King Kong (2005)



Boisterous, spectacular remake of 1933 classic.
Popular with kidsParents recommend
  • Review Date: March 26, 2006
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 187 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Filmmaker is crass and greedy; military is brutal; King Kong means well.


King Kong fights dinosaurs; dinosaurs stomp and eat people; King Kong bites a person's head off, tosses bodies (including young women) fecklessly; giant bugs attack humans; in NYC, military shoots Kong off ESB.


Couple kisses; Ann runs around in her slip on Skull Island. Reference to "boobies."


Mild cursing.


Neon signs in Times Square advertise '30s products (Chevrolet, Coca Cola, Pepsodent).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Denham drinks from flask, crewmen smoke cigarettes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the movie includes numerous violent scenes that may be frightening for younger viewers and some action pushing the PG-13 edge. Specifically, humans are attacked on the island by giant bugs, bats, and dinosaurs in sustained, pounding action scenes. Kong shifts from scary (chest-pounding and roaring) to sympathetic; he's attacked brutally by men in tanks and planes, shooting guns. Characters drink and smoke cigarettes; Ann wears a slip through most of her adventures on the island. Most troubling is the depiction of the black island natives, who appear as nightmarish, surreal images, chanting and shaking when they sacrifice Ann to Kong. The showbiz version of this scene (recreated in New York) uses blackface performers.

What's the story?

Barely surviving the Depression in NYC, Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) loses her vaudeville job just when film producer Carl Denham (Jack Black) is seeking a leading lady for his new film project, to be shot on "unknown" Skull Island. Denham and crew set out on a ship; also onboard is earnest playwright Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody), who starts a romantic relationship with Ann. On Skull Island, they encounter violent natives and a land that time forgot filled with dinosaurs and other enormous beasts. The natives kidnap Ann and present her as sacrifice to the giant ape Kong, who falls for the diminutive beauty. Kong's weakness for Ann results in his being trapped by showman Darrow, who brings him to New York City to appear in a sideshow the likes of which have never been seen.

Is it any good?


In KING KONG, the relationship between Ann and the giant ape is everything. The men around her adore her and even indulge in heroics to save her, but none is so compelling a personality as the gigantic gorilla who comes to love her. Like the 1933 original film, Jackson's adaptation examines the excesses and vagaries of show business. What sets Jackson's movie apart from its predecessor is its characterization of Ann as courageous and her insight when she is grateful for Kong's protection. In this version, it's not "beauty that kills the beast," but greed, meanness, and fear that destroy his admirable "nature" and emblematic manhood.

While the movie demonizes the black natives who throw back their heads and chant during their ritual to sacrifice Ann to Kong, it also offers a complication in the ship's courageous, sensible, and black first mate, Hayes (Evan Parke). It's telling that Hayes does not see the reenactment of the tribal ritual as Denham's stage show, populated by performers in overtly offensive blackface. If this scene illustrates the movie's awareness of the problem (the crude translation of blackness by a white "producer"), it's not quite a resolution. Neither is the relationship between Ann and Kong, though she tries mightily to do right.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the relationship between Ann and Kong. How does their mutual affection extend beyond person and pet, to something more complicated? How does Denham's exploitation of Kong parallel his exploitation of people? How do the military attacks make Kong increasingly sympathetic (even an underdog, out of place in the city), as he tries to protect Ann and then she tries to protect him? How do the blackface performers serve as commentary on mainstream fear of the "unknown"?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 14, 2005
DVD release date:March 28, 2006
Cast:Adrien Brody, Jack Black, Naomi Watts
Director:Peter Jackson
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:187 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:frightening adventure violence and some disturbing images.

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 9 year old Written bylovedthehangover October 24, 2009

Perfect For 9 And 10 Year Olds

Love It And My Kid Loved It
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Teen, 16 years old Written byAshinthehouse August 5, 2011


o my god where do i start the movie is way too long, and kind of stupid, its really viloget and scary i get scared easy but still i didnt thnik it was supposed to be a horror movie, besides for the vilogence, theirs some sexaul innudeo not too bad, and some language nothing a pg 13 doesnt have, and some drinking and smoking.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byGuyofMan March 29, 2010
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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