The Count of Monte Cristo Movie Poster Image

The Count of Monte Cristo



Enjoyable swashbuckler for kids who can handle the action.
Parents recommend
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 131 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As Edmund Dantes seeks to exact revenge upon the three men who have destroyed a great part of his life, he slowly regains his faith and finds redemption. He learns the value of gratefulness and true justice. At the same time, the audience will cheer when the villains get what's coming to them.

Positive role models

The hero begins as a trusting, good-hearted innocent, becomes vengeful and unforgiving, and finally, matures into a brave, inspiring, and wise man. He learns that perseverance, courage, and compassion triumph over anger and self-pity. In most instances, public officials and the aristocracy are portrayed as corrupt and selfish.


Lots of sword fighting, other bloody battles (knife, fists, guns), narrow escapes, and violent death. Characters are killed by: gunshot at close range, drowning, impalement, suicide, a tunnel collapse, and a stabbing. Less fatal activities include kidnapping, lashing with a whip, being thrown from a cliff, an attempted hanging, and lots of gunfire.


Sexual activity is limited to kissing and embracing. The lovers are seen in each other's arms after implied sex, shoulders bare. The film's chief villain is known to be an unrepentant, serial philanderer. A baby is conceived out-of-wedlock.


Minimal swearing: "damn," "bastard," and "whore.”"

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Wine and alcohol are served at dinner and on other social occasions. The chief villain is a heavy drinker who gets drunk in a number of scenes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this classic story of revenge and romance is filled with swashbuckling, sometimes bloody, violence, ruthless characters, and grand heroics. The many action sequences include: sword fighting to the death; knife fights; shooting with muskets, handguns, and rifles; brutal whippings, a suicide by gunshot, an attempted hanging, kidnapping, and drowning. Several deaths take place on screen. There are a few curse words: "damn," "bastard," "whore." Two lovers kiss, embrace passionately, and are seen twice, partially clothed, lying in each other’s arms after having implied sex. Reference is made to adultery and an out-of-wedlock birth. Several scenes show the consumption of alcohol at social events and in private; one leading character frequently drinks heavily and appears drunk.

What's the story?

In this adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' novel, James Caviezel plays Edmund Dantes, an honest sailor who has a devoted girlfriend named Mercedes (Dagmara Dominczyk) and a lifelong friend, Fernand. When he is promoted to captain and can afford to marry Mercedes, he thinks all of his dreams have come true. But Fernand, overcome with jealousy, betrays Edmund, and Villefort (James Frain), a corrupt magistrate, sentences him to life imprisonment. His friends and family are told that he has been executed. After years of brutal abuse, Edmund meets another prisoner (Richard Harris), who teaches him to read and swordfight. They plan an escape, but his friend dies, and Edmund escapes alone, with a map showing the location of a treasure on the island of Monte Cristo. He meets up with pirates and ultimately finds the treasure, enabling him to return in a new persona, the Count of Monte Cristo, where he will prove that "revenge is a dish that is best eaten cold."

Is it any good?


Two things that almost always capture our attention in movies are watching someone learning something and watching someone getting revenge; both are here in gratifying abundance. And once again, in this 15th filmed version of the Alexandre Dumas novel, this most resilient of stories has been made into another thoroughly enjoyable movie.

The script falters, with some clunky dialogue and a Hollywood-ized ending that Dumas fans will find overly convenient. But the performances (especially Pearce, descending from pettiness to decadence and complete corruption), the swordplay, the splendor, and the story, featuring what is probably literature's all-time best revenge fantasy are old-time-movie satisfying and lots of fun.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the amount of violence in this movie. Did it include the right amount to be a proper swashbuckler, or did it go overboard? How do you feel after watching action-oriented violence?

  • Are you familiar with the book that inspired this movie? Do you know of any other stories that were inspired by it?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 25, 2002
DVD/Streaming release date:September 10, 2002
Cast:Guy Pearce, James Caviezel, Luis Guzman
Director:Kevin Reynolds
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Run time:131 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:violence, peril, and sexual situation

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Parent of a 10 year old Written bygeorges113 August 30, 2009

12-13 years old and up.. WATCH IT !!!

One of the best movies i've ever watched i recommend it in order to enjoy the movie and understand it for teens 12-13 years old and up... smaller teens might find it violent and too complicated to understand... there's also mild sexual situations... not recommended for an under 12 to see it... one of the best movies ever... hope they make someday something similar... NOT TO MISS
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bysilverhearteddragon June 17, 2010
Amazing movie, but be sure to explain the whole revenge thing to your kids. In this film it's portrayed as something you should do, and kids could get in trouble following that. Also, it's fairly graphic as far as torture scenes, but an enjoyable movie for adults.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byILuvCats November 4, 2011

Awesome movie!

This is one of my very favorite movies! Its very unique. Some people might get mad and not like the movie because its not very true to the book. I've read the book so i know. But its still an awesome movie! Great actors, wonderful scenery, and awesome script! Sex- very mild. Its easy to skip. No nudity is shown. Language- 2 [email protected]@rds, 1 [email protected], 1 w-word, a few Oh my Gods Violence- The movie opens with a battle where people are shot and stabbed (no blood or wounds seen), A man's body is shown soon after death,A man is numerously wounded several times with a sword (some blood), A man in prison is whipped. He then tries to hang himself, A man dies after he is crushed in a cave-in. We see his body soon after death, A man kills another man by drowning him, A knife fight starts, but no one is hurt, A man hangs another man with a nautical rope, but suggests other to "cut him down before he can't speak.", A man duels with another man whom he stabs through the heart (some blood). A man is shown shooting on old man; when the man falls against a wall, a blood streak is shown. A teenage boy is threatened by bandits with having his finger cut off. A man tries to commit suicide by shooting himself in the mouth, but finds the gun is not loaded. A man shoots a woman in the shoulder (some blood). Two men first duel, then fistfight. One hits the other in the head with a stone. One stabs the other through the chest. The blade is shown sticking out the other side as he dies (some blood).
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing