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Movie Review


MPAA Rating: R for graphic battle sequences throughout, some sexuality and nudity

Reviewed by: Michael Karounos

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Action, Adventure, Drama, War
1 hr. 57 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
March 9, 2007 (wide)
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

Greece in the Bible

Xerxes in the Bible

Persia in the Bible

war in the Bible

What is the Biblical perspective on war? Answer

How does viewing violence in movies affect the family? Answer

Why are humans supposed to wear clothes? Answer

Featuring: Gerard Butler (“Phantom of the Opera”), Lena Headey (“The Brothers Grimm”), Dominic West (“The Forgotten”), David Wenham (“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy), Vincent Regan (“Troy”), Michael Fassbender, Tom Wisdom, Andrew Pleavin, Andrew Tiernan, Rodrigo Santoro (“Love Actually”), Giovani Antonio Cimmino, Stephen McHattie, Greg Kramer, Alex Ivanovici, Kelly Craig, Eli Snyder, Tyler Neitzel, Tim Connolly, Marie-Julie Rivest
Director: Zack Snyder—“Dawn of the Dead,” “Watchmen
Producer: Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Virtual Studios, Hollywood Gang Productions, Atmosphere Entertainment MM, more »
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

“Prepare for glory!”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “Based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel, 300 concerns the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae, where the King of Sparta led his army against the advancing Persians; the battle is said to have inspired all of Greece to band together against the Persians, and helped usher in the world’s first democracy. 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army.”

Sequel: “300: Rise of an Empire” (2014)

“300” is one of those films that is difficult to summarize because there is so much that is interesting about it and so much that is offensive. The short review for this film, as regards a conservative Christian audience (or a pacifist non-Christian audience), is don’t see the movie.


There are several prolonged scenes of female nudity: one of a writhing, bare-breasted oracle; one of a husband and wife making love; and one of Xerxes’ harem. The first two are tolerable for a mature Christian audience; the latter is perverse and pornographic in its characterization.

There are also graphic scenes of slaughter, decapitation, and dismemberment. Some liberal reviewers (Dana Stevens) argue the film is homophobic in its portrayal of Xerxes and the lesbians in the harem, while a gay reviewer (David Foucher) liked the movie very much. That kind of critical dissonance, on both the left and the right, seems to be a common reaction to the movie.


I found all of those elements objectionable and unnecessary, but most disappointingly, from a Christian point of view, is the harsh tone of the movie as reflected in its portrayals, its speeches, and its action sequences. There is a way to portray nudity, violence, and even mayhem in an “artistic” manner that strikes a balance between realism (e.g., “Gladiator,” “The Patriot” and degradation (e.g., “Seven,” “Reservoir Dogs”), which a mature Christian audience can watch without feeling soiled. It is on this point that the movie fails because the tone is angry, hateful, and often debasing. The portrayal of the Persian army is very negative and is referred to as a “monster” at least twice, with a specific comparison being made to an earlier scene with a demonic wolf. The use of a troll-like giant, unhistorical battle rhinos, and a nipple-pierced blob with lobster-claws instead of hands was distasteful, to say the least.

I don’t espouse moral or cultural equivalence, but speaking as an ethnic Greek whose father was born in Sparta and fought against Greece’s latter day invaders (Hitler’s Nazis), it is important to point out to viewers who may not know ancient history that the Persians were a highly socialized civilization. They were accomplished in everything, except the one virtue that the Greeks alone of the ancient peoples were able to weave into the fabric of their society: democracy. The Persians were indeed tyrannical: they enslaved entire nations, treated women like things, and slaughtered city populations, as in the numerous accounts we read about in the Old Testament, but they weren’t physically monstrous.

But the main reason I didn’t like the portrayal of the Persian army in the movie as containing freaks and monsters is because I felt the Greeks in the movie must become, in some measure, monsters to defeat them. In a sense, one is defined by one’s enemies, as well as by one’s friends. Had the movie portrayed the Persian army as glorious in its own right, as it must have been to have defeated almost all the known world, it would have magnified the Greek accomplishment without debasing the Persians.

For example, a Spartan warrior witnesses his son killed in battle and his epiphany, after much reflection, is to say that his “heart is filled with hatred.” Then there is a dramatic pause in which we wait for the response of the most moral character in the movie, Leonidas, who replies “Good.” This was a little shocking to me. Besides being an inaccurate portrayal of how Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle would characterize irrational grief, it is a spectacular failure of the movie’s moral vision. Up to this point we had heard speech after speech which emphasized “justice,” “law and order,” “liberty,” “hope,” and above all, “reason.” Over and over in the movie, “reason” is cited to characterize the Spartans and the Greeks in general. But this is not a reasonable response, and the ancient Greeks did not fight with hatred.

