Box art for King Kong

King Kong

action & adventure, drama, thrillers


OscarĀ® winner Peter Jackson directs Naomi Watts, Jack Black and Adrien Brody in this cinematic vision filled with non-stop action, terrifying creatures and groundbreaking special effects.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    84%
  • Audience Score
    50%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 13
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Sex
0 out of 5
Violence
5 out of 5

Boisterous, spectacular remake of 1933 classic.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that the movie includes numerous violent scenes that may be frightening for younger viewers and some action pushing the PG-13 edge. Specifically, humans are attacked on the island by giant bugs, bats, and dinosaurs in sustained, pounding action scenes. Kong shifts from scary (chest-pounding and roaring) to sympathetic; he's attacked brutally by men in tanks and planes, shooting guns. Characters drink and smoke cigarettes; Ann wears a slip through most of her adventures on the island. Most troubling is the depiction of the black island natives, who appear as nightmarish, surreal images, chanting and shaking when they sacrifice Ann to Kong. The showbiz version of this scene (recreated in New York) uses blackface performers.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the relationship between Ann and Kong. How does their mutual affection extend beyond person and pet, to something more complicated? How does Denham's exploitation of Kong parallel his exploitation of people? How do the military attacks make Kong increasingly sympathetic (even an underdog, out of place in the city), as he tries to protect Ann and then she tries to protect him? How do the blackface performers serve as commentary on mainstream fear of the "unknown"?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    84%
    reviews counted: 29
    see all King Kong reviews
  • Audience

    50%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Too big for its own good, too pure of heart to diminish, brawling, magnificent, heroic and flawed: That's King Kong, and that's King Kong.

- Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Rotten: At three hours, Jackson's Kong is too bloated and digressive to match the pure adrenaline of the first film, perhaps the finest B-movie ever made.

- Bill Muller, Arizona Republic, Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Fresh: It takes a while to get everybody to Skull Island, about 70 minutes, but it's time extremely well-spent.

- Bob Mondello, NPR.org, Saturday, October 18, 2008

Audience Reviews

1 star

It was far too long. Jackson let success go to his head I feel. It is pretty audacious remaking a classic like King Kong, and although I wasn't against the idea, I feel his ego was the real monster here. Also, unfinished and pointless subplots frustrate me.

- SirPant, Tuesday, August 25, 2009

5 stars

great movie. Peter Jackson has outdone himself, which is difficult, considering his previous three masterpieces

- TomBowler, Monday, August 17, 2009

4 stars

The film is visually, almost like a revolution. However, because of the length, most people won't appreciate this and worry about when the film ends. The film does have great performances from Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody and Jack Black. But the real focus should be Andy Serkis, who portrays as the cook and Kong. The infamous Insect pit is very intense and may most likely disturb children or those not comfortable with bugs.

- samoriley, Tuesday, August 7, 2012