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"PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF"
(2010) (Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson) (PG)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: A teen must not only contend with discovering that he's the son of a mythological god, but also that he must find Zeus' stolen thunderbolt before a devastating battle takes place among the gods that could destroy Earth.
PLOT:
Percy Jackson (LOGAN LERMAN) is a teenager who's been enrolled in a special academy to deal with his dyslexia and ADHD. He lives with his mom, Sally (CATHERINE KEENER), but can't stand his crude and demanding stepfather, Gabe Ugliano (JOE PANTOLIANO). He finds solace in his friendship with Grover (BRANDON T. JACKSON) at school, but doesn't know his friend, as well as Mr. Brunner (PIERCE BROSNAN), are around to watch over and protect him.

That's because Percy is actually a demigod, the son of Poseidon (KEVIN McKIDD) who came down years ago from Mt. Olympus to father a child with Sally. Due to restrictions imposed by Zeus (SEAN BEAN), one of the three other main gods that includes Hades (STEVE COOGAN), Poseidon hasn't seen his son in years, but has tried to help him from afar. Now that's more important than ever as a war is about to break out between Zeus, Poseidon and Hades over Zeus' missing thunder bolt, a theft he attributes to Percy.

When that teen's life is endangered by mythological creatures sent by Hades, Grover -- who's really a satyr -- takes him to Camp Half Blood, a secure encampment run by Brunner -- who's actually a centaur by the name of Chiron -- for training. There, he meets the likes of Luke (JAKE ABEL), son of Hermes who volunteers to protect the newcomer, and warrior Annabeth (ALEXANDRA DADDARIO), daughter of Athena, who eventually realizes she must work with rather than against Percy.

After Hades kidnaps and takes Sally down to the underworld, Percy, Grover and Annabeth sneak off to rescue her, but must first collect three magical pearls that will allow them to escape from Hell where Hades lives with his kidnapped but alluring wife, Persephone (ROSARIO DAWSON). Along the way, they must contend with various mythological creatures, including Medusa (UMA THURMAN) whose gaze will turn anything to stone, and a fierce Hydra, all while racing against time to find the stolen lighting bolt and stop the pending war between the gods.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Those who are fans of the novels and/or anyone in the cast might be interested, while the Harry Potter sort of story (unlikely hero drawn into a magical and adventurous world) might entice others.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For action violence and peril, some scary images and suggestive material, and mild language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • LOGAN LERMAN plays a teen suffering from dyslexia and ADHD and a mean stepfather who realizes that's small stuff after he learns he's really a demigod -- and son of Poseidon -- accused of stealing Zeus' thunder bolt. From that point on, he must quickly learn the ways of his new world, all while setting out to rescue his mom from Hades and find the bolt to stop a war between the gods from destroying Earth. Along the way, he takes a liking to Annabeth.
  • BRANDON T. JACKSON plays his best friend in school who walks with crutches but turns out to be his junior protector, a satyr (half man, half goat) who must protect him from any number of menacing and dangerous mythological creatures.
  • ALEXANDRA DADDARIO plays another demigod and quite capable warrior who initially clashes with Percy, but then comes around and helps him on his dual quest.
  • JAKE ABEL plays yet another demigod and camp squad leader whose offer to protect Percy is actually just part of his veiled and nefarious plan. He battles with Percy late in the film.
  • SEAN BEAN plays Zeus, the leader of the gods who isn't happy that his thunder bolt has been stolen, accuses Percy of being the perp, and threatens war if that weapon isn't returned.
  • PIERCE BROSNAN plays a centaur and leader of Camp Half Blood who wants to instruct Percy on the ways of his new world.
  • STEVE COOGAN plays Hades, the demonic leader of the underworld and one of the three top gods who kidnaps Sally as part of his plan to gets his hands on Zeus' lighting bolt.
  • ROSARIO DAWSON plays his wife who contends with being forced into that relationship and stuck in Hell by apparently having sexual flings with outsiders. Accordingly, she sets her sights on Grover.
  • CATHERINE KEENER plays Percy's mom who's put up with an awful marriage to Gabe as her sacrifice to protect her son.
  • KEVIN McKIDD plays Poseidon, one of the top three gods who feels bad that he's been ordered to have no contact with his son, but tries to help him from afar when possible.
  • JOE PANTOLIANO plays Percy's mean, crude and demanding stepfather who orders Sally around. He drinks some.
  • UMA THURMAN plays the mythological creature Medusa, complete with serpents for hair and a gaze that will turn any living thing into stone.
  • 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 action/adventure film that's been rated PG. Profanity consists of at least 2 non-explicit, but sexually related terms, while other non-explicit but sexually related dialogue, some minor expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Various women come on to male characters, with one being suggested as having various lovers. Classic style statues show nudity, some young women are seen in bikinis, varying amounts of cleavage are present, and a man lecherously pats his wife on the clothed behind.

