12 Rounds parents guide

12 Rounds Parent Guide

Most families will find it easy to come up with at least a dozen reasons to avoid this highly destructive duel.

Overall D+

An arrest and an accidental death caused by a car crash are all in the line of duty for Detective Danny Fisher (John Cena), until an escaped convict (Aidan Gillen) decides to hold him personally accountable. Kidnapping Fisher's girlfriend (Ashley Scott), the vengeful criminal arranges 12 Rounds of dangerous tests that must be successfully completed if the police officer ever hopes to see his fiancée alive again.

Release date March 27, 2009

Violence D+
Sexual Content B-
Profanity D+
Substance Use B

Why is 12 Rounds rated PG-13? The MPAA rated 12 Rounds PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action.

Run Time: 108 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Just as the residents of New Orleans begin to recover from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, they are besieged by an escalating battle between a criminal mastermind, Miles Jackson (Aidan Gillen), and city police officer Danny Fisher (John Cena).

A year earlier, the criminal’s girlfriend, Erica (Taylor Cole), was pulled over by the detective and his partner, Hank Carver (Brian White). The encounter turned bloody when the officers discovered Miles hiding in the car’s trunk with a case full of diamonds. In the fray that followed, Hank was injured, Erica was killed and Miles was captured and incarcerated.

Now nearly a year later, Miles has escaped from prison but no one bothers to share the news with the arresting officers. While FBI agents George Aiken (Steve Harris) and Ray Santiago (Gonzalo Menendez) attempt to track the escapee from the sidelines, Miles sets into action a plan to wreak revenge on the men he blames for Erica’s death.

First, Danny’s girlfriend, Molly (Ashley Scott) is kidnapped and sends a desperate plea for help from a cell phone. Interrupting the call, Miles gives Danny a chance to get the girl back by participating in 12 rounds of challenges. Despairing over his inability to protect those most important to him, Danny delves into the first test.

Along with brief depictions of sexual innuendo, kissing and the use of alcohol, the script relies heavily on portrayals of heightened violence between the cops and criminals. And though Danny’s dogged determination to free Molly from Miles’ clutches is understandable, the mounting collateral damage inflicted on the beleaguered city begs to be questioned. Detonating bombs in densely populated portions of the inner core and disabling critical mechanical devices, Miles appears to be as willing to take out his own men as he is law enforcement personnel and innocent bystanders, including children. With no trace of remorse, he premeditates the death of unwary tourists, hotel employees and security guards. The intense action is draining not only on Molly and the other characters that fall victim to Miles’ ruthless plan, but also for the audience who is dragged along for the ride.

As the body count rises together with the swelling amounts of property damage, the purpose of all this death for the sake of entertainment becomes dubious. And despite Danny’s seemingly unstoppable ability to fall from buildings, jump from speeding cars and still keep going, most families will find it easy to come up with at least a dozen reasons to avoid this highly destructive duel.

Starring John Cena, Ashley Scott, Aidan Gillen, Renny Harlin. Running time: 108 minutes. Theatrical release March 27, 2009. Updated

12 Rounds
Rating & Content Info

Why is 12 Rounds rated PG-13? 12 Rounds is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of violence and action.

This film contains almost non-stop action that includes explosions and gunfire. Scenes also show car crashes, disabled trolley cars, armed characters on a city bus and frequent portrayals of property damage. After leading a group of men to a secluded location on the wharf, a man is gunned down. Men are later stabbed, shot or injured in falls and other accidents. After a woman is hit and killed by a speeding car, her body is repeatedly shown in a pool of blood. Cars are commandeered by out of uniform police. A man jumps from a building and hits some scaffolding below. A man is killed when an elevator falls down a shaft. High-pressure gas is released into a downtown area. Characters jump from a speeding car. An electric substation is destroyed. Security guards are gunned down. A man sets off an explosion near a hospital. Ammunition is exchanged in densely populated areas including a hotel, hospital and the street. A helicopter explodes in mid-air and rains down debris on the city street below. Characters are often in peril. A woman has a bomb strapped to her chest. Two characters jump from a helicopter hovering above the city. A man’s past criminal activities are discussed including a decapitation, dirty bombs, and an airplane bombing. A man spies on a woman in the shower. Characters are involved in sexual bantering and discussions. A couple is shown kissing. Characters consume alcohol in home, bar and party settings. Profanities, terms of Christian deity, some sexual language and a racial slur are used in the script.

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More parents' guide for 12 Rounds after the break...

12 Rounds Parents' Guide

Do you think victims should be informed when convicts are released from prison? Why might people be reluctant to testify in a criminal case? What danger might the testifiers face?

How are interracial partnerships portrayed in this film? What is the difference between Danny and Hank’s relationship and the one shared by the FBI agents?

How does the film justify all the death and destruction that occurs during Danny’s effort to rescue Molly? What threats are posed to the family and friends of first responders?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of 12 Rounds movie is June 30, 2009. Here are some details…

Release Date: 30 June 2009

Standard DVD Specs:

12 Rounds Single-disc DVD is presented in widescreen, with audio tracks 5.1 Dolby Surround (English) and Dolby Surround (Spanish and French). Subtitles are available in English and Spanish. Bonus materials include:

- The rated and the extended “Extreme Cut” of the film.

- Commentary by Director Renny Harlin, Writer Daniel Kunka and John Cena.

- Two alternate endings.

- Featurettes: Crash Course: John Cena Stunts and Cena Gag Reel.

12 Rounds Unrated Blu-ray Disc is presented in widescreen, with 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio (English) and 5.1 Dolby Digital (English and Spanish). Subtitles are available in English and Spanish. Extras include:

- The rated and the extended “Extreme Cut” of the film.

- Commentary by Director Renny Harlin, Writer Daniel Kunka and John Cena.

- Two alternate endings.

- Featurettes: Crash Course: John Cena Stunts, Cena Gag Reel, Streetcar Crossing: Film with Caution, 12 Bonus Rounds: Making Magic Behind-the-Scenes, Keeping Score: The Music of 12 Rounds and Round and Round with Director Renny Harlin and John Cena.

- Viral Videos.

- BD live bootstrap.

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