All member reviews for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Common Sense Media says

Teen-friendly fantasy romance doesn't live up to the book.
 

Users say

(out of 42 reviews)
age 12+
 
Review this title!
Parent Written byDan G. August 23, 2013
 

Perhaps not as 'teen friendly' as we are led to believe.

Perhaps OK for older teens. But the following items may be too inappropriate for those 16 and younger. The movie is very violent, more violent than the other 'teen friendly' vampire movies, although it is not graphically gory. The film also deals with topics of the occult; tarot cards are shown to be an actual path to obtaining knowledge. And one of the heroes of the story teaches that all churches are the same, and not all that compelling, either. There is also profanity. There is suggestion of homosexuality. One character appears to be a transvestite, and there is a sub-theme of possible incest. These are all adult themes that should be left in adult movies, not inserted into "teen friendly' movies.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old August 24, 2013
 

Awesome Action Packed Movie!

Great movie! Was good, but the book was better. There was some sexual content, but less than what was in the book. There is a gay character who hides his feelings from another character. A man wears a revealing outfit, and there is a slight make out scene, but nothing worse then that. Also, a boy and a girl say "invited him to bed", but whatever. Lots of action scenes, but not lots of blood. one of the scariest scenes includes a dog like creature whose skin is turned inside out, showing viewers a disgusting, slimy, bloody, monster. This movie was great, I recommend it for anyone who liked Harry Potter, The Twilight Saga, and Beautiful Creatures.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written bycaitlinm_18 August 21, 2013
 

Really Great!!!

It was a great movie but like all other movies based on books... its nothing like the novel. I enjoyed the movie because of the small parts of a love triangle and the actors & actresses who have roles. I have also read The Mortal Instruments series many times & really liked them. But I wish that the director would have put different parts from the book into the movie.
Kid, 12 years old August 25, 2013
 

Great movie, not as good as the book

Great movie, but not as good as the book. Casting was excellent. A lot of violence, but not many scary images. Few curse words, fast-paced, thrilling Positive messages include bravery and family and relationships. Clary, Jace, the other shadowhunters, and Simon are positive role models, and are courageous in the face of danger. The movie cut a few scenes from the book, but kept the important parts. Book was better, but the movie is a must-see for any fan of the Mortal Instruments. Can't wait for sequel, City of Ashes, to come to movie. (In process)
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byDistrict_dauntless August 22, 2013
 

Really good but different from the book

I am a huge fan of the mortal instruments and have been counting down the days till the movie comes out, and of course I watched it as soon as it came out. With me having big expectations towards the film, it affected my opinion. i thought it would be like the book, but instead it included parts that should not be revealed until later on in the series and it cut many scenes from the book that I think are extremely important Despite the cutting of scenes and revealing mistakes I thought the film was very enjoyable and still included the best scenes of clary and jace's romance and the sarcastic conflict between Simon and jace. The movie had very funny jokes mainly from jace and Simon and an amazing greenhouse scene with clary and jace. I also think the end battle was really good and intense. Not as much romance and language as I had expected which makes it ok for younger kids to watch however the violence and gore is pretty intense. Overall it was a great film and I can't wait for the sequel CITY OF ASHES!!!!!
Parent of a 8, 10, and 12 year old Written byBarry Saunders November 29, 2013
 

Be careful as it freaked my three kids

I use common sense media a lot and normally go under the age what parents say, but we had to stop this movie as my boy 8, girl 10 and boy 12 got freaked out by the dog seen 15 minutes into the move. My 8 year old watched and loved the latest transformer movie and parents say 13. This movie is very real to life and I recommend watching movie before letting your kids watch it. After watching whole movie there is no way of letting my 2 younger kids watch it. Also agree that there are all adult themes that should be left in adult movies, not inserted into "teen friendly' movies
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Written byAnonymous September 8, 2013
 

Better than critics say.

