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The Host Review

Movies.com Critics

5.0

Dave White Profile

… the coolest movie of the year. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 5.0
    85

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Bong has pulled together a multilayered horror-drama that works more often than not. The film gets back on track after a clumsy middle section that's too long and finishes strong, and Bong fans, horror fans and Asiaphiles are likely to be thoroughly satisfied.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    This Korean-made film takes the well-worn creature-feature genre and spins it on its head thrillingly.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    The tone of The Host is slippery in the best way; you're never sure if you're in for a joke or a shock, yet nothing feels random.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Bong Joon-ho's wildly entertaining saga should become the hip, thinking-person's monster movie of choice.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Host reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

South Korean creature feature is wild and witty.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that creature-feature loving teens will want to see this movie, subtitles or no. If they go, they'll see plenty of scenes of the half-fish, half-reptile monster chasing, attacking, eating, and ripping up its human victims (its lair is filled with corpses and bones). In fact, the CGI-heavy violence is so excessive that it ends up being somewhat comedic. Humans use a variety of weapons against the monster (and each other), including guns, arrows (some flaming), and gas. The government lies about a virus and then assaults demonstrators with a toxic gas called "Agent Yellow." Some mourning scenes show characters crying over lost loved ones. Subtitled swearing includes multiple uses of "f--k" and plenty more salty language.

  • Families can talk about monster movies. What's the appeal of creature features like this one?\ Families can also talk about the Parks' bravery. What brings them together with unity and purpose?
  • How does the movie update and also pay homage to classic monster movies that warn against human carelessness and arrogance, like Godzilla?
  • Are the characters in this movie being warned against anything? What could the creature be a symbol of?
  • How does Hyun-seo become a hero in the film, rather than only a victim?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: The central family counters the officials' deceit and oppression with displays of courage, loyalty, and intelligence; homeless kids and man are brave in the face of danger.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Korean and U.S. officials (police, media, medical, military) commit illegal acts and/or engage in cover-up;

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Multiple attacks by monster. It chases, terrifies, eats/chomps, throws/drops, and dismembers human victims; dog attacks owner; suspected infection victims are dragged off in plastic bags (resembling body bags); humans fight monster and each other with guns; brief scene shows brain surgery (some cutting and drilling); Nam-joo shoots monster with arrows; homeless man pours gasoline on monster so flaming arrow can light it on fire; children confront monster in sewer (dark shadows, tense moments, brave kids); memorial services and mourning; sad scene showing a child's death.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Brief reference to an ex-wife who "popped out the baby and ran off" brief shot of girls' legs under a table.

  • language false4

    Language: In subtitles: several uses of "f--k," plus other language ("s--t," "god damn," "bastard," and "bitch"), as well as "Jesus Christ."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Homeless man is drunk on soju (Korean rice-based alcoholic beverage).

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