Fantastic Four (2015)

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Fantastic Four (2015) Movie Poster Image
Disappointing adventure wastes talented cast, gets bloody.
  • PG-13
  • 2015
  • 106 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 39 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Promotes teamwork and trusting young people to rise to the occasion and believe in their work.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Fantastic Four have their flaws, but they all work together to defeat the villain who's trying to destroy Earth. They also try to reason with him, but he won't listen.

Violence

The villain kills dozens of people, some of them in a graphic manner, with blood splattering on the wall or heads exploding. Characters are killed in all sorts of ways. The Thing is used as a military weapon and has dozens of confirmed kills attributed to him. The transformation scene is intense, and one character is presumably killed. A guy beats up his little brother until his mother intervenes and starts hitting him. Explosive sci-fi action violence.

Sex

Loaded looks and some flirting, but no actual romance or sex.

Language

A few uses of "s--t," "bulls--t," "holy s--t," "ass," "d--k," "damn," "goddamn," etc.

Consumerism

Labels/brands seen include BMW, Mercedes, Samsung, Dr. Pepper, Crush, and Lego. Tie-in merchandise/promotions outside the movie.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The guys, who are all presumably around 18, drink a lot and make unwise decisions as a result.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fantastic Four (2015) is the latest take on the popular Marvel comic book, coming about 10 years after the last FF adaptation. Unlike the previous version, this one features a much younger version of the heroes and stars four actors with lots of teen appeal: Miles Teller as Reed Richards, Kate Mara as Sue Storm, Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, and Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm. Things get explosive, but there's a bit less violence than in many other Marvel-based adaptations -- until the very end, when there are multiple deaths, some of them fairly gory (the villain makes heads explode, shoots people, and otherwise kills and injures people, almost solely with his mind). The heroes' transformation scene is also intense, and The Thing is used as a military weapon, killing dozens. Strong language is occasional and includes "s--t," "ass," "damn," and the like, and while there's some (presumably) underage drinking, for once there's virtually no romance beyond a few flirtatious remarks and longing looks. The four main characters work together, sending messages of teamwork and trust.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byChris_Feher April 26, 2020

Not So Fantastic

I am a huge F4 fan. I've read a lot of the comics and have seen most of the movies and shows too. So I feel very entitled to criticize the heck out of this... Continue reading
Adult Written byCriticus March 30, 2019

NOT Fantastic OR Marvellous.

I didn't take particular interest in the MCU at the time of Fant4stic's release, but I know that if I had, I'd have been shocked and embarrassed... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bySamtho February 22, 2017

Waste of a talented cast.

Honestly, do not bother with this embarrassment to marvel. However if you have a child with a deep desire to watch this movie read on. The movies violence is qu... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bygranth August 11, 2015

Different from 2005,only a fraction will enjoy

This is a slightly darker reboot from the 2005 Fantastic four. Although there are some similarities, there are many differences. Negative reviews say this sucks... Continue reading

What's the story?

FANTASTIC FOUR (2015) provides the origin story of a younger version of the comics' quartet of superheroes. High-school seniors/best friends Reed Richards (Miles Teller), a science prodigy, and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) have been working on a teleporter since fifth grade. At their local science fair, Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) is so impressed with Reed's homemade device that he offers Reed a full scholarship to join the Baxter Institute in Manhattan, where Storm's team is working on a related device. Reed joins the team, working with fellow scientists Victor Van Doom (Toby Kebbell) and Storm's children, patterns-expert Sue (Kate Mara) and gearhead Johnny (Michael B. Jordan). But once they're done with the machine, the guys, including Ben, take a drunken maiden voyage to another dimension, where things go awry, and the crew returns forever changed (Sue can become invisible, Reed can stretch his body in limitless ways, Johnny can set himself on fire, and Ben turns into a huge rock creature).

Is it any good?

Josh Trank, who wrote and directed the clever Chronicle, has failed in his mission to jumpstart the Fantastic Four. It drags and lacks the charming banter and visual thrills that the Marvel-verse is known to provide. So much of the movie is spent on the set up and exposition, but the character development is thin and the dialogue lacking the snappy humor and relationship drama necessary for these ensemble superhero stories to shine. All of the leads are extremely talented (Teller and Jordan, in particular, are two of the best twentysomething actors in Hollywood), but they're wasted in this slow, boring redo that doesn't much improve on the lackluster '05 version.

Even when the villain (it's no spoiler to say it's Doom) finally emerges and the showdown begins, it's not like Doom has a real motivation to do what he does; he's just, well, there, underwhelming as he gorily kills his enemies (and civilians) with his telekinetic powers. By the time Reed convinces the Storm siblings and Ben (aka The Thing) to band together with the eye-rolling platitude, "he's stronger than any one of us, but he's not stronger than all of us together," audiences will be more than ready to go. Perhaps Trank figures he can sort out the character relationships and pacing issues in the sequels, but the franchise will need a new direction to propel it into a faster, more exciting gear.

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