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Hellboy | 2019 | R | – 4.10.7

content-ratingsWhy is “Hellboy” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “strong bloody violence and gore throughout, and language.” The evaluation includes a couple of nude and near nude scenes with no genitals visible but partial breasts are seen and a slobbery kiss; numerous scenes of decapitation, dismemberment and other methods of killing people, demons and supernatural beings with blood gushing; and nearly 30 F-words. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”

The third installment of 2004’s Hellboy and 2008’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army, based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, is also a reboot for the franchise: This time the well-meaning half-demon (David Harbour) battles an evil queen (Milla Jovovich) that was killed and dismembered by King Arthur a very long time ago, but has been revived and put back together and uses her powers against humanity. Also with Mark Stanley, Brian Gleeson, Penelope Mitchell, Terry Randal and Ian McShane. Directed by Neil Marshall. A few lines of dialogue are spoken in Spanish with English subtitles. [Running Time: 2:00]

Hellboy SEX/NUDITY 4

 – A mostly skeletal female kisses a man, and we see a slobbering tongue and a lot of saliva on both of their mouths and a long strand between them when she pulls away from him. A woman caresses a man’s face and speaks softly to him.
 A remark is made about “strippers.” A reference is made about someone’s “perky breasts.” We are told that a woman became pregnant and we see her with a swollen abdomen (she is fully clothed).
 A topless woman is shown from the side and we see the side of her bare breast (there’s no nipple) and partial abdomen. A woman’s dress is cut deeply to reveal cleavage and part of her upper abdomen as well as legs to the upper thighs. Wrestlers in a ring wear close-fitting bodysuits (outlines of their bodies are seen with no real detail). A man is shown wearing a long coat through most of the movie, but it hangs open to reveal his bare chest and abdomen. A man is shown with a towel wrapped around his waist and we see his bare chest, abdomen and back with fur hair along the spine. A mostly skeletal female with bits of skin stretched across bones is shown wearing loose draping cloth on her body and we see deep cleavage and partial breasts (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A nude toddler-sized humanoid demon emerges from a deep hole and stands on a platform (no genitals or buttocks are seen).


