A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Jurassic World is more violent and terrifying than the original Jurassic Park. Since the titular theme park is actually open and filled with visitors, the ensuing body count when the dinos run amok is much higher than in the previous films (including some major supporting characters), and there are many intense scenes of sustained terror, suspense, and peril (including kids in danger). People are eaten, torn to shreds, trampled, and severely injured. Language is infrequent (occasional use of "s--t" and "damn"), and there are a couple of kisses and suggestive remarks. And you can expect a lot of overt product placement -- from Coca-Cola, Apple, and Mercedes to Jeep, Beats, Verizon, and more. Mature tweens and teens who are fans of suspense/action (and still fond of dinosaurs) will be thrilled -- just make sure they can handle the truly jump-worthy scares.
What's the story?
At the start of JURASSIC WORLD, a mom (Judy Greer) sends her two sons -- teen Zach (Nick Robinson) and tween Gray (Ty Simpkins) -- to visit their Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), an executive at JURASSIC WORLD, the exclusive dinosaur theme park off the coast of Costa Rica. As the boys enjoy their VIP experience, Claire deals with an escalating set of emergencies surrounding the park's newest "asset," a huge hybrid dino dubbed Indominus Rex. Jurassic World owner Masrani (Irrfan Khan) asks Claire to bring in security consultant/velociraptor wrangler Owen (Chris Pratt) to inspect the Indominus; things suddenly spiral out of control when the angry, isolated beast breaks loose and wreaks havoc, killing every dinosaur and person in its way. Owen and Claire must team up to rescue her nephews and take down the Indominus as quickly as possible.
Is it any good?
Jurassic World may not meet the expectations set by Steven Spielberg's original, but it does surpass the underwhelming sequels. And it has enough visual thrills, humor, and memorable performances to make for a fun (if occasionally terrifying) franchise reboot. Director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) smartly doesn't try to mimic Spielberg, but he does stay true to the master's ability to make the movie's moments of suspense even more terrifying than the actual people-eating. Pratt plays Owen like Star Lord mixed with a Navy SEAL -- funny, clever, courageous. His chemistry with Howard's Claire is breezy and full of banter (and not nearly as sexist as some critics were worried about).
This is definitely a big-budget blockbuster: It's loud, thrilling, and full of intense sequences that will make viewers jump -- or possibly cower, depending on their age. Indominus is a mean, scary, killing machine, and the devastation she leaves in her wake makes the original movie's death toll look positively tame by comparison. The boys are both accomplished young actors, and they poignantly and realistically portray kids who are alternately impulsive, courageous, and frightened out of their minds. It's not groundbreaking in the same way Jurassic Park was, but if you're looking for heart-quickening fun, Jurassic World clearly delivers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the amount of violence in Jurassic World. How does it compare to what you expected? Did some of the scenes of violence affect you more than others? Why? What's the impact of media violence on kids?
What makes Jurassic World scary? What's the difference between horror and suspense? Which has more impact on you, and why? When are kids ready for horror movies?
How does Jurassic World compare to the other films in the Jurassic Park franchise? Do you think it's a good franchise reboot? Have movies become more violent over the years?
Do you think there should be a sequel? What elements of the story were left open-ended?
- In theaters: June 12, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: October 20, 2015
- Cast: Chris Pratt, Judy Greer, Bryce Dallas Howard
- Director: Colin Trevorrow
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Dinosaurs
- Run time: 124 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril
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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.