Star Trek Into Darkness Movie Review for Children


Captain James T. Kirk doesn’t take orders from anyone. He is an independent man, flying his spaceship the USS Enterprise and directing his crew as he pleases. After all, he was put in command due to his brilliance and greatness as a captain.

star-trek-2-into-darkness-posterThen Captain Kirk blows it. First, he sends his first mate Spock into a volcano to stop it from erupting. Next, Spock is then trapped inside the volcano, leading Captain Kirk to blow the hidden cover of the Enterprise in order to rescue his first mate (and revealing the existence of a huge spaceship to primitive life forms in the process). Well, such blatant disregard for the Federation rules can’t be tolerated, so Captain Kirk is demoted.

Enter John Harrison, the terrorist who blows up a Starfleet base and part of a city, and guns down most of the Starfleet captains in a ruthless attack against the top officers in the spaceship fleet. Suddenly, James Kirk is promoted back to captain of the Enterprise upon the death of his former mentor, friend, and new Enterprise Captain Christopher Pike. The death of Captain Pike infuriates Kirk, who is sent on a vengeful mission by the Starfleet Admiral to destroy John Harrison. Only, the whole situation is not quite what it seems, and things take a suspenseful turn as Captain Kirk tries to think on his feet and save the lives of everyone.

But hey, it’s Captain Kirk. He beats up bad guys every day before breakfast. This time can’t be any different, right?

Positive Elements:

While Captain Kirk doesn’t always abide by the rules, his first mate Spock does. We find Spock and his honesty evident throughout the movie, regardless of the consequences the truth sometimes brings. Spock also argues with Captain Kirk about the motives of their mission, reasoning that John Harrison should at least be given a trial, instead of being blown to pieces right away. Good ole’ Kirk finally takes Spock’s advice and decides to bring Harrison back to earth for a trial.

Repeatedly throughout Star Trek Into Darkness, the crew of the Enterprise put themselves into harms’ way to save others. Doing the right thing is often the hardest thing to do- but the crew consistently sacrifices of themselves to do it. Several crew members risk their lives for others. Captain Kirk risks his life repeatedly for his crew. This theme, as well as the theme of honesty throughout the movie, would be easily recognizable to children and adults alike.

While revenge would be so easy, Captain Kirk takes the hard road by bringing Harrison back for trial. Kirk is dead-set on obtaining justice, but mostly does not let his anger get the best of him.

Negative Elements:

Star Trek Into Darkness contains a few negative elements that parents should be aware of. First, the only obvious spiritual reference is when the Enterprise seems to miraculously start back up, and Spock replies to an exclamation by a crew member by stating that there are no miracles.

There are also two sexual scenes in the movie that parents should be aware of. Crude language occurs fairly frequently, with the total reaching around 40 crude words and references. While round two of Star Trek is less violent than the first, there is a decent amount of violence amid the explosions and action scenes. These negative elements will be described more in the Look Out! Content section.

Look Out! Content:

Captain Kirk is involved in both of the sexual scenes in Star Trek Into Darkness. The first scene begins with a shot of the foot of a bed with women’s clothing strewn on the floor, and noises and movement coming from the bed. The camera pans to the left, and we see Captain Kirk jump out of bed, leaving behind two female aliens (both apparently naked, but their chests are covered by the bed sheet). Later in the movie, Kirk is asked to turn around while Carol, a new science officer, changes outfits. Well, he turns around anyways, and we get a very clear shot of Carol in her bra and panties. At another point of the movie, we see Spock and his girlfriend Uhura kissing.

The crude language in Star Trek Into Darkness is plentiful and varied. As stated earlier, the grand total reaches about 40 different crude references and words, with God’s name being taken in vain about six times.


It’s Star Trek, so the violence and destruction should be expected when watching this movie. We see a bomb blow up a base, a roomful of officers get gunned down, people fly out the windows of a spaceship into space, another large spaceship crash into a major city, and several other fight scenes. The one scene that disturbed me was when John Harrison crushed another man’s head with his bare hands (the camera doesn’t show the head get crushed, but we hear the sound effects and see the man’s face writhing in pain right before his death).


Star Trek Into Darkness is a movie designed to be action-packed and full of suspenseful situations, while stunning us with its brilliant graphics. I enjoyed the movie very much, though my main concerns for children would be the sexual scenes, the head crushing scene, and the language. I think it would be possible for a very alert parent to make sure their child does not see either of the sexual scenes and the head crushing scene, but the language in this movie is unavoidable. Due to these concerns, I would not recommend Star Trek Into Darkness for young children. For older children and teenagers, I would suggest parents decide for them at their own discretion.

Kid-Friendly Rating: Strong caution advised.