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 13+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 37 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byvishnumurali123 August 13, 2015

Boring, Stupid, and Bloody

I think this should be a bit longer movie, and then we can say its a good rating, but things get pretty bloody towards the end. A guys head blows up, u can see... Continue reading
Parent of a 9 and 15 year old Written byMeowstiic T. December 17, 2017

Some Weird Stuff Here

This is not like many Marvel movies. It is bloody, questionable, and weird. Definitely not just for an average kid. Blood splattering against a helmet. The usua... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old August 7, 2015

Awesomely entertaining,interesting,cool sci-fi epic is bloody.

This sci-fi action movie fallows Reed, when Reed was a kid he wanted to be the first person to teleport an option and teleport it back with the help of his frie... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byJimmy Brew August 8, 2015

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love superheroes

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate