Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Luther Movie Poster Image
Sober historical drama tells valuable tale with some death.
  • PG-13
  • 2004
  • 124 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Martin Luther almost died for his beliefs, defying the Pope and the Catholic church, which he believed had become too focused on material wealth. He urges people to get back to the basic meaning of faith and to follow the original teachings of Jesus Christ, whose most fundamental message was simply to be a good person. It's a basic message that was deemed heretical and dangerous by the well-entrenched church hierarchy, and is still relevant today.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Martin Luther risks his life to stand up to the most powerful people in Europe, trying to expose hypocrisy and corruption. He almost dies, but instead he triggers some of the most important social changes of the Renaissance.


Several scenes include potentially disturbing images, including people who have been hanged, burned at the stake, or dismembered in battle.


Occasional references to men consorting with prostitutes, including priests. Martin Luther is shown kissing his bride as they relax in bed together.


"Damn" is heard often.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some scenes show people drinking wine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Luther is a historical biopic with a few gruesome images of corpses who have been hanged, burned, or dies in battle. The story of Martin Luther, the Catholic priest who stood up to the Pope and the church hierarchy in the 1500s and was nearly killed for his beliefs, is dramatized, but it does cover most of the important events in his life, and explains the impact of his ideas, which triggered the Protestant Reformation. For the most part, the film is fine for younger viewers, and explains important religious concepts.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byThe_Rater March 28, 2020

Good Movie!

A great movie, showing how in the early 16th century, idealistic German monk Martin Luther, disgusted by the materialism in the Roman Catholic church, begins th... Continue reading
Adult Written byWdfrancavilla April 15, 2019

Entertaining and informative

This is a great movie and can be used to teach your kids about the Protestant reformation. There might be two curse words, some mild violence, and there is on... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byhonnerlaw October 12, 2018

A very good movie for teaching about the Protestant Reformation

Its a wonderful lesson for young teens to see what happens to Martin Luther and how he spoke out against how the Roman Catholics taught about God.

What's the story?

In the sixteenth century, a German priest named Martin Luther (Joseph Fiennes) becomes increasingly disillusioned with the Catholic church, which he believes has become too concerned with material wealth and is drifting far from the original message of Jesus. His controversial views rouse the ire of the Pope and church hierarchy in Rome, and he's branded a heretic and later excommunicated. LUTHER shows what he risks by standing up for what he believes and follows the evolution of his ideas, as well as how those ideas transformed the world.

Is it any good?

Luther, the historical figure, was incredibly strong to stand up the church, even upon pain of death; Luther, the biopic, however, is less vivid and compelling. The film does a good job of explaining how his views evolved, but it feels less like a drama and more like a history lesson.

Fiennes is a fine actor who captures his character's conflicts. But the script is more like a series of vignettes -- each episode focused on an important event in Luther's life -- that don't hold together as a connected tale. It's preachy rather than exciting, and feels like a movie someone might watch for school, rather than a title to sink into for entertainment.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about people who made a difference in history. What do you think about the life of Martin Luther? How were his ideas different from the status quo? Who else has taken a stand and changed history?

  • Would you stand up to authority for something you believed in, as Luther did? What would be the challenges to doing this? What kind of cause would make you take something on despite the difficulty?

  • How much of what is in this movie is factual? How can you find out?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love history

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

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

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate