Creation parents guide

Creation Parent Guide

Replete with beautiful cinematography and strong performances by the cast, "Creation" is a production that will likely spark more discussion between opposing sides.

Overall B

Charles Darwin is remembered as the father of the theory of evolution. But this dramatization of his life looks at the naturalist (played by Paul Bettany) as a father who has lost a child (Martha West), and a husband who is in danger of losing his wife (Jennifer Connelly) as he formulates his controversial manuscript, The Origin of Species.

Release date January 22, 2010

Violence B-
Sexual Content B-
Profanity B+
Substance Use B-

Why is Creation rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Creation PG-13 for some intense thematic material.

Run Time: 108 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

There are few names that spark such heated argument between religious and scientific communities as that of Charles Darwin. The English naturalist’s theory on evolution was even at the heart of a Tennessee Supreme Court case that pitted high school biology teacher John Scopes against the state of Tennessee.

However, the movie Creation is far less concerned with Charles’ (Paul Bettany) actual theories or a detailed account of his research procedures, than it is with the personal and family struggles he faced. And regardless of which side of the debate viewers fall on, the film offers a poignant look at the evolution of the man himself.

The scientist’s wife, Emma (played by Bettany’s real life wife Jennifer Connelly), holds strong religious ideals and is persistent in passing them on to their children. Meanwhile, as Charles delves deeper into his research, he finds himself wandering further and further from the theological teachings of his childhood. As the gap widens in the couple’s beliefs, the strain on their marriage becomes increasingly evident.

Charles’ discoveries on the development of different species seem to initiate his questions about a Supreme Being. Yet his real struggle is set in motion when his 10-year-old daughter Annie (Martha West) dies, even after the naturalist has made an impassioned bargain with God for her recovery. The loss impacts almost every facet of his life including his work, his health and his relationship with Emma and their other children. The ghost of Annie haunts him continually, showing up in his office or by his side while he is working. The apparition is certainly a manifestation of his grief, but may also be the result of Charles’ regular use of Laudanum, an opium-based painkiller meant to counter the effects of his deteriorating health.

Egged on by Thomas Huxley (Toby Jones), the man attributed with coining the term "agnostic", and Joseph Hooker (Benedict Cumberbatch), a surgeon and botanist, Darwin pursues his theories causing a rift between the local reverend (Jeremy Northam) and himself. But even as he pens his famous book On the Origin of the Species, Darwin appears hesitant to accept Huxley’s praise for killing God.

Replete with beautiful cinematography and strong performances by the cast, Creation is a production that will likely spark more discussion between opposing sides. While religion is negatively portrayed in much of this script, the depictions of the medical procedures of the era prove that science wasn’t without its own problems. Practitioners of the time still had much to learn about the human body and the ill-advised use of substances such as mercury for medicinal purposes. Yet with relatively brief content concerns, (including some disturbing images of specimens, decaying or dying animals, brief buttock nudity and the use of a highly addictive drug), Creation offers a springboard for examining one’s own attitude toward the controversial naturalist and his theories.

Directed by Jon Amiel. Starring Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly. Running time: 108 minutes. Theatrical release January 22, 2010. Updated

Rating & Content Info

Why is Creation rated PG-13? Creation is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some intense thematic material.

Charles’s office and workspace are filled with bottles of fetuses and other specimens. Animals are killed and cooked to reveal their bone structures. A bird has its neck snapped. Depictions of decaying animals are shown, along with creatures being killed and eaten by others. Indigenous children are bought from their parents and taken to England to be "civilized". Adults on the island are shown wearing only loincloths and very little other clothing. Rear buttock nudity of children and adult males is seen in non-sexual contexts. Characters are subjected to a variety of medical procedures including the ingestion of mercury and water cures (which, among other things, involved dousing the patient with gallons of cold water). A naked boy dying of smallpox is seen along with the portrayal of another child’s death. A character uses laudanum on several occasions to relieve pain. Tensions are portrayed between a married couple as well as parents and children.

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Creation Parents' Guide

Charles Darwin published his theories in the book On the Origin of the Species in 1859. Have any of these theories been proven absolutely? What makes it difficult to do so? Are religious beliefs equally challenging to substantiate?

What impacts can differing religious and ideological beliefs have on marriage or family relationships? How are those depicted in this story?

While this film appears to focus on the negative aspects of religion, what good things do religious communities accomplish? What contributions has science made to the advancement of mankind’s knowledge? Are religion and science always on opposite sides of an argument? Are there areas where they can agree?

Click here to learn more about Charles Darwin.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Creation movie is June 29, 2010. Here are some details…

Release Date: June 29, 2010.

Creation releases on DVD and Blu-ray with the following extras:

- Audio commentary by director John Amiel

- The Battle For Charles Darwin: behind-the-scenes documentary

- 11 featurettes delving into the life and theories of Charles Darwin

- Featurette: Pollard on Film- Creation

Related home video titles:

Actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Toby Jones, who portray Charles’ supporters in this film, also star together in another period piece, Amazing Grace, where they find themselves on opposite sides of the debate over England’s involvement in the slave trade. Something the Lord Made recounts medical breakthroughs made in the area of cardiac surgery during the 1940s.