The Martian stars Matt Damon as an astronaut who, through a series of unfortunate events, is left stranded on Mars. He has a limited amount of resources so he must use his wits and vast knowledge of science to survive. It doesn’t really sound like the makings of a best-selling book, much less a blockbuster movie, but that’s exactly what The Martian has become. It will also most likely be a contender once Oscar season kicks in and is already on the everyone’s short-list of Must See Movies. Even I gave it an A+ and called it an “instant classic,” but here’s the next question: Is The Martian okay for my kids? It IS rated PG-13 after all, so what will my children be shown while watching it, other than a man’s incredible struggle to survive?
I actually had this conversation with my daughters (ages 8 & 11) today because they are both DYING to see The Martian. There are 2 things working against parents like me though, who want to share this movie with their kids: The length and the language.
The Martian clocks in at 141 minutes, and that doesn’t include the multitude of trailers they’ll play before the movie even starts. It moves along pretty quickly but there are some points in the middle where it lags. Younger kids might get antsy and struggle with the science aspect. There is also LOADS of profanity. Astronaut Mark Watney is a brilliant Botanist, but he’s also wordsmith when it comes to F-bombs. A large portion of the humor in The Martian comes from his language skills, so to speak, but is it enough to keep your kids at home?
I’m planning to take my daughters to see The Martian anyhow, because it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in years and I know they will love it. It also offers too many great messages to ignore, like how keeping a cool head under pressure and using your brain could actually save your life. Kids need to hear inspiring messages like that, even if they have to come bottled with some dirty words.
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