A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Promotes teamwork and trusting young people to rise to the occasion and believe in their work.
Positive Role Models
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Loaded looks and some flirting, but no actual romance or sex.
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A few uses of "s--t," "bulls--t," "holy s--t," "ass," "d--k," "damn," "goddamn," etc.
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
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.