Skyfall’s opening scene takes place in Istanbul. MI6 agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) is in hot pursuit of an enemy agent who has stolen a computer hard drive. It contains the identity of NATO agents throughout the world. Assisted by MI6 agent Eve (Naomie Harris), Bond chases by car and motorbike until he finally catches up with the agent on top of a speeding train. Unfortunately, Eva accidentally shoots Bond, who falls into the river below, apparently dead.
Weeks later, back in England, MI6’s computer network is hacked. This results in a gas explosion that destroys MI6 headquarters and kills many MI6 agents. Luckily for MI6, Bond actually survived the earlier shooting and has returned to England. Upon his return to MI6, M (Judi Dench) instructs Bond to track down the criminal behind the killings and the theft of the hard drive. The culprit turns out to be a disgruntled and long-forgotten MI6 agent named Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem). He wants revenge against M for wrongs he suffered in the past.
The rest of the movie follows Bond as he tried to track down Silva. Meanwhile Silva plots to kill M. Everything leads to a climactic showdown between Bond and Silva at Bond’s ancestral home in Scotland.
This movie has frequent intense action violence, some of which is brutal. There is also some blood and gore. There is some discussion of torture and violence towards women, both of which might concern some viewers. For example:
- Bond goes into a room. Two dead bodies lie on the floor, with a large pool of blood under one of them. An unconscious man sits in a chair with blood covering his face and chest.
- In a reckless and perilous car and motor bike chase, Bond chases an enemy agent through crowded streets and across rooftops. During the chase, there is a lot of gunfire between Bond and the agent (Bond is shot in the shoulder). There is a brutal fist fight between Bond and the agent on top of a train, with stylised punches to the face and body. The agent swings a heavy chain at Bond and then uses the chain to try strangling him. During the struggle a woman aims a rifle at the agent, and she is ordered to shoot. Bond is shot in the chest and falls from the train into a fast-flowing river below. He is swept over a waterfall, his unconscious body sinking to the bottom of the river.
- The top of a large building explodes in flames. A news report calls the explosion a terrorist attack. It says that many people were killed and injured in the explosion. A later scene shows eight coffins in a row with flags draped across them.
- Several scenes show civilians and police officers ruthlessly shot, execution style.
- A man shoots a man sitting in a chair in the back of the head. A hole opens in the back of the man’s head, and he slumps forward and falls off the chair.
- A woman is bound to a large rock. Raoul Silva places a shotglass containing alcohol on top of the woman’s head and instructs Bond to shoot the glass off the top of her head. A second man holds a gun to Bond’s head. Bond takes a shot and misses. Raoul aims his gun and shoots the woman.
- Men armed with machineguns attack a house that has three people trapped inside. The men fire their weapons into the house and throw grenades, causing large explosions and fires. When the men go into the house, they set off some booby traps that send them hurtling through the air. Many of the men are shot and killed.
- A man moans and winces in pain. When he turns around, a large hunting style knife sticks out of his back. He slumps to the floor dead.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:
- The movie’s opening credits show an unconscious Bond being pulled down to the bottom of a river. A giant sandy whirlpool-like hole opens up in the bottom of the river bed, and Bond seems to be sucked into the hole. Images of large pools of blood swirl around in the water, and stylised Chinese dragons breathe fire under the water.
- In one scene, Bond uses a large knife to cut into his own shoulder open. He digs out several pieces of shrapnel from a gunshot wound. He winces in pain and sees a trickle of blood as he makes the cut.
- Two men fight in a pit containing two gigantic komodo dragons. One of the komodo dragons locks its jaws onto a man’s legs, dragging the man out of sight. The second dragon follows, and the man screams.
- Raoul Silva tells how he was tortured. To escape the torture he broke open one of his teeth and released a cyanide capsule that burned his insides rather than killing him. After telling his story, Raoul removes a set of false teeth from his mouth, revealing a couple of blackened and rotten teeth underneath. The side of his face partially collapses, giving him a skull-like appearance.
Children in this age group will also be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.
Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.
Younger children in this age group might also be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.
Skyfall contains many sexual innuendoes. For example:
- Bond says to a woman, ‘It’s amazing what you can do with an extra pair of hands’. The woman replies, ‘You’re telling me’.
- While talking to a woman, Bond refers to her having a gun strapped to her thigh. In a later scene showing both Bond and the woman naked in a shower, Bond says, ‘I like you better without your Beretta’. The woman replies, ‘I feel naked without it’.
- After making suggestive homosexual advances towards Bond, Silva says, ‘There’s a first time for everything’. Bond replies, ‘What makes you think this is the first time?’
- In reference to a sadistic life and death game Silva plays with Bond and a woman Bond had sex with the night before, Silva says, ‘Let’s see who ends up on top’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie shows some use of substances. For example:
- Bond drinks whisky and beer.
- One scene shows Bond in a drinking game that involves sculling a shotglass of spirit while balancing a live scorpion on his hand. Bond shakes the scorpion from his hand after sculling the drink. He upturns his glass and uses it to cover the scorpion.
- In a casino scene, people drink champagne. A martini is made for Bond.
- Bond takes prescription drugs (pain killers). There’s a reference to Bond having an alcohol and substance addiction.
- In a couple of scenes, a woman smokes a cigarette.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie has some partial nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- There is a side view of Bond and a woman, showing his naked torso and the woman’s bare shoulder, and a side view of her slightly exposed upper breast. The woman jumps onto Bond, wrapping her legs around his waist. They kiss passionately.
- Women in several scenes wear backless dresses and low-cut tops that show cleavage.
- One scene shows a naked Bond with a towel wrapped around his waist sitting on a chair while being shaved by a woman, who is fully clothed. After being shaved, Bond begins to unbutton the woman’s top. The scene cuts to fireworks exploding outside.
- There are shadowy images through a foggy shower screen of a woman taking a shower. Bond, also naked, enters the shower. They kiss passionately.
- While questioning Bond, who is tied to a chair, Silva opens Bond’s shirt and caresses his shoulder, neck and chest.
The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Heiniken beer and cars such as Audi, Aston Martin and VW.
This movie has some coarse language and name-calling.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Skyfall is an action adventure targeting older teenagers and adults. It features the trademark qualities fans expect from Bond movies. It is likely to attract younger viewers, but you should note that the movie deserves its M-rating.
Violent and disturbing scenes and sexual references make it unsuitable for children under13 years, and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 13-15 years.
The main messages from this movie are that the sins of your past will eventually catch up to you.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include loyalty. For example, Bond and several other characters continuously demonstrate loyalty to each other by repeatedly putting their lives on the line for each other. They stick by each other until the very end.
You could also talk about the movie’s stereotypical depiction of women, and James Bond’s attitude to women.