Parents' Guide to

Mankind: The Story of All of Us

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Human species series is informative, dramatic, violent.

Movie NR 2012 552 minutes
Mankind: The Story of All of Us Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+


This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
age 12+

Very focused on War

We've only watched the first disc in the series, but it seems rather sensational and overly focused on war. Not that war isn't a big part of history, but even inventions and discoveries are presented in a framework of war. The depictions of battle are constant and unnecessary and several of elements like farming and democracy are glossed over with battles. It does go through several pivotal moments in history and so may be worth watching. I am having to watch often and talk often about the why we think they focus so much on war and why it seems so sensational and how they could have made the movie better.

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (4):

Mankind is an informative, in-depth documentary series. It shows how the human race has managed to survive harsh elements, predatory animals, disease, and each other, through invention, creativity, and by taking risks. The series also highlights how small activities that we take for granted today, such as heating our food and writing, are the same acts that literally transformed the human species, and contributed to the rise of human civilization billions of years ago.

History buffs will enjoy Mankind, but some folks might be put off by many of the violent reenactments featured here, even if they are being shown in context. Meanwhile, some of the scientific and sociological explanations about things like the original source of human DNA and the rise of religions may directly conflict with some viewers' personal belief systems. Nonetheless, it's a well-researched, and entertainingly dramatic discussion about humanity, and what we, as a species, have actively done over the centuries to survive.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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