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Is ‘Hercules’ Okay for Kids?

The action-packed Hercules will be muscling its way into theaters this weekend. The film follows the mythological hero in a new adventure that borrows from the legends, but it may be too violent for younger viewers.

Basic Info:

Director: Brett Ratner

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal

Rating: PG-13

Run Time: 98 min/ 1 hour 38 minutes

How Violent is Hercules?

7/10 Very Violent

 The film is about a demi-god notorious for his strength and stars one of the most popular wrestlers of all time. Yes, the film is violent.  The fighting and battle scenes are numerous and intense. All kinds of weaponry are used and unlike other films where the camera cuts away when someone is struck, stabbed or shot with an arrow, the film shows all of these, as well as the inflicted wounds. There are also scenes where Hercules faces off against beasts. These scenes can also be jarring, as the film does not shy away from how these creatures are disposed of, some in brutal ways.

Is there profanity?

5/10 Few uses, but the words used are some of the worst.

There is 1 ‘F’ word in this film and two ‘S’ words, as well as one ‘B’ word.

Is there explicit content?

4/10 Brief nudity but no explicit scenes.

There is a very brief scene of a woman walking away as she is disrobing and her backside is shown very briefly. There are two other scenes with scantily clad women, one early on where it is implied a mother has just finished feeding her child, and one about halfway through where dancers are entertaining guests. Neither of these scenes are overly risque though.

Is Hercules educational?

If you are familiar with the legend of Hercules you will know that he was the demi-god born of the god Zeus and mortal mother Alcmene.  He had to complete 12 quests or ‘Labors.’ Many of the labors are discussed in the film and some are shown. The official website does a good job of cataloging the 12 labors. He has roots in both Greek and Roman mythology, which lends to why he is such a popular figure.

The film does take an interesting view on the legend, and sheds some light on the mythical companions that Hercules had throughout his adventures. While his friends may not have traveled with him in traditional stories they are taken from Greek lore. The movie does portray that being loyal to your friends and doing the right thing is virtuous.

Your child should see this movie if:

  • They are interested in Greek mythology. Hercules is one of the most popular tales, not only in Greek and Roman mythology but has become popular in the west as well.
  • You are looking for a fun summer movie. Yes, the movie is violent, but the action is fun, and it does incorporate a fair amount of humor.

Your child should NOT see this movie if:

  • You are questioning how violent the movie is going to be
  • You are expecting the film to be a good lesson on the mythology. The film borrows from the myths and legends, but the main story is a new adventure for Hercules.

Read more movie reviews here

Please leave any feedback on the movie or review in the comments!

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Peter Spain

Peter Spain

Peter Spain is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff and a manager at K12. A graduate from George Mason University, Peter has worked for several years in the education and entertainment industry. He strives to make learning fun for children by contributing to the games and activities section of the site, and keeping an eye out for advancements in edutainment.

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Is ‘Hercules’ Okay for Kids?

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