51 answers

Anyone Who Saw "The Dark Knight"....

Hi all... I'll start off by saying I've been anticipating this movie since it's trailer OVER A YEAR AGO, so now that it's out, I'm super excited to go see it! I have a little boy who is turning 5 this year and is BIG into epic adventures (i.e. Spiderman, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.) and really doesn't SCARE easily at all. He's been BEGGING me to see the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight" and I'm wondering if I should take him or not. He has seen his fair share of non-children type of movies (and no, I don't need a lecture on what my children watch at home... that has nothing to do with this post) - but I'm not making sure this new movie isn't OVER THE TOP with violence, cursing, etc. because I overheard someone saying there was a 4 year old behind her in the theater that was spazzing out the entire time, now it has me worried. I don't have much "free time" with 3 kids (or $$, lol) so seeing it first, THEN taking him is out of the question... so what do you think?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow! The response definitely seems one-sided so I definitely think I'm going to let him sit this one out. I'll just convince the babysitter to watch him along with my younger 2 children and take my 14 year old brother to see it instead :) Also sounds like it's a TERRIFIC movie - I can't WAIT to go see it!!! Thanks everyone!!

*******UPDATE!!********* I HAVE SINCE GONE TO SEE THE MOVIE AND AM EXTREMELY GLAD I DID NOT TAKE MY SON!! TALK ABOUT EVIL AND DEMENTED! THE IMAGES ALONE ARE DISTRUBING AND HAUNTING, LET ALONE THE PLOT AND TWISTED STORIES!!! AND JUST AN FYI TO A FEW SELECT PEOPLE WHO RESPONDED, I'M VERY GLAD I WENT BEFORE I READ SOME OF YOUR REPLIES BECAUSE A FEW OF YOU WENT INTO A LOT OF DETAIL ABOUT THE MOVIE AND I WOULD HAVE BEEN GREATLY UPSET HAD I READ YOUR SPOILERS, SO NEXT TIME, YOU MIGHT WANT TO REMEMBER THAT FOR US WHO HAVEN'T ACTUALLY SEEN THE MOVIE YET! THANKS TO THE OVERWHELMING RESPONSE, I CERTAINTLY AGREE! NOW IT'S JUST CONVINCING MY BEST FRIEND NOT TO TAKE HER 4-YEAR OLD!!*****

Featured Answers

I have a 4 year old - and wouldn't let her go see it without me having seen it first. Since that isn't likely (can certainly understand budget concerns), I'd wait for DVD and/or "pay-per-view". It'll be much cheaper, and you could actually pause it if things get too scary or something.

My husband is at the theater watching it right now - took the day off. I'm interested, but not that interested htat I can't wait for it to come out on DVD (although I hear Heath Ledger's performance is spectacular!).

Good luck!

You can go to a website FILMHILL.COM and watch it online first. as long as the movies are still in the theatre, you can watch it on this website for free. my sister has seen it already & said there's no way her daughter will watch it until she is older.

Hey S.,
I have read that this movie isn't really about the comic book type of Batman. This is a much draker, scarier movie and not intended for kids. They said at the very least 10 yr olds maybe. My 9 yr old isn't interested at all and he is also into the super heros.
I wouldn't recommend it. Especially beig on a budget.

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Please DO NOT take your son to see this movie. I am 38 and saw it with my husband over the weekend. Frankly, I had to turn my head a couple of times, and I'm not a person who scares easily. It is so dark and violent! I have an 8 year old who is also not scared easily; however, there's no chance I would let her see this. NONE! My husband and I both talked afterwards about how it was kind of like evil upon evil upon evil. There's not fun and excitement here like you might find in Spiderman or Pirates. You began to wonder when/if Batman was going to save the day. It was a great movie, but most definitely not for children.

