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Parents' Guide to

The Kite Runner

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Best seller-based drama has harrowing moments.

Movie PG-13 2007 122 minutes
The Kite Runner Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 15+

Very good but beware

This is an excellent film which treats some very difficult topics sensitively and without avoidance. However, the 12 rating is completely inappropriate. There is the suggestion of child rape by other, older children, a stoning to death of a woman and very disturbing themes including the buying of children from an Afghani orphanage. This child is later followed up and a scene follows in which he is forced to dance provocatively to music in front of several men. I have two 12 year old girls. One left the room halfway through, too disturbed to watch any more and I found myself shielding the other from several scenes. Definitely not for younger children!
age 14+

Should be rated a 15.

Lulled by the 12 rating I made the huge mistake of not watching this before choosing it for a film night with my daughters aged 11 and 14. The 11 year old has seen plenty of 12 rated films before so I didn't think there would be anything she couldn't handle. The rape scene upset her so much that she ran from the room and hid under her bed sobbing. She has never done that in her life. I am actually quite angry with whoever decided this film merits a 12 rating and with whoever failed to mention any depiction of rape/sexual violence on the back of the DVD box. My kids no longer want to watch anything new that I suggest and choose the boring old favourites instead. I have given it 3 stars, but as we turned it off after the rape scene I've no idea if the rest of the film merits this rating.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (6 ):

Like the source novel by Khaled Hosseini, Marc Forster's film is frequently contrived and melodramatic. Yet it also focuses attention on the terrible consequences of war and tyranny. The film's brutal villains -- once someone's children, their "colors" filled in or not -- are stereotypical, at once homophobic and unhesitating to use homosexual rape as a weapon. But they're aided by essentially decent bystanders, who do nothing in the face of even the most personal instances of cruelty and abuse.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: December 13, 2007
  • On DVD or streaming: March 24, 2008
  • Cast: Homayoun Ershadi , Khalid Abdalla , Zekeria Ebrahimi
  • Director: Marc Forster
  • Inclusion Information: Middle Eastern/North African actors
  • Studio: Paramount Vantage
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 122 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: strong thematic material including the rape of a child, violence and brief strong language.
  • Last updated: November 8, 2023

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