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Jack the Giant Slayer Review

Movies.com Critics

1.5

Dave White Profile

Kids love giant boogers. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    51

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Jack's problem is that he's a commoner, but the movie's problem is that its script is commoner still, an enchantment-free pretext for animated action, straight-ahead storytelling and ersatz romance.

    Read Full Review

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    This is how a fairy-tale movie gives us our money's worth today. Even if once upon a time, it was called overkill.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Vivid visuals are the key to this handsome and moderately entertaining adventure. And the tone is more fairy-tale appropriate than video-game friendly, though the effects-laden swashbuckling sometimes obscures efforts at light whimsy.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    There's little facetious comedy a la the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series. It's all traditional stuff, done well but without an original spark.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Jack the Giant Slayer reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 11+

Fantasy violence eased by humor in tween-friendly adventure.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Jack and the Giant Slayer is a big-budget adaptation of the classic English fairy tale. It's full of swashbuckling action, computer-generated fantasy violence, and considerable collateral damage. The violence is the result of the vengeful giants holding an (understandable) grudge against the humans. People die from being eaten (the giants tear people apart to eat them) or burned, plunging to their deaths, getting crushed, and other catastrophes. There are also sword fights, and a well-liked character meets a particularly gruesome end. There's mild romance between Jack and Princess Isabelle (they flirt and share a couple of sweet, chaste kisses) and a little bit of language ("hell," "bastared," etc.). In classic fairy tale tradition, the hero is brave and selfless, and the heroine -- while definitely up for adventure -- finds herself in need of saving on more than one occasion.

  • Families can talk about how Jack the Giant Slayer compares to other versions of the tale. Were you surprised at how it compares to the Jack and the Beanstalk tale you remember?
  • There's a lot of fantasy violence in the movie. Do you think the movie would have been more appropriate for younger kids if fewer people had been shown dead/dying/killed? What purpose, if any, does the violence serve?
  • Why is the idea of a peasant falling in love with a royal so compelling? Was the romance in this story believable? What did Jack and Isabelle have in common, despite the difference in their status?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: As is generally the case in fantasy adventures, selflessness is rewarded, and a couple is allowed to marry for love instead of status. The dangers of power in the hands of the corrupt is made clear.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Jack is heroic, smart, and sensitive. He's willing to risk his life to save Princess Isabelle -- and all of Albion -- not for glory but because it's the right thing to do. The king is able to make a selfless decision to save his people, even if it comes at a devastating personal cost. Isabelle is independent and speaks her mind, but she really does need to be saved on more than one occasion. Elmont is willing to face down Roderick and the giants even though he could have escaped.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: There's a significant body count and plenty of fantasy violence. People die plunging to their deaths, being eaten/trampled/burned alive by the giants, or squashed when the enormous beanstalk falls back on the kingdom. The king's guardians (and Jack) kill giants as well, usually with a knife or sword, but also with flaming arrows. One well-liked character is killed in a gruesome way. The giants tear the humans apart to eat them.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Lingering looks lead to hand holding, embraces, and two kisses.

  • language false2

    Language: Very infrequent use of "hell" and "piss off," plus some mild insults like "stupid" and "idiot" and one interrupted "F--" exclamation. Also some scatological humor (the giants burp, fart, and pick/eat their boogers).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable

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