2 moms found this helpful

Movies have a rating system for a reason. My husband and I have went to "R" rated movies and left our 13 and 11 year old children at home while other parents have brought their toddler - elementary aged children with them. I just don't get it. There are plenty of cartoon Batman movies out there for your child to see. Tell him he can see it when he's old enough to develop reason and a good sense of right and wrong. De-sensitizing children only makes them grow up way too early. What will they have to look forward to if they can see PG-13 movies at 5 yrs old? I used to watch a neighbor's child before school and she was 7 yrs. old. She told me one morning that she saw the movies Van Helsing and SAW. She had a sister who was 10. She also told me she had to sleep in her sister's room with her because she was having nightmares, big sister was too. You may think these movies are a lot different than Batman, but they both have violence and scary images. I don't doubt that you love your children, but please be a parent now and be their friend when they become adults. I also work in a school system and see way too many kids who have a lack of empathy and respect for others because they are not allowed to be kids and are exposed too early to the adult world. I'll get off my soap-box now!

2 moms found this helpful

mu husband saw it yesterday and said it is awesome! My kids too have seen a lot of the superhero movies. My husband did say to me though that he didn't think it was good for kids at least in the theater bc it adds so much more drama with the big screen and surround sound. My son is 6 and he said he was glad he didn't bring him.

1 mom found this helpful

NO!!! Its called the DARK knight for a reason! Im 26 and had to turn my head a few times during the movie because it got soo graphic. Do not let little ones watch this.

1 mom found this helpful

I saw it on Saturday night. My nephews, who are very much into violent video games, we very scared! It wasn't anything like the last 3 bateman movies. Very much on the dark side, and very intense. Adults, including myself will mark it down as one of the top movies ever!! But I don't think its for anyone under 12.

1 mom found this helpful

I am a HUGE Batman fan, and I LOVED this movie. There were people who brought young children to see it, but I highly recommend that you don't. Christian Bale's Batman and his Gotham are not the prettied up one you can watch on the Saturday morning cartoon. This movie is dark and violent and the Joker is frightening. It's also 2.5 hours long, and some of the kids started crying. I don't think it's appropriate for a child that young.

...LF

1 mom found this helpful

I haven't seen the movie but I can't imagine this movie would be beneficial to your son. No doubt he has enough entertainment already so what is the point of taking him to this movie? Can any good come from it? The potential for harming your son is much greater. I understand this movie to be very "dark" in nature. Even if he's not "scared" on the outside, there will be lots going on under the surface. My parents took me, unwittingly, to a very dark movie when I was 4 or 5. The images I saw in that movie stayed with me through my entire life. I wish I had been spared. This is a time in your sons life when you have the power to entirely impact what he sees and experiences. There'll be enough years when your control will not be as complete. Why not let your son remain a child for these years and keep him from such images. Sincerely, K.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,
I saw it this weekend and I would advise against taking your son. I have a 4 year old daughter who doesn't scare easily either but I'm not going to let her see this. The violense is pretty intense and the aftermath of "Two Face" is pretty gruesome. The Joker alone is pretty scary. I'd wait a while.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello - We went to see "The Dark Knight" on Sunday with my 13 year old that did like it - although I do think even he (who plays M rated video games half the time -- was slightly bothered by the "dark theme" of the movie, because he is not talking about it like he endlessly talked about Spiderman and the other Batman movies. He also asked when it would be over a couple times. It is very very long. It is very very good from a acting and special effects viewpoint - truly excellent. The Joker was particularly scary (although phenominal acting) and Two-Faced face was very scary. It was just a very very dark movie that talks about how the Joker's father slashed his face and he had slashed his wife's face and the gunfire is massive and never ending. Also a lot of blowing up buildings including a hospital - images that would stay with a young child a long time. The reviews I read afterwards said it was an adult movie not meant for children under 14 and it was "just south of an R rating". I think it is just a bit much personally for anyone under 10 anyway. I really did not see young children at the one I went to. You will enjoy it if you go. Oh, another warning -- the previews that precede it for upcoming movies are probably worse than the movie...so I would try to miss the previews but then you could also miss getting a seat. The previews are all about the "end of the world coming movies" everything from aliens to disease and they are very graphic...and folks wonder what is wrong with the country?

