Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says Iffy for 15+
Bloody, fanboyish retelling of an ancient battle.
What 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.
- Families can talk about the Spartans' upbringing and values. Why are 7-year-olds forced to fight each other -- and adults?
- Xerxes offers Leonidas what sounds like a sweet deal; why does the king, facing certain death, turn it down?
The good stuff
Positive messages: 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.
What to watch for
Violence: 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."
Sexy stuff: 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.
Language: Colorfully worded insults like: "motherless dogs," "philosophers and boy-lovers," etc.
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue