Fantastic Four

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Fantastic Four Movie Poster Image
Campy but often violent comic book movie.
  • PG-13
  • 2005
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 23 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 29 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Working together; appreciating differences while finding common ground.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Supervillain is typically evil; friends argue among themselves.

Violence

Comic bookish explosions, car crashes, and body slammings.

Sex

Some nudity and sexual innuendo, although nothing explicit is visible. The Invisible Girl removes her clothes to be fully invisible, and there are scenes when she reappears wearing only a bra and underwear. Reed walks in on her showering, although she quickly becomes invisible and nothing sensitive is shown. The Human Torch is also naked in one scene when he burns off all of his clothes. Implied off-screen sex between Johnny Storm and his girlfriend. Several kissing scenes. 

Language

"Ass," "goddamn," "hell," "Jesus" used as an exclamation.

Consumerism

Superheroes market their own action figures; a visit to a motocross arena features known brands (Dos Equis, ESPN, Coke), Burger King shows up.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some adults drink alcoholic beverages a scene set in a bar, but never to excess.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fantastic Four includes loud and explosive violence. The astronauts' encounter with the radioactive cloud is rendered in frightening, fiery images, and the Thing's transformation from human to rock is potentially alarming. Fights between the superheroes and archenemy Dr. Doom show bodies slammed into or through walls and thrown out windows; the Human Torch engages in extreme sports (snowboarding and motocross) and implied sexual activity (following one encounter, he appears wearing only a girl's pink parka to cover his genitals), Susan wears cleavage-revealing outfits, and someone remarks on one superhero's elongated body parts. The film also includes a couple of multi-car crashes occur, several injuries that draw blood, and a scene where the police shoot at the Thing (bullets bounce off him).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13 year old Written byohya August 15, 2010
not enough action
Adult Written byCrazy Chel April 9, 2008

Good start for the Fantastic Four

I know little of the Fantastic Four's background but I enjoyed this movie. My husband and I have agreed to let our kids (ages 2-10) see it since there was... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written by[email protected] April 9, 2008

cool

this movie is cool i have only mr.doom i saw him on charmed. but the movie was cool.
Kid, 12 years old March 19, 2017

A great movie for kids.

I saw a lot of consumerism in this movie, it would take me forever to label them all. There was quite a lot of violence, but above all, it's a fantastic mo... Continue reading

What's the story?

In this film version of the Marvel comic FANTASTIC FOUR, egotistical Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon) finances a mission into outer space in which four of his employees are zapped by a radioactive cloud that alters their DNA according to their sense of self. Romantically wishy-washy Reed (Ioan Gruffudd) turns elastic, his feeling-ignored girlfriend Susan (Jessica Alba) turns invisible, her hotheaded brother Johnny (Chris Evans) becomes the "human torch," and Reed's best friend and enforcer, Ben (Michael Chiklis), gets stony. Von Doom is also zapped, and his body slowly changes to a human-metallic alloy. When he loses control of his billion-dollar corporation, he decides to take his revenge on The Fantastic Four. He sets out to eliminate them one by one, beginning, so he thinks, with the emotionally insecure and physically unstoppable Ben.

Is it any good?

This unevenly paced, disjointed comic book movie, lacks emotional focus, but then again, maybe that's the point -- it's a campy comic book movie. Fantastic Four offers a series of "origin story" scenes, in which the four heroes' individual interests and anxieties are established, with much attention to movie and product franchising.

While it should be accelerating with spiffy action and smart repartee, Tim Story's movie becomes increasingly incoherent. The Four fight amongst themselves and take off for separate adventures, occasionally coming together for unbelievably convenient collisions. Ben's story is the most compelling, while the others' issues become repetitive. The film also includes its share of logical inconsistencies, as well as overly familiar and underdeveloped themes.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how superpowers change the characters' lives in Fantastic Four, as they must decide how to use them, for public good, for personal gain, or to settle personal grudges. How are anxieties, competitions, and quarrels exacerbated by these changes?

  • How is Susan's situation different from the men's, as she feels the need to mediate their arguments?

  • How do the four friends learn to appreciate their differences as well as their similar situations, as "freaks," celebrities, and heroes?

  • What is the appeal of superhero movies? How does this one compare?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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