    Violence consists of various scenes of the good characters fighting the bad ones, both in human form as well as that of various monsters. A mostly human looking character is beheaded, as is a multi-headed beast, while various injuries (mostly slices) are incurred, while other hitting also occurs.

    Some of that has bloody results, while a non-bloody severed head (of Medusa) is seen several times. Those scenes, various moments of peril and the sight of various menacing creatures and monsters could be unsettling, suspenseful and/or frightening, especially for younger kids. Other kids may be enticed to imitate the fighting, stunts and other behavior that occurs.

    Some alcohol is present, several underage people consume lotus flowers that they don't realize have hypnotic and hallucinogenic properties, and a mean stepfather lies about his teen stepson using drugs and alcohol. Other bad attitudes are also present.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely 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's some of that from lightning at the beginning of the film and then some late in the film.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, some fluid (non bouncy) camera movement is present.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Gabe asks Sally where his beer is, demanding that she get it for him, and slaps her on the clothed butt as she passes by.
  • Gabe demands more beer from Sally as he and his buddies have beer in front of them while playing poker.
  • About Percy now missing, Gabe does a TV interview where he lies about his stepson's involvement with drugs and alcohol.
  • People have drinks in a casino where Percy, Grover and Annabeth are given lotus flower type appetizers that cause them to hallucinate and fall under the spell of the casino.
  • A song has the line "Want some whiskey in your water."
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • There's a little bit of blood on a minotaur's chest after Percy delivers a fatal blow there with the creature's broken-off horn.
  • Percy's palm, face and leg are slightly bloody when Annabeth slices him there, but later contact with water instantly heals those wounds.
  • We see a headless pig on a spit above a camp fire.
  • Percy beheads Medusa (we don't see the impact, but do see her non-bloody, severed head). They then wrap that head and take it with them.
  • Annabeth has a bruise on her arm from where a lady's grip turned to stone, but Percy uses magical water to heal that instantly.
  • About Medusa's severed head being in the bathroom, Grover walks out holding that and states he can't pee with her watching him.
  • A line of male workers speak in unison and then start to decompose before turning into a massive Hydra. After perilous moments, Percy uses his sword to sever the various heads off the Hydra, with brief view of the meaty neck area, but no massive quantities of blood.
  • Annabeth slices Luke on the arm with her knife (leaving a slightly bloody cut), while Percy later slices Luke on the cheek (leaving a slightly bloody cut).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Zeus and Poseidon don't get along, with the former accusing the latter's son of stealing his thunderbolt. He states if it isn't returned, there will be war.
  • Gabe asks Sally where his beer is, demanding that she get it for him, and slaps her on the clothed butt as she passes by. He also has a bad attitude toward Percy who doesn't like him back.
  • Gabe demands more beer from Sally as he and his buddies have beer in front of them while playing poker. When Percy calls him on that, Gabe grabs the teen, but Grover slams a crutch down onto Gabe's shoe and then hits his body with the same, downing him.
  • About Percy now missing, Gabe does a TV interview where he lies about his stepson's involvement with drugs and alcohol and mentions Grover being a "cripple."
  • People have drinks in a casino where Percy, Grover and Annabeth are given lotus flower type appetizers that cause them to hallucinate and fall under the spell of the casino. In that state, they end up gambling (underage).
  • The character who stole Zeus' thunder bolt did so in hopes of causing the gods to battle and kill each other.
  • Persephone isn't happy to be married to Hades, mainly because she's been forced into that and lives in Hell. Accordingly, she apparently has sexual flings with outsiders who manage to get in their alive.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed here and 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.
  • A gigantic Poseidon emerges from the ocean at night (his size might be unsettling to younger viewers).
  • A substitute teacher suddenly turns into a fury, a menacing and monstrous winged beast that comes at Percy. It then grabs and lifts him off the floor, but then drops him there (he lands hard) when Chiron orders her to do so. The fury then blasts out through glass to escape.
