The Last of the Mohicans Movie Poster Image

The Last of the Mohicans

Violent historical drama. Not for young kids.
Popular with kidsParents recommend
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Western
  • Release Year: 1992
  • Running Time: 125 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

Much of the movie consists of battles between British colonials and American Indians. There is gun violence as well as hand-to-hand combat and at least one scalping.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is extremely violent. Battle scenes and ambushes comprise a large portion of the film. There are numerous scenes of gun fights, as well as stabbings and bludgeonings. One man is burned alive. Another is scalped. A woman commits suicide. The film also features a romantic theme, and while sexual content is extremely mild and there is no nudity, there is some heated kissing.

What's the story?

Set during the French and Indian War, THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS follows Colonel Edmund Munro's (Maurice Roëves) daughters Cora (Madeleine Stowe) and Alice (Jodhi May) as they travel to their father's post. When their party is ambushed, a group of fur trappers, led by Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis), escorts the two women, and the sole surviving British officer. After the party arrives at the fort, things only get worse.

Is it any good?


Director Michael Mann turns James Fenimore Cooper's classic novel into a cinematically beautiful film. The Last of the Mohicans is visually engaging. Lush scenes of the frontier are punctuated by skirmishes, ambushes and battles. In keeping with the book that served as its basis, this movie has a pronounced tendency toward the melodramatic. Overall, though, the film is engaging and elegantly constructed.

The chemistry between Day-Lewis and Stowe is absolutely intoxicating and May does well as the more delicate younger Munro daughter. Younger viewers might find the film dull or difficult to follow. However, teens who enjoy romances may like the film, as might those with an interest in U.S. history.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the United States' colonial history and the French and Indian War. Issues of class are also ripe for discussion. The film seems to imply that the British are destined for failure because they refuse to protect the people living at the frontier. Hawkeye says that the reason people live in unprotected frontier lands is that these areas are the only place where land is available to poor people. How might his observation about the frontier apply to modern communities? What prompts Cora Munro to fight with her father about sending the militia to help protect frontier settlers?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 25, 1992
DVD/Streaming release date:November 23, 1999
Cast:Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means
Director:Michael Mann
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Run time:125 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence

This review of The Last of the Mohicans was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Amazing Grace Movie Poster Image
    Earnest drama about fervent English abolitionist.
  • Elizabeth Movie Poster Image
    Mature, visceral depiction of a turbulent reign.
  • Amistad Movie Poster Image
    Intense true story about slavery has graphic violence.
  • Dances with Wolves Movie Poster Image
    A grand, sweeping journey with graphic violence.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 15 years old Written byNahil June 27, 2012

Not as bad as people are making it sound.

I think I saw an edited version of this movie on Netflix, because the content is not bad at all. Most PG-13 movies, maybe some PG, have more violence and language then this movie does. The extent of the violence was the BRIEFEST scalping scene you will ever see, a man holding up heart, and the very beginnings of a man burned alive. Besides that there is shooting and some dead bodies. The language is rare and there is no sexuality. If your child's mature enough, I would even have a nine year old watch it with his parents. If not then I would say about 11 years old by himself. Hope this was helpful!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 14 year old Written byTsion June 26, 2010

A Raw, Beautiful, Old-Fashioned Epic (Plus the Violence)

The bottom line about THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS is that you should watch it. Period. It is a high-spirited epic of adventure and romance in the tradition of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and DANCES WITH WOLVES. Not only is it fun to watch, but it is very poignant and moving (plus, it has spectacular cinematography and gorgeous music). But the question you're asking right now is, is it okay for kids? The answer is no. The movie earns its R-rating for violence, and definately should not be shown to anyone under the age of 13 or 14. However, as far as R ratings go, this one is pretty tame. Violence pervades the movie, with three large battle sequences that feature many people's deaths via stabbing, bludgeoning, and shooting. There is an immeasurable body count, however, most of it is bloodless (and average for any PG-13 movie). The exceptions: in a quick shot, a man is scalped (you see his white skull for a moment, with no blood). A man has his jaw broken quickly with a rifle, and you momentarily see his bloody face. A man is stabbed in the back, and he throat is slit (barely offscreen). A woman voluntarily falls to her death from a cliff. A man is bloodily impaled with a rifle, and a man has his heart torn out (the tearing is offscreen, but he later see the out-of-body heart). There is also a passionate kiss, but no sex. No language. Characters are brave and self-sacrificing.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great role models
Adult Written byTreyT January 11, 2011

Intense, and well it should be. Excellently moral, yet believable.

While this film was undeniably violent, it was not distastefully so in my opinion. War on the Colonial American frontier was a gentlemen's war in the European tradition, but it was a war for men and women of true character, strength, and grit. The morality of the good men and the treachery of the evil were clearly contrasted. The theme is plain: the right wins in the long run, but at a great cost. The frequent, but only occasionally graphic scenes of fighting and death of men and women on both sides serves to drive this message unforgettably. I personally found the suicide scene beautiful, but it may be grounds for a bit of discussion on the topic. Finally, there are in other reviews references to a man being burned at the stake. This is a terrible scene, but it is one of redemption, when one man sacrifices himself for another whom he has previously wronged. Again, the portrayal of the violence of the act lends the message immeasurably more force. The one kissing scene is rather long and highly-charged, but it, too, serves to advance the development of the characters without anything I thought gratuitous. It is about as intense as such a scene can get while the characters keep their eighteenth-century frontier clothing on, and might be a little passionate for a few viewers (I don't know your kid.), but, as I said, it's tasteful. Otherwise, the cinematography is generally excellent, Day-Lewis's character in particular stands out for his flawless acting (this is not to say the rest of the actors were lacking), and the plot is generally fairly believable. The thing as a whole is glorious, sad, and triumphant in a restrained and real way.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models