7.4/10 I am just past halfway through the book and I thought the movie was good. The only problem I had was the fact that it got to where I was so quickly. It could have added a bit more to make it a 140-145 min movie which still isn't too long. A lot of action in this and a bit of sexual content. Overall it's a good watch.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Parent Written bymartha collins September 6, 2013
 

loved it!!

great movie
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written bymckenzie_11 July 7, 2014
 

Are we sure the movie was based off the book?

I'm sorry but the movie was horrible.. I watched the movie before I read the books. I thought the movie was just OK without reading the books. But then I started reading them and I realized how terrible the movie really was. Sure it has the same name as the book, same character names, and even some semi-similar events but they left out more than half the book! And on top of it, half the events in the movie didn't happen in the book! The movie was somewhat entertaining before but it has no substance! It's 90% special effects and they weren't even all that good. It's like they took the general idea of the book and turned it into a movie.. It was extremely disappointing and hopefully the sequel goes A LOT better.
Teen, 15 years old Written bystargirl132 September 14, 2013
 

surprisingly good.

I can't believe this got such bad reviews. It was actually a pretty good adaption, and I think fans will be pleased with this movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Parent of a 11 and 22 year old Written byMidwestMom September 3, 2013
 

Uneven adaptation of novel

Went with my 12-year-old daughter who adores this series. I've also read the first book and part of the second. We both thought that the movie was very uneven and not as true to the books as we might have liked (difficult at best given the dense detail/description in the novels). The first 1/2 -2/3 of the movie was non-stop breathless action/violence. Pacing really didn't allow for much in the way of character or coherent plot development. Think that it would have been very difficult to follow if we hadn't read the books. We both didn't especially like the first part and might have walked out if we hadn't read the novels. We both liked the last third of the movie. Much more in the way of paced character development and story. Quite a lot of violence--but not extreme gross out sort--more like heavy magic battle scenes for the most part. Not especially disturbing for my daughter --but know your child. Mine is not disturbed by this sort of thing (but other sorts of more personal threat bother her...)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written bywhimsicalreviewer August 24, 2013
 

Slightly contrived--but entertaining, wholesome, and delightful for fans of the books!

As a tremendous fan of the book series and an avid follower of Rotten Tomatoes, I went into this movie with extremely low expectations. As all good movie-goers know, a film can never encompass the detail, emotions, or even, the plot, of its source material (i.e. the Percy Jackson film series).Therefore, I literally sat in the theater, forcing myself to scrutinize every cinematic and plot-oriented to find some fault in it. After two hours I can safely say, I was not as disappointed as I was led to expect. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones manages to not only include 90% of the events from the story, but also incorporate the nuances which made the film all the more enjoyable. The actors worked fine with the material they were given. Jamie Campbell Bower is impeccable as Jace, playing the perfect narcissistic, protective, tortured hero. His lines were delivered with Jace's trademark wit, and his mannerisms were as intense and delicate as they were described in the book. Robert Sheehan was the passionate, insecure, bookish, comical, caring Simon Lewis that many readers know and love. While Lily Collins wasn't fantastic in her role (partly due to her overusage of heavy breathing to depict a traumatic situation) she still managed to express the spunk and occasional moments of intelligence and quick-thinking exhibited by Clary Fray (particularly in a scene where she was faced with a demon). The dialogue was crisp and humorous; it sometimes dipped in the cheesy slop that is recycled in many sentimental films, but moments when this occurs are easily forgiven against the other elements in the film. Such elements include the remarkable special effects, which painted demons and Downworlders and Shadowhunter realms in such clarity, it is easy to believe they actually exist, and difficult not to grimace when you see them in their various grotesque forms. In all honesty, the film's main flaw rests in its sequencing. For viewers that aren't acquainted with the books, they will most certainly be puzzled by the constant stream of events which occur quickly and with little to no explanation. The history and role of the Shadowhunters is explained concisely, but fleetingly, which may cause their purpose to become forgettable. Even knowing the books extremely well, I was confused during certain scenes in regards to how characters got into a certain situation, how one event lead to another, etc. Several aspects of the film were done heavy-handedly concerning the scene transitioning (some of which was overly-dramatic and sometimes laughable), the battle scenes (which, as awesome and BA as they were, were overlong and tiresome), and the interactions between characters (which usually had a similar theme, but were choppy because the camera went between one pair of characters' situation to the other's, and created a uneven parallel between them). Overall, the Mortal Instruments is an engaging, adventurous, and funny film, which will delight many die-hard fangirls for its plot accuracy and character relationships. However, if you have not previously read the book, I would NOT suggest going to see it, because many things will be unexplained, rushed, and confusing, and you will easily become one of the film's harshest critics (much like the critics collaborating with Rotten Tomatoes). The sexual content is relatively low in comparison to the books; there is only one kiss between the characters, and its not as passionate/intense as it could be. However, the violence and horror elements can get pretty gruesome and cringe-worthy. All in all, this film is definitely spot on for fans of the books who are 12 and over.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 17 years old Written byburfymurf177 August 22, 2013
 

