Australian Council on Children and the Media

Fantastic Four

movie image

Short takes

Not recommended under 13; parental guidance recommended 13-15 (violence; Disturbing scenes)

Age
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
classification logo

This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Fantastic Four
  • a review of Fantastic Four completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 12 August 2015.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended due to violence and disturbing scenes
Children 13 to 15 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and disturbing scenes
Children 15 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Fantastic Four
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Fantasy themes and violence
Length 100 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

In the opening scenes of the film we find 10-year-old Reed Richards (Owen Judge) and his best friend Ben Grimm (Evan Hannemann) pooling their resources in a bid to build a bio-matter transport machine. By the time Reed (Miles Teller) and Ben (Jamie Bell) reach high school, several years later, the two friends have perfected their transport machine, transporting small toys to unknown locations and back again. When Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) from the Baxter Institute sees Reed’s machine at a school science fair he is so impressed by Reed’s invention that he offers Reed a full scholarship to the Baxter Institute in Manhattan.

When Reed arrives at the Institute he is introduced to fellow students Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), Sue Storm (Kate Mara) and Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell), who have also been working on a teleportation machine without Reed’s level of success. The Institute students have, however, discovered that what is sent through the machine does not reappear in an unknown location somewhere on Earth, but reappears in another dimension. The four young inventors work together and before long have managed to build an Interdimensional Bio-Matter Transporter.

Reed, Ben, Johnny, and Victor use the machine to travel to another dimension where they encounter a strange energy source which threatens their lives and consumes Victor. When Reed, Ben and Johnny return to their own dimension they find themselves, along with Sue Storm, changed forever.  They now acquire distinct superpowers and become the Fantastic Four, but are soon put to the test when Victor returns from the other reality bent on destroying the world.          

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Superpowers; inter-dimensional travel; world destruction

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Fantastic Four contains action violence (at times intense) throughout, some mass destruction, multiple deaths, occasional brief depiction of graphic blood and gore, some gun related violence, brief images of battle-like violence and a dangerous car chase. Examples include:

  • A teenage boy slaps his younger brother hard across the head and face. The boys' mother enters the room, stops the older boy and slaps him across the head and face.     
  • We see images of a man with superpowers engaged in battle with soldiers, hurling army tanks through the air like toys.
  • A man with superpowers kills a multitude of people with his thought. In one instance he uses his powers to burn a man alive inside his protective suit. We see the man’s skin turn red blister and bubble and his head explode inside his helmet with blood and gore splattered against the visor. We see the same man attack and kill other people, their heads exploding and blood and gore splattering against a wall.
  • A man with superpowers kills another man by burning him alive. After the attack the man remains alive for a short while. His skin is burnt black and has a mummified appearance about it. 
  • A beam of energy shoots up into the sky from another dimension, creating a black-hole on Earth that causes mass destruction by sucking in people, cars, trains, buildings and the surrounding landscape until a large crater is left in the ground.    
  • The Fantastic Four fight with Victor. We see one man buried beneath a large pile of rocks, a second man pinned to the surface of the planet and a third man knocked unconscious with fire, while the woman is trapped and crushed in a force field. Eventually the Four break free and join forces to suspend their attacker within a beam of energy that kills him; we see his body disintegrate.     

Material that may scare or disturb children

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Most of this movie would scare children in this age group including:

  • We see images of a man whose protective suit has been fused with his body giving him a very scary appearance. He is covered in cracks that glow green and his eyes also glow green.  
  • In a bright lightning-like flash, four young men are teleported to another dimension. The surface of the ground resembles cracked mud with green glowing lava-like energy beneath. The ground explodes and streams of green liquid energy shower the four who run for their lives. One man is engulfed in green liquid-like energy and screams in pain as he is consumed and falls into a pool of the liquid.
  • The scene in which the Fantastic Four transform as they receive their superpowers is likely to be very scary for this age group
  • In one scene a man’s face transforms into the face of another man, the flesh moving about with squelching sounds.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are also likely to be scared by the above-mentioned violent and disturbing scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Younger children in this age group may also likely to be scared by the above-mentioned violent and disturbing scenes.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Brand named cars, phones and soft drinks

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

Very mild flirting

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Three young men drink from a hip flask containing strong alcohol. The three become partially intoxicated, slurring their words slightly and engaging in rash behaviour that has dangerous consequences. One of them makes the comment that ethanol kills brain cells.  

Coarse language

The film contains medium level coarse language and name calling scattered throughout. Examples include:

  • damn it; what the hell; oh my God ; dick; shit; you’re an arse; bullshit   

In a nutshell

Fantastic Four is a science fiction action film from Marvel featuring young versions of the popular comic book characters and likely to appeal to teenagers. Although the film contains less violence than most other Marvel superhero films, it does contain violence that is brutal and bloody and so deserves its M rating. There are some gruesome scenes of transformation, injury and death that could be very disturbing for children under 13 and some younger teens.      

The main messages from this movie are:   

  • By working together we can achieve far more than if we work alone.
  • While we can’t change the past we can influence the future.

 Parents may also wish to discuss the way in which the film depicts the consequences resulting from the three superheroes becoming drunk.

 

Movie Review Search

Title:

Tip: Leave out the first A, An or The

Alphabetical:

Age suitability:

Selecting an age will provide a list of movies with content suitable for this age group. Children may also enjoy movies selected via a lower age.

Classifications:

classification img classification img classification img classification img

Date added:

About our colour guide

Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

Content is not age appropriate for children this age