criminal chooses to stop a murderer and lunatic; in return, she's allowed to walk away. The lead character is shown to be a confused, emotionally promiscuous person. Extensive discussion of the nature of power. The lead character is a vigilante who has the tacit approval of the city's police force. The uniforms and iconography of the Nazi party are used solely for stylistic purposes.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Constant, hyper-stylized, bloody action. Characters are knifed, shot, punched (in the head, groin, stomach, and more), run over with cars, struck with arrows, impaled with weapons, exploded into bloody gobbets, encouraged to commit suicide, decapitated, punched, and more. Not surprisingly, there are plenty of dead bodies as a consequence. Characters also break necks with their bare hands. A genetic experiment gone wrong (a foot with a head sticking out of the ankle) is dissolved in acid. Disembodied eyeballs are seen swirling in a drain, and a severed finger is seen moving under its own power. Bloody wounds are seen in hyper-stylized contrast, so the blood seems white. Some of the characters, in comic-book fashion, have abilities that make them impervious or insensible to violence.

  • sex false4

    Sex: Lots of suggestive talk, clothing, and cleavage; some kissing and unbuttoning; one instance of nude female buttocks. Every female character in the film is presented as a two-dimensional doormat of desire who longs for the hero. Plenty of innuendo and implied sexuality. References to child prostitution.

  • language false3

    Language: Language includes "asses," "damn," "fart," "bastard," "goddamn," "hell," "piss," and more. Characters also use ethnic references like "guido" and "Jew."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Some brands mentioned by name or displayed on screen -- Bulgari jewelry, Diet Pepsi, etc.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters smoke plenty of cigarillos and cigarettes and drink beer and hard alcohol. The villain finances his research through drug trafficking.