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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Themes of underdog heroism and not bowing to corruption get a little lost in the blood and gore.
Positive Role Models
Even in the face of sure defeat, brave soldiers stand firm against tyrannous threats to freedom. A corrupt Spartan councilman is exposed as a traitor and brought to justice. But also some stereotyping based on Asian culture, as well as one character's physical disability.
Violence & Scariness
Over-the-top battle-scene violence, including graphic decapitations, severed limbs, mutilated bodies piled high, arrow-filled torsos, etc. Young Spartan boys are forced to furiously fight each other. The Spartan mottos are "No retreat, no surrender" and "No prisoners, no mercy."
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Extended love scene between Leonidas and the queen; viewers can see her nude breasts and his butt. The adolescent Oracle writhes and sways while wearing a sheer cloth that reveals her breasts. A character unwillingly has sex to procure a politician's favor. Although no nudity is shown in that scene, the aggressor whispers menacingly: "This will not be fast. You will not enjoy this." Xerxes' lair is depicted like an orgy, with various half-dressed Persian women kissing, moaning, and having sex.
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Colorfully worded insults like: "motherless dogs," "philosophers and boy-lovers," etc.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is no Masterpiece Theater rendition of ancient history. Like Sin City, 300 is an ultraviolent tale based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller. There's blood galore as the Spartans -- trained war machines -- defend their land against Xerxes' massive Persian army. Battlefield valor and violence is glorified by the Spartans, who take no prisoners and show no mercy. Heads literally roll, blood splatters, exotic animals are sliced and speared. Many, many soldiers on either side die gruesomely. If on-screen death and war -- even one so stylized and cartoonish at times -- is too disturbing a subject matter for your kids (or you!), this bloodfest isn't a safe bet. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
At times engrossing and at times laughably over-the-top, 300 is entertaining as an extended war sequence. However, the film falls short of reaching the revolutionary Matrix-like status that the film's creators claim. The whole segment in Xerxes' lair, with its hedonistic sensuality, smacks of stereotypical Orientalism, not to mention some of the grossly depicted Persian soldiers and the disfigured hunchback who plays a central role.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.