11th Hour, The

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Short takes

Not suitable under 10; parental guidance to 15 (disturbing scenes and themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for 11th Hour, The
  • a review of 11th Hour, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 11 October 2007.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not suitable due to disturbing images and themes and the complexity of the topics discussed.
Children aged 10–15 Parental guidance recommended due to disturbing themes.
Children aged 16 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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: 11th Hour, The
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes
Length: 93 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, The 11th Hour is a persuasive and informative documentary that discusses the damaging impact of humankind on the planet. The film presents the views of over fifty of the world’s leading scientists and environmental activists including David Suzuki, Stephen Hawking and Wangari Maathai. The opening stages of the film depict weather related disasters and the devastation they wreak upon human populations and the environment.
The film shows how initially sunlight was human’s sole source of energy and how humans relied upon sunlight to grow crops, produce clothing and provide warmth. The sun provided an energy source that allowed humans to live in balance with nature and the environment. The film then discusses the way in which the discovery and exploitation of fossil fuels have contributed to the poisoning of the atmosphere, global warming and planetary imbalance.  
The final portion of the film is devoted to a discussion of how humans can work to avoid their own extinction.


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.

Ecological disasters; extinction of the human race

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.

The film contains some violence to animals, including:  

  • a man spearing a fish
  • a man brutally clubbing a seal to death

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

The film includes images of ecological disasters, people in peril, and harm to animals which children may find disturbing including:

  • hurricane winds blowing cars around and panicked people running scared.
  • a rear view of a man’s emaciated body with his ribs and spine pressing tight against his skin
  • raging forest fires   
  • mushroom cloud images of an exploding atomic bomb
  • people trapped in floodwaters and wading through floodwaters
  • dead bodies piled on a tray-top truck
  • houses exploding due to hurricane force winds and the roofs of houses being blown off 
  • cars floating in floodwaters
  • emaciated cow carcases
  • a bloated human body floating in floodwaters 
  • a polluted lake on fire
  • a crocodile eating and swallowing a large fish
  • decaying sea creatures on a beach
  • burning oil fields with billowing clouds of black smoke   

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.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

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 may be also be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned violence and scenes, and by some of the themes including:

  • the extinction of the human race
  • a future where Earth resemble the planet Venus where temperatures are 482 degrees Fahrenheit with sulphuric acid for rain
  • the planet is sick and it may be already too late to turn the situation around
  • how humans are destroying themselves
  • climate change is the biggest danger humans have ever faced
  • by mid century there may be more than 150 million environmental refugees
  • no living systems are stable
  • 55000 species are becoming extinct each year due to humans

Thirteen and overinfo

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.

Some children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes and themes.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

  • None noted.

In a nutshell

The 11th Hour is a thought-provoking documentary that explores the reasons for the world’s current state of environmental crisis. The film has minimal narration by Leonardo DiCaprio, but relies mainly on discussion by world-acclaimed scientists and environmental activists. Due to the themes discussed in this film, children under the age of ten years may find the film uninteresting and beyond their ability to comprehend. The main messages from this movie are:

  • The people and governments of the world must act now to alter the current environmental crisis, or it will be too late.
  • We need to develop an awareness of the relationship between humans and nature.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children:

  • Ways of reducing our use of fossil fuels and waste production while increasing our use of renewable resources and methods of recycling.
  • The negative effects of selfishness and consumerism