Parents' Guide to

Godzilla Minus One

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Exciting, emotional kaiju tale has deaths, mass destruction.

Movie PG-13 2023 125 minutes
Godzilla Minus One Movie Poster: Against a white background is a large, calligraphic "G"; inside it is Godzilla

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 11+

age 12+

Excellent Godzilla movie highlights the impact of war and importance of found family

Truly excellent Godzilla movie, with emotional performances. Incredible design of Godzilla, a truly terrifying monster that fulfills it's purpose as the monster in the movie. Godzilla scenes are breathtaking and thrilling. Themes of loss, coping with the trauma of war, and found family. Strong, inspiring female characters. Characters in situations with danger are adults. A child does experience loss although she's very young and can't really understand. Lots of shooting guns, bombs, as expected for a Godzilla movie. One scene where a male character knocks another unconscious, and later when he awakens punches him several times due to a misunderstanding but it's pretty brief. Discussions of kamikaze pilots are pretty prominent so be ready to explain that if kids ask. The movie can be a starting point for discussions about WWII and also generally about how war impacts people long after the conflict ends. Themes of redemption and love. Very worthwhile not just for the action but also the characters and script.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (5 ):

This great-looking, exciting, surprisingly emotional movie gets its power by setting the action in post-WWII Japan, tapping into both heart-rending despair and newfound hope. Most of the 36 Godzilla movies made before this one was released were either somewhat cheesy, or, in the case of the American versions, overly bombastic. But Godzilla Minus One manages to find an appealing new tone. Director Takashi Yamazaki's handling of the kaiju action is skillful and smooth -- and sometimes deeply affecting; Godzilla's leveling of the city with his atomic blast is truly shocking.

The movie has startlingly good visual effects -- Godzilla's first appearance on a dark beach, suddenly illuminated by a spotlight, is a heart-stopper -- but the focus is squarely on the characters. It's a simple distinction, given that, historically, these movies' main goal has been to deliver an ecological message. But by settling Godzilla Minus One on themes of guilt and cowardice, as well as friendship and kindness, viewers may feel more invested in the action. Yamazaki handles things with an open-hearted quality but never lets anything get too soapy or hysterical. Even Sumiko (Sakura Ando), the neighbor in Tokyo who initially comes on strong, attacking Shikishima for his failures, settles into a more nuanced character. This sense of compassion makes Godzilla Minus One easily one of the best of the series and definitely on par with the original 1954 classic.

Movie Details

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