Tolkien | 2019 | PG-13 | – 4.6.2
Why is “Tolkien” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “some sequences of war violence.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a few kissing scenes and two paintings of nude women, several scenes depicting the horrors of war and death by gunshot and explosives, and several scenes of fantastical beasts from a man’s imagination. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”
Biopic recounting the early years of J.R.R. Tolkien (Nicholas Hoult), the celebrated author of The Hobbit: an orphan with his younger brother at a young age, his imagination and love for language were significant factors in helping him to manage loss and find his path. Also with Lily Collins, Patrick Gibson, Derek Jacobi, Colm Meaney, Craig Roberts, Anthony Boyle and Tom Glynn-Carney. Directed by Dome Karukoski. [Running Time: 1:52]
Tolkien SEX/NUDITY 4
– We see two paintings of nude women and bare breasts and abdomens are visible. Many enlisted men gather in a hotel before being shipped out to war and we see them with alcoholic beverages and talking to women wearing low-cut and off-the-shoulder dresses (cleavage and bare shoulders and arms are seen).
► A young man and a young woman kiss and hold each other closely. A young man and a young woman kiss as he is leaving for war; she says, “Stay alive and come back to me.” A young man kisses a young woman on the cheek.
► A young man and a young woman sneak through a boarding house and out to a restaurant where they talk and touch each other’s hands tenderly. A young man describes two trees in a forest wrapping around each other and we see the trunks entwined as he illustrates their position with his hand wrapped around a young woman’s.
► A teen boy admires a teen girl across a dinner table and they smile at each other. A teen boy describes a “red-blooded” woman and makes a gesture to illustrate large breasts. A teen boy is goaded to propose marriage to a waitress in a tea house and he gets on one knee and asks for her hand as his friends laugh and smile nearby. A young man tells a man that he is in love with a young woman and the man says, “She’s not even Catholic.” A young man mocks another young man saying that he is pining for a young woman (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A young man is seen to be very sad after he gets news that the young woman he loves is marrying someone else.
Tolkien VIOLENCE/GORE 6
- Several scenes take place in foxholes during WWI where we see muddy surroundings and soldiers on the ground (either sleeping or dead) while gunfire and explosions ring out all around them; one scene shows two men running through the foxhole as soldiers around the top use flamethrowers into the area (we see men engulfed in flames running and screaming) and the two men run into a large pool of blood-filled water surrounded by piles of dead soldiers (no injuries are shown); in another scene they crawl through the foxhole and see smoke billowing toward them (they put on gasmasks). Many soldiers climb out of a foxhole with their bayonets fixed and run toward other soldiers as explosions throw several of them (we see one mangled body dangling from a tree limb and others lie still with smudged muck on their faces) and others are gunned down, a cloud of gas blows through the area and men put gasmasks on; one man stumbles through the area unarmed and thinking that he hears his friend's voice calling to him as flames burst and smoke billows through the area and the man imagines seeing a large creature raise a sword in the air over a dead body and roaring as he brings it down.
► A young man mocks another young man saying that he is pining for a young woman and the second young man punches him in the eye (we see a slight bruise later). Teen boys play rugby and two boys shove each other angrily, one punching the other in the face (we see his bloody lip). A teenage boy corrects a teacher when he mispronounces his name and the teacher seems annoyed. A teen boy steals another teen boy's book in class and he must recite the text from memory when called on. Several boys in play swordfight with long sticks in a wooded area. Two teen boys poke and slap at each other in a library. A young woman in a restaurant throws a sugar cube onto the brim of a woman's hat seated nearby; she entices the young man she is with to do the same and we see them being escorted out of the restaurant. Four young men sit on an empty bus with a few young women and they drink champagne until police arrive and apparently arrest them; we see one young man after his release and we understand that he and another young man are going to be formally reprimanded. A teenage boy returns home from school to find his mother dead; we see her slump over in a chair and we understand that she had been sick with an undisclosed illness.
► Several scenes depict imaginary sequences of armored horses ridden by armored and masked men slashing swords at each other and winged dragons blowing fire. A woman reads an adventure story to her young sons about dragons and describes a swordsman thrusting his sword in a dragon's heart. A young man draws pictures of beasts, dragons and adventure scenes.
► A boy runs away from his mother when she tells him about difficult times and that they are going to be moving away. A man runs onto a grassy area in a college and yells, "War! We are at war!" A man is shown in a hospital bed recovering from "trench fever." A young woman yells at a young man about not allowing her to talk about her passion for music. A young man confronts his father about making him break a promise to his friends and the father eventually relents. Two men yell at an inebriated young man for being on the lawn. A man describes a woman as having scaly feet and tusks and that she is chewing on what looked like the femur of a small boy. A soldier tries to convince an officer that he should rest and says, "The doctor says the fever might get worse." A teen boy says that his parents would decapitate him if they found out he was interested in music. Characters make reference to a Norse goddess whose name is Helheim several times. A young man describes two trees each with sap that is poisonous. A young man talks about being imbued with magic abilities after drinking water from a pond near poisonous trees. A young man tells a man that he is in love with a young woman and the man says, "She's not even Catholic," and forbids him from seeing her. A young man talks about "death by lecture." A young man's scholarship is taken away from him after he is arrested for sitting on an empty bus. A young man speaks to another young man's mother and says, "He'd kill me for telling you this." We hear that two young men died in battle. A woman says, "My sister lost her three sons and I lost two."
Tolkien LANGUAGE 2
- 1 scatological term, 1 anatomical term, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (drunken peacock, duffer, idiot, irrelevant, rude, ungentlemanly, cold-hearted villainy, special, poor, gobbledygook, scoundrel, clown, ridiculous, treacherous beasts, degenerate, nonsense, dimwits, moron, silly old sod, poor lawless orphan, swines), exclamations (shut-up, bloody, heavens), religious profanities, 6 religious exclamations (e.g. For God's Sake, God, So Help Me God, Oh For God's Sake, God Bless You). | profanity glossary |
Tolkien SUBSTANCE USE
- Four young men hold glasses of cognac and wine in a few scenes and we see them drinking and toasting, four young men hold bottles of champagne and drink from them, a young man drinks from a bottle of whisky and appears drunk, and many enlisted men gather in a hotel before being shipped out to war and we see them with alcoholic beverages.
Tolkien DISCUSSION TOPICS
- Death of parents, WWI, imagination, friendship, fellowship, J.R.R. Tolkien, class distinctions, happy endings, the human condition, magic, loyalty, deciding how to live your life, philology, character, courage, life journeys, shame, regrets, legends, discipline, music, poetry, art.
- Imagination can help some get through very difficult situations.
Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.
We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.
Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.
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