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Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning Review

Other Critics provided by

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.

  • 25

    out of 100

    USA Today Scott Bowles

    The latest undead-soldier story carries on the franchise tradition of graphic violence and bad acting.

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  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Clark Collis

    Consider this a public service announcement: Folks who have a problem with onscreen flesh-hacking - or the fact that franchise stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren aren't in the movie all that much - should stay home.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    Say what you will about the confused narrative, blatant borrowings and wildly over-the-top gory violence of Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning -- at least you can see what the hell is going on.

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  • See all Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 17 & under

Strange but interesting action sequel is ultra violent.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning is the fourth in the Universal Soldier sci-fi action movie series. Violence is extremely strong and over the top, with lots of dripping, spraying, and smeared blood, dead bodies, severed body parts, guns and shooting, and fighting (hand-to-hand, as well as with baseball bats and machetes). Several topless women and a graphic sex act are shown in an adult club. Language includes more than a dozen uses of "f--k," and super soldiers are seen gulping down bottles of whisky. Many fans of the franchise will be disappointed that stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren only have small roles this time around and that the movie is far stranger and moodier than most action movies of its type, but it may appeal to more adventurous moviegoers.

  • Families can talk about Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning's violence. Is it meant to be thrilling, shocking, or both? What impact does it have, and how did the filmmakers achieve this?
  • Are martial artists role models for kids or teens? Does it matter what kind of character they're playing?
  • What is the movie's stance on revenge? Do you agree with it? Can you think of other movies that have dealt with that subject?
  • What's the appeal of this long-running sci-fi movie series about artificial super soldiers?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The movie suggests that a man will go much farther in order to fight for his family than he will to fight for his country. But this message is delivered in a very cynical fashion, and it all really boils down to revenge.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Aside from skilled martial arts fighting at its best, the characters have nothing to offer. They're all stoic, emotionless, and mysterious. And as the hero uncovers more information, he doesn't learn any lessons or grow or change; he only gets angrier.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Extremely strong martial arts violence. Lots of fighting (hand-to-hand, as well as with baseball bats and machetes), and the main character's wife is shot in the head; his daughter is shot as well, but the scene cuts just before anything is shown. Other brief instances of violence against women. Lots of blood: smeared, dribbling, and spraying. Viewers see a mangled corpse, and toes and fingers are chopped off during fights. A woman pounds a nail into a man's hand. There are guns and shooting; an elderly woman is shot and killed, and a man's head is blown off.

  • sex false4

    Sex: A man and a woman (both minor characters) are shown having graphic sex in an adult club. Full-frontal nudity is almost shown, but it's mostly obscured by shadows and the scene's quick action. Many topless women are shown at the same club. Glimpses of porn video boxes, and, in the club's bathroom, viewers see adult pictures and innuendo scrawled on all the walls. The main character is shown sleeping in the same bed with the female lead, but only sleeping.

  • language false4

    Language: Language is strong but not constant and includes several uses of "f--k," plus "t-ts," "f----t," and "piss," as well as "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: In a few scenes, super soldiers are shown gulping down bottles of whisky, though it doesn't appear to affect them at all. The female lead is shown smoking two or three cigarettes.