  • As Percy, Grover and Sally head by a pasture, a cow suddenly lands in the road in front of them. Their car swerves and then overturns, followed by an enormous minotaur chasing after them through the woods. It throws their car at them and barely misses, with them eventually reaching Camp Half Blood into which Sally can't enter due to her being a mortal. The minotaur grabs her and she dissolves in its hand, with Percy then activating his magic pen that turns into a sword. He goes at the monstrous creature with that and tries to avoid being hit, but is knocked back into a tree. The minotaur then gets its horn stuck in the tree and yanks that off, falling away. Percy then takes that horn and drives it into the beast's chest (with slightly bloody results), killing it.
  • A gigantic, fiery and winged Hades arrives at the camp and begins throwing fireballs that explode on the ground and cause some damage. He wants to find Percy and then shows he has Sally in his fiery underworld.
  • Grover realizes he, Percy and Annabeth are in Medusa's lair, and Annabeth and another woman are the first to encounter her, complete with sunglasses and serpents for hair. They know they must keep their eyes closed for if they look into hers, they'll turn to stone. Medusa removes her sunglasses and manipulates the other woman into looking and she instantly turns to stone, with her grip cemented on Annabeth's arm. Annabeth tries to keep her eyes closed, even as Medusa moves in close and those serpents move all around her face and through her hair.
  • Medusa then tries to find Percy, toppling a bunch of statues with the last landing on him. She then tries to get him to look into her eyes, with those serpents moving about his head. Just then, Annabeth drives a truck through various statues and into Medusa, knocking her to the floor. Percy then beheads her with his sword (we don't see the impact, but do see her non-bloody, severed head).
  • Grover falls asleep while driving and drifts into the oncoming lanes. Horns blare and he wakes up and swerves back onto his side, scaring him, Percy and Annabeth.
  • Percy uses winged sneakers to fly up to a statue to try to retrieve a pearl, but he doesn't have complete control and briefly dangles from the three-story statue before flying down to safety.
  • A line of male workers speak in unison and then start to decompose before turning into a massive Hydra that breaths fire at the teens, briefly catching Percy's shirtsleeve on fire. The various monstrous heads then try to bite him, Grover and Annabeth who hide behind pillars and other such museum structures. Percy then beheads all of the heads, unaware that they grow back two for one. Those then come after them again, including breathing flames at Percy, with Annabeth firing arrows into them as Percy tries to retrieve a necessary pearl. The three get to the front door, but find it locked, with Grover using Medusa's severed head at the last second to turn the creature into stone.
  • A TV news story shows bad storms around the world heading toward the U.S.
  • Percy and his friends enter Hades and see various human skulls everywhere. After paying the Ferryman, they then float over a fiery inferno city, with burning buildings and the sounds of screaming souls down below them.
  • Several large and menacing hellhounds surround Percy and his friends in Hades' place.
  • Hades quickly transforms into a massive, fiery winged beast when Grover complains about his more human looking appearance.
  • Percy and his friends find themselves surrounded by burning souls emerging from a huge fireplace, and various large hellhounds.
  • Luke and Percy battle atop the Empire State Building as well as in midair, with Luke kicking Percy back who tries to strike Luke with his sword. Annabeth slices Luke on the arm with her knife (leaving a slightly bloody cut), but Luke gets the bolt and fires that repeatedly at her, Percy and Sally. Percy then grabs Luke and they fall a long way, battling as they go, including Percy slicing Luke on the cheek (leaving a slightly bloody cut). Luke fires the thunder bolt at Percy, causing damage to various buildings, and then throws his sword that slices the small wings off Percy's winged sneakers, causing him to fall a long way and land hard atop a building. Luke then prepares to kill him, but Percy causes various water towers atop buildings to rupture, and that floodwater to swamp Luke. Percy then creates a trident that he throws into Luke, knocking him off the building and down into a body of water.
  • Percy and Sally race to get Zeus' thunder bolt back to him before a war of the gods starts and destroys Earth.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Swords/Arrows/Knife/Thunder bolt: Carried and/or used to threaten, battle, wound or kill other characters and creatures. See "Violence" for details.
  • Various demigods at Chiron's camp practice firing arrows and spar with swords.
  • We see Luke playing a first-person shooter video game (a large weapon is being fired, but no characters are seen being hit).
  • We see a stone statue of a soldier carrying a rifle.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You bald-headed freak," "Is it me, or is it raining cows?" "No way" (followed by "Yes way"), "A real horse's ass," "Beat it, nymphs," "Kick his ass for me," "I used to date your daddy," "Heads up," "Cripple," "Shut up," "Chill," "Dude," "You're such a buzz-kill," "Die and come back" and "Loser."
