300

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
300 Movie Poster Image
Bloody, fanboyish retelling of an ancient battle.
  • R
  • 2007
  • 117 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 79 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 140 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Themes of underdog heroism and not bowing to corruption get a little lost in the blood and gore.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Even in the face of sure defeat, brave soldiers stand firm against tyrannous threats to freedom. A corrupt Spartan councilman is exposed as a traitor and brought to justice. But also some stereotyping based on Asian culture, as well as one character's physical disability.

Violence

Over-the-top battle-scene violence, including graphic decapitations, severed limbs, mutilated bodies piled high, arrow-filled torsos, etc. Young Spartan boys are forced to furiously fight each other. The Spartan mottos are "No retreat, no surrender" and "No prisoners, no mercy."

Sex

Extended love scene between Leonidas and the queen; viewers can see her nude breasts and his butt. The adolescent Oracle writhes and sways while wearing a sheer cloth that reveals her breasts. A character unwillingly has sex to procure a politician's favor. Although no nudity is shown in that scene, the aggressor whispers menacingly: "This will not be fast. You will not enjoy this." Xerxes' lair is depicted like an orgy, with various half-dressed Persian women kissing, moaning, and having sex.

Language

Colorfully worded insults like: "motherless dogs," "philosophers and boy-lovers," etc.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is no Masterpiece Theater rendition of ancient history. Like Sin City, 300 is an ultraviolent tale based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller. There's blood galore as the Spartans -- trained war machines -- defend their land against Xerxes' massive Persian army. Battlefield valor and violence is glorified by the Spartans, who take no prisoners and show no mercy. Heads literally roll, blood splatters, exotic animals are sliced and speared. Many, many soldiers on either side die gruesomely. If on-screen death and war -- even one so stylized and cartoonish at times -- is too disturbing a subject matter for your kids (or you!), this bloodfest isn't a safe bet.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMovieLover4Lyfe May 26, 2010
Ah, Gerard Butler :) haha He makes this movie. I love the story, 300 against so many more and yet bravely facing their deaths. I cried when I watched this movie... Continue reading
Adult Written byDogcrazed March 13, 2011
Ok basically there is no redeeming value. It's for perverse people to get their jollies. I don't think movies like this should exist, it is historic... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byTheSuperman765 April 10, 2011

oh my god so much violence

The good stuff * Messages: Themes of underdog heroism and not bowing to corruption get a little lost in the blood and gore. *... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old February 12, 2011

Great adult horor movie not for anyone younger than 16

It was rated R for a reason. Very violent horor movie. Can even give teenagers nightmares.

What's the story?

Adapting Frank Miller's graphic novel 300, Snyder takes a hyperstylized visual approach to depicting the famed Battle of Thermopylae, where King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his 300 elite personal guards defied their Oracle and the odds to wage war against Xerxes' huge, unrelenting Persian army. Faced with the choice of submitting to Xerxes (Brazilian Lost regular Rodrigo Santoro, rendered nearly unrecognizable in earrings and eye makeup) or waging war, Leonidas makes the only choice a warrior-king can: fight. Leonidas and his personal detachment, led by his captain (fine character actor Vincent Regan) and Dilios (David Wenham), discover that although they're grossly outnumbered, they can funnel the enemy into the Hot Gates (the literal translation of "Thermopylae"), a narrow pass where the Spartans' special-forces skills will crush wave after wave of the Persians. And, oh, how they crush. It's impressive and disarming to see the 300 delight in the "glory" of warfare. The Spartans, so drunk on warlust that they dismember, skewer, decapitate, and spear the enemy -- whether it's human, animal, or something in between -- are brave, but also a bit mad. What the Spartans want (unlike the Arcadians, a group of fellow Greeks that joins them) is not to survive but to "die a beautiful death" in battle.

Is it any good?

At times engrossing and at times laughably over-the-top, 300 is entertaining as an extended war sequence. However, the film falls short of reaching the revolutionary Matrix-like status that the film's creators claim. The whole segment in Xerxes' lair, with its hedonistic sensuality, smacks of stereotypical Orientalism, not to mention some of the grossly depicted Persian soldiers and the disfigured hunchback who plays a central role.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the Spartans' upbringing and values. Why are 7-year-olds forced to fight each other -- and adults?

  • Xerxes offers Leonidas what sounds like a sweet deal; why does the king, facing certain death, turn it down?

Movie details

For kids who love action and comic book heroes

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