1 mom found this helpful

S.... at our house we try to stick to the ratings. PG-13 means that there are some things in there that you shouldn't see until you are a teenager(and sometimes older!). Kids grow up WAY too fast these days. My 6 year old begs and pleads to see movies his friends have seen and play video games his friends can play. I tell him that God gave me the job to protect him and this is one way Mommy and Daddy do that. He's not happy about it, but understands. I'm not here to be his friend :) Stick to the comic book, cartoon POW! WHAM! versions. He'll get to see the other stuff early enough!

1 mom found this helpful

I went to see this movie and there was a boy about 10 sitting next to us with his mom. He kept asking when the movie was going to be over and seemed kind of freaked out. I'm not judging you or anything, but I would think twice before letting him go see this movie. It is VERY dark and sinister. I loved it, of course, but the joker alone would scare the pants off of most adults, let alone a five-year old. There is a scene where a young boy is held at gun point and is very scary (I don't want to give too much away). I would suggest you wait until he is a little older. There is a lot of violence and dark stuff. But the shear length of the movie would probably be the biggest deterrent. I don't think most five-year olds I know could sit through that long of a movie. My husband had to go to the bathroom twice it was so long!

A.

1 mom found this helpful

Well, my husband and I saw it and it was AMAZING! There's not too much bad language in it, but there is a ton of violence. It's really up to each parent what their kid sees (trust me, I don't judge you, my daughter loves "family guy"...lol), so use your better judgement, but the joker is kinda scary. he's definately not the "fun" joker, and it's kind of disturbing when he explains why he has his scars on his face, but if you don't think that stuff will bother your son, then I say by all means, take him. You guys will have a great time, the movie is fantastic!

1 mom found this helpful

I would not recommend it for your son. I've even questioned if my 12 year old nephew should go and see it. I just read a press release from Purdue Unversity where a professor, who studies violent films, is warning parents not to take children, especially those under 6 years old, to this movie.

There is a lot more violence and the special effects are very real looking, many of them made me squirm. I don't remember any cursing. It is a dark movie with lots of twists and turns so your son will have a hard time even understanding what's going on. Without understanding the plot, it really is nothing more than lots of violence. This is not your cartoon Batman.

And then there is Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker. He's so good, it's nightmare material. You may also want to consider the length of the movie. With previews, it was about 2:20 which is a long time for a 5 year old to sit.

1 mom found this helpful

My 24 yr old daughter saw it and said The Joker was so scary she thought she'd have nightmares.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,
I saw The Dark Night over the weekend with my husband. I think the movie was wonderful BUT I have a 7 year old son who also loves the Spiderman movies, Pirates etc and he will NOT be seeing this movie for quite some time. It does not contain bad language but what it does contain is very good, very scary acting on Heath Ledgers part as the Joker. He uses knifes and guns on adults, he holds a gun to a small boys head, and just to look at him and two face is enough to give most adults even a nightmare or two. The Joker is very grossly descriptive on how he got his scars and how he became the crazy man he is. While the acting is very intertaining for us, I think a small child at our childerns age would have a hard time keeping the jokers words and image out of their heads and would have a very hard time going to bed a night. Find a sitter and go see it for yourself, or if you most, wait until the DVD and make your decision when you can see it first. Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

I personally wouldn't, but no one knows your child and what he can tolerate better than you. Be prepared for nightmares, as it is WAY more intense than any of the other movies you listed. This is way more of a crime drama than a superhero film.
Check the movie theaters around you. The one near my house does a "mommy and me" showing for the first time slot each day. They don't turn the lights down or the volume up all of the way, which might make it a little easier.

