Parents' Guide to

Fahrenheit 451

By Marty Brown, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Soggy, violent adaptation of book-burning sci-fi classic.

Movie NR 2018 100 minutes
Fahrenheit 451 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

Much more mature and original adaptation

Compared to the 1966 adaptation, this is a much more mature and gritty version. Farenheit 451 overall was a very good adaptation. Although it didn't follow the book's original plot, it still got the message through clearly that we shouldn't burn books. the film however has some F-bombs (7 in total, one combined with mother), a few used of s--t and a use of a--. Some scenes has brutal fighting, but no gore. Farenheit 451 has many tense moments, making this film not a good choice for sensitive viewers. But in conclusion, this film adapted the book in a new original and still effective way. If you have younger kids, the 1966 version is a better choice.
age 11+

The book is essential reading for children; this adaption of the novel is a good supplement for teens and mature tweens.

This is an adaptation of the Bradbury classic into a more modern world. The themes of the book are mostly present in the movie: the dangers of giving control to the government, the hazards and harms of book banning and group-think, and the truth and beauty that good art can nourish in our souls. Parents should know that the swearing is a bit gratuitous. While there is drinking and drug use (the drugs are unnamed eye-drops), the message is clear: these people have lost their purpose in life, lost their sense of the good and the beautiful, and their happiness is a shallow facade for their inner emptiness. Jordan is an excellent actor and does a great job in this movie, while the other performances are adequate. The message is important and uplifting, and I’m somewhat shocked that HBO greenlit this project seeing as it focuses on objective morality, the importance of truth in art, and its warning against giving control to the government to silence dissenting opinions.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (4 ):

This fiery book-based tale had potential, but this adaptation ultimately ends up as soggy as can be. "Who controls information?" is a prevalent question in America in 2018, whether it's applied toward cable news, social media, or government. So it's easy to see why the creators of this version of Fahrenheit 451 have seen parallels between Bradbury's allegorical novel and our present society. But after some chilling opening scenes where firemen Beatty (Shannon) and Montag (Jordan) indoctrinate a class of young children into believing that reading books can make you crazy, the director fails at even simply telling a cogent story, let alone a resonant one.

Fahrenheit 451 spends a lot of time on mundane aesthetics: a futuristic world lifted wholesale from Blade Runner 2049, terrible special effects (mostly just different types of screens), and showing how fun it is to burn things. But the film takes its characters for granted. The steps in Montag's turn from wolfish fireman to literate rebel are difficult to track, and there's confusion as to Beatty's motivations throughout -- he seems to have some hidden depths but turns out to just be a two-dimensional villain. With no one to really root for here, and tons of contradictions in the setup, the premise itself falls apart under its own weight.

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