  • The fighting, stunts and other action might be enticing for kids to try to imitate.
  • We see Percy shirtless as he sits at the bottom of a pool (for what we hear was 7 minutes).
  • We see miscellaneous graffiti in several scenes.
  • Gabe asks Sally where his beer is, demanding that she get it for him, and slaps her on the clothed butt as she passes by.
  • Some miscellaneous characters have tattoos.
  • We see more miscellaneous graffiti.
  • Poseidon has a trident tattoo or mark on his arm.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A campfire suddenly explodes into a bigger fire.
  • Grover opens a container and is startled by the sudden sight and sounds from there.
  • A woman suddenly grabs Annabeth.
  • Annabeth suddenly drives a truck into a bunch of statues to attack Medusa.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film, as does that of the heavily dramatic and action-oriented variety.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • The old AC/DC song repeats the line "I'm on the highway to Hell."
  • A song has the line "Want some whiskey in your water."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 slang terms for sex ("hook up"), 2 asses, 1 hell, 2 uses of "God" and 1 use of "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Percy shirtless as he sits at the bottom of a pool (for what we hear was 7 minutes).
  • Gabe asks Sally where his beer is, demanding that she get it for him, and slaps her on the clothed butt as she passes by.
  • Posing as a teacher and/or museum guide, Chiron states that the gods occasionally came down to Earth, and then wonders how to put what he's next going to say. A student chimes in "hook up" and Chiron repeats that they hooked up with mortals to produce children.
  • A classic style statue shows bare breasts.
  • We see various young women, the daughters of Aphrodite, in bikinis, and Grover goes over to them, commenting about "goddess of love" and "you know where that leads."
  • Some young women suggestively ask Percy to join them at a party, but Annabeth comes over and states, "Beat it, nymphs."
  • About getting in and out of Hades, Luke mentions that the god's wife Persephone has many secret visitors (meaning lovers).
  • Various classic style statues show bare breasts, partial butts, and partial male full frontal nudity.
  • We see Percy shirtless while sitting at the bottom of a pool again.
  • About Percy now missing, Gabe does a TV interview where he states that his stepson "did not come from these loins."
  • We see bare breasts on a classic style statue in Vegas.
  • People have drinks in a casino where Percy, Grover and Annabeth are given lotus flower type appetizers that cause them to hallucinate and fall under the spell of the casino. In that state, many pretty woman fawn all over Grover who enjoys the attention.
  • We see varying amounts of cleavage in a Vegas casino.
  • Persephone shows cleavage, and when she realizes Grover is a satyr, she suggestively states she hasn't "had" one of those before.
  • Persephone passionately kisses Hades, but only to steal Zeus' thunder bolt from his hand. She then uses that to blast him across the room.
  • When the group realizes Grover must stay behind in Hell, Persephone suggestively states she'll take very good care of him.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Zeus accuses Poseidon's son of stealing his thunder bolt, but Poseidon says he hasn't seen his son since he was a baby.
  • Gabe asks Sally where his beer is, demanding that she get it for him, and slaps her on the clothed butt as she passes by. He also has a bad attitude toward Percy who doesn't like him back. Percy then asks his mom why she stays with him, and she says Gabe has done good things for them, but can't let Percy know what they are.
  • Gabe demands more beer from Sally as he and his buddies have beer in front of them while playing poker. When Percy calls him on that, Gabe grabs the teen, but Grover slams a crutch down onto Gabe's shoe and then hits his body with the same, downing him.
  • Percy and Sally briefly talk about his absent father.
  • Percy thinks his mom is dead after the encounter with the minotaur.
  • A gigantic, fiery and winged Hades arrives at the camp and begins throwing fireballs that explode on the ground and cause some damage. He wants to find Percy and then shows he has Sally in his fiery underworld.
  • Luke states his dad (a god) is a jerk, that he's never met him, that all gods are selfish, and that all of their half-breed kids have "daddy issues." He then tells Percy and the others that if they see his dad on the way to Hell to "kick his ass for me."
  • Persephone isn't happy to be married to Hades, mainly because she's been forced into that and lives in Hell.
  • Percy wants nothing to do with his father when he finally meets him, but the god lets his son know his absence wasn't his choice and that he loves and is there for him, etc. In the same scene, Annabeth briefly says hello to her mom whom she's never met before.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Percy having dyslexia and ADHD.
  • The mix of classic mythology and a contemporary action story.
  • Grover walks with crutches, but does so to hide that he really has goat legs.
  • Percy's mom sacrificing her happiness to make sure he's safe.
  • Dealing with a mean and/or abusive stepparent.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Poseidon grabs Zeus who knocks his arms away to break that grip.
  • Zeus blasts a metal door to pieces, but after he walks through that opening, the door comes back together again.
  • We briefly see two students fighting in Percy's school (one pushing another to the lockers, followed by struggling, etc.).
  • A substitute teacher suddenly turns into a fury, a menacing and monstrous winged beast that comes at Percy. It then grabs and lifts him off the floor, but then drops him there (he lands hard) when Chiron orders her to do so. The fury then blasts out through glass to escape.
  • Gabe demands more beer from Sally as he and his buddies have beer in front of them while playing poker. When Percy calls him on that, Gabe grabs the teen, but Grover slams a crutch down onto Gabe's shoe and then hits his body with the same, downing him.
  • As Percy, Grover and Sally head by a pasture, a cow suddenly lands in the road in front of them. Their car swerves and then overturns, followed by an enormous minotaur chasing after them through the woods. It throws their car at them and barely misses, with them eventually reaching Camp Half Blood into which Sally can't enter due to her being a mortal. The minotaur grabs her and she dissolves in its hand, with Percy then activating his magic pen that turns into a sword. He goes at the monstrous creature with that and tries to avoid being hit, but is knocked back into a tree. The minotaur then gets its horn stuck in the tree and yanks that off, falling away. Percy then takes that horn and drives it into the beast's chest (with slightly bloody results), killing it.
  • There's a great deal of sword hitting and non-lethal and mostly non-injurious contact during a camp contest between opposing teams. Percy manages to get away, but then encounters Annabeth who easily bests him, slicing him in various locations (with slightly bloody cuts on his palm, face and leg), while also kicking him. After water instantly heals his wounds and infuses him with power, he elbows and flips others (with his sword to their feet) on her team before battling with her again, eventually disarming her.
  • A gigantic, fiery and winged Hades arrives at the camp and begins throwing fireballs that explode on the ground and cause some damage.
  • Grover and Percy accidentally run into each other, knocking themselves to the ground.
  • After turning a woman to stone (Grover later slices off the woman's stone hand to free Annabeth from her grip) Medusa tries to find Percy, toppling a bunch of statues with the last landing on him. Annabeth then drives a truck through various statues and into Medusa, knocking her to the floor. Percy then beheads her with his sword (we don't see the impact, but do see her non-bloody, severed head).
  • Annabeth fires many small sedative-laced arrows into museum workers to knock them out.
  • A line of male workers speak in unison and then start to decompose before turning into a massive Hydra that breaths fire at the teens, briefly catching Percy's shirtsleeve on fire. The various monstrous heads then try to bite him, Grover and Annabeth who hide behind pillars and other such museum structures. Percy then beheads all of the heads, unaware that they grow back two for one. Those then come after them again, including breathing flames at Percy, with Annabeth firing arrows into them as Percy tries to retrieve a necessary pearl. The three get to the front door, but find it locked, with Grover using Medusa's severed head at the last second to turn the creature into stone.
  • As they try to escape a casino trap, Grover, Gabe and Annabeth hit and kick various guards who try to control them. They then get into an expensive sports car and blast out through a glass wall to escape.
  • Persephone passionately kisses Hades, but only to steal Zeus' thunder bolt from his hand. She then uses that to blast him across the room.
  • Luke and Percy battle atop the Empire State Building as well as in midair, with Luke kicking Percy back who tries to strike Luke with his sword. Annabeth slices Luke on the arm with her knife (leaving a slightly bloody cut), but Luke gets the bolt and fires that repeatedly at her, Percy and Sally. Percy then grabs Luke and they fall a long way, battling as they go, including Percy slicing Luke on the cheek (leaving a slightly bloody cut). Luke fires the thunder bolt at Percy, causing damage to various buildings, and then throws his sword that slices the small wings off Percy's winged sneakers, causing him to fall a long way and land hard atop a building. Luke then prepares to kill him, but Percy causes various water towers atop buildings to rupture, and that floodwater to swamp Luke. Percy then creates a trident that he throws into Luke, knocking him off the building and down into a body of water.



  • Reviewed February 9, 2010 / Posted February 12, 2010

    Other new reviews available this week include:

    [And So It Goes] [Hercules] [I Origins] [Lucy] [Magic in the Moonlight]

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