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The Midnight Meat Train Review

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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


    Film isn't scary, per se, but it's mostly effective nonetheless, with Cooper capably steering his character from charming young artist to nervous wreck, evoking Ralph Fiennes' more unhinged turns along the way.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Public-transit terror tale is beyond bloody. Pass.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that horror-loving teens may want to see this movie based on a short story by Clive Barker, but there's enough here to test even the strongest stomachs. The movie is literally drenched in blood from the opening moments to the finale. It's also loaded with gruesome special-effects violence -- decapitations, eyes popped from sockets, hearts ripped from chests, and more. A sequence in which viewers witness a female character's death from her point of view is deliberately, deeply disturbing. The film's food-and-flesh subtext also involves multiple images of human and animal corpses hung in preparation for the butcher's art; there's also graphic and explicit surgical and medical imagery, some nudity, and strong language.

  • Families can talk about the nature and character of bloody horror films -- why does Hollywood make them, and what purpose do they serve?
  • Do violent horror films release negative emotional energy or create it?
  • Can violent, graphic images in films like this desensitize viewers?
  • Does it matter whether the goriness seems "over the top"?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Any possibly positive message is washed away in the crimson tide of bloodletting that it unleashes in the name of extreme "thrills."

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The main character, a photographer, takes pictures of a group of youthsthreatening a young woman before he acts to stop them. Anothercharacter, researching a city's history of crime, contrasts her workwith the popular perception of the past as a kinder, gentler time bynoting "it turns out there never were any good old days." A securityguard checks a character's bag in the subway, noting that "ConditionOrange means I can search whatever I want."

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Constant, brutal, and explicit violence, including endless buckets of blood. Brutal murders are portrayed in graphic fashion, with weapons including a butcher's hook, a hammer, knives, guns, and bare hands; other weapons include severed limbs, bones, and skulls. Multiple scenes of intense fighting, with characters punched, head-butted, slammed into windows, walls, the floor, and more. Deep and bloody wounds are created and shown. Throats are slit; multiple stabbings; a character's head is impaled with a long knife; a character's tongue is ripped out of their mouth and then eaten. A man is struck with a hammer so hard that his eye dislocates from its socket; a female character's demise is shown from her point of view, beginning with a hammer blow so fierce it severs her head -- viewers see her headless body from a distance through her eyes as she dies. Human beings are hung like meat, dangling upside down by hooks rammed through their flesh; their teeth, fingernails, and eyes are shown being removed post-mortem. A character removes (and then keeps) bizarre growths from his flesh by slashing at them with a knife. A heart ripped from a human chest is held aloft while still beating. Piles of dead bodies are seen; animal and human corpses are hung as raw material for butchers.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Some kissing; discussions of sex in the context of a committed relationship; some nudity, including a nude female murder victim. It's suggested that a supporting character is promiscuously bisexual. Brief phallic imagery. A young woman, threatened by a group of thugs, is told "You gotta pay on your knees, baby." Characters have rough sex, with the clear implication that this isn't the norm for them.

  • language false3

    Language: Some, including "f--k," "motherf---er," "s--t," "ass," "bitch," and "s--t."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Friends drink hard liquor in celebration; beer and wine are enjoyed at an art reception.