John Carter parents guide

John Carter Parent Guide

For older teen and adult sci-fi fans that can handle the interplanetary warfare, lassoing a ticket for "John Carter" might just be worth it.

Overall B

John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) might call it Mars, but those who live there call it Barsoom. When the former Civil War captain inexplicably finds himself on the Red Planet, he meets the likes of Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins), who are engaged in a battle of epic proportions.

Release date March 9, 2012

Violence D+
Sexual Content B
Profanity B
Substance Use B

Why is John Carter rated PG-13? The MPAA rated John Carter PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action.

Run Time: 132 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Edgar Rice Burroughs receives more than a writing credit for the film adaptation of his story A Princess of Mars. He also appears as a character that gets the sole right to read the personal diary of his uncle John Carter (Taylor Kitsch). John is an adventurous sort, always searching for something that seems to elude him. In the pages of his journal, Edgar (Daryl Sabara) finally discovers what that is.

The story within the story takes place in the late 1800s when John, a Civil War veteran, picks up a glowing medallion and finds himself transported to Mars. Known by the locals as Barsoom, the planet, like Earth, is plagued by war. Sab Than (Dominic West) and his army of Red Soldiers are bent on crushing the inhabitants of Helium. In an effort to save his people, Tardos Mors (Ciarán Hinds) agrees to marry his daughter Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) to the invading General.

Dejah Thoris thinks differently.

Luckily for her, the scrappy John Carter mysteriously arrives on the Red Planet just when she needs him. (And what swashbuckler can avoid a beautiful damsel in distress.)

What ensues is military mayhem between characters that could be out of a Star Wars movie or the animation Up (the slobbering dog—not the Boy Scout.) In the course of fighting, appendages are sliced off, dead bodies pile up and a man cuts his way through a monstrous attacker to emerge blue and bloody on the other side. The amount of violence is unfortunate since profanities are few and sexual content is confined mostly to skimpy costumes.

Based on a novel that marks its centennial anniversary this year (2012), the film is reminiscent of the pulp fiction of that bygone era, combining space adventures and Westerns, but with better weaponry than Cowboys and Aliens offered. Like the humans in Avatar, John becomes a savior figure for a race that can’t save themselves. While there is nothing new there, the inclusion of a little romance, a bit of comedy and some unlikely cooperation give this script a spur over similar movies in this genre. For older teen and adult sci-fi fans that can handle the interplanetary warfare, lassoing a ticket for John Carter might just be worth it.

Directed by Andrew Stanton. Starring Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Thomas Hayden Church, Willem Dafoe. Running time: 132 minutes. Theatrical release March 9, 2012. Updated

John Carter
Rating & Content Info

Why is John Carter rated PG-13? John Carter is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of violence and action.

Violence: Shots are fired between warring airships. Invading soldiers attack characters. A man learns of another’s death. Men beat a prisoner and thrown him in a cell. A character threatens another with a gun. During war scenes, characters are shot, stabbed, kicked, crushed and beaten. One man is beheaded and another loses an arm. A woman is branded with a hot iron. Characters are forced into an arena to fight. A man cuts through an attacker with a sword. Bruises and bloody injuries result from fights. An animal is kicked and beaten with sticks. Soldiers are vaporized with a special weapon. A crowd of onlookers chants for a fight. Buildings and machinery are blown up.

Sexual Content: Soldiers and others dress in skimpy clothing. A man’s bare buttocks are briefly seen when he is thrown into a bathtub. A couple kisses.

Language: The script contains about a dozen mild profanities and terms of Deity.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Men are shown with drinks in a bar setting. A character is given a drink that enables him to understand the locals.

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More parents' guide for John Carter after the break...

John Carter Parents' Guide

How does this film depict crowd mentality? What is the danger of this kind of thinking?

What elements of reality does science fiction allow authors and screenwriters to disregard? What powers does John Carter acquire on Mars that he did not have on Earth?

This movie is based on the novel A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of John Carter movie is June 5, 2012. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: John Carter

Release Date: 5 June 2012

John Carter releases to home video in a combo pack (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) or in 3D (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy). Both packages include the following bonus extras.

- Audio Commentary with Filmmakers

- 100 Years In The Making – Follow the journey of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ story, from its origins as a pulp novel to its arrival onscreen.

- Disney Second Screen – Explore John Carter’s journal with this innovative in-world experience and uncover a trove of fascinating details that extend the mythology of the movie.

- 360 Degrees of John Carter – Experience every aspect of the filmmaking process on one of the movie’s biggest production days.

- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director, Andrew Stanton

- Barsoom Bloopers

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Edgar Rice Burroughs also penned the story that inspired Disney’s Tarzan. Other Earthlings become involved in the plights of extra-terrestrial beings in Avatar, Stargate and E.T. And like The Adjustment Bureau, a group of “higher beings” are managing the affairs of Barsoom as well.