Parents' Guide to

2001: A Space Odyssey

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Kubrick's sci-fi masterpiece is still relevant.

Movie G 1968 141 minutes
2001: A Space Odyssey Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 28 parent reviews

age 7+
Some scary moments, but nothing too objectionable.
age 11+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (28):
Kids say (100):

This science fiction masterpiece can be a mind-boggling experience for kids old enough to handle it. In a series of dramatic vignettes, 2001: A Space Odyssey introduces kids to cosmic mysteries and gives them an opportunity and an incentive to grapple with issues that span the millennia. Younger tweens 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 older kids 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.

Movie Details

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