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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
Very intense battle scenes, fights, crucifixions, also (off-screen) suicide.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Implied nudity, slave women are treated as commodities, provided to male slaves as a reward, implication of homosexual advances by Crasus to Antonius.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has intense battles, crucifixions, and an off-screen suicide. There's implied nudity and implied homosexuality. Slave women are given to men as rewards. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This epic saga of the price of freedom is thrilling to watch, the struggles of conscience as gripping as the brilliantly staged battle scenes. When we first see Spartacus, he strikes out at an oppressor almost reflexively. He does not care that the consequence is death; as he later says, for a slave death is only a release from pain. When he strikes out again later in the film, he is armed not only with the fighting skills he has learned, but also with an ability to lead, founded in a new sense of entitlement to freedom.
The characters are especially vivid and interesting. Varinia has a wonderful grace and a rare humor, which adds warmth to her character. She is able to shield her emotional self from the abuse she is forced to endure without deadening her feelings. Gracchus conveys the essential decency of a man who has made many compromises, political and spiritual. Both the author of the book and the screenwriter were blacklisted during the McCarthy era, and families should discuss how that influenced their approach to the story. Kids may also be interested to know that this was among the most popular movies show in the former Soviet Union, and should consider what it was that appealed to the communists.
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.