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Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Prometheus Movie Poster Image
New Alien movie has strong themes, violence.
  • R
  • 2012
  • 124 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 19 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 80 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The movie asks all kinds of big questions. Who created us? Who created the creator? What's the difference between creating and destroying? Some of the answers are rather cynical, but others illustrate the general hope, empathy, sacrifice, and goodwill of human beings.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most of the characters are deeply flawed -- thinking selfishly, drinking, or engaging in casual sex. They seem rather short-sighted at times, failing to consider long-term consequences. But many of them are also strong, brave, and smart, and some of the strongest characters are the women.


Gory monster violence, with blood and dead humans. In the most harrowing sequence, a woman finds that she has an alien fetus inside her, and she climbs into a medical chamber for emergency surgery. The bloody "baby" alien is removed from her via a very bloody C-section, and she's stitched back up again. In another sequence, characters are brutally attacked by an alien that eventually crawls inside one's body. Otherwise, an alien head explodes, an infected human is set on fire (alien bodies are also burned), a creature breaks a man's arm, and there's general fighting and chaos, including guns/shooting, and flamethrowers. Also, a little girl talks about death with her father. Aliens' bodies mutate and dissolve in a somewhat graphic fashion when they drink a particular substance.


No nudity, but a man and a woman are shown beginning to have sex in their quarters. They kiss and start to remove their clothing. Later, a man and a woman agree to have sex, but it's not shown. A female character is shown to be pregnant with an alien and is seen running around in just underwear.


"F--k" is used once, as well as several uses of "s--t." Other words include "bastard," "piss," "hell," "damn," "son of a bitch," "laid," "bugger," and "goddamn," plus "oh my God" and "Jesus Christ."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character gets very drunk as a response to bad news. Many of the characters are shown drinking hard liquor (vodka, whisky, etc.) socially at some point. One character smokes a cigar; in another scene, a character smokes an unidentified substance that makes him loopy/happy. Another takes necessary injections of painkillers.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Prometheus is a science fiction/horror movie that's somewhat related to director Ridley Scott's original Alien; it's not as creepy as that film, but it often feels more harrowing and intense. There's some intense monster violence -- mainly attacks, with humans getting torn open or burned. There's also blood and many dead bodies, plus guns, shooting, and flamethrowers. Characters are shown in the beginning stages of sex, and other characters talk about sex. Language is fairly strong, including one use of "f--k," several "s--t"s, and other words. Adult characters are shown drinking socially (or smoking cigars), and one is shown drinking too much.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bythedad319 June 16, 2012

It Was Great

prometheus was a great movie. i saw it with my 6 yr old son in 3D and i was a little worried about the rating. but compared to like, all the other aliens, its n... Continue reading
Adult Written byfriedch1cken June 9, 2012

Impressive watch

This is not a horror film. Anybody expecting to be scared will probably be disappointed that there are only a few scenes that might make you jump. The sex &... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written by295898 June 9, 2012

AWESOME! 10 year olds and up

This movie is way appropriate. 10 and up year olds would love it. violence seems pretty bad, but it really isn't. the only part where i was shaky was the f... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old June 8, 2012


This was an amazing movie. I went to the 3D midnight and was thoroughly impressed. The 3D really added to the map scenes. This wasn't really scary or gory,... Continue reading

What's the story?

PROMETHEUS begins in Scotland in the future, where two scientists (Noomi Rapace and Logan Marshall-Green) discover a celestial pattern in a cave drawing and match it to similar patterns from all over the world. After pinpointing the pattern's deep space source, a discovery mission is launched in the year 2093 to find it. A crew of 17 is on board, including laid-back captain Janek (Idris Elba) and icy, nasty Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), whose company funded the mission. Also on board is an android, David (Michael Fassbender), who may know more about the mission than he lets on. The scientists hope to meet the aliens that they believe "created" the human race, but unfortunately, a more sinister discovery awaits.

Is it any good?

This an intense, fairly riveting story. Director Ridley Scott has made many high-profile movies, including an Oscar-winner (Gladiator), but he's still best loved for his two sci-fi classics, Alien and Blade Runner. They had a kind of patience and a way with atmosphere that his later films lack. With Prometheus, Scott returns to sci-fi and to that same kind of thoughtful filmmaking -- at least for the first three-quarters of the movie.

For a long time, Scott uses impressive visuals to wrestle with big themes like creation and destruction. He draws parallels between characters and situations, creates emotional responses to big ideas, and does all the things a great movie is supposed to do. But as Prometheus approaches its final stretch, Scott appears to abandon all this stuff in favor of defining and labeling the film for the fans. This lack of trust and lack of care ultimately betrays an otherwise almost-great movie.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Prometheus' violence. How does it relate to the creating/destroying themes? Is any of the violence gratuitous, or is it necessary to the story?

  • Is the movie scary? Are the actions scarier than the ideas? Is the movie scarier or less scary than the previous Alien movies?

  • How strong is our impulse to create? Is it stronger than our impulse to destroy?

Movie details

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