1 mom found this helpful

S.,

Maybe these reviews will help you decide. Seems like it is probably too intense for a 5 yr. old:

"PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and some menace. The Dark Knight could be treated as an R-rated film for the sheer bleakness of the film. While not much blood is actually shown (other than a scene of a man stitching his own wound), there is a lot of torture and violence where you may not see the gore, but it leads you to connect the dots in your head. A man jams a pencil in an enemy's eye socket. The Joker terrorizes several people by placing knives in their faces. There are scenes of animal violence. Many people are put in grisly situations and are forced to make unthinkable decisions."
http://www.christianitytoday.com/movies/reviews/2008/dark...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0468569/parentalguide

1 mom found this helpful

With 44 responses to your question I can't read through all of them to know if this is a repeat. The ones I read through made good points about the fact that movies are rated for a purpose. I think that a bigger concern than whether a child will get scared or not is studies that have been done concerning viewing movie, television, or video game violence and become desensitized to real-life people getting hurt. Additionally it can possibly make individuals less emphathetic overall. These years when our childrens' characters are being formed are so crucial. Considering I have heard of several stories in the news in just the past month of lack of bystander empathy or intervention, I think these studies have a lot of truth.

1 mom found this helpful

Hey S.,
I have read that this movie isn't really about the comic book type of Batman. This is a much draker, scarier movie and not intended for kids. They said at the very least 10 yr olds maybe. My 9 yr old isn't interested at all and he is also into the super heros.
I wouldn't recommend it. Especially beig on a budget.

We run into the question of whether or not we can have our kids tag along, as well... and we always found this website helpful:
http://www.kids-in-mind.com/
It gives a good detailed review of scenes you'll find sex/violence/profanity/etc , and rates their level. I have it bookmarked so we can use it as a reference as needed!
:)

http://www.kids-in-mind.com/

that is a great site to check out movies before you take kids - or even yourself - we use it all the time!

Hi S. - I totally understand your predicament - we are pretty realistic with my kids when it comes to adult humor, violence, etc. My boys(13 and 8) sound exactly like your little one at his age. When one of the PG-13 Harry Potters came out when my youngest was 4-5, I waited until it came out on video - I felt like the darkness, noise, etc. would be easier to handle in our friendly tv room instead of a dark theater. Also, you can stop and start if anything needs explained. My 8 year old wants to see "The Dark Knight" and we are going to rent "Batman Begins" , the prequel, and watch it to gauge how "bad" the "Dark Knight" will be. If he hasn't seen it - try the original "Batman" movie - the one with Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, etc. I bet he will like that one!!!!! Good luck, M.

You can go to a website FILMHILL.COM and watch it online first. as long as the movies are still in the theatre, you can watch it on this website for free. my sister has seen it already & said there's no way her daughter will watch it until she is older.

Even if he is more 'violence mature' than most kids, I think this movie is too much for a 5 year old to handle.

I would refrain from taking him to the movie - it's VERY dark throughout (& of course language & violence). It's not so much the scare factor, but it's the desesitizing it does to the children. If they get used to this @ such young ages, what will they not accept (or do) @ an older age to get the same edge or think that the world will accept & is expecting. When you have a newborn/toddler, you don't start them out on half dressed Barbie's(meat) but rather w/the age/spirit appropriate teddy bear (milk). I truly feel children are sense the spirit of things...just watch their reactions to people they don't like or bullies...You're children are @ such lovely ages! Enjoy & protect!

S.,
My four year old daughter wants to see it too, but she does scare easily so I told when she gets older. What Iv heard its not a kids batman. I think a lot people still confuse the Tim Burton movies with this new style of Batman and its not. I try to appease my daughter with the old Batman movies and old Wonder Women episode ( Which I myself is still very much into)
Good Luck! A.

Way to "dark" for a 5 yr old. MY 11 yr. old, who has seen lots of scary stuff had to leave mid-way.

I will do anything, but cast judgement on you, but from what I've heard from people who have seen it it is really gory and really violent. I saw an old interview with Heath Ledger the other day and he said he was taking meds (as we all know) to help him sleep because his character was so dark it caused himself to have problems in real life.
Just use your best judgement. If you think you son can handle it then take him, but if not then he can wait until he's a little bit older.

