Morbius

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Not suitable under 14; parental guidance to 15 (violence, scary scenes, themes, language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Morbius
  • a review of Morbius completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 8 April 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 14 Not suitable due to violence, themes, scary scenes and language.
Children aged 14–15 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, themes, scary scenes and language.
Children over the age of 15 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: Morbius
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Mature themes, action violence and coarse language
Length: 104 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Young Michael Morbius (Charlie Shotwell) spent much of his childhood locked away in a hospital undergoing blood transfusions three times a day just to keep him alive. When young Milo (Joseph Esson), who suffers from the same incurable condition, arrives the two quickly become friends. Their bond is only deepened when Michael, thinking fast, uses a pen to repair a malfunctioning machine that is keeping Milo alive. Recognising his genius, Dr Nicholas (Jared Harris) arranges for Michael to receive a scholarship to study medicine at a prestigious school. Michael promises Milo that they will always be friends and that he will stop at nothing until he has found a cure that will save them both. 25 years later, at an elusive cave in the mountains of Costa Rica, Dr Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) locates a breed of bats that he believes holds the key to their survival. After numerous trials, and aided by his lovely colleague Dr Martine Bancroft (Adria Arjona), it looks like he has finally succeeded, except something goes terribly wrong. Michael mutates into a violent, bloodthirsty monster who is unable to control his emotions or urges. Physically he is healed as long as he continues to consume blood but he is horrified by what he has done and disgusted by what he has become. Michael refuses to inject Milo (Matt Smith) with the same serum, telling him that it is a curse, not a cure but Milo doesn’t listen and injects himself anyway. Michael learns to control his urges and harness his new powers while Milo kills indiscriminately, wreaking terror and havoc on strangers and loved ones alike. With time running out, Michael develops a serum that will end the terror once and for all but will he be able to inject it before it is too late?

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.

Chronic disease and sickness; Bullying; Animal testing; Violence as a means to solve conflict.

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.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • There are bloody remains of some creature that a swarm of vampire bats have attacked.
  • Michael cuts his hand to draw the bats out of their cave.
  • A group of school bullies punch, hit and kick Milo, who stumbles out of the hospital in search of his letter that has blown out the window. Milo hits one of the boys in the head with his crutch.
  • After being injected with the serum Michael morphs into a monster and attacks all the men on the hired boat. He slams them into walls, rips them with his fangs and drinks their blood. It is like he has super strength.
  • Michael claws at a man’s throat and rips his jugular. The men shoot at him while he stalks and kills them off one by one. He later watches video surveillance of his killing spree.
  • Martine is questioned by investigators and is shown graphic photos of the bodies on the boat.
  • Michael attacks two investigators in an attempt to get away. An officer shoots at him as he flies up towards the roof.
  • Michael drinks bags of blood and then morphs into a monster that breaks through the prison walls and flies onto buildings.
  • Milo attacks a bunch of police officers in a crowded subway.
  • Michael jumps in front of a speeding subway train and appears to fly on the wind before it.
  • Michael breaks a guy’s hand after he tries to stab him with a knife.
  • Milo kills three men who humiliated him in a bar.
  • Milo attacks Dr Nicholas, slashing him across the chest with his claws and giving him a message for Michael. The doctor dies right after passing the message on.
  • Milo is holding Martine hostage, hurting her in an attempt to get her to lure Michael to his location. She dies in his arms shortly after Michael arrives. As, per her wishes, Michael drinks her blood, he is given the strength to fight on. He and Milo blast, hit, attack, slice, drag, push, throw and grab each other as they crash through buildings and fall onto wires and rubble.
  • Milo tries to attack Michael with a metal pole held aloft like a spear. An army of bats come to Michael’s aid and help propel Milo backwards where Michael is able to inject poison into Milo’s heart.

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.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There are frequent transformations in the film once Michael and Milo have injected themselves with the bat serum: their face and bodies change; they look sinister and evil with long sharp fangs, glowing, red, eyes and grotesque features; they can crawl on ceilings and walls and fly and pop up undetected; they evade gunfire and attacks; and Milo in particular is extremely violent slashing, ripping, stabbing and killing his victims and draining them of blood. These scenes are often accompanied by suspenseful or loud music and often the piercing screams of the victims.

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.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Michael injects a mouse with his bat serum and it begins to have violent seizures and ultimately appears to die. Some children may be distressed by the scene.
  • Michael and Martine are interrupted by an emergency with one of Michael’s patients, a little girl who is feverish and shaking. They inject her with something that puts her into a coma and when she is stable they return to the mouse that is suddenly alive but with bright red, glowing eyes. Some children may find it upsetting to watch another child suffer.
  • A nurse is walking down a deserted hospital hallway at night when the lights begin to flicker and she sees a large, black shape racing towards her along the ceiling. She is clearly petrified and she runs. The lights continue to flicker and the music is foreboding and intense. She gets to the end of the hallway, switches on another light and a gnarled hand with claw-like fingers reaches out from behind and pins her to the wall. A male figure then attacks her, holding her on the ground while he drains her body of blood and eventually she lays still. It later turns out that Michael knew the woman and that she was a single mother with twin girls. Her entire attack is shown and may very well upset some viewers.

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.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Milo dances shirtless while lyrics in a song repeatedly refer to sex.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Michael is shirtless in a couple of scenes. One, shortly before his injection where he looks weak and sickly and one where he looks strong and fit.
  • Michael and Martine share a passionate kiss.

Use of substances

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

  • Milo orders whiskey and tequila at a bar and shares shots with a woman.
  • Needles are used to inject a range of substances into different characters.
  • Milo’s living room looks like he has been drinking heavily and taking prescription medication. There are wine bottles and open bottles of pills all over a table.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Shit
  • Hell
  • Crappy
  • Ass
  • Jerk.

In a nutshell

Morbius is an action film based on a character from the Marvel comics. There are numerous special effects and lots of violence but little or no consequences arising from the carnage. As a result this film is best suited to older teen and adult audiences.

The main message from this movie is that in the eternal battle of good versus evil, there will be inevitable casualties but that ultimately, good will prevail.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Helpfulness
  • Loyalty
  • Persistence
  • Determination.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • The perils and cruelty of animal testing.
  • The impact of bullying on others.
  • What it would be like to live with chronic disease.
  • Violence as a means to solve conflict.
  • The importance of self-restraint, especially when it affects other people.