When told that the Persian arrows would blot out the sun, Herodotus records that Dieneces, the Greek reputed to have fought with the greatest glory at Thermopylae, replied: “Then we shall fight in the shade.” That moment is in the movie. As Victor Davis Hanson notes, “the Spartan mystique was a product of singular discipline and organization, and the ability to stay in rank” (A War Like No Other, 138). Other armies charged in masses; the Greeks marched in order, singing to the martial music of flutes. Hanson notes that the Spartan general, Brasidas, rallied his troops against the Illyrians by characterizing them as a “mob” with “no order” (138). Order, discipline, and organization are all characteristics of an army that is remarkably cool-headed and professional, not hateful and angry.

These comments will seem like quibbles to some, but in a movie about justice, liberty, and reason, it is the tone that informs the selection of images, the delivery of the lines, and the portrayal of certain characters. Whether or not the movie is a conservative response to contemporary terrorism (as some reviewers on both sides of the spectrum claim), or a libertarian, anti-religious, anti-terrorist response, as I would further argue, the tone strikes a harsh, discordant note that contradicts the intention of the movie. This is most evident in how the lines are delivered by Gerard Butler, who shouts in almost all the key moments of the movie. Whether this is his fault or the fault of Zach Snyder, the director, is unclear, but the result is a portrayal of an angry man rather than a passionate man. Again, people will disagree on this point, but it is how it struck me.


As everyone probably knows, the movie was filmed primarily against a blue screen, similar to the look of the field scene at the end of “Gladiator” in which Maximus is re-united with his dead family. The reason special effects are “special” is because they are used in a selective manner. When movies are made with unceasing explosions, unceasing sexual content, or unceasing visual effects (e.g., rotoscoping in “A Scanner Darkly”), the “special effect” risks becoming banal and trivializes the intended effect. I think “300” was successful in maintaining the freshness of using the technique for the whole film, but others may not. At least, in no place did I find the use of the technique ridiculous. However, it begs the question of how the film might have looked in a conventional format. Is a dream-like blue screen aesthetic more effective than simple realism? I’m not sure. Personally, I prefer my realism to be realistic.


When Xerxes approaches on a throne platform carried by slaves and says “Let us reason together,” the irony is obvious. A man who thinks himself a god and demands slavish servitude from the entire known world is not someone who “reasons” in a conventional sense. This is historically accurate. The real Xerxes had his admirals beheaded after the naval loss at Salamis and beheaded those who dared contradict him. Alexander the Great, under the influence of his Persian advisers in the late part of his campaign, did the same thing. This was how Eastern satraps conducted themselves. By contrast, the Greeks arrived at decisions by argumentation and held their generals (and kings) accountable for their actions.

As Hanson notes, the foundation of freedom is free speech, and the Greeks had two words for free speech: isegoria, the freedom to speak in an open assembly, and parrhesia, the freedom to say what one liked (Carnage and Culture 51). Indeed, Hanson observes that the Athenians worshiped the gods of Freedom and Democracy, named ships after those ideas, and even named one Free Speech (“Parhhesia”). Thus, it is characteristic that when the time came for the Greeks to decide what to do when they learned that the Immortals were behind them, they held an assembly which Herodotus recorded as follows:

“Then the Greeks held a council to consider what they should do, and here opinions were divided: some were strong against quitting their post, while others contended to the contrary. So when the council had broken up, part of the troops departed and went their ways homeward to their several states; part however resolved to remain, and to stand by Leonidas to the last” (The Histories, VII.207).

This council included representatives of all the men and was not a decision made by Leonidas himself. The point I am making here is that the movie’s emphasis is on reason and discourse. As such, it is pure Enlightenment and Modern, as opposed to postmodern. This is also reflected in the movie’s clarity of values in portraying good and evil, free and slave, right and wrong.

Secondly, the movie is anti-religious. When Leonidas is told to “trust the gods,” he replies “I’d prefer to trust reason.” The early scenes with the Spartan ephors show priests who are deformed and depraved. The voice-over describes them as priests of the “old gods,” “corrupt,” “diseased,” and “worthless.” Physical deformity, as in the case of Ephialtes, the Ephors, and the freaks of Xerxes, is typically a metaphor for moral deformity, as in some of the stories of Flannery O’Connor.

So when Xerxes, who calls himself “god” and “lord,” says “Let us reason together,” we must understand his statement in its famous context as a specifically Judeo-Christian phrase, as an old-style “god” speaking as God did in the Old Testament:

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, You will be devoured by the sword. Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 1:18-20 NASB).

