Lord of the Flies Movie Poster Image

Lord of the Flies



Book-based classic can be scary and troubling in places.
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1963
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The boys' society crumbles into a brutal, competitive struggle to survive.


Some brutal scenes.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie based on the classic novel has some very scary moments, and the overall theme may be particular troubling for some kids.

What's the story?

Based on William Golding's award-winning allegorical novel, LORD OF THE FLIES is the story of a group of English schoolboys marooned on a remote island. At first, they operate according to the structure they're used to ("Let's make a lot of rules!" shouts one of the boys). Ralph, thoughtful and democratic, is selected as their leader. He plans for the long term, keeping a signal fire going. But when no one comes to rescue them, civilization slips further and further away. Jack and his "hunters" take over, becoming more and more savage. They paint themselves and make sacrifices to a mythical "beast," first the heads of the animals they kill for food, and then one of the boys, killed in a wild ceremonial dance. They murder Ralph's last follower, a chubby boy called "Piggy," and they are chasing murderously after Ralph when they are found by rescuers.

Is it any good?


The movie has some very scary moments, and the overall theme may be particularly troubling for some kids. But it's more kid-friendly than the 1990 remake, which updates the story with a contemporary setting and changes the boys' nationality to American. Dark and sometimes gory, it has some power, but it's not as good as the original. Teenagers should read the source book by Nobel Prize winner Golding.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages. What points is it making about humanity and our basic nature? If you were in the boys' position, do you think you would be able to maintain the current laws of society? Families who've read the book the movie is based on can compare the two. Which do you like better, and why?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 13, 1963
DVD/Streaming release date:January 18, 2000
Cast:Hugh Edwards, James Aubrey, Tom Chapin
Director:Peter Brook
Studio:Continental Distributing
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Lord of the Flies was written by

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


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Plotting and scheming in paradise for $1,000,000.
  • Powerful, brutal, and mature drama is emotionally intense.
  • Mesmerizing, tragic, and intense bio meant for discussion.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byAshnak April 9, 2008

Really Good Adventure Drama

Great Book; Really Good Movie
Kid, 11 years old September 10, 2012

pretty insane

i bet it could be rated pg-13 now and day's but ya they have brief language and they are in there underwere the secound half of the movie and they kill to pepole one was on acsident they tried to spear him to deth thinking he was an animal becuze it was dark out and the secounde deth was they rolled a boulder of a cliff on to a guys head pretty sad though so i suggest a really mature 11 12 and 13 year old's or 15+
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written bynerdgirl96 January 16, 2011

Just skip it (warning- spoiler alert)

The book was disturbing (and people think my reading list is disturbing, so I really mean it), and the movie was worse (quality wise). I wished I could stop about the point that they stuck a stick up a pig, then stuck its decapitated head on a stick. Which then rots and is surrounded by flies. (although none of it is as graphic in the movie-I'm actually mostly describing the events of William Golding's novel) Then, they kill two of the boys-one in a frenzied mob, and the other in cold blood for asking for his glasses, which he is essentially blind without. Then they proceed to burn the island to try to kill another boy. Yeah, it's really pleasant.
What other families should know
Too much violence


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?