 - Hellboy is shown with red skin, one large arm that looks like it is made of stone, yellow eyes, horns that have been filed down to stumps and a tail; we see him a few times with full horns with points, a flaming crown on his head and a flaming sword as he rides a flaming dragon. One character is shown to be a mostly skeletal female with bits of skin stretched across bones, pegs for legs, large knuckles in her fingers and bloody finger tips, a few straggly hairs on her head, gray skin, blackened teeth and missing one eye.
 A flashback to the Middle Ages shows two men battling a woman, who is surrounded by her minions that look like a variety of shapes and sizes of gremlins and gargoyles with large teeth and claws (one has a long tongue and it slurps up a flying creature); the woman is run through with a spear and pinned to a tree (we see blood on her dress), and she pulls herself free and sprays particles into a crowd of swordsmen (we see them infested with a plague that quickly dissolves their flesh and kills them) until her arm is lopped off by a sword, and then her head (we see blood as the pieces separate and fall to the ground and the head continues to speak until the lid of the box is closed) and we hear that she was cut into pieces; the pieces were then placed in boxes and they were buried in different places. A flashback to an armed military encounter shows soldiers being snatched out of a forest by something unseen as a man says that he was the only survivor (we see a glimpse of an animal with large pointed teeth lunging toward the man and we see a body hanging upside down from a tree with a long gash on his arm and a lot of blood). Giants and demons walk through crowded city streets while a woman unleashes particles that infect people with a plague that eats away their flesh (we see many fall dead as they are skinned), giants pick people up and pull them apart, splitting them in half, two giants pull a person apart, people are beheaded (a lot of blood gushes and pours from wounds), a giant skeleton walks through the street and we see bodies impaled on its lower legs as others scream and run.
 A large demon with the head of a boar pounds on the door of a monastery where monks are gathered: the demon breaks the door down and it falls on a monk crushing him (blood sprays on the floor), other monks try to attack the demon and we see their body parts thrown into a wall with blood splattering. A large demon goes into a chamber where it finds a crate that burns its hands, it orders a monk to perform a chant to open the crate, the monk refuses and the demon pulls his jaw and tongue off (blood spurts and sprays and we see the man's lower face missing), and the demon then eats the part that he has removed from the monk and chants in the monk's voice to open the crate. A giant swoops down and attacks a man and we see the man's severed head plop into water where blood seeps. A woman gestures with her hand and two other women crumple and are crushed (we hear bones cracking as they scream) and blood gushes from their bodies. A woman hits a demon boar in the head and then causes it to shrink to a very small size before it blows into a bubbling puddle of blood. A woman slashes the side of a man's neck and we see a lot of blood spray and spurt as he dies.
 A woman is shot in the side of the head and we see the side of her face missing, with blood and bone exposed along with a dangling eyeball (it repairs itself quickly). A demon is stabbed through the back with a spear (we see the bloody tip push through his chest) and then through the arm (more blood), and he jumps over a bridge to get away and is chased into a river where he is stabbed three more times; the spears are then electrified and current glows under his skin until he collapses in the water (we see blood on his mouth). A woman's head is cut off, she screams as her head and body hit the floor separately, and the head is thrown into a fiery hole in the ground.
 A man fights three giants: he is thrown and large swords and hammers are swung at him, he stabs a tree trunk into one giant's eye, he is struck with a hammer and thrown a great distance, he punches a giant in the eye and his large fist pushes into the eye socket (we hear squishing), a giant is impaled through the chin and up into his head and it falls on a man dripping goo and matter on his face, and he uses a giant sword to cut off the arm and leg of a giant and then splits his head in two as it falls to the ground with a gush of blood. A character deteriorates to dust and a winged insect flies out of the eye socket of the skull and it is snatched out of the air by a bird. A demon boar and a man fight and knock into pillars that drop heavy rubble to the floor, pinning a man's leg (he yells); the man is impaled on the tusk of the demon boar and he breaks the other tusk off and stabs the demon in the eye with it.
 Two men in a ring fight with punches and throws: one man transforms under his suit and we see him develop sharp teeth and claws, his mask is pulled off and he grows into a giant demon with wings as the two continue to fight and eventually the demon is impaled on a pole where it transforms back to his human form and dies (we see blood on his chest and in his mouth). A man transforms into a large leopard with sharp teeth and claws (we see his flesh split and blood pours from the open gashes and he spits blood). Several armed agents crash through an apartment window and a man punches a couple of them and slams one on a countertop until he is stopped by another man. A man and a large demon boar fight over a severed arm. A man and a being with curved blades fight and the man falls out of the house, where they fight onto a large table in another building, breaking it to pieces (he's unharmed). A man fights with several creatures and kicks the head off one. A young woman fights with several creatures and when she hits them she seems to punch their "souls" out of their bodies (we see a glowing image) killing them. A young woman wearing brass knuckles punches a man into a wall. A man punches another man a few times to make him mad enough to transform into a creature. A man, a young woman and a large leopard attack many men in a plant; they shoot, punch and slash the men (no blood is evident).
 Armed agents enter a building where we see many dead bodies, and some body parts that are all covered with blood and blood is pooled on the floors and sprayed on walls and furnishings; one body's head is shown split and brain matter is exposed, and a severed head is shown on a billiards table. Two giants are shown eating from a large pile of bloody and dismembered human body parts (we hear crunching and squishing). The pieces of a woman are shown propped on a sofa with one arm missing and the other severed arm controlling a TV remote (blood is shown at the separations) and she speaks to a demon. Several men on horseback ride through a forest and they come upon several partially eaten and separated body parts on the ground (a lot of blood is on the bodies and pooled in giant footprints near them). A demon pulls a spear head out of his bloody shoulder and moans. A man is trapped in an elevator that falls a great distance and he tries to make it stop before it slams to a stop; he is unharmed and steps out into a fog-covered forest. Many zombie-looking beings and other creatures come out of the ground around a young woman and two men as they make their way to a mountain; the creatures swarm around a woman at the top of the mountain and cheer her. Armed police shoot at a man (he's not struck) and he yells that he's on their side. A man shoots at a man and after he yells at him, he says, "I missed, didn't I?"
 Three decrepit looking women with gray, wrinkled flesh, stingy hair and missing eyes (with puckered or stitched sockets) stitch a woman's body parts together with heavy dark thread and we see the needles push through the flesh and hear squishing and stretching; the woman sits up when put together and we hear loud cracking sounds. Two scenes show a young woman "vomit" out a spirit in nearly human form (one male and one female); the bodies are skeletal with parts of flesh stretched across the bones and a long tube of pulsating flesh leads back to the young woman's mouth and it is absorbed back into her mouth as she spits some saliva. An infant in a crib is shown cooing until a horseshoe is held near it and it begins to cry, and then transforms into a small demon boar (still wearing a diaper) that bites a man's hand and runs up a chimney as the man calls out that they better return the baby. A winged creature leaves a human infant at a doorstep. A giant pair of ostrich legs carries a house through a forest. We see children's fingers floating in a stew pot and a being tells a man to eat; we see a room behind him where children's clothed bodies hang from the ceiling. A woman cuts a slice in the trunk of a tree and draws blood from the opening into her body. A woman throws a sharp tine into a young woman's neck and we see it turning her skin gray and spider veins push up from under her flesh spreading a poison. A man lifts the cover of a crypt and we see a decaying body inside covered with dust; the body re-animates and speaks. A glass containment container filled with a murky liquid is shown with a creature's hand touching the glass on the inside.
 A young woman tells a man that she has a gun "loaded with angel bones pointed right at your [anatomical term deleted]." People discuss fighting three giants that have been unleashed on the world. A wrestler in a ring invites a man to join him and says, "Let's dance until you die." A man tells another man that a man is not his friend but, "He's just someone you drink with." A reference is made to "bodies buried all over England." A woman talks about baptizing "this world in blood." A young woman moans and holds her head saying that she is suffering from a "psychic migraine" as we hear voices and screams. People talk about "Fairies" and that they love to steal babies and then return a changeling in their place. A man prepares a cartridge for another man to shoot someone with and tells him to make sure it's a "kill shot," for either the heart or the brain. A being talks about a demon plague that will "Strip the flesh from their bodies." A character talks about victims having their tongues cut out before being fed to maggots. We see and hear news broadcasts calling for states of emergency and reports of a global epidemic. A character says, "Kill Hellboy and bring me his eye."
 A scorpion stings a man on the hand and he flinches but seems unfazed. A man with horns is shown cutting and filing his horn stumps in a couple of scenes. A comment is made about giants and other demons "sucking on the bones of victims" to get to the marrow. We see a skeleton of a human/fish creature in a display case. A smoke alarm rings and we see some burnt food in a pan (eggs, bacon and blood pudding). A man is shown with large scars on his face, like claw marks. The ghost of a character visits a man in a cemetery and passes through him as he leaves. A man breaks the screen of his phone every time he tries to tap on it. A creature snaps a flying creature up with its long tongue. A wizard removes a poisoned tine from a young woman's neck and as he pulls it out we see it squiggling (snake-like) and it slithers away on the floor after it is removed.

