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Parents' Guide to

The Pillars of the Earth

By Elka Karl, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Impressive medieval miniseries heaps on graphic violence.

Movie NR 2010 421 minutes
The Pillars of the Earth Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 18+

Filth filled series

Where to start?? Every type of dark and disgusting uncalled for gratuitous violence, sometimes with sexuality n nudity. This is dark and sick, it will feed the depraved mind. Soo if you have have them common sense to want to watch something that is even slightly edifying don’t watch this!!
age 18+

Powerful and Compelling Historical Drama, not for Kids!

The Pillars of the Earth, both the book and miniseries are intense but enjoyable and well written. The story is engaging, the characters believable and the plot complex and many layered. The phenominal acting performances of Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Eddie Redmayne, Hayley Atwell, and Matthew Mcfadan are all worthy of praise. Most of the protagonists are good loving people who put others above themselves and I don't think this gets enough credit for positive role models and messages. The themes are ultimately about loss, struggle, perseverance, and love. There is considerable graphic violence and sexual material, including an intense rape scene, but nothing that is overly gratuitous or unnecessary to the story. There is also some occasional intense language but it is period appropriate and not pervasive. Kids under 18 would do well to find a medieval piece with less sex, nudity, and bloodletting. For those 18 and above who are looking for a deep and complex medieval epic and fantastic characters, I would highly recommend the series or the book. Better yet, get both! It's worth it. I absolutely love this series and cannot praise it enough.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (2 ):

First and foremost, The Pillars of the Earth is incredibly and intimately violent. There aren't legions of nameless zombies mowed down by machine guns in this series. Instead, viewers are subjected to slow torture scenes, up-close images of venereal disease, and bloody battle scenes between beloved characters.

However, if you can stomach the violence, the intricate web of storytelling showcased in the series is impressive. Taking place over eight episodes, the miniseries packs in an impressive level of detail. History, especially the civil war between Queen Maud and King Stephen, is laid out in vivid, albeit violent, detail. The acting is nothing to sniff at either. The treacherous and absolutely evil Bishop Waleran (Ian McShane) is particularly affecting -- a character fans will absolutely love to hate.

Movie Details

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