Box art for Avatar


From Academy Award® winning director James Cameron comes Avatar, the story of an ex-Marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on an alien planet filled with exotic life forms.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 13
2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
2 out of 5
3 out of 5

Action-heavy epic has dazzling effects, familiar story.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know this highly anticipated James Cameron sci-fi epic may be too intense (and long, at 161 minutes) for some tweens. There are several effects-heavy battle and hunting sequences that include missile-launching military aircraft, nerotoxin-laced arrows, scary Pandora-dwelling fauna and flora, and lots of explosions -- all of which has more impact when the movie is seen in 3-D. Salty wartime language includes many uses of "s--t" and comparable words. As in his previous epics, Cameron infuses the action-driven story with strong female characters and a morality tale centered in a romantic relationship -- though the human-Na'vi relationship in question gets a bit complicated, because the human is actually in his avatar. The romantic leads' chemistry is made more sensual by the barely dressed bodies of the Na'vi. (Note: Fans of the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender should know that this movie is in no way connected to that show or the movie based on it.)

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the movie's revolutionary special effects. Do they overwhelm or support the movie's story? How does the portrayal of the Na'vi affect the movie's emotional impact?
  • What themes does Cameron consistently work into his films? Compare the strong female characters in Avatar, Terminator, and Titanic. Any similarities?
  • What political messages is Cameron exploring in the movie? How are its themes relevant to what's going on in today's world? Do you think these messages will stand the test of time?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 3
    see all Avatar reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: From the music to the muse, this is clearly a James Cameron flick, clearly a masterpiece, and clearly marks a revolution in blockbusters, for if you only see one film in a 3-D cinema this year, make it Avatar.

- Giles Hardie,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: Cameron's 'Avatar': Brainy & Beautiful

- Joe Baltake, Passionate Moviegoer, Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fresh: It's rare that a movie can inspire genuine awe but Cameron has succeeded in another landmark technical achievement.

- Ryan Cracknell, Movie Views, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

5 stars

Visually stunning , amazing on the IMAX 3d screen. As many have said the story isnt anything new but it does not have to be. This was an incredible feast for the eyes. If your going to spend 400 million on a movie this is the way to do it.

- jmanard52, Saturday, January 9, 2010

3 stars

I never rated this? lol

- jagfire, Saturday, November 13, 2010

4 stars

James Cameron's long awaited follow up to his 1997 film Titanic is a spectacular feast for the eyes. Like every other reviewer, I felt that this was a Dances With Wolves in outer space. Theres really is nothing original about the story. However I thoroughly enjoyed this film and it was very well made. But I thought it was a bit overhyped. As far as the effects are concerned, the film delivers on the hype, but considering that everyone goes ape shit for Avatar only for the fact that it's James Cameron's first feature film in over a decade is far fetched in my opinion. The film was terrific, but it's not the greatest film ever made as many fanboys of the film have made it out to be. Also with the fact that Avatar was highly praised, I felt that many gems of 2009 were forgotten or not even mentioned as the best films of 2009. One example is Dun Jones's Moon, that film deserves more praise than Avatar, and I personally thought that Moon way more thrilling than Avatar. Avatar is exactly the type of film that gets killed by the hype. This is the perfect example of a film that shouldn't get all the accolades it got. This is an effects driven film, with a story that we've seen many times before. Seen before, and told more poetically than in Avatar. At first I really wanted to see this film, because of the fact that it was deemed the must see film of 2009. I think critics and fanboys overhyped the film to the max. A good film, yes, but definitely not the best of 2009. For me the best films of 2009 were The Hurt Locker, Moon, Public Enemies and Inglourious Basterds and District 9. Those films deserves praise. Unfortunately two of these titles barely saw the light of day, such as Moon and The Hurt Locker. With its lack of original story, Avatar is a three star film, but with the good special effects, this film definitely deserves another star. However I think that Terminator 2: Judgement Day and The Terminator are James Cameron's finest films. Avatar is a good film, but it's very overhyped.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Thursday, October 28, 2010