Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says OK for kids 12+
Classic franchise gets new life; OK for older kids.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although this slick, upbeat sci-fi adventure isn't much more violent than the earlier Star Trek movies, there's a heightened feel that gives it a little bit more edge. While the action is (mostly) bloodless, it's also intense; expect lots of fights, battles, and hand-to-hand combat. At one point, the villains destroy an entire planet of humanoid aliens. Some of the comic relief scenes have a flirty, playful sense of sexuality (Kirk has always been a ladies' man), but that's balanced by the mature depiction of a relationship. There's also a bit of language ("bulls--t," etc.) and some drinking.
- Families can talk about the enduring appeal of Star Trek -- what makes people become such faithful fans? Why do you think the studio decided to make a new version? How does it compare to the older movies and TV shows?
- Talk about revenge, which is a major theme in the film. Ask kids whether it's ever justified to hurt others in the name of revenge. How much of the movie's violence can be traced back to that motivation? How much impact does it have compared to the violence in other action movies? Why?
The good stuff
Positive messages: Even with its sci-fi action and occasional flirty sexuality, the movie has positive, welcome messages about individual responsibility, collective accomplishment, institutional tradition, and working for the greater good.
Positive role models: Almost every character in the film puts aside something -- regret, pain, selfishness -- for the ultimate mission, with good work as its own reward. Zoe Saldana's Uhura is a strong female role model. Good cast diversity.
What to watch for
Violence: The sci-fi military-style action violence is plentiful but not especially bloody. At one point, an entire planet (with a population in the billions) is destroyed. The crews of various starships are pummeled by explosions, struck with torpedoes, sucked out of hull breaches into space, and generally assaulted. A character is impaled with a sharp-ended staff; another falls to her death; another receives several harsh pummelings. Some fistfights. Humanoid aliens are shot close-up; a monstrous beast threatens a character.
Sexy stuff: Some suggestive talk and kissing; two female characters are seen in their underwear. An underwear-clad couple makes out on a bed, though it initially seems like they're having sex. There's a joke about "farm boys having sex with animals."
Language: Some language throughout including "arse" (in the context of kicking), "damn," "ass," "hell," "oh my God," "bulls--t," "goddamn," and "whore." One clear (though not particularly noticeable) use of "f--king" in the lyrics of a Beastie Boys song played during a scene.
Consumerism: The movie is set in the 24th century, but somehow Nokia and Budweiser manage to make appearances.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters drink beer, wine, and hard liquor, sometimes to excess.