Parents' Guide to

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Thrilling, philosophical installment of popular space saga.

Movie PG 1982 116 minutes
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 12+

Wonderful, but would be PG-13 now.

Unlike the first, this entry has more violence and space battles, with grisly (albeit excellent) prosthetic wounds. PG-13.
age 13+

Ok film with pretty brutal violence

Wrath of Khan is an OK film, but is pointless to see until you've watched the original show first as it's a direct sequel. Based on violence, this movie would probably get an R today. Khan, the antagonist, brutally murders several scientists and leaves their bloody corpses chained to the ceiling. A young hero crewman has half his face burned off. A ship captain possed by a brain eating worm vaporizes himself with a pistol. A worm crawls out of another person's ear leaving a bloody trail. Khan himself also loses his face to fire. It's all really gruesome.

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8):
Kids say (19):

This sequel combines passionate acting, great music, fine effects, philosophy, ethics, and derring-do to create what some fans consider the best of the Star Trek features. The script contains observations about friendship, aging, military misuse of science, contentious father-son relationships, and the futility of revenge. Since the chance of any further Star Trek movies was iffy -- and Leonard Nimoy was hoping at the time to sign off playing Spock for good -- viewers get the feeling here everyone is really giving the material all the respect it's worth, just in case this turned out to be the final Star Trek as we knew it (it wasn't, of course).

It was good to be a science-fiction movie fan in 1982. Out-of-this-world features released that year, which seemed to reach a pinnacle of entertaining scripts, mind-expanding concepts, and cutting-edge special effects, included E.T., Blade Runner, The Road Warrior, Tron, and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This last one even proved that sequels from adaptations of TV shows could be better than originals (talk about mind-blowing concepts), since the first Star Trek: The Motion Picture was a bit of a disappointment. Director Nicholas Meyer claimed to have very little prior knowledge of Trekdom when he came aboard. Instead, he said, he took inspiration from his favorite Napoleonic-era naval adventures, novels in the C.S. Forester Horatio Hornblower series. That's indeed how Star Trek II plays out, as a seagoing military epic transplanted to deep space, with questions of command and leadership, duty, and sacrifice for the welfare of the crew.

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