Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Beowulf Movie Poster Image
Violent animated adventure is no kiddie movie.
  • PG-13
  • 2007
  • 113 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 26 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 38 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The message seems to be that men are all-too-easily seduced by beauty and the promise of power.


Grendel -- a disturbing, oozing, pus-filled sight in and of himself -- kills mostly at random. He impales victims, snaps necks, rips off heads and eats them, tears people in two, throws men into fires, squishes heads, etc. Most of the violence is fast, but there's still a great deal of it. Beowulf dismembers Grendel's arm after a long hand-to-hand battle. Grendel's mother kills almost an entire group of warriors, who are shown as shadowy, bloody figures hanging from ceiling beams. Beowulf battles an angry, murderous dragon. Beowulf's army slaughters its enemies on the battlefield.


Lots of sexual innuendo and partial nudity (it's animated, but the animation is very realistic). Beowulf strips completely naked in preparation to fight Grendel. Various people and items conveniently obscure his genitals, but his bare buttocks are shown several times during the fight. The drunk king wears a robe that half falls off; a buxom woman's cleavage is shown heaving and jiggling. Later she's propositioned by one of Beowulf's warriors, who says things like "my loins are burning" and that he won't be quiet when he comes. A bare-shouldered woman and soldier share a sleeping bag. The king demands his queen produce an heir; Beowulf has a younger mistress in addition to his wife. Grendel's mom can take the form of a gorgeous woman (Angelina Jolie) who emerges dripping wet and naked from the water.


Milder than the rest of the film: "damn," "hell," etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The Danes and their visiting mercenaries drink a lot of mead in the mead hall. Some men are so drunk that they pass out on the table.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although this adventure is animated, it's not aimed at kids. Some people may misinterpret the fact that it was created by the same filmmakers responsible for The Polar Express as an automatic thumbs-up for kids. But the considerable violence and sexual innuendo are comparable to the content of popular live-action flick 300. As those familiar with the ancient epic poem the movie is based on know, Beowulf defeats the monstrous Grendel ... but not before Grendel kills a lot of innocent people in disgusting, harrowing ways. The violence includes dismemberment, impalement, bashed heads, people being eaten alive, and more. Animated or not, it can be hard to watch (even more so in 3D, an option that some theaters are offering).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byhollerdollerbaby April 9, 2008

Too Sexy For This Age

Well, personally, I think there was way too much violence and sexual content. Nude battles and sex scenes. My brother and I agreed that they ruined the book.
Adult Written byBen1234567890 September 30, 2021

Great Film

This movie was breasttaking. I watched this movie with my mom, and let me tell you, we definitely enjoyed every part of it. Every. Part. Yeah, yeah, there were... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byski123 April 9, 2008

Fun movie but not for kids

Beowulf was very exciting and interesting but there was a lot of violence. There was also a decent amount of sexual content too. I would say ages 13-14+
Teen, 13 years old Written byold_fishemen August 12, 2021

not as bad as people say

ok, this was a good movie, it was really good actelly. the rest of the comments say it was weird but its a fantisy movie. & the sex is not extream.. the... Continue reading

What's the story?

Based on the epic poem, Robert Zemeckis' motion-capture action adventure follows the heroic exploits of Beowulf (Ray WinstoneAnthony Hopkins) get rid of a murderous demon cursing his people. After disposing of the grotesque, pus-oozing Grendel (Crispin Glover) in a (literally) naked battle of hand-to-hand combat, Beowulf learns that the monster has an even more dangerous, shape-shifting mother (Angelina Jolie). Beowulf's hubris as a warrior is evident from his first appearance on screen. But every hero has an Achilles' heel, and Beowulf's is apparently a beautiful woman -- the perfectly cast Jolie -- who promises him wealth and power beyond imagination. Beowulf isn't the first warrior to give into her, and he probably won't be the last, either, since she's seemingly invincible when nude and dripping wet (her feet even take the form of stilettos).

Is it any good?

Once you get past BEOWULF's slightly creepy, ultra-realistic depiction of actors as animated figures, there's no denying that this film is entertaining. Improving on the revolutionary technology he used in The Polar Express, Zemeckis's film is an awe-inspiring achievement in animation. It's also in no way a film for kids, even if that's the first thought that many moviegoers might have when they see animated characters. The action is as bloody as anything Quentin Tarantino could conjure up.

Yet, for all of the movie's sweeping action and impressive technology, there's still something substantially more heart-quickening about flesh-and-blood action. Sure, then audiences wouldn't get to see Grendel squish as many heads and eat as many people (at least not in a PG-13 fashion), but there would've been an extra sense of excitement and not as many unintended laughs.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether it's confusing for filmmakers to make and market an animated movie that's so violent and clearly not targeted to kids? Also, does the fact that the animation is so realistic make the violence more upsetting? Why or why not? Why do people tend to react differently to live-action mayhem than they do to similar content that's animated?

Movie details

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