Dear S.,
If I had a son, I would not let him go see this movie. It has violence and curse words which I know kids will want to imitate. I am glad that you love them so very much but sometimes saying no is appropriate to show them "true love" in that you are protecting him. He might even be mad at you and say that all his friends are watching. Make up your mind that you don't want him to see it because you want what is best for your child.

L. J

I just saw it Monday evening and I would not take him to see it. It can best be described as a dark movie- dark like the movie seven. Besides that, it is 2.5 hours long. Best of luck to you!

Wait for the DVD. Then your son can watch or not watch it as you see fit. Just remind him that his siblings can't see it yet, so he'll have to wait too. Since you've waited a year to see it, go and have fun, you deserve it for being a good mom.

I haven't seen that movie, but I have been impatiently waiting for it to come out as well. ;-D

I recently took my boys to the Hulk and they loved it. They talk about the Hulk all the time. So... maybe as a secondary option your son would like that movie.

I have read reviews on Ironman and those are very good as well. It's another super hero movie.

Try the following website. It tells you what to expect in a movie. http://www.kids-in-mind.com/

My kid's the same way, only with dinosaur movies. He's been watching the Jurassic Park movies since he was 2 and just loves them. He also loves Justice League and Spiderman, so I'm right there with you on that. Anyway, a friend of mine who knows me and knows my kid said it was waaaay too dark and adult for him. And that's what I've been hearing on the news too, so we're going to wait.

Hi S.!

I am a mother of 5 grown children and a grandmother of 3. My 18 year old daughter went and saw "The Dark Knight" on opening night a few days ago. Her response was, "Mom, it was quite scary." My personal opinion would be to wait until your son was much older before you permitted him to see this film. This could cause nightmares, etc. even if you think he doesn't scare easily. Children will remember and sometimes have a difficult time forgetting frightful scenes. Hope this helps and I wish you the very best raising your 3 little ones. Your job as a single mother is the not easy, but it sounds like you love your children!
Have a wonderful day!

L.

My 10 year old loves Batman movies as well, but I think that we are going to make her sit this one out from what I have heard about it from friends. After I see it I may change my mind. It is only rated PG-13, but I have heard it is creepier than that...Good Luck!

If you want to check out a review that analyzes plot, violent content, spiritual content, language, etc. for movies, I recommend pluggedinonline.com I use this whenever I'm checking movies for my 12 and 6 year old boys.

My husband saw it. He said the villain is well-played but REALLY evil. He has decided not to take our 12 year old.

S.
We had some friends see the movie this weekend and they have a 7 yr old and a 3 y/o - their son sounds like the same as yours and LOVES the superhero/comic movies, but our friends both agreed that this movie is DEFINITELY not for small children as it is VERY DARK. If you are on the fense maybe you and your husband/a friend can see if first and then decide, but based on what our friends said I would definetly caution you as they are not ones that generally like that. Hope that helps.

My husband saw it, and he says that it is not a movie he would take our 5 yr old too. Way too much violence. It isn't as "cartoony" as past Batman movies - much darker and adult. I would sit this one out I think!

do not go with your 5 year old to see it, many people how have seen thought that the kids should be 14 and older to see it.

My daughter and her fiance saw it last weekend. She made no comments about the movie at all, just mentioned the people sitting in the theater with them all smelled heavily of pot. Usually she will say something about the movie if she thinks it is good or something she thinks the 10 year old boy I am raising would like it. I will ask her today what she thought and get back with you. From what I gathered it is a very "dark" movie and wasn't something I even considered for him and he has seen some other movies definately not "children's" where violence and language were considered.

