The Forbidden Kingdom

Movie review by S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
The Forbidden Kingdom Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 12+

Mostly bloodless Chan/Li martial arts adventure.

PG-13 2008 113 minutes

Parents say

age 11+

Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 16 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 8+

Wonderful fantasy martial arts film with real applicable messages

Recently taught my son about Jackie Chan and he couldn’t wait to watch a movie with him in it. He also enjoyed learning out of the bits of Chinese mythology mixed in with the movie. The film does a great job of showing the beginner period of learning martial arts, there’s a heavy emphasis on the spirit of training and finding your way through work and perseverance and that message remains in focus throughout. At times the violence is a little intense, the introduction has a scene where an elderly man gets shot, as well as later in the film there are stabbings and a scene depicting a couple of hanged villagers, but it never feels gratuitous or for it’s own sake. It’s always to point out wrongs being done and strengthen the main characters conviction to do the right thing. There is some language, but again there is nothing gratuitous about it, no f bombs and only maybe a couple of s’s and a handful of b’s coming from the villains. Considering the context and that he’s already started learning about bad words and not saying them, he didn’t have any issues understanding that is it’s not the kind of language that anyone should actually use. In the fantasy setting based on Chinese folklore, there exist immortals with special powers. In order to stay immortal they have to drink a magic elixir. One of Jackie Chan’s characters’ elixir takes the form of wine. Coming from alcoholic parents, I’ve had discussions with my child about addiction and how it can negatively impact your life, so for me this is another detail that doesn’t really matter, especially since later on the characters use of wine is addressed as his weakness and gets in the way of the protagonists’ quest. I think the way that the spotlight was put on addiction without demonization was refreshing Overall we all loved the film and it’s so great to have films like this to share with my budding martial artist.

This title has:

Great messages
age 8+

Great family fun

Watched this as whole family and loved it. My children are 7, 8 and 10!

This title has:

Great messages

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