Australian Council on Children and the Media

Robin Hood (2018)

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Not recommended under 13, parental guidance recommended 13 to 15 due to violence, and disturbing scenes and themes

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Robin Hood (2018)
  • a review of Robin Hood (2018) completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 26 November 2018.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended due to violence and disturbing scenes and themes
Children 13 to 15 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and disturbing scenes and themes
Viewers 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: Robin Hood (2018)
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Mature themes and violence
Length 116 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

When wealthy aristocrat, Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) is sent to join the crusades, he is forced to trade his riches and comfort, and his love, Marion (Eve Hewson), for death and violence in far-off lands.  During a mission Robin defies his commander by setting free an enslaved Moor whose son had been beheaded in front of him.  As punishment, his commander wounds Robin with an arrow, before sending him home to England. 

Arriving home, Robin finds that his town is now in ruins under the tyrannical leadership of the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) and that his home has been seized by the Sheriff to pay for war tax. Marion has moved on to a new love, Will (Jamie Dornan). Before Robin can fall into despair, however, John (Jamie Foxx), the man he freed, reveals that he has followed Robin back to England to help him restore order in Nottingham.  The two men train together before setting out on a series of daring adventures, in which they steal from the Sheriff and deliver the spoils to the villagers. 

As the Sheriff tries to capture the hooded vigilantes, Robin and Marion uncover a secret plot by religious leaders to ensure that they remain rich and the crusades continue.  Robin and his companions must foil the plot before the villagers and Nottingham are completely wiped out.

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.

Justice; responsibility; death; crime; love

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 continual violence in this movie including:

  • The scenes in which Robin and his fellow crusaders are fighting ‘Arabs’ are intense and full of violence and death, and seem designed to reference modern warfare
  • There are close-up hand-to-hand combat sequences (war setting)
  • People are beheaded off-screen but the executions are discussed (war setting)
  • There are numerous scenes in which people are shot and killed using bows and arrows
  • John’s hand is cut off with a knife – He later cauterises a metal covering onto the stump
  • People are stabbed and killed with knives
  • Characters are flogged
  • Marion is punched in the face by a soldier
  • John kills a guard by strangling him with chains
  • Villagers make ‘Molotov cocktails’ that are thrown at guards during a riot
  • Will falls into fire and severely burns one side of his face
  • John hangs the Sheriff by his neck in the church – he dies

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 numerous explosions in which people are hurt – they are loud and likely to be frightening for young 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.

There are a number of scenes in which horses are injured or killed – e.g., a horse falls off a bridge and hits the side of it as it falls, a horse is hit with an arrow, etc.

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.

  • Discussions of the beheading of John’s son (which is not seen) are disturbing
  • A veteran crusader who is hunting Robin kidnaps Marion and threatens to rape her – “I’m going to have fun with you later”
  • The Sheriff describes in gruesome detail the severe beatings he received as a child

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 be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes

Product placement

Nothing of concern

Sexual references

Nothing of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

  • Marion’s dresses tend to be quite low cut, showing a fair amount of cleavage
  • Robin and Marion kiss intimately and for a prolonged period

Use of substances

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

  • Heavy drinking by Robin upon return from the crusades
  • Drinking in party settings and by religious figures during meetings

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Shit; piss; bastard

In a nutshell

Robin Hood is a violent remake of the classic story, which appears to be designed to present an amped-up, action-filled version of the well-known tale with modern references.  While some may enjoy the action sequences, the dialogue and plot seem clumsy, and the costuming and set-design are historically inaccurate so that the film lacks coherence.  Due to the continual violence, and disturbing scenes and themes, the film is not recommended for children under 13 and parental guidance is recommended for those under 15.    

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

  • fighting for those less fortunate than oneself
  • responsibility to do what is right, even in the face of powerful others

 Parents may wish to discuss:

  • The rights and wrongs of stealing from the rich to give to the poor
  • Attitudes toward men and women – Multiple derogatory interactions between male characters and female characters; male characters deride other male characters for not being ‘manly’ enough (e.g., “look alive ladies” – said to male soldiers during a crusade sequence in which they are visibly scared)
  • Gambling

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