Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Legendary silent sci-fi masterpiece has semi-nudity, riots.

Movie NR 2010 148 minutes
Metropolis Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 13+

A silent film classic for teens with patience

I recently watched Metropolis for the first time. It is regularly on lists of the best sci-fi films of all time. It is a futuristic (the year 2000) view of a society broken into the powerful who live and work in the skyscrapers, and the poor who toil in the underground working on machines that power the city above. It is very much about class differences and needing someone to bridge the gap between rich and poor. That “someone” is the son of the head of the City who falls in love with Maria, a woman who tells the underground workers about a “mediator” between the “head” (the city’s masters) and the “hands” (those who work underground). The images in the film are remarkable. I can see their reflection in many subsequent movies including Blade Runner. C3PO looks very close to the Man-Machine that plays a key part in the story. For those who enjoy sci-fi, they will see a lot here. So is it appropriate for kids? Surely any kid as young as 8 or 9 could follow it and there are no particularly objectionable scenes. There is a frankly weird scene of men leering at the Man-Machine who has taken on Maria’s form. There is also a flood that imperils many children, and one of the characters is burned at the stake. Still, it does not come across as frightening. The real questions are whether your kids will sit through a long, silent movie, how they will react to the speeded-up action scenes, and how they will respond to the sometimes overwrought acting. A child who is willing to watch it while appreciating that certain things will look different or appear odd is going to get a lot more out of it than someone who is likely to goof on it because certain things look strange. That’s why I think the age range is for younger teens and up. By the way, you want to find the version of the movie called The Complete Metropolis or Metropolis Restored. Earlier edits of the film apparently are missing important plot points.
age 15+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (3):

It may not be Lang's best film, but its power is undeniable. Metropolis is actually an atypical movie in the career of Fritz Lang, who was normally known for his crime films and dark themes of cruel fate. This film is much larger in scale and more hopeful than was usual for him. Yet there's no question that the visuals in Metropolis are among the greatest in movie history, and they do not fail to impress, even today. Certain shots and clips have become familiar to many, and newer sci-fi epics are inevitably compared to it.

But the story was always a problem; H.G. Wells wrote in 1927 that it was "the silliest film." In short, the rudimentary story never quite lived up to the spectacular images. That is, until 2010, when a "complete" (lacking only about 5 minutes) version was finally released, and the story achieved new depths and complexities, making it worthy of its packaging. Subplots add new parallels to the story, and the rhythms and pacing have grown more poetic.

Movie Details

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