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V for Vendetta Review

Movies.com Critics

4.0

Dave White Profile

… super-entertaining … Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 4.0
    62

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The film is beset by incoherence and implausibilities that are perplexing, given the close relationship between the Wachowskis and the director, Mr. McTeigue.

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Viewers expecting a thrill ride might be disappointed. V engages in a couple of satisfying crime-fighting set pieces, but the story is more occupied with mystery and intrigue. Happily, it almost is entirely free of the hollow pomposity that marred the Wachowskis' last two "Matrix" films.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    As a fix of pop iconography, V for Vendetta is eyeball grabbing, even if it lacks the relentless videogame bravura that sold the Matrix films. As a movie, however, it's merely okay, with a pivotal dramatic weakness: Evey, for all the attentions of her revolutionary Svengali, remains, in essence, a bystander, and Portman, her head shaved, plays her like Joan of Arc as a tremulous Girl Scout.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Visually exhilarating, provocative and disturbing.

    Read Full Review

  • See all V for Vendetta reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Complex but heavy-handed action film. Adults only.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film includes recurring and explicit violence, including explosions, martial arts fights, knifings (with bloody results quite visible), shootings, and torture inside prison cells (where one character shares her space with a rat). The film opens with a flashback to a 1605 hanging, and then, in the present, an imminent rape (stopped by V's violent intervention). The film includes scenes of war and police state tactics, including the brutal incarceration of race and sexual minorities in Britain. A young girl sees her mother kidnapped by government flunkies, then witnesses a similar brutality as an adult. When a bishop arranges for sex with an underage girl (apparently a regular practice), he's killed as punishment (but not before he pushes his would-be girl victim onto his bed). Characters curse occasionally (infrequent use of the f-word, plus "bloody hell," "bitch," and the s-word).

  • Families can talk about the film's presentation of terrorism as reasonable response to state oppression. Is violence ever an appropriate response? How do the evil chancellor's raging and V's tragic background (abused and institutionalized as a child) make V's cause seem sympathetic, even if it's illegal and aggressive? How does Evey's own childhood loss of her parents make her ready to be V's protg? For fans of the book, families can discuss the differences between the film and its inspiration.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Primary terrorist justifies his violence as resistance to the completely corrupt state.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Violence includes a hanging, explosions, knife and martial arts attacks, shootings, and scenes of torture, invasions of homes, war scenes on background televisions; bloody smears on walls; police are threatening and militaristic; threatened rape; murder by poisoning; man's figure appears burning during building fire; image of girl's mother dragged away by bad cop); discussion of epidemic fatal virus.

  • sex false2

    Sex: An elderly bishop arranges to have sex with underage girl (the actual girl is only pretending to be that young; gay character discusses being closeted as "wearing a mask."

  • language false2

    Language: Chatty terrorists use some profanity (including at least one f-word, and infrequent uses of "bloody hell," "damn," "bitch," s-word).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Bar scene shows drinking.

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