2001: A Space Odyssey

  • Review Date: May 18, 2003
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1968
  • Running Time: 141 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Kubrick's sci-fi masterpiece is still relevant.
  • Review Date: May 18, 2003
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1968
  • Running Time: 141 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence

Characters in peril and some are killed.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is an eye-opening experience for older children, with much to ponder and push teens to a greater appreciation of the mystery of life and the universe. They should also be aware that this classic is slow-moving and it could lose audiences expecting a fast-paced sci-fi movie in a spaceship. Patience and a willingness to fall into the suspense of the film are necessary.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In this science fiction masterpiece, Stanley Kubrick tracks the odyssey of mankind, from the dawn of man 4 million years ago to the exploration of deep space. The film begins with a desolate time when our ape-like predecessors led frightened and brutal lives, scrounging for food and huddling against the cold night while wild animals howled in the distance. In a few short minutes, Kubrick has spanned the epochs, depicting the origins of tribes and the miraculous morning when apes awoke and learned how to use tools. With this ability, mankind was launched on its journey to the stars. On Kubrick's timeline, it is just a small next step to the exploration of the moon. And from the moon, mankind heads off to Jupiter. But what is triggering these immense changes? Why are humans evolving and what is their destiny? At transforming moments along this odyssey, a mysterious black monolith appears, drawing humans ever forward. But toward what?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

For children 12 or older, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY can be a mind-boggling experience. In a series of dramatic vignettes, it introduces children to cosmic mysteries and gives them an opportunity and an incentive to grapple with issues that span the millennia. Younger children may be impressed by the drama, the special effects and the beautiful music, but may have a hard time following the plot. In addition, they will lose patience with some of the longer segments dealing with space exploration. (The special effects used by Kubrick were revolutionary in their day, but will seem commonplace to children raised on Star Wars and Star Trek: The Next Generation).

 

Even 12-year olds may not appreciate the subtle references to political rivalries and intrigue on earth, the cover-up of mysterious developments on the moon, or the more ironic aspects of the clash between man and machine (HAL the computer plaintively crying that he is afraid and that he can feel his mind going is a poignant example). But most teenagers cannot help but be swept up in this film, which stretches their minds and gives them mysteries and uncertainty instead of endings where everything is neatly tied up with a bow. As kids strive to deal with the uncertainty of the ending, and fill in its gaps and illuminate its gray areas by drawing upon their own personality and sense of the world, they are on their way to appreciating greater and more mature forms of art.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about more subtle aspects of the film they might have missed: Why is the moment the apes use tools a turning point? What does the monolith represent?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 6, 1968
DVD release date:May 6, 1991
Cast:Gary Lockwood, Keir Dullea, William Sylvester
Director:Stanley Kubrick
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Space and aliens
Run time:141 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of 2001: A Space Odyssey was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Written byAnonymous May 5, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

It is Rated G in 1968 by MPAA. I Give it the MPAA PG-13 Rating.

My Review of this Film. It's an EPIC WIN for 13+ People. The Violence CSM Gave is a 3/5. I Give it 3/5 as will. This should have been a Rated PG-13. They didn't have that rating back in 1968.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 13 year old Written byLTM312 April 10, 2010
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

2001-not for everybody

"2001-A Space Odyssey" is a masterpiece of film making. Based on a short story by Arthur C. Clarke, the movie is at various times philosophical and literal, poetic and logical, possible and impossible. It used at the time cutting edge special effects that were not bettered until "Star Wars" came out, and has what is perhaps the most famous "jump cut" in cinema history. The story as seen on the screen is basicly divided into 3 parts-The evolution of Man, Man's conquering of outer space, Man's next evolutionary step to "Star Child." The middle section, the moon and flight to Jupiter, is probably the most coherent and beautiful part of the film. If your teenager has the expectation of laser battles and exploding planets, this movie is not for them. However if you have a child who has begun to ask "Why are we here?", "What is the point of life?" this film is for them. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, originally in 70 mm Cinerama, and stereo. Special effects by Douglas Trumbul and John Dykstra among othesr. Hey kids, models and film tricks. No computers were used.
Teen, 17 years old Written byoctober1985 July 20, 2009
AGE
4
QUALITY
 
There's nothing objectional, but young kids will be bored to tears.
Kid, 12 years old December 30, 2008
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

CSM Overreacted

Thematic elements are not really much of a problem then it CSM thought. Trust, it is one of the best films ever made (undoubtedly the best sci-fi by a llllllloooooooonnnnnnnnnggggggg shot). But really a yellow for violence you see one of those heart rate things go red and a body floating around horrible, right? The only problem is the pace, which some find annoying as heck, but I actually find it kind of soothing when I'm stressed.

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