2013 R 1h 44m Blu-ray / DVD

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2013 R 1h 44m Blu-ray / DVD
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After being unaccountably held captive for years, Joe Doucett is suddenly released. Now, his only mission is to hunt down and punish his captors. Aided by a young stranger, he sets about unlocking his past in this remake of a popular Korean thriller.
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.40:1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.40:1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 17+
Common Sense rating Not for kids
  • Josh Brolin
  • Elizabeth Olsen
  • Sharlto Copley
  • Samuel L. Jackson
  • Richard Portnow
  • Lance Reddick
  • Rami Malek
  • Michael Imperioli
  • James Ransone
  • Max Casella
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age 17+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Oldboy is Spike Lee's remake of the extremely violent Korean movie of 2003. This retains the violence and deals with dark, subversive ideas as part of their plots. The character becomes a fighter, and beats up several people (sometimes using a hammer as a weapon). He's stabbed in the back. Characters are tortured, shot, and killed, and commit suicide, and there's an attempted rape. There's a graphic sex scene with female toplessness and male and female backsides shown, plus some other unsavory sexual elements central to the movie's story. Language is also strong, with many uses of "f--k" and "s--t." The main character begins the story as a hardcore alcoholic, though he recovers. Many savvy teens will already be aware of the original film, a much loved cult classic, and the new one does not change much of the basic plot. But many curious teens will want to see this new version, especially if they don't care for subtitles.

Sexual Content

There's a graphic sex scene with female toplessness and male and female backsides shown. The scene takes on a greater, and more disturbing resonance after the big reveal at the end. Another sex scene is in the dark, but you can hear sounds. The character is shown masturbating under a pillow while watching a workout show on TV. Incest is part of the plot. In an early scene, the character attempts and fails to seduce a woman during a business meeting.


The character is abducted and imprisoned for 20 years. He bashes his head against the wall and tries to kill himself. Upon his release he beats up dozens of men, including some innocent bystanders. He bashes people in the head with a hammer, and gets a knife stuck in his back. Characters are tied down and tortured. In a flashback, a father kills his entire family, and himself, with a shotgun. Lots of blood is shown. We also see a bloody suicide. There's an attempted rape.


Language includes several uses of "f--k," "s--t," "bulls--t," "bitch," "dick," and "piss," plus "Jesus H. Christ" and "Goddamn."

Social Behavior

The movie is essentially a cruel revenge tale, with bad behavior met by more bad behavior.


Apple iPhones are shown. Google searches are important to the plot.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

The main character starts the movie as a hardcore alcoholic, pouring vodka in a paper cup to make it look like he's drinking soda. He's shown raging drunk one night, screaming on the streets and searching for more booze. (He's also shown smoking a cigarette.) During his imprisonment, he's given a bottle of vodka a day, which he guzzles down greedily. Eventually he stops drinking through hard work and persistence. An old friend of his is also a strong drinker, seen with a glass of whisky at all times. Another character is said to be a former drug user, but recovered.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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