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Sex & Nudity

Violence & Gore

  • There is a short scene in the beginning where ape-men kill another ape-man using bones (it should not be offensive to animal lovers as the apes were obviously played by humans, as it would have been impossibile to teach them to fight with bones).
  • A wild jaguar-like animal attacks (and presumably kills) an ape-man. Shortly thereafter, the ape-men learn to kill the hog-like animals (tapirs) near them, and there are scenes of them carrying the meat around and eating it.


  • Mild language presented. Words included are a few 'hells' (4 of them) and 'damns' (2 of them), said quickly and casually in conversation.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey is a movie that is slowly paced; it is still polarizing today for its interpretable themes. It does contain some disturbing scenes, majority of them because of the music in the background, especially during the final twenty minutes.
  • When they first discover the monolith, there is a continuous eerie music that can be unsettling to some.
  • Most of the film contains mysterious, surreal, and potentially creepy atmosphere and imagery, and is often accompanied by a mysterious or even eerie score at times. The silence of space is also used to achieve similar effects.


The Parents Guide items below may give away important plot points.

Violence & Gore

  • A computer system (HAL) kills people by electronically cutting off their life support during their time in hibernation.
  • A man, outside of a spaceship, dies from lack of oxygen, as HAL has used a space pod's mechanical arm to cut his atmosphere tube (though this is not depicted). The computer locks another man out of the spaceship (presumably to die).

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • There is some intensity where HAL, a computer system that has full control over a spaceship, kills 3 hibernating scientists/doctors by electronically cutting off their life supports. We also see an astronaut floating in space, supposedly after being hit by a space pod (controlled by HAL) or by that pod's robot arms tearing his air hose off its oxygen tank. We see the astronaut struggling to fix the situation, until he pulls the hose in front of his helmet and registers surprise at what has been done to his breathing air. There are also tense (but tamer) scenes involving the robot denying one astronaut entrance into the spaceship, and leaving him to die (although he does make it back into the spaceship).
  • When Dave takes out HAL's circuits from the memory center, he pleads to Dave to stop. He tells Dave he can feel the pain, and "he" is afraid, etc. HAL later sings "Daisy, Daisy" in an increasingly low voice (due to slowly "shutting down"). (This is more emotional than disturbing.)
  • An astronaut travels into a star gate/portal into another dimension. The following colorful visuals (alternating views of weird landscapes, strangely-colored freeze frames of his face watching the camera with different expressions, unknown cosmological phenomena,...) accompanied by a haunting music arrangement (which runs for about 10+ minutes) might be a little disturbing for some viewers.

See also

Taglines | Plot Summary | Synopsis | Plot Keywords

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