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Feb 11, 2003

MPAA Rating:



2000 20th Century Fox

Still shot from the movie: X-Men.

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Overall C
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Making the Grades

In the "not too distant future", mankind is beginning to experience the next phase of evolution. Mutations have endowed select humans with superpowers, allowing them to walk through doors, cut through steel with laser-beam eyes, or reach out and touch someone without ever dialing a phone.

X-Men - Official Site But these abilities have left the "have-nots" of society concerned, leading U.S. Senator Robert Kelly (Bruce Davison) to propose legislation requiring registration of all mutants. However, Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), a telepathic mutant, sees education as the solution and has dedicated his life to teaching young mutants to use their powers to benefit all mankind. His students are the X-Men.

X-Men - Official Site His nemesis, Magneto (Ian McKellen), who possesses the ability to bend iron with his magnetic personality, doesn't see things the same way. Instead, he creates a mutant mafia to assist in his plan to convert all humans to mutants. The most notable member of his team is the voluptuous Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), who can change into anything -- except her clothes. Wearing only blue body paint and some glued-on scaly things, carefully positioned camera angles keep from revealing too much Mystique.

Xavier and Magneto are both interested in recruiting two "independent" mutants: Rogue (Anna Paquin), a young girl who can't prevent herself from sapping the life out of anyone who touches her, and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). A walking Swiss Army Knife, the strong steel blades that shoot out from between his knuckles whenever he is attacked, along with an ability to heal himself, make him a formidable force.

X-Men - Official Site Between Wolverine's slashes and the other paranormal powers possessed by these characters, violence is frequent and often explicit. People who stand in their way are thrown around like dolls, bleed and suffer from many strange forces, or decompose into viscous liquids. They also tend to destroy any location in which they meet.

Even though teens may find a defense with the (thankfully) relatively clean language, considering the amount of carnage these X-Men deliver (and the two planned sequels to follow), parents will want to carefully consider if they want their families to be recruited by X-Men.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about X-Men.

In reality, are we all created equal, or are some people born with advantages over others? Can our differences help us to succeed as a society? Would the world be better if we were all the same?

Canadian Movie Ratings

PG Violence, Coarse Language
AB PG May Frighten Younger Children
MB Not Rated Frightening Scenes, Violence
ON Not Rated Violence
QC G Not advisable for children

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of X-Men...

The X-Men DVD release features all the typical DVD extras and slickly designed menus leading to a host of other material, including a series of deleted scenes.

A unique feature in this area is the ability to view these scenes as separate elements, or to turn on a special playback mode where the scenes are inserted into the movie as you view it. Depending on the speed of your DVD player, a short delay proceeds and follows each of these scenes.

Other items include interview segments with the film’s director and the unique ability of watching a screen test—in this case Hugh Jackman who was cast to play Wolverine.

Our only concern with the DVD’s extras lies in a mock news report that is really a “Making of X-Men” promotional television program. Using the Senator Kelly character from the movie, the program dramatizes an imaginary senate hearing where Kelly is being questioned on the ethics of mutant registration. With Kelly playing an overboard red-necked bigot, he represents the U.S. Republican Party along with another senator who has similar prejudiced traits. Meanwhile the Democrats are portrayed as calm, rational, and understanding.

No matter what your political affiliation is, this mock news feature is a perfect example of how media can blur the lines between fiction and reality. While its obviously biased statements fail to offer a valid debate about the acceptance of those in our society who are different, in reality it could be a great discussion starter on the ethics of media.

Home Video Notes: X-Men Trilogy

Release Date: 21 March 2009

Fans of the X-Men franchises can now enjoy X-Men, X2: X-Men United and X3: The Last Stand on Blu-ray Disc. The movies are presented in widescreen, with audio tracks in 5.1 DTS Master Audio. Subtitles are available in Spanish, French, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin and Brazilian Portuguese. The set includes digital copies of each of the films plus extensive bonus materials. A complete list of these extras can be found on our page for the X-Men Trilogy.

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