Parents' Guide to

The Dark Tower

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Awful, violent, revenge-filled Stephen King adaptation.

Movie PG-13 2017 95 minutes
The Dark Tower Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 15 parent reviews

age 16+


I am only commenting because I was surprised that no one mentioned the fact that the villain tortures the child protagonist's mother to death while taunting her that she can't save her child now. And, because the child is psychic, he sees/experiences what happened to his mother after the fact. Theoretically overdone and stupid, yes, and the actual burning the mother to death bit isn't shown, but it was still really f-ed up to watch. I didn't like to watch it and I wouldn't want my kids watching it.

This title has:

Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.
age 13+

Great Movie

I loved the movie quite a bit. Though it was quite violent. But the storyline is pretty interesting. I would watch again.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (15):
Kids say (20):

Based on Stephen King's novels, this sludgy science fiction/fantasy dud reduces King's epic vision to a series of mindless clichés, surrounded by lazy dialogue and half-baked visual effects. Noisy, junky, and without any kind of mood or rhythm, The Dark Tower connects somewhat to King's Shining universe, but this is as far from Kubrick as a movie can get; it's closer to sci-fi/Western disaster Jonah Hex. Akiva Goldsman is one of the credited screenwriters, and his usual penchant for over-explaining everything is here. But he and his fellow writers still can't make sense of the truncated plot or find reasons for any of this stuff.

Director Nikolaj Arcel tries to cover up his shaky footage, sloppy editing, and cheap-looking monsters with plenty of darkness, but the ruse is all too obvious. Oscar-winner McConaughey is flat-out awful as the man in black, coming across more as smarmy and annoying than menacing or threatening. On the other hand, as Roland the gunslinger, Elba is the only cool thing in the movie. So it's a crying shame that he couldn't have been involved in something more imaginative (or even something totally different, like a new James Bond movie).

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