Hellboy LANGUAGE 7

 - About 28 F-words and its derivatives, 18 scatological terms, 8 anatomical terms, 17 mild obscenities, name-calling (beast, devil, hippie, impertinent, old hag, old man, unholy, vile, loathsome, fool, pig monster, destroyer of all things, fickle, demon, whiney little [scatological term deleted], ugly, Satan, freak, freaky, wanker, bastard, abomination, liar, worthless), exclamations (flying fig, grow a pair, shut-up), 3 religious profanities (GD), 8 religious exclamations (e.g. Jesus Christ, Holy [scatological term deleted], Oh My God, Oh God, Christ). | profanity glossary |


 - A man drinks from a bottle of alcohol while leaning against a grave marker and singing, a wrestling venue has a bar where people are shown drinking alcohol, people drink and smoke in a bar, a man holds an empty shot glass in his hand and appears drunk in a bar, a character carries a bottle of wine, and a man says that another man is not Hellboy's friend, just someone he drinks with.


 - Revenge, King Arthur, Merlin, Excalibur, heroes, banishment, death of loved ones, Nazis, World War II, tradition, giant slayers, fate, normalizing, family, spirit mediums, mercy, hate, destiny, risk assessments, false equivalency, Baba Yaga.


 - Evil can be hard to stop.


Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.

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