Thor: The Dark World



Teen-friendly comic-book sequel is brutal but not gory.
  • Review Date: November 8, 2013
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 120 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As Thor says, it is better to "be a good man than a king." Also, sometimes the meanest of people can redeem themselves.

Positive role models

Thor is principled and true, steadfast in his beliefs, and devoted to the cause of fighting evil.


Loads of explosions, knife fights, and gun fights, though the results aren't gory. A woman slaps two men out of anger. Intense battle scenes where entire landscapes are obliterated. Characters shoot, stab, and kill each other, but again there isn't a lot of blood shown.


Some kissing and flirting. A man is shown on a TV newscast running around naked, but not in a sexual context; his privates are blurred.


A few instances of "shut up," "hell," and "holy s--t."


Part of the Marvel universe, which has tons of merchandise associated with it.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some revelry involving drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Thor: The Dark World is a teen-friendly follow-up to 2011's Thor, continuing where the adventures of that film -- as well as Marvel's The Avengers -- left off. The comic book-based action film treads on heavy ground, with moody characters prone to power-hungry moves and rage-filled conquests, and with intense battle scenes involving lots of stabbing, shooting, and punching, but it's not so much bloody as brutal. (We don't, in fact, see a lot of blood.) Expect some occasional swearing ("hell" and a few instances of "s--t") and some kissing.

What's the story?

On the eve of the Convergence, when the Nine Realms are about to align, enemies from the past return to haunt and imperil the citizens of Asgard and everyone else. Thor (Chris Hemsworth), who has been away from astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) for two years, dealing with instability across the Nine Realms, returns to Asgard. Then Jane chances upon an anomaly that brings back the Aether, a mysterious force that once threatened Asgard and has awakened its long-time enemies, the Dark Elves, who are out for blood. Meanwhile, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), is languishing in prison, awaiting his next chance at glory.

Is it any good?


No one can accuse THOR: THE DARK WORLD of being uncomplicated. It's certainly not simple-minded in the way some comic-book-based films are. In fact, it may actually suffer from an overabundance of complexity, as it struggles mightily to explain the nuances of a universal convergence that has awakened beasts called the Dark Elves and threatens to upend all that Thor and his father, Odin (played amiably by Anthony Hopkins), and their ancestors have worked so hard to achieve. Sadly, it doesn't win the fight, allowing dogma to win over wit; backstory to triumph over characterization.

Portman's Jane Foster doesn't have much to do here, and is relegated to an even more pronounced damsel-in-distress position than in the original Thor. Her mentor, Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Saarsgard), is ignored, too, left to play the nutty professor. Even Thor himself doesn't seem to be deriving much honor in being the leader, or glory from all the hammer-throwing he's doing. (Or joy from seeing Jane again, for that matter.) So thank goodness for Hiddleston's Loki, who's still a delight, even if the story no longer revolves around him. It's the special effects that take center stage here, in battle scenes that are visually gripping. If only the story made the audience more invested in what was happening onscreen, those battles would hold more heft.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the violence in the movie. Are scenes of battle and violence in comic-book-based, CGI-enhanced movies any different than live-action sequences that show reality-based fights?

  • What is this movie saying about family bonds and the struggle for power? Does it add anything new to the conversation?

  • Are the female characters in the movie strong and empowered? Or are they variations on the damsel-in-distress trope?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 8, 2013
DVD release date:February 25, 2014
Cast:Anthony Hopkins, Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman
Director:Alan Taylor
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures
Run time:120 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence; some suggestive content

This review of Thor: The Dark World was written by

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Learning ratings

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

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What parents and kids say

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Educator Written byflower2011 November 8, 2013

Thor 2-My Favorite Thor Movie

Overall, this movie was pretty clean compared to most Hollywood movies. In reference to language, there were two uses of the s-word and two of the d-word. Erik, the older scientist, runs around naked BUT you can't see anything because it is blurred. The violence was nothing over the top if you can stand Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. Loki was a great character once again!!! He is always surprising you throughout the movie. Remember to stay after the credits; there are two bonus scenes.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written byndrwcd November 7, 2013

best movie of November 2013

same level as the Avengers,better than the original Thor movie,best superhero movie of 2013,no language I could recall
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Kid, 11 years old November 8, 2013

I'd probably rate this maybe 3.5 or 4 stars.

I saw this movie, and I don't know which one I like better. Loki was really funny. :) Violence: Blood, and fighting. Jane slaps Thor twice, out of anger. Language: Few words like, "shut up, "h-ll," and "holy s--t." Sex: Some kissing and flirting. Erik Selvig is shown naked on tv, but has a cover over his private areas.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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