A magical adventure for kids and adults.
As a Harry Potter fan, I have had quite a few parents ask me whether or not their kids are old enough to watch the movies. It's not an easy question to answer because every kid is different, and so is every Harry Potter movie. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is the first movie in the series, and it was definitely made with kids in mind. Not all of the movies are as light-hearted and tame as this one. There is still some PG-level violence and a few frightening images that might scare really young children, but I'd say that once your kids are between the ages of six and eight, depending on the kid, you have nothing to worry about as a parent. There are only a couple of intense scenes, none of which are very graphic. Most of this movie is filled with fun, friendship, and magic. Really young kids probably would not follow along with the plot anyway. There is no sex or nudity in this film, not even a kiss. A married couple is shown sleeping in bed together once, and that's as romantic as this Harry Potter movie gets. There is some violence towards the end, but like I said, nothing very graphic. Harry, Ron, and Hermione go through a series of obstacles that might be a bit intense and suspenseful, but they are pretty tame up until the last obstacle. During the last obstacle, the three friends play a game of chess with life-size pieces. They pieces smash each other, and the kids receive some scrapes and cuts, but there is minimal blood shown. Ron falls from one of the chess pieces and passes out but he doesn't look hurt. Towards the end of the film, Harry confronts the villain. This is probably the scariest part of the movie because the villain removes his turban and reveals a second face in the back of his head, but because this movie was made in the early 2000's, the special effects are not all that frightening. Some kids might even find this a bit comedic. Harry displays bravery throughout the scene. Their encounter lasts for about five minutes, and I would say that it doesn't get violent until the last minute. The villain tries to choke Harry for a brief moment (barely shown on camera), but Harry quickly fights back and is able to turn the villain to ash, which again, doesn't look all that graphic considering the older special effects. Harry faints when a ghostly figure flies through him at the end of the scene, but then he is shown safe and awake moments later in the hospital wing. Leading up to the ending, there are a few other scenes that some might call intense, but none of them are necessarily violent or frightening. There is a scene in a dark forest that is a bit eerie when a cloaked figure walks towards Harry after bending over a dead animal (not seen on camera) but he is scared off quickly. This scene is short. The kids also play a sports game on broomsticks called Quidditch. They have a few near misses and spills, but kids will mostly find this exciting. Harry, Ron, and Hermione encounter a troll, but again, not violent, and meant to be exciting. The troll does not look grotesque, but kind of funny. Some scenes have suspenseful music and darker lighting to create a feeling of "what's going to happen?" such as when Harry sneaks into the library, or when the three friends encounter a giant dog, but usually the music is more eerie than what actually occurs. The director and actors did a wonderful job including all of the intense scenes from the book but taming them down and only showing minimal blood and gore. There is no real profanity here. Kids argue and call each other a few names, but mostly, the friends encourage one another and are good role models. Ron uses the term, "Bloody Hell!" a few times when he is surprised. There is a pub shown in the film with a few adult wizards who responsibly drink. A few of them smoke, but this is so brief that some kids won't even notice. A man mentions going to a pub with some shady characters but does not share details. This will go right over a kid's head. I disagree with Common Sense Media when they say that this movie has no educational value. The messages in this movie as well as the other Harry Potter movies are relevant and inspirational. In The Sorcerer's Stone, kids can learn the value of teamwork and friendship. It also teaches kids to stand up for what is right, not only against bullies, but against friends as well. There are many good role models, children and adults, most of whom use good judgement and intuition to overcome obstacles, even if it means breaking a rule or two. The kids in this movie are excellent main characters, because all of them are under-dogs. None of them start off brave, but grow stronger over time. I would highly recommend the entire Harry Potter series to families because the movies (and books!) can be enjoyed by kids and adults. Both will appreciate the series in a different way. The Harry Potter movies so get darker and more violent as they progress, but the first few, especially Sorcerer's Stone, are good to start with!
This title contains:
Positive role models
Violence & scariness