Thor: The Dark World

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Thor: The Dark World Movie Poster Image
Teen-friendly comic-book sequel is brutal but not gory.
  • PG-13
  • 2013
  • 120 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 21 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 97 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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.

What 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. (Viewers don't, in fact, see a lot of blood.) Expect some occasional swearing ("hell" and a few instances of "s--t") and some kissing.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bysree has February 23, 2014

An improved version of first part,,visual treat!!

Great movie with so much of special effects and eye-cathing performances.
Adult Written byWill loves movies February 6, 2014

Here comes the hammer. Again.

Thor the Dark World is good movie. Though there is plenty of action including neck snapping and limb severing. Thor is a good role model who sacrifices himsel... Continue reading
Written byAnonymous April 14, 2019

Better,bolder, and far more intense.

This movie is the best. All though intense it is still good. Many super-hero fans will love this. Parents in their 40 will not enjoy this. Suggestive moments a... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byfrench.cats February 21, 2015

What's the story?

THOR: THE DARK WORLD begins 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 this film 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 Skarsgard), 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 Thor: The Dark World made the audience more invested in what was happening onscreen, those battles would hold more heft.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Thor: The Dark World. 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?

  • What does it mean when Thor says it's better to "be a good man than a king"? How does that align with the concept of integrity? Why is that an important character strength?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love superheroes

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

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

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate