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"300"
(2007) (Gerard Butler, Lena Headey) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Extreme Extreme *Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Minor Mild None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme None Heavy Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Drama: A Spartan king leads his small, but fierce army into battle against the immense invading Persian army.
PLOT:
It's 480 B.C. and Persian king Xerxes (RODRIGO SANTORO) is intent on ruling all lands. This doesn't sit well with the inhabitants of Greek city-state Sparta, especially when it comes to their king, Leonidas (GERARD BUTLER). Having been trained his entire life to be a great warrior, he seeks the customary divine advice before going to war, but he gets permission neither from the mystical oracle and mountain prophets nor the government Council.

Accordingly, he unofficially sets out with 300 of his most highly trained soldiers to battle the Persians. While vastly outnumbered, Leonidas has a military plan that should work to the advantage of his small contingent. By forcing the Persians through the Pass of Thermopylae, he contends his better-trained men will be able to hold back the advance and thus defeat the enemy.

While he won't allow the deformed Ephialtes (ANDREW TIERNAN) to join their ranks for fear of him being the proverbial weak link in their plan, Leonidas sets out for the coast with his Captain (VINCENT REGAN) and the rest, including Dilios (DAVID WENHAM), who will later tell their tale of courage and sacrifice to others.

Back home, Queen Gorgo (LENA HEADEY) tries to persuade various council members, such as Theron (DOMINIC WEST), to send army reinforcements to support her husband. As she pursues her domestic quest, her husband and his contingent of 300 soldiers must use every bit of wit, creativity, courage, and bravado as they begin their battle with Xerxes and his huge army.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older preteen and teenage boys probably will, especially if they're fans of "graphic novels" (comic books) by Frank Miller (such as "Sin City").
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For graphic battle sequences throughout, some sexuality and nudity.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • GERARD BUTLER plays the 40-year-old king of Sparta who leads a small contingent of professional soldiers into an outmanned battle with Xerxes' massive forces. Fighting for what he believes, he commits them and himself to probable defeat while killing a great deal of enemies.
  • LENA HEADEY plays his wife, the queen who's his equal, but must contend with trying to have the Council send more troops to support her husband in battle. As a result, she allows Theron to have sexwith her after he blackmails her for his support.
  • DOMINIC WEST plays the conniving councilman who blackmails Gorgo into allowing him to have sex with her.
  • DAVID WENHAM plays one of Leonidas' warriors who's the one who tells the king's epic tail of bravery and sacrifice to others.
  • VINCENT REGAN plays Leonidas' second-in-command, a warrior who bravely battles side-by-side with his young adult son, but must contend with the consequences of familial loss.
  • ANDREW TIERNAN plays a deformed man who, spurned by Leonidas from joining his fighting ranks, turns traitor and assists Xerxes to defeat the king.
  • RODRIGO SANTORO plays the invading king who sees himself as something of a god and will do anything to defeat Leonidas.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated action flick. A minor expletive and a few colorful phrases are present, as is some sexually related dialogue. Partial glimpses of a married sexual encounter are seen (with some nudity and movement), while a blackmail-induced encounter mostly occurs off camera.

    Some women act sexually (including two kissing each other) around a man to entice him to betray his fellow countrymen, while nonsexual nudity (bare butts, breasts) are also seen. Various ripped, muscular men are often seen in nothing more than small and tight shorts, which, along with other material, give off an obvious homoerotic vibe.

    All sorts of battle-related violence is present where many characters are killed by various means, often with very graphic and bloody results (including decapitations, dismemberments, etc.). Occasional violence against animals used in battle is also present. All of that and other moments of peril might be unsettling for some viewers, while the highly stylized action and related stunts might be enticing for some kids to imitate.

    Various bad attitudes are present, while a father sees his young adult son be killed in battle (in a graphic fashion). If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there are flashes of lightning during a storm at the start of the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Leonidas refers to an oracle (a teen girl) as being intoxicated when he saw her.
  • There's a comment about soldiers needing to be ready and sober, but we don't see any drinking.
  • Gorgo offers a man a drink, but then states it's only water.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see young Leonidas on top of another boy, repeatedly pummeling his face (with bloody results, while young Leonidas has a swollen eye and some cuts on his face).
  • We see a spear going through a body (with bloody results).
  • We see various prophets with bad-looking boils and such (perhaps leprosy) on their faces.
  • We briefly and partially see what looks like a dead horse head.
  • We see a tree that's been covered in dead bodies (all over the branches, etc.).
  • We see close-up views of two dead men who've been speared down through their open mouths that now face up toward the sky.
  • We see that the Spartans have created a massive rock wall where dead enemies' bodies have been used as the mortar (they're bloody, and we hear the sound of flies, etc.).
  • A man prepares to whip someone, but a Spartan dismembers that man's arm (with bloody results).
  • Ephialtes is severely deformed, with growths on his face and even bigger ones on his back, giving him something of a "hunchback" appearance. Other miscellaneous characters also possess severe physical deformities.
  • A large-scale battle breaks out between Leonidas and Xerxes' forces, with the latter suffering all of the injuries and deaths via spear and sword. We see many being impaled and sliced (including a leg coming off), some hitting with shields, flipping over of others, etc. All of this has very bloody results.
  • Men on horseback charge Leonidas and his army, but the Spartans easily dispatch them, impaling some, slicing the legs of horses to send them to the ground, etc. All of that has very bloody results (blood flying in slow motion, etc.).
  • We see Leonidas' men piling up dead enemy bodies in a massive pile.
  • Various characters have old and fresher scars on various parts of their bodies.
  • Leonidas and his men battle the "immortals" where many warriors are killed (impaled, sliced, etc.), including a few Spartans. Much of that also has bloody results.
  • Leonidas is turned just in time as a huge battleaxe (thrown by a massive, deformed man) flies over his head, barely missing him. As all sorts of fighting occurs around them (including people being impaled in the neck and other parts of the body), various Spartans fight this huge man who easily takes their blows while knocking them aside. After being roughed up by him, Leonidas gets him through the bicep with a huge knife (seen in graphic detail), while the sharp-toothed man then pins Leonidas to the ground. Leonidas grabs and jabs a knife into the man's eye (with bloody results) and then beheads him (seen in graphic detail).
  • Leonidas has a slightly bloody cut on his face following a battle.
  • A deformed man with sharp claws for hands beheads another man with one such claw, seen in graphic, slow-motion footage.
  • Another battle features all sorts of hand to hand combat, with many bloody and gory results from the impaling and slicing of others, including an arm and leg separately being sliced off.
  • A man on horseback decapitates a young Spartan (we see both the head and headless body with bloody neck stump).
  • We see a wound being cauterized with a hot spear tip.
  • Another battle breaks out, with Leonidas throwing a spear that nicks Xerxes' face, bloodying it. Many people on both sides are then killed by various means (impaled, sliced, hit with arrows, etc.), all with bloody results (including the sight of arrows sticking out of people's bare chests, and some blood pouring from the wounded men's mouths).
  • We see a tremendous amount of arrows flying toward a Spartan. The scene ends, but we later see an overhead view of dead Spartans with many arrows in and around them.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Xerxes and his forces have bad attitudes for wanting to conquer all others by invading and killing them.
  • Some may see Leonidas as having a bad attitude for leading his men into battle and certain death, all without authorization from the Council.
  • We see many skulls of infants in a pile (from children not deemed worthy to become warriors).
  • Leonidas refers to some Athenians as boy lovers.
  • The Captain refers to Ephialtes as a monster (for having physical deformities).
  • Xerxes thinks he's a god.
  • After blackmailing her into allowing him to have sex with her (and thus cheat on her husband, the king), Theron turns on Gorgo during a council meeting, accusing her of being an adulteress, that she offered herself to him, and that he rebuked her advances. He calls her, "My little whore queen."
  • We see that Theron was a traitor, just like Ephialtes before him.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful, or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • We see many skulls of infants in a pile (from children not deemed worthy to become warriors).
  • Young Leonidas encounters a monstrous looking wolf (exaggerated long teeth, glowing eyes, very narrow waist, etc.) in the snow while only dressed in a loincloth of sorts. Leonidas backs up into a narrow ravine and then impales the wolf when it charges him. We then see the shadow of him jabbing his spear into the wolf's open mouth, presumably killing the beast.
  • A messenger pulls out a string of adorned, human skulls.
  • As Leonidas climbs up a mountain to consult with prophets, he slips and nearly falls from the steep precipice.
  • What appears to be an earthquake turns out to be Xerxes' forces setting off on a march toward Leonidas and his men.
  • We see various disfigured and deformed people at various points in the film (which might be unsettling for some viewers).
  • Many arrows are aimed at Leonidas as he addresses Xerxes' demands.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Swords/Spears/Knives/Arrows/Axes/Clubs/Primitive explosives/Whips/Shields: Carried and/or used to threaten, strike, wound, or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "This is Sparta!" "Inbred swine," "These motherless dogs," "Hell of a good start," "Have you gone mad?" "For tonight we dine in Hell" and "My little whore queen."
  • The fighting and other stunts may be enticing for some kids to try to imitate.
  • Various characters, including Xerxes have various facial piercings.
  • We see a wound being cauterized with a hot spear tip.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A sudden sound (of falling pots) might startle some viewers.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of dramatic and suspenseful music occurs in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 hell.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Throughout the film, we see various buff men in little more than small and tight shorts (think professional wrestling). We also see young Leonidas and other boys shirtless from time to time in the film.
  • Some viewers may see parts or the entire film as having homoerotic undertones (all of the buff, shirtless men in small tights, the androgynous Xerxes, etc.).
  • Leonidas refers to some Athenians as boy lovers.
  • We see a teenage oracle writhing about while lying down in some sort of sheer material that shows her bare breasts beneath it (while we also see her uncovered bare breasts from time to time, as well as a side view of her bare butt as she dances about in slow motion). An old, boil-covered prophet then licks her neck and chin while awaiting her message from the gods.
  • We see a mostly silhouetted shot of Leonidas standing nude, facing away from the camera (part of his bare butt can be seen). We then see him sitting on a bed (still nude, but mostly in the shadows) talking with Gorgo while running his hand along her bare back (she wonders if his lips will follow that). She then sits up and we see her bare breasts as she wonders if the oracle squelched his desire, but he says it would take more than that. We then see various brief and partial views of Leonidas and Gorgo having sex (both on top and then him behind her, her occasional sounds, views of her bare breasts, some subdued movement, etc.).
  • About his captain's young adult son joining their forces, Leonidas refers to the son as being too young to have felt a woman's warmth.
  • Gorgo shows lots of cleavage in a gown that's open quite far down the front.
  • Gorgo wears something resembling a tube-top across her breasts, while her gown is open but tied on the sides (thus, we see skin there).
  • We see some scantly dressed women in Xerxes' lair doing sexy, gyrating dancing, two kissing each other, two nearly in the 69 position, views of bare breasts and butts, and some of those women coming on to Ephialtes as Xerxes promises him whatever he wants (including sexually) if he gives up Leonidas' weak spot in his battle formation.
  • Gorgo slaps Theron. He then grabs her by the neck and chin, pushing her back against a wall and menacingly telling her that she needs his help with the council if she wants to help Leonidas. He then implies that he wants sex in exchange for his help, so she drops her top off her shoulders (we see them, but not her breasts). He then turns and pins her to the wall, saying this (rape) won't be over quickly and she won't enjoy it (we see a chest and up view of him against her from behind, but the scene ends there).
  • He then later turns on her during a council meeting, accusing her of being an adulteress, that she offered herself to him, and that he rebuked her advances. He calls her, "My little whore queen."
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that young Leonidas was taken from his mother at the age of seven for years of training to become a warrior.
  • A father sees his adult son decapitated in battle and reacts in rage and grief.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical story behind the film and its artistic license taken with that.
  • We hear that young Leonidas was taken from his mother at the age of seven for years of training to become a warrior.
  • The comment of fighting first with the head and then one's heart.
  • Ephialtes is severely deformed, with growths on his face and even bigger ones on his back, giving him something of a "hunchback" appearance.
  • The Spartans' fighting policy of no mercy and no prisoners, and then no retreat and no surrender.
  • Xerxes thinks he's a god.
  • Some viewers may see parts or the entire film as having homoerotic undertones (all of the buff, shirtless men in small tights, the androgynous Xerxes, etc.).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Much of the violence that occurs is presented in a very highly stylized, near video game fashion.
  • We see young Leonidas' father knocking the boy down during some training/sparring.
  • We see young Leonidas on top of another boy, repeatedly pummeling his face (with bloody results, while young Leonidas has a swollen eye and some cuts on his face).
  • We see young Leonidas repeatedly being caned while tied to a post (as part of his training -- we don't see the impact).
  • Young Leonidas encounters a monstrous looking wolf (exaggerated long teeth, glowing eyes, very narrow waist, etc.) in the snow while only dressed in a loincloth of sorts. Leonidas backs up into a narrow ravine and then impales the wolf when it charges him. We then see the shadow of him jabbing his spear into the wolf's open mouth, presumably killing the beast.
  • Leonidas holds his sword on Xerxes' messenger, backing him up to an open and seemingly bottomless pit (Leonidas' men do the same to the messenger's entourage). Leonidas then kicks the messenger down into the pit, followed by his men doing the same, while jabbing spears into some as well (we see one impaled through his body).
  • Leonidas and his men come across a city that's been sacked and burned by Xerxes' forces.
  • A storm capsizes many of Xerxes' ships at night (we see waves swamping them, as well as bodies sinking below the surface -- seen from below them).
  • We see close-up views of two dead men who've been speared down through their open mouths that now face up toward the sky.
  • A man prepares to whip someone, but a Spartan dismembers that man's arm (with bloody results).
  • A large-scale battle breaks out between Leonidas and Xerxes' forces, with the latter suffering all of the injuries and deaths via spear and sword. We see many being impaled and sliced (including a leg coming off), some hitting with shields, flipping over of others, etc. All of this has very bloody results.
  • Leonidas' men drive opposing forces off a tall cliff.
  • The enemy fires an enormous amount of arrows toward Leonidas and his men who use their shields to block the thousands of arrows that land all around them, including in some of Xerxes' wounded men.
  • Men on horseback charge Leonidas and his army, but the Spartans easily dispatch them, impaling some, slicing the legs of horses to send them to the ground, etc. All of that has very bloody results (blood flying in slow motion, etc.).
  • Leonidas' men go through the battlefield and kill various wounded enemies (impaling them, etc. although this is played somewhat lightly with some humorous dialogue accompanying the killings).
  • Leonidas and his men battle the "immortals" where many warriors are killed (impaled, sliced, etc.), including a few Spartans. Much of that also has bloody results.
  • Leonidas is turned just in time as a huge battleaxe (thrown by a massive, deformed man) flies over his head, barely missing him. As all sorts of fighting occurs around them (including people being impaled in the neck and other parts of the body), various Spartans fight this huge man who easily takes their blows while knocking them aside. After being roughed up by him, Leonidas gets him through the bicep with a huge knife (seen in graphic detail), while the sharp-toothed man then pins Leonidas to the ground. Leonidas grabs and jabs a knife into the man's eye (with bloody results) and then beheads him (seen in graphic detail).
  • A massive, rhino-type creature careers across the battlefield, knocking or trampling some people until one Spartan throws a spear into the beast that keeps coming, but then collapses and slides up to his feet.
  • Enemy warriors throw primitive hand grenades (probably just gunpowder) at Leonidas and his men who block the explosions with their shields. Leonidas' men kill some of them, resulting in one lit grenade falling and rolling up to a pile of more of them, resulting in a huge explosion.
  • A deformed man with sharp claws for hands beheads another man with one such claw, seen in graphic, slow-motion footage.
  • Warriors on huge elephants charge Leonidas and his men who then drive the animals off cliffs (we see them fall and land in the water and rocks far below -- all from a distance).
  • Another battle features all sorts of hand to hand combat, with many bloody and gory results from the impaling and slicing of others, including an arm and leg separately being sliced off.
  • A man on horseback decapitates a young Spartan (we see both the head and headless body with bloody neck stump). That man's father then goes on a rampage and kills many enemies.
  • Gorgo slaps Theron. He then grabs her by the neck and chin, pushing her back against a wall and menacingly telling her that she needs his help with the council if she wants to help Leonidas. He then implies that he wants sex in exchange for his help, so she drops her top off her shoulders (we see them, but not her breasts). He then turns and pins her to the wall, saying this (rape) won't be over quickly and she won't enjoy it (we see a chest and up view of him against her from behind, but the scene ends there).
  • After the above, Theron turns on Gorgo during a council meeting, accusing her of being an adulteress, that she offered herself to him, and that he rebuked her advances. She then tries to attack him, but is held back. She manages to spit in his face, and then grabs a sword that she uses to stab him in the chest and/or abdomen (we don't see the impact or any bloody, but the wounds are fatal).
  • Another battle breaks out, with Leonidas throwing a spear that nicks Xerxes' face, bloodying it. Many people on both sides are then killed by various means (impaled, sliced, hit with arrows, etc.), all with bloody results (including the sight of arrows sticking out of people's bare chests, and some blood pouring from the wounded men's mouths).
  • We see a tremendous amount of arrows flying toward a Spartan. The scene ends, but we later see an overhead view of dead Spartans with many arrows in and around them.



  • Reviewed March 6, 2007 / Posted March 9, 2007

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