Parents' Guide to

M*A*S*H* (1970)

By Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Rollicking, biting, satirical classic is so 1970.

Movie R 1970 116 minutes
M*A*S*H* (1970) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 14+

Great movie for teenagers and up, younger children should stick with the TV show that followed

I personally happen to love this movie and the television series that followed it. Many fans of the subsequent TV adaptation do not like or even know this movie because the actors are almost all entirely different and it has a different set of characters and comedy than the series did. The comedy here is much darker than the TV series was. The characters are indeed sexist bigots unlike their TV counterparts albeit they do have some good sides to them. I feel this film is acceptable for teenagers and up. If it were not for a prolonged sex scene between Hot Lips and Frank Burns (very little sex is seen mostly heard over a loudspeaker), or some of the violent operation scenes (in the TV series you didn't actually see them cut open any bodies but here everything is on display to see blood guts and all), this would easily be a PG-13 film today. It was the first major film to use the f-word however it is only said once towards the end. Younger children will not understand the dark humor and it isnt appropriate for them. The TV series would be a much better choice for their viewing. But for teenagers if they have an interest I think this is acceptable for 14 and up. I have listed the truly objectionable scenes that earned this film an R-rating. If you fast forward those scenes this is a very modest PG-13 at worst. It is a classic of American cinema definite essential viewing for any movie fan. Even if the series may have had some better performances and characters this is still very much a film worth seeing.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 13+

It's a great show for those who can handle war

If you can't handle war then you shouldn't watch this show, if you're a parent deciding if you should show it to your kid then watch the movie first and decide based on how your kid is. It is somewhat gruesome with a scene where a soldier is choking on his own blood while more is squirting out of his neck. I find that scene really great at portraying how awful war is. It talks about and shows a bit of suicide themes but nothing too bad. There is also swearing and some sex scenes but nothing I would worry about. It has a lot of adult themes and jokes but the overall message is pretty good. If you can't handle the movie then you're in luck, there is a show that lasts 11 seasons! The show is a lot better than the movie in my opinion and it has great role models and lessons in it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (2 ):

It's easy to see why this blockbuster film became such a great TV show. Its series of wacky antics – including the pseudo suicide of a well-endowed dentist and golfing in Japan -- resemble nothing so much as a series of TV shows. There's no plot other than undoing the rigidness on which the military depends.

While this is all fun, it's also likely to be offensive to many viewers. The extreme sexism and sexualization of the female nurses, the homophobic comments about a man who thinks he might be gay, and the condescending attitudes about people of color may be accurate for their time, but are likely to mar some people's enjoyment of the film.

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