Amazingly Fun!

This was an amazing movie for family that has kids that are 10 and up. It was beautifully done and had a very tiny bit of romance that was perfect for my daughter. You go watch this right now with your 10 and up kids!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old August 16, 2014
 

Worse that I expected

I saw this movie before I read the book series and I thought it was fine to see the movie first. The first time I saw the movie I felt like falling asleep half of the movie. The main actor and actress were not fit for their roles. I read the book series and was blown away. After I decided to watch the movie again this time with my 12 year old sister and 8 year old brother. After watching the movie a second time I was even more disappointed. I think that the movie had so limited violence that it could have been rated PG even if it was meant to be a movie for teenagers. There are only a few intense moments and two of the scenes take place in a club otherwise the movie is totally kid friendly. I think that the only reason to watch this movie is if you have read the books and want to see how other people imagine the characters. If that is not why you want to see the movie, do not even bother.
Kid, 12 years old June 26, 2014
 

Very violent

The violence and the Pandemonium scene are the only reasons I would say 14+
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Kid, 9 years old March 23, 2014
 

Not good

It wasn't very good mainly it didn't really explain well.I think the book may be better
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 10 and 13 year old Written byHoodSiegal February 13, 2014
 

Graphic violence and peril

* Spoiler alert * We started watching this movie with our 11 and 13 year olds based on the parent reviews, and it was a mistake. Even I didn't care for the graphic violence, complete with full sound effects. A menacing dog turns into a slithering demon-thing and chases a girl until she blows it up with a fiery explosion, a man is savagely beaten until he fesses up to something. When the scary mouthless guy meets the 2 kids at the cemetery, we finally turned it off. Maybe my kids are sensitive, but I am anticipating nightmares coming soon. CSM's age recommendation is way off here.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byEmmasage February 1, 2014
 

Disappointing

It was a good movie, but not if you are comparing it to the book. Things didn't happen the way they did in the book, but other wise it is a good movie. There is one kissing scene, it isn't too long and is pretty cheesy but other than that not much else. Some of the demons might be a bit scary to younger kids, but other than that not too bad!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written bymikli December 21, 2013
 

Gory, why would anyone want to watch stuff like that?

Way too much gore. I couldn't even finish the movie. Why people want to see stuff like that is beyond me. It should be classified as a horror movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of an infant, infant, infant, 10, 10, and 18 year old Written byParentofwisdom August 26, 2013
 

Kissing, Violent, Some Language Movie That Dosen't Live The Book

I saw this with my two 10 year olds and my 18 year old was able to join us, haven't seen her since she went to collage. we all read the whole series and this movie just didn't live up to the book. some language and violence. some kissing too. disappointing movie. need a refund for 48 bucks. we all hated the movie, including my husband. this was only age-appropriate for my 18 year old, me and my husband. kidnapping wasn't supposed to be like that, nothing like that. always need a sister for my 3 infants, 1 is one week old, the other is a month older, the other is 2 months old. not letting them see a movie until they turn older.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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