A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Hidden inside all the bloody battles is a theme about democracy, or nations working together to attain peace and freedom, but it's ultimately fairly muddled in the storytelling. Also, seeing the movie may interest teens in reading about the real history.
Positive Role Models
Most of the characters are wooden and forgettable. Other than being brave warriors in battle, they have no traits worth emulating.
Violence & Scariness
Though fantasy-based and totally artificial, the movie contains an array of brutal battle scenes, with arrows, swords and shields slicing into dozens of bodies. Huge gushes of fake-looking computer generated blood are shown spraying out at every angle. Heads and limbs are sliced off. A man's face is smashed underneath a horse's hoof. Dozens are killed. Things explode. Perhaps worse, the lone female character gets a flashback to her childhood, wherein her family is said to have been tortured, raped, and killed. As a girl, she is captured and chained up in the bowels of a ship, clearly bruised, and a man approaches her and is shown removing his shirt (abuse is strongly suggested).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A sex scene between Themistocles and Artemisia plays more like a fight than lovemaking. They throw each other around the room, and thrusting is shown. Artemisia is shown topless for several moments. Another woman is shown topless in an earlier scene, as she is being taken prisoner. Hundreds of chiseled, muscled men are shown posing shirtless, like an army of Chippendales dancers.
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"F--k" and "c--k" are used clearly, once each. In a noisy crowd scene, it sounds as if they are each used a second time, but it's difficult to tell for sure.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 300: Rise of an Empire is the sequel to the violent hit 300, with the story taking place before, during, and after the events of the original. The violence in the new movie is artificial and fantasy-based, but extremely bloody, with many fight scenes, sliced-up bodies, severed heads and limbs, and huge gushes of spraying blood. There's also a subplot about an abused girl, with sexual abuse strongly suggested. The movie contains a sex scene that plays more like a fight than lovemaking, and female toplessness is shown for several minutes. Another woman is topless in a brief scene, and many chiseled, musclebound men are shown shirtless throughout. The movie clearly contains one use each of "f--k" and "c--k," and a possible second use during a noisy crowd scene. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The film starts with droning exposition -- explaining a plot that is historically inaccurate anyway -- and adds wooden dialogue and stilted speeches. Then it throws in a boatload of posing, shirtless, chiseled, bearded men that are difficult to tell apart from one another. This is followed by an ongoing array of slow-motion sequences of swords slicing into bodies, limbs, and heads, and huge sprays of fake-looking computer-generated blood. Dust often floats in the foreground to highlight the 3D.
The monotony of the rest of the movie throws into sharp relief one character, the fierce, chilly warrior Artemisia (Eva Green). Green can't do much with this one-dimensional role, but she's by far the best thing in the movie. Zack Snyder adapted Frank Millers graphic novel, while Noam Murro directed. The final product is brutal and boring, though it will no doubt entertain the many fans of the hit original.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.