S.,

My 18 year old son saw the movie just a couple of days ago. I just asked him what he thought about a 4 1/2 almost 5 year old that doesn't scare easily going to see this movie. He told me that it would be a tough call. He did say that there is a lot of graphics. As far as the cursing goes he didn't know, because he said that he didn't pay attention to that. He had a really hard time saying yes or no to your question. I hope that this helps you out. If you have any other questions please feel free to email me.

M.

I read the update and am so glad you did not take him.

It seems that Heath Ledger was having nightmares and much trouble sleeping after playing his role in the movie. Hence the sleeping pills and the death. I figure if a grown man can have such issues, it's definitely not something I want to take kids to.

Hi S.,
I have a 7 year old who loves movies too. He saw a comercial for the Dark Knight and has been begging me to go see it. I have heard that it really is a "dark" movie and I'm thinking about waiting till it comes out on vidoe to see it....that way, if it is too scary/adult we can turn it off and find something else to do w/o feeling like I wasted a lot of money on theater tickets. What ever you decide will be the best for you guys, Good Luck!!!

i have seen it andthey r some close up kills but right befor it happends it truns away and i think he will know what happends and towards then edn one person looked to me a lil to much for my taste as of how the make up was donw but if i was in ur shoes i would see it first and then take him that way u r shore u dont want to be setting there with ur hadn over his eyes i felt the move was more well my husband said he would not take his 5 yr old to see it they should be a pre teen to under stand that it is a moive and not be scared it is more over the top then superman returns so i think u realy want to see it first

I have a 4 year old - and wouldn't let her go see it without me having seen it first. Since that isn't likely (can certainly understand budget concerns), I'd wait for DVD and/or "pay-per-view". It'll be much cheaper, and you could actually pause it if things get too scary or something.

My husband is at the theater watching it right now - took the day off. I'm interested, but not that interested htat I can't wait for it to come out on DVD (although I hear Heath Ledger's performance is spectacular!).

Good luck!

yeah i actually heard that this particular batman movie is pretty twisted with violence and cursing and all kinds of crazy stuff although i have not actually seen it yet so i cant really say but what people have told me...hope this helps

Although it is a great movie and Heath Ledger did a spectacular job playing the joker it is not for kids. Just in the first 10 min of the movie someone dies a terrible and harsh death. You don't want your kids to get desensitized of what is wrong to do so early on. Kids that age are also very impressionable and they take movies as though they really happened and are real not just a movie. it is ultimately up to you since you are his mother, but I personally would not take any kid that age to see that particular movie. By all means find someone to watch your kids so you can go see the movie. It is very good! For Adults. It really should be rated R for the violence and deaths. Good luck! and if you yourself go see the movie have a good time.

B.

I haven't seen it yet, but if he knows comics well and realizes that the Joker is only a character and the movie is just a story, he will do fine. My son is 2 and he can tell the difference...he's been into comic books since he was 1. All kids are different and you know your son best...just be sure to talk about the movie before and after so he won't be confused or scared.

My husband was anticipating this movie since the last one came out, so it was a given that we would go and see it when it came out. We did and it is really great(this coming from a graphic novel/comic book fan). I understand what you said about not having the means to see it first, but that is what I would suggest to you. My children are 7 & 11 and have seen Batman Begins, but this is much more gory and scary and we will not allow them to see it until they are older. There was a scene where I was even hiding my eyes because of what was about to happen. You alone know what your son can handle, but it may cause you unnecessary heartache(if he loses it) if you take him. Maybe you could go to an earlier show (if there's one near you) when the cost is lower. Our general policy is that if we have any doubt about our children being able to handle it, we see it first. We don't have much money either, but an ounce of precaution is worth a pound of cure.
I hope the movie is all you imagine it will be. Good luck with your decision.

Hi, I really want to take my 6 year old too. He also loves these movies but my older brother, who has a 10 year old, said it's out of the question. He said there is a lot of violence and it is just way too scary for a child that age. In fact, my nephew won't even see it and he is usually the first in line for these movies.
I think I'm going to wait for the DVD so we can all watch it together at home.

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