Mad Max: Fury Road

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Mad Max: Fury Road Movie Poster Image
Postapocalyptic action is excellent but extremely violent.
  • R
  • 2015
  • 120 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 33 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 86 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Selfishness and resource hoarding are clearly seen as "bad guy" behavior, while sharing and altruism are valued. Amid the violent action chaos, very different people learn to work together to achieve a common goal.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Heroic characters learn to work together toward a common good, but their methods are questionable, and there's a lot of violence without consequences. Furiosa is a strong, independent, driven female character who hopes to free her fellow females from breeding slavery.

Violence

Intense, constant violence of all kinds, including against women. Characters die in explosions and car crashes and are shot and stabbed with arrows. A pregnant woman dies; the dead baby is cut from her womb (mostly off screen). Fighting, chasing. Nightmare sequences/flashbacks. Disturbing images. Diseased flesh. Blood transfusions.

Sex

Several young "wives" are seen as sex symbols, wearing skimpy clothing and shown washing. A naked woman is used as bait; her bottom is shown. Several wet nurses are shown having their breasts pumped for milk; they're covered by machinery.

Language

No strong language is clearly heard, but much of the dialogue is obscured by the thundering sound effects.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Warriors inhale paint fumes; the intended purpose isn't specified, but it could be interpreted as a way to get high.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mad Max: Fury Road -- the fourth film in the Mad Max series and the first in decades -- is a reboot of sorts, with Tom Hardy taking over for Mel Gibson in the title role. It's extremely violent, with nonstop chase scenes, explosions, deaths, blood, shooting, and stabbing, as well as violence against women (including a bloody scene involving a pregnant woman), nightmarish flashbacks, diseased flesh, and other disturbing imagery. Several imprisoned women are attached to machines that pump their breast milk, and some of the female characters (some of whom are played by supermodels) are treated as sexual objects, shown wearing skimpy clothing while washing. One woman is naked, but viewers only see her behind. No strong language is clearly heard, but much of the dialogue is obscured by the thundering sound effects. Drinking, drugs, and smoking aren't issues. Even though this franchise hasn't had a new entry in more than a generation, it's likely that strong buzz will attract all kinds of teen moviegoers.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bytom thatcher May 25, 2015

really fun

honestly. i let my 10 year old see it and he had the time of his life! he loved it so much! all the violence is all cheezy so i dont think there is any risk in... Continue reading
Adult Written bydavyborn May 15, 2015

Post-Apocalyptic Blockbuster is one brutal ride.

George Miller is back, after spending most of the last twenty years devoted to family entertainment, such as Babe: Pig in the City, Happy Feet, and Happy Feet 2... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old June 12, 2015

Not very violent and very overrated.

I have to say this was a great movie, even when I had never seen a Mad Max movie before. It is NOT as violent as people say it is. Most violence is of screen al... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bysomething_nice May 25, 2015

It's actually pretty tame.

I think it really just depends on the child in question. I'm 14 and this is one of the first R-rated movies my parents have let me watch. None of the viole... Continue reading

What's the story?

In a post-apocalyptic future, the evil Immortan Joe rules the land by controlling water and gasoline. His trusted soldier, Furiosa (Charlize Theron), heads out for a routine supply run then suddenly goes east; it turns out she has betrayed him by rescuing several of Joe's wives, whom he keeps for breeding purposes. Meanwhile, Max (Tom Hardy), who has been taken prisoner, escapes and finds that Furiosa's battle-ready truck is his only means of escape. He soon joins her cause, and another of Joe's men, the disillusioned Nux (Nicholas Hoult), also helps. Reaching Furiosa's homeland reveals that the chase still isn't over; the band of heroes must go straight back into the lion's den.

Is it any good?

The sheer, limitless invention behind this movie's exhilarating, preposterous chase scenes highlights action filmmaking at its finest. Amid the roar of the speeding machines, though, director George Miller also plays with subtler themes. As in his 1987 comedy The Witches of Eastwick, Miller seems interested in women and motherhood, but in an unusual way (as in the scene in which Max uses mother's milk to wash blood from his face).

Perhaps the movie's key theme stems from the way that Max seems even madder this time around, hearing victims' voices in his head. In MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, violence is ultimately linked to madness. It's amazing that Miller has been in charge of the Mad Max series for so many decades, but it's telling that he's also behind the Babe and Happy Feet movies. As the maker of such open-hearted family movies, he seems to possess a much larger, more empathetic worldview than most other filmmakers doling out action for action's sake.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Mad Max: Fury Road's violence. With so much destruction, what does the movie seem to say about violence in general? Is it thrilling, or is some of it shocking and unpleasant? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • How are women treated in the movie? Do the young women seem like sex objects, or do they become interesting characters? What role does Furiosa play? How does her character compare to other female action heroes you've seen?

  • What's the appeal of the Mad Max character? What do we know about him? Can we place ourselves in his shoes? Is he a role model? A mystery?

  • What's the appeal of the post-apocalyptic genre? What do these movies try to teach us about the way we live today?

Movie details

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