A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Skyfall is a thrilling, entertaining, and -- as you'd expect -- frequently violent entry in the beloved James Bond franchise. While not as gritty/dark as star Daniel Craig's last two go-rounds (Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace), Skyfall has all of the ingredients that longtime Bond fans have come to count on: sex scenes that are suggestive but not explicit, frequent sexual repartee, guns, fights, big explosions, car chases, some cringe-inducing injuries and deaths, and constant peril. There's also some drinking and swearing (one "f--k," plus "s--t" and more) and some almost flirtatious-feeling scenes between Bond and the main villain. And, of course, the requisite product placement for everything from Aston Martin cars to Tom Ford clothes.
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What's the story?
When evil Silva (Javier Bardem), a vengeful ex-MI6-er, gets his hands on a list of undercover agents and endangers them by revealing their identities, five at a time, on the Internet, James Bond (Daniel Craig) must put a stop to his plans, fast. But Silva is a wily devil, relying more on cyberspace weapons than on the tricky tools that 007 is more accustomed to. Q (Ben Whishaw), an upstart wunderkind, equips Bond with the leanest of gadgetry, but Silva is hell-bent on destruction -- and on killing his ultimate prize, M (Judi Dench), whom he blames for his ruin.
Is it any good?
Thrilling from start to finish, SKYFALL is a feat of Bond-ism, a mix of lean-and-mean modernism and momentum that also pays homage to the series' iconic status. The martini remains, though the line "shaken, not stirred" is no more. (It's unnecessary.) The Aston Martin makes a thoughtful appearance and then is shot to smithereens, as if to mark a literal break from the past.
But it's the movie's trip to Bond's own past that makes Skyfall more than just an espionage re-tread. And Bardem is a fearsome villain with pathos and a back story plucked from Greek mythology and Shakespeare. Skyfall soars, making the Bond franchise as relevant as ever.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes James Bond "cool." Is it his skills? His attitude? Do you consider him a role model? What makes him so appealing (and enduring) in general?
Is the Bond franchise still relevant for today's sensibilities? Does Skyfall advance it or keep it in the past?
- In theaters: November 8, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: February 12, 2013
- Cast: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench
- Director: Sam Mendes
- Studio: MGM/UA
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures
- Run time: 143 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: intense violent sequences throughout, some sexuality, language and smoking
- Last updated: February 20, 2020
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