Xerxes is offering Leonidas a last chance to be his vassal, and he is doing so in the language of the Old Testament. Frank Miller, the author of the graphic novel 300 portrayed Christians negatively in his graphic novel Sin City. I have read neither, but I am willing to bet that Miller, based on his portrayals of Christians, and his on-the-record comments against Islamic terrorism, sees all religion as fundamentalist and a threat to the religion of “reason.”

And that’s fine. But from an intentional Christian perspective, which is how Christians should view everything, there are Christian responses to the ugly tone of the movie and its worship of “reason.” The response to content with such an unchristian tone can employ one of three strategies: avoid it (James 4:7); counter the desire to enjoy what is bad by actively seeking out that which is good (Philippians 4:8); and use good judgment in what you see. Good judgment is where grace comes in, but in grace is implied the imperative “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16 NIV).

A Christian response to the religion of reason brings to mind Paul’s famous response to King Festus’ accusation that Paul is “insane”:

“At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. ‘You are out of your mind, Paul!’ he shouted. ‘Your great learning is driving you insane.’ ‘I am not insane, most excellent Festus,’ Paul replied. ‘What I am saying is true and reasonable’” (Acts 26:24-25).

Christianity is a reasonable religion because it is the religion of God’s love for man and man’s love for man. 1 Corinthians 13 describes love not as a passion or an instinct, but as a decision:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres… And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (NIV).

Love is the ultimate rationale.


Although the battle sequences relied too much on slow motion and stop action, they were beautifully filmed. Gerard Butler did an excellent job in the choreographed fight scenes which showed how the Spartans fought as a team. Many of the speeches were straight from Herodotus and lent the film historical authenticity. The portrayal of Leonidas’ wife, Gorgo, was feminist in a positive way while maintaining the relationship of husband and wife as full partners (although one of her actions is unrealistic and degrading). These and other elements of the movie were pleasing and satisfying. There is also an interesting Antigone-like moment in which Leonidas must choose to obey his conscience or the strict rule of law. This could potentially be read in a contemporary political light, because it portrays the internal bickering of the country’s apathetic and traitorous rulers as hampering the generals and the war effort.

These and other quality moments counterbalance the tonal and visual offences. However, one measure of a film’s worth is how it leaves you feeling, and I left the movie feeling unholy, unheroic, and, ultimately, unmoved.

Nonetheless, as a chronicle of a pivotal moment in Western history, when the new lights of democracy, liberty, and reason were being threatened by the “old” ways of tyranny, slavery, and superstition, “300” is still an instructive object lesson for our time. Herodotus concludes his account simply, stating: “Thus fought the Greeks at Thermopylae.” What he meant is, this is how they “thought” when they fought. Leonidas and the 300’s epitaph at the site of the battle reads:

“Go, stranger, and tell the Spartans that we lie here in obedience to her laws.” The ultimate act of sacrifice is to rationally die on behalf of someone else in accordance with a greater principle. This both Spartans and Christians can equally understand.

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Extreme

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive—To be laconic (in honor of the Greek origins of Laconia itself), “300” evoked extremely visceral responses from the pits of my body. I heartily laughed, dealt and received the blows of battle, and was moved at the film’s conclusion. People may attack this “Alamo of antiquity” for various historical reasons, but from what I know about the Battle of Thermopylae, this film stays close not only to the premise, but to the witty lines themselves.

The film is very violent indeed, but because the blood is reminiscent of a comic-book, little offense was taken. On the contrary, being a guy, the blood only amped up the leonine nature of men. There were two sexual scenes in the film, neither of which are easily passed over, but I have seen worse in R-rated films. To sum it up, “300” was everything I imagined. A historically based, exciting, viscerally emotional epic that made the ticket price worth every penny. Herodotus would be proud.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4½
—Carson, age 20
Positive—From a Christian perspective, the historical fiction film “300” both offends and pleases, which is often the case with a product from an industry with a passion for the Antichrist. What pleases is the zeal and thirst for excellence of the mighty Spartan army of 300. With the evil Xerxes and his Persian army of hundreds of thousands threatening to either subjugate or annihilate Greece, King Leonidas of Sparta rallies his band of 300 warriors in preparation for a battle which defines “the underdog” like no other, except for maybe that Alamo thing centuries later. Leonidas exercises some post-modern political doublespeak to justify the war while his antagonist stays behind to accuse him of anarchy to the political leaders.

“300” reminds one of how nasty and unforgiving war can be, and why any nation hoping to defend itself long-term must emphasize and act on the necessity of having its males engage in the dirty work, not the females. Had Leonidas taken a quota of woman into his band of 300 the 3-day battle might have been shorter than a morning tea. A predominantly male army ultimately serves to benefit women in the long run despite the pretests of the feminist movement.

The trust, respect and loyalty of Leonidas’ warriors for him as a leader is in great contradistinction to the rampant distrust of America’s military higher-ups today by both those in the military and those without.

