All member reviews for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

Common Sense Media says

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

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Users say

(out of 39 reviews)
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Kid, 11 years old August 24, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

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
Parent Written byDan G. August 23, 2013
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

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
Teen, 13 years old Written bycaitlinm_18 August 21, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

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.
Teen, 17 years old Written byburfymurf177 August 22, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

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
Teen, 14 years old Written byDistrict_dauntless August 22, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

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!!!!!
Teen, 15 years old Written bywhimsicalreviewer August 24, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

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, 16 years old Written byRachelBug97 August 23, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Huge fan of the series, excellent movie IF you've read the book.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old August 25, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

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
Kid, 10 years old August 24, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Not as good as the book

Good and scary Not as good as the book though
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Teen, 16 years old Written byhoblin101 August 25, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

very good but violent

this movie is very great, but if your child does not like violence, this movie is not for them. there is lots of killing and fighting. i would recommend being 12 years old before you watch it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 11 and 22 year old Written byMidwestMom September 3, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

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, 14 years old Written bySr1 August 26, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

good not great. read the books

Good but not great. My biggest issue I had was that they changed the ending of the movie. I recommend you see this but also read the books. The only problem in this movie is the violence its not very gory but there is blood and lots of stabbing also some scenes might scare younger children. The language is more mild than in the book and while there is a passionate kissing scene there isn't as much sexual references Read the book its better which was a disappointment I had expected them to do what they did with the hunger games they didn't change much in that movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent Written bymartha collins September 6, 2013
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

loved it!!

great movie
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of an infant, infant, infant, 10, 10, and 18 year old Written byParentofwisdom August 26, 2013
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

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
Teen, 16 years old Written byAmber-lee August 27, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Great movie, almost as good as the books...

Overall, this movie was fantastic. It had just the right amount of romance, violence and humour. The acting was great and aside from some very corney elements, the plot was well written and followed the book. The plot was true to the book but would also be entertaing for someone who was not familier with the storyline. I went to see this with some of my friends and even the ones who had not read the book still thought it was a great movie. It was much more entertaining than Twilight and better put togeather than Percy Jackson. Definately worth going to see at the movies!
Teen, 15 years old Written byHHH98 September 7, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

I'm a werewolf not a golden retriever!

This is a great fantasy action packed adventure movie; if you have read the books you will be totally loving it! The only thing is the silent brothers; a character in the film and novel, have no eyes and their mouths are sewn together. Also the demons are slightly graphic. An action packed film worth the watch.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Parent of a 8, 10, and 12 year old Written byBarry Saunders November 29, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

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
Teen, 15 years old Written bystargirl132 September 14, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

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
Kid, 12 years old September 13, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

:)

I loved the book and the movie is really good too.
Written byAnonymous September 8, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

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

Pages