Star Trek Into Darkness Movie Poster Image

Star Trek Into Darkness

Action-packed Star Trek sequel has good story, characters.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 132 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The characters have many discussions about following the rules versus doing the right thing, coming to the conclusion that there's sometimes no easy answer. Characters also exhibit trust and teamwork, working extremely well together. The importance of friendship is a key theme of the movie.

Positive role models

The characters (a diverse bunch) are better as a team than they are as individuals. Separately, they're cocky, argumentative, inflexible, or just plain goofy. Yet they're all trying to do the right thing ... they just have their own individual ideas about what that is.


Lots of sci-fi and fantasy violence and fighting. The bad guy blows up an archive building and attacks a meeting of high-ranking officials in a hail of weapons fire. An important supporting character dies, with some blood. Characters get sucked out of their ships into space. A character's skull is crushed (off screen, but crunching noises are heard); another's leg is deliberately broken when someone steps on it. A great deal of fighting, punching, and spaceships shooting at one another. Massive, destructive crashes and explosions. A character gets radiation poisoning. A volcano threatens a planet.


The main character is shown in bed with two alien girls. No nudity is shown, and nothing happens on screen; he just climbs out of bed, and the girls are seen to be there with him. A female character changes her clothes, and she's shown in her (deliberately sexy) underwear. Some flirting and kissing.


Language is infrequent but includes a couple uses of "s--t," plus "bitch," "ass," "hell," "damn," "oh my God," and "bastard."


Budweiser is seen in the movie, and off-screen licensing/marketing deals include a Budweiser promotion and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The main character is seen drinking (hard liquor) in a bar after getting some bad news. He gets a bit tipsy.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Star Trek Into Darkness is the 12th Star Trek movie overall, and the second installment in director J.J. Abrams' big-budget series reboot. The biggest issue is sci-fi/fantasy violence, with lots of punching, fighting, and shooting, a little blood (though not much), and some deaths (including an important supporting character). It's more exciting than it is intense. The main character (Chris Pine) is shown getting out of a bed he's shared with two alien girls, and there's a sexy underwear scene with a female co-star. Language is infrequent but includes a couple of uses of "s--t." The main character is seen drinking in one scene after getting some bad news. As in the first one, the Trek team comes together to do the right thing, no matter how difficult that may be.

What's the story?

In STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) gets into trouble by breaking the rules in order to save Spock's (Zachary Quinto) life. But when a madman (Benedict Cumberbatch) attacks an archive facility on Earth, Kirk and the old crew -- including Bones (Karl Urban), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Chekov (Anton Yelchin), and newcomer Carol (Alice Eve) -- get a new mission: Destroy the villain. Then Spock convinces Kirk to capture him instead, which leads to all kinds of new trouble. And Kirk learns that no one can be trusted until he and the crew of the Enterprise learn the secret behind their deadly prisoner.

Is it any good?


Director J.J. Abrams, despite his massive popularity and success, shows some flaws with uneven pacing in this movie, pitching moods and scenes too high and letting things drag on too long. And his idea of "style" seems to be camera-shaking and lens flares (the latter of which was once considered a mistake in moviemaking and was only implemented in the 1960s for effect).

And while Pine's blue-eyed, pretty boy rebel character has little to do with the original Captain Kirk, the rest of the characters thankfully seem to tune in to their classic counterparts, and their performances and line readings can be great fun. Likewise, Star Trek Into Darkness has a good, enthralling story at its core and some strong ideas buried beneath the empty style that eventually win the day.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Star Trek Into Darknessviolence. Does it ever feel over the top? Is it exciting or gruesome? Which do you think it's intended to be? Why?

  • What's the difference between following the rules and doing the right thing? Is there a simple answer to this problem?

  • How do the characters show teamwork? In what scenes do characters help each other? Why is teamwork an important character strength?

  • Why do you think Star Trek has such enduring appeal? What makes people become such faithful fans? How does the reboot compare to the older movies and TV shows?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 16, 2013
DVD/Streaming release date:September 10, 2013
Cast:Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana
Director:J.J. Abrams
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Adventures, Space and aliens
Character strengths:Teamwork
Run time:132 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence

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Teen, 15 years old Written byWayward Girl May 17, 2013

Into Darkness is thrilling, addicting, hilarious, and FUN!!!

Let's get the Trekkie part out of way first: It was an AWESOME film, but probably more of an awesome movie than it is an awesome Star Trek film. (I've been a Trekker since birth, so I know what I'm talking about.) Trek fans, movie lovers in general, and fangirls only watching for Benedict Cumberbatch should all enjoy it equally. I'll stay away from spoilers and concentrate just on the things parents should know about. There is far less sex in this movie than in the first film, with only one shot of Kirk getting out of bed with two alien girls and then a 5 second shot of Dr. Marcus in her undies. Spock and Uhura share one little kiss. Pretty mild stuff. Alcohol: 1 scene of Kirk in a bar, and another with Scotty in a bar. Language... The S-word is said 3 times, and a 4th was cut off before Scotty finished saying it. I was disappointed as language is usually pretty clean where Trek is concerned. Little swear words like the A-word, d-word, bast*rd and S.O.B mentioned once or twice too. Violence was the usual, starship battles, guns, and phasers. Terrorism is a theme so be prepared for starships running into buildings and explosions. Benedict Cumberbatch's character is a super solider, so he's got this hand to hand combat down to a T. Lots of punching. There is one scene where he takes a guy's head and crushes his skull between his hand (it sounds a lot worse than it actually is) It was a bit disturbing, but nothing a mature kid can't handle. There are great messages, such as taking responsibility, being a man, follow the rules, but also doing what is right, even if the rules disagree. All in all, it's not that bad for families.Not only is it appropriate, it is FUN, with witty dialogue and great twists and turns. Every character gets to shine, and there are PLENTY of awesome Easter Eggs and old school Trek references for the original Star Trek fans. All in all, this movie is SO much fun. Great for Trekkies, great for boys who love sci-fi, great for girls who love eye candy, great for movie watchers everywhere. I loved it so much and am begging my parents to take us kids again for my birthday. <3
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bySummer_Days May 17, 2013

A Thrill Ride Into Darkness

An exciting, thrilling addition to the Star Trek franchise, this one isn't as brainless as you might think. It may contain intense action and fight scenes, but it doesn't drown out the fascinating story behind it, as well as the moral dilemmas that threaten the crew and make for an edge-of-your-seat rollercoaster. Benedict as the villain John Harrison is made all the more iconic through his physicality, mesmerising voice and fantastic superhuman skills. Like Kirk said, 'I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I only know what I can do.'
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old May 20, 2013

Into Darkness

rubbish, terrible script, acting, poor special effects and no story at all. Don't waste your time with this.
What other families should know
Great messages