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Venom | 2018 | PG-13 | – 2.6.5

content-ratingsWhy is “Venom” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for language.” The evaluation includes a couple of kissing scenes (including one between an alien and a human), an implied sex scene without nudity, lots of slimy alien violence including strangulation and people’s heads being bitten off with little blood and gore, and 1 F-word. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”

An investigative reporter (Tom Hardy) gathers evidence against a scientist (Riz Ahmed) who produces symbiotic human/alien creatures. When the reporter is infected with an extraterrestrial being, he becomes the host for the sinister Venom and the now dual personality speaks with two voices and demonstrates superhuman abilities and raging anger that intoxicate the reporter with power. Also with Michelle Williams, Scott Hayes and Reid Scott. Directed by Ruben Fleischer. A few lines of dialogue are spoken in Asian languages without translation. [Running Time: 2:20]


 – A man and a woman begin to remove each other’s shirts as they enter a bedroom and the camera cuts to the early morning where the couple is seen clothed and under bedcovers (there’s no nudity but sex is implied).
 A female alien wearing a black cat suit skin and head covering with large teeth passionately kisses a human man for several seconds (her large bosom, slim waist and large buttocks are accentuated). A man and a woman kiss briefly in three scenes. A man and a woman kiss for several seconds in a hallway.
 A woman wears a low-cut blouse that reveals cleavage.


