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Killing Season Review Critics


Dave White Profile

War is swell. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 2.0

    out of 100

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

  • 20

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times Robert Abele

    The pretentious, preposterous, dueling-dialect flameout called Killing Season has to stand as one of the biggest missed opportunities in iconic matchups.

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  • 30

    out of 100

    The New York Times David DeWitt

    It’s not worthless, but it’s not good. As a genre film, it’s too ambitious; as an art film, it’s too obvious.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Brutal violence and torture in forgettable revenge film.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Killing Season is a dark, mature thriller with war overtones that stars John Travolta and Robert De Niro. The main thrust is revenge, with various gruesome scenes of torture (often with blood/agony). Viewers also see some brutal, disturbing flashbacks to the Bosnian War. Language is fairly strong, with a few, pointed uses of "f--k" and "s--t." The characters tell a joke with some strong sexual innuendo. A bottle of Jagermeister liquor is studied, admired, and consumed, and the characters get drunk.

  • Families can talk about Killing Season's violence. Which parts were supposed to be thrilling, and which parts were supposed to be disturbing? Can the two goals co-exist? How does what you see here compare to horror movies?
  • Does revenge solve anything or lead to anything good? Do these characters get their revenge? What happens to them?
  • Why does Robert De Niro's character avoid his family? What would happen if he confided in them?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The movie's main themes are revenge and torture, though both characters seem to be interested in "confessions" (either religious or just simply telling the truth), and once that happens, they seem to be satisfied, and revenge no longer matters. The message? Tell the truth! Ultimately, both characters seem ready to connect with other people once again.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Both characters seem to have been forever damaged by war, either retreating into isolation or concentrating solely on revenge. They both resort to gruesome violence. Though they eventually come out the other side, changed for the better, they aren't worth emulating or admiring.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Some absolutely gruesome flashbacks to the Bosnian War, with piles of decomposing corpses, characters shot in the head at close range, and mentions of rape and burning bodies. One character is shot through the leg, with spurting, gurgling blood. He's then forced to push a metal stake through the hole, and he's hung by a rope from this wound. Another character is shot with an arrow through his face (his cheeks) and then tied up and tortured with salt and lemon juice. A character digs a piece of bloody shrapnel from his own leg and uses it to stab another man. Fighting with knives, a car crash, and various arguing and taunting.

  • sex false2

    Sex: One character tells a joke with some strong sexual content (blow jobs, etc.) A voluptuous bartender shows some cleavage in a couple of scenes.

  • language false4

    Language: Strong language includes "f--k" and "motherf----r," several uses of "s--t," plus "goddamn," "damn." and "ass."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Characters study a bottle of Jagermeister liquor (they note the various symbols on the label).

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: In the first part of the movie, the characters drink almost an entire bottle of Jagermeister, getting fairly tipsy; this is presented very much as a social ritual.