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Wanted Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

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

  • 100

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    This over-the-top, ultraviolent, hyperkinetic action thriller pretty much has it all.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The thrilling stunts and hyperkinetic action scenes are the undisputed stars of this surprisingly entertaining film.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Before Wanted reaches the end of its wild course, the violence that's been nothing but oppressive becomes genuinely if perversely impressive; the ritual carnage becomes balletic carnage (railroad cars included); the Walter Mitty-esque hero, Wesley, played by James McAvoy becomes a formidable enforcer of summary justice, and Mr. McAvoy, most memorably the young doctor in "The Last King of Scotland," becomes a certified star.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Best of all, there's a lot of Jolie, barrels blazing. The star's fearlessly sexy hauteur is unique in the biz today. And when she works it in Wanted, she kills, bullets optional.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The way to enjoy this film is to put your logic on hold, along with any higher sensitivities that might be vulnerable and immerse yourself as if in a video game.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 17+

Explosive action film is extremely violent.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this over-the-top action film -- which stars Angelina Jolie and is based on a series of comic books, both of which will up its appeal with teens -- is loaded with extraordinarily explicit, extensive, stylized violence, including lots of bloody shootings, beatings, and more (blood and brain matter splatter are shown). The movie's style owes a debt to The Matrix, but it's much more graphic than that sci-fi epic. The film also suggests that the central character's transformation from corporate cog to killing machine is a positive thing to be admired. Also expect lots of swearing, some cigar smoking, and some pretty passionate scenes (including male and female rear nudity).

  • Families can talk about the appeal of action films. Why does violent entertainment have such a grip on the public imagination? Talk with your kids about the difference between real life and fantasy -- even teens. Point out that consequences exist -- even if it makes you feel humorless. The fact that violent movies stimulate parts of the brain bears some commentary from the parental units. Families can also contrast Jolie's positive public work as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations with her professional work in violent action films. Do the two roles fight against each other, or are they simply different aspects of the same person? Which do you think is the "real" her?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The film revolves around a secret society of assassins who kill on the orders of a mystical "Loom of Fate" the group's ideology is based on the idea of "Kill one, save a thousand" -- i.e. eliminating people based on the hypothetical ramifications of their unknown future acts. Lead character Wesley vents many of the frustrations of the modern cubicle-dwelling office laborer, questioning the choice between tedious, anonymous conformity or exciting, violent transgression. The fact that he ends up going with the latter is presented as a positive choice.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Extensive, graphic, and bloody violence, including (but not limited to) lots of shootings (shown in great detail, with blood splatter and visible brain matter, and often reversed on screen and shown again for cinematic effect), stabbings, slashings (including blood and extensive tissue damage), beatings (including broken bones, shattered flesh and extensive blood), people being burned alive, dead bodies used for target practice, a shooting victim used as a human shield (with a firearm poked through what's left of the head), assassinations, rats used as delivery platforms for plastic explosives, a violent train wreck, car crashes, and a graphic murder/suicide.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Intense semi-clothed sexual activity; male and female rear nudity; discussions of condoms and "the morning-after pill." Crude discussions of sex. Characters have an affair.

  • language false5

    Language: Language includes very frequent uses of "f--k," "f--king," "motherf---er," "a--hole," "s--t," "p---y," "horses--t," "whore," and more.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Brands seen on screen include Captain Crunch, Cheerios, Snickers, Power Horse Energy Drink, Capital One, Google, and more.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some cigar smoking; a character has a prescription for anti-anxiety drugs; some discussion of the "morning-after pill."