 - Tendrils grow from a man's arms in an EMT van and strangle a woman: the van flips several times and the woman trudges up a road, zombie-like, with glowing eyes. A woman grows tendrils from an arm and strangles a man and then grabs an elderly woman by the neck and her eyes glow as the first woman falls dead. An elderly woman shuffles into an airport and follows a young girl into a washroom off-screen; we later see the girl walk into a scientific lab at night with her eyes glowing, she grows tendrils from an arm, strangles a man, and the scene ends abruptly. A woman picks a snake out of a tub of water and bites off the head (no gore is seen); she grows tendrils from her arms and shoulders, strangles a man dead with them and creates metal spikes that she uses to stab three other men to death with (no blood is seen). A woman in a lab shocks a man electrically and he kicks shelves over and stomps, expelling a parasitic creature (his "symbiote"), which dashes through an air duct; it comes out and joins with a dog whose eyes glow and the dog runs up to a woman, who is then possessed by the alien and she appears as a female supervillain in a wooded area, capturing men with long tendril-arms, throwing them to the ground unconscious, and biting off the head one of them (there's no blood).
 A man changes into a shiny supervillain and makes long blades at the ends of his arms and hands, he confronts a shiny supervillain and the two beings argue and fight with blades, spikes, a mace, steel claws on their fingers, kicks, punches and somersaults; we hear shouts of pain and groans and one creature swallows the other and becomes a giant creature but splits into two creatures again and the fight continues with flashes of the faces of the humans that are joined with the creatures until the creatures fall away from the men, who continue to fight; one man stabs a long metal blade through his opponent's chest from the back, leaving three feet of metal fore and aft of a wide bloody wound (the victim falls unconscious and black slime moves over him, healing him and changing him in to a shiny supervillain).
 A woman is locked into a lab with an alien that approaches her and the scene ends; we later see her dead, face-up and eyes open, beside a grayish slime creature that is dead.
 A man argues with a very deep voice in his head, telling it that it cannot injure, harm, or eat any good people, only bad people and eating bad people is only a small possibility and the voice agrees. A man enters a store followed by a criminal that points a large handgun at a woman, demands protection money (we saw him do this successfully in the past) and the first man changes into a huge alien with sharp white teeth and large white eyes, grabs the criminal, tells him he will eat off his arms, legs, and face and leave him an armless, legless, faceless thing rolling down the street in the wind; the criminal shudders and stutters, the alien opens his mouth wide into the camera and rushes forward, implying that he bit off the man's head.
 A man in a lab sees slime trails on glass walls and sees a woman pounding on a glass wall as alarms blare and the woman screams; the woman is shocked by a flash of electricity and she falls through shattering glass, black slime oozes from her and as a man falls to the floor (also shocked) the slime is absorbed into his body and he gets up, runs and knocks down a guard, he jumps through glass windows (they shatter but he is unharmed), men shoot at him to no avail, he runs through a metal fence without injury, he runs in a forest where several men's rifle shots do no harm and he runs through a large fallen tree, breaking it (he is unharmed).
 Drones and SUVs full of armed men chase a man on a motorcycle and as the cycle swerves and nearly turns over several times, black tendrils grow from the rider's back and set him right, once while grabbing a pole and spinning the cycle in a circle; drones shoot wildly and two different cars flip several times and crash (no injuries are seen), two other cars explode into fireballs, a tendril holds up a car door for a shield against bullets and the cycle escapes as SUVs sandwich in the cycle, tendrils grab both SUVs, the man flies off the cycle and the SUVs are broken to pieces; another SUV hits the rider (he falls and groans) and we see black slime covering his bleeding legs and arms, while a man shoots at the rider until the rider changes into a huge alien supervillain and bites off the shooter's head (we see no blood).
 A mass of black slime and sticks slide from a glass cylinder, crawling over to a man with stringy hair in a lab; the creature crawls up his leg and chest, stops at the mouth, slides down to the chest, and is absorbed by the human body as the human convulses (we hear his joints snapping and he dies) and the slime creature oozes out, slams itself against a glass wall and falls to the floor (we later see a man photographing a dead grayish creature, a male corpse and a dead woman on a floor). Four men break into an apartment and point tasers at a man who grows tendrils from his arms and legs and beats up the attackers with punches, kicks, throws and a tossed barbell; he hits a man in the throat and groin and throws another into a wall and all four men shout in pain.
 A slimy creature joins with a man and becomes a 10-foot tall supervillain with large, white triangular eyes and a rough reddish-gray tongue about three feet long; we can see part of the man's face in a translucent wave moving across the joined being from time to time and the creature shape shifts between man and supervillain several times during the film.
 A man jumps through a window, shattering it loudly, swings on a tendril down a balcony and through a plate glass window into an apartment, where people gasp, glass tinkles to the floor, he creates a large shield to cover the window and stop many assault rifle bullets that we hear being fired, he jumps to the street and he sees his own reflection as a creature with long white teeth and eyes and he grows tendrils that stick him to a wall while he argues with a voice inside him; he says he must have a brain tumor. Black tendrils appear from a man's back three times, move to his face and a human-sized alien head with sharp teeth and white eyes appears on the ends of the tendrils and talks to him. An alien supervillain climbs to the top of a skyscraper, changes into a man and slides down the side of the structure, slimy tendrils grab onto a wall, the man jumps through a shattering plate glass window where five men shoot at him, he changes into the supervillain and throws smoke bombs, he throws men into walls, throws two men off a balcony, and picks up one man to use as a bludgeon against several other men; he grabs a man and opens his mouth wide to bite off the head, but a woman screams and he changes back to a man and the woman takes him to a hospital.
 An alien creature blasts off in a rocket and another creature roars and jumps into the sky to cut the rocket down its length with a steel blade (we see the creature burning and its flesh evaporating) and the rocket loudly blasts apart and fills the screen with a fireball; we see small fires all over a bay and launch pad equipment as the creature falls, and the camera then shows a man falling into the bay.
 A laboratory contains several cylindrical glass mixers that tumble slimy alien creatures in them; one mixer opens and a stack of what looks like spaghetti drenched in cheese comes out, approaches a rabbit and the camera cuts to an X-ray of the creature entering the rabbit and nothing else is seen. A man goes to a hospital and a doctor uses an MRI, which causes him to convulse and scream as we see flashes of large teeth and large white eyes appear on the man; the doctor says the man has a parasite. A man is strapped standing up against an X-Ray machine and when it is turned on, he screams, and we see his skeleton light up; a scientist says the liver is failing.
 A man tells another man that he has strapped into a treatment chair, "I'm going to bite your tongue out of your face." A man becomes angry about loud music from the apartment across the hall, he yells into his pillow and when the noise repeats a few days later the man pounds on the door and another man answers but is not cooperative; the face of the man in the hall changes into an alien face with long sharp teeth and large white eyes and the man in the apartment rushes to turn down the noise. A man threatens to harm a female employee's children, but nothing happens to them.
 A man on TV says that someone was found at the bottom of a landfill, but we do not see this. A man on TV says that protestors are marching, and we see three orderly, quiet marches. On a computer screen, we see a document titled "Wrongful Death Claim." A reporter asks questions at a science foundation and is thrown out. A man says, "The foundation is built on dead bodies." A woman says that a scientist exploits the poor for illegal human experiments. In a steel mesh prison cage, a man twitches and says, "There will be carnage."
 A space plane enters Earth's orbit and bursts into flames before breaking apart as it hits the ground and explodes into a fireball that fills the screen; we later see large clouds of smoke surrounding the wreckage as a large container of moving black slime is lowered out of the vessel and an astronaut is alive, coughing, and covered in scratches (his eyes glow briefly). A supervillain stomps over a dozen cars to escape an attack, he jumps into a river and climbs out on a dock as a man who says, "My legs were broken. Now they're not broken." On a street, a police officer tells a woman, "There are bodies all over the city tonight."
 A man eats a whole bag of raw Tater Tots and old chicken and hears a deep disembodied voice; he vomits into a toilet and sink, and we hear retching and see white goo, and then sees himself in a mirror as an alien face with large sharp teeth and shouts in fear, stumbling and hitting his head as he falls into a bathtub (he's unconscious and he awakens later, groaning). A man enters a restaurant and bites huge chunks from meat on diners' plates and spits them out, he sweats and sits in a large lobster tank, he picks up two lobsters, bites their heads off and swallows them (the meat looks cooked).


 - At least 1 F-word, 21 scatological terms, 5 anatomical terms, 3 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, insane, nuts, ugly, crook, pathological, self-absorbed, half-cocked, loser, parasite), exclamations (shut-up), 2 religious profanities (GD), 15 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Oh God, My God, God, Good Lord, Jesus, God Said "Sacrifice your son Isaac," God Has Abandoned Us, Holy [scatological term deleted]). | profanity glossary |


 - A restaurant table is shown with large and small wine glasses (both empty), several glasses of beer are seen on the bar in a bar and someone picks them up, a man drinks from a whiskey glass in a bar, a man in a store says that he will buy a bottle of whiskey but buys Pepto-Bismol instead, an empty beer bottle is seen on a table in a man's apartment, a man grabs two beers from a fridge but does not drink them, a man takes two beer bottles from a fridge early one morning but does not drink them, and a woman sips wine at home.


 - Eugenics, creating a super-race, extraterrestrials, symbiosis, parasites, world domination, future of humanity, conservation of resources, crime, justice, courage, overcoming challenges, danger, fear, enemies, survival, helping others, losing a job, relationships, love, communication, commitment, marriage.


 - Science that is meant to improve humanity can backfire.


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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