Leonidas was faithful and loyal to his wife Gorgo. She’s a strong, smart woman and not afraid to defend herself while her husband is out battling pesky and sometimes ugly Persians. The movie clearly reveals her ability to defend herself in one particular scene, of which the details shall not be uncovered here.

If you go thinking the R is only due to the gore you’re wrong. There are a few of the obligatory frontal nudity scenes that clearly contributes to this movie’s R-rating. Decapitations and multiple blood squirtings secondary to involuntary body piercings of the nastier sort can easily merit an R rating on their own, but the makers of 300 exercise multiple alternatives in earning their R-rating.

The theology was of course bad. With a string mythological bent to “300” one doesn’t expect any sort of explicit appeal to Christian thought, and that indeed held true. Any Christian virtues displayed were purely “accidental” (see: Sovereign, God is) and the result of the viewer forcing his worldview upon the film.

“300” probably deserves a neutral rating but we’ll give it a positive one because everyone loves an underdog. Christ Himself lived like an underdog even though the his creatures and created order have always been, and always will be, His.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4½
—Scott Parrish, age 47
Positive—Well, apart from the buckets of blood, numerous slashes and gashes, stabbings, piercings, impalings, decapitations, etc. (a bit over-the-top at times to the point where it feels like a video game), and apart from the gratuitous sex scenes (manifested in various forms, though not prolonged), the movie was good. Yep. I might be a part of the select few who can honestly walk away from this film and say it was good. I like to think I have a better appreciation for “300” because of John Eldredge’s “Wild at Heart;” the book seems to have instilled in me a “heightened awareness.” And on that note, I’ll say this is definitely a guy flick.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 5
Positive—Unlike most of viewers it seems, I expected the violence, sex scenes, homosexual references, “King of Kings” comments, etc… because I knew the story, saw the previews, and know about the culture of the time period. I read some reviews on this site and sometimes wonder what some viewers expect from a rated-R movie about a historical WAR with a comic book/fantasy twist. The sex scene was not all that graphic, and it was between husband and wife. The Spartans were fighting for what they believed in. They were not going to be taken over by the Persian tyrant who claimed to be a god. They showed tremendous courage that sparked a nation to become united and defeat the enemy that was to rob them of their freedom. Also, I am annoyed by the people on other forums who say this movie is racist. It seems like every movie is racist in some way these days. They were upset that blacks were in the evil Persian army. The Persians were made up of many different cultures that conquered by the ruler, read up. This movie is rated-R for a reason, but I took my 13 year old brother to see because I thought he could handle the content, which he did. It’s up to individuals to choose who they take to see this movie.
My Ratings: Average / 5
—GD, age 20
Positive—I think people are forgetting that this movie was based on the graphic novel 300, not the historic war. That being said this movie wasn’t made to be 100% historically accurate. Honestly, the monsters were no more scary then those of “Lord of the Rings.” The content of this movie is interesting. Honestly, every nudity scene in the movie was not needed at all, it’s a shame that they had to have those in there, because, that being said, this movie is truly terrific. The battle scenes were filmed and captured, the Spartans were true warriors and that is the point of this movie, they were taught never to retreat or surrender and they don’t! When a huge force of AKA the persians are attempting to rule them the spartans defend what is rightfully their’s and that’s where I think people here are missing the point. The blood, honestly, was not even on a gore level to that of “Braveheart” or “Gladiator,” in fact, the blood was much more cartoonish in this movie. If you get offended by war then skip this movie, if not then go see it. The nudity scenes don’t just come up, and you can easily close your eyes or even leave the theater during the scenes because they really add nothing to this movie.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 5
—Tim Whitaker, age 18
Positive—Is it a good movie? Yes, as long as received for what it is. It is highly offensive, and sometimes unrealistic, however it is the depiction of an adult comic series so this is to be expected and enjoyed. I disagree with the reviewer on several points. The one being that the Persians were actually an impeding evil, had they actually succeeded in invading Europe nothing would have unfolded in the glorious positive manner that it did, eventually paving the way for a Christian empire. For this reason, Thermopylae is one of the most important battles in the history of the world.

Second, the revelation of a warriors heart portrayed as hatred and cruelty. This is simply a sad reality of a group of men committed to fighting to the death and selling their lives as dearly as possible. The truth of combat is this cruel inhumane barbarism, which the warrior embraces, and this is the plight of our heroes. The coolness and training will unfortunately go hand in hand with the motivating power of anger and hatred. Thus is the reality of combat.

A very artsy piece of work, not for the family. All that is needed is to see the previews to know if this movie will offend you or not. I don’t think many will be tricked into seeing this if they don’t want to.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 5
—Stephen, age 21
Positive—This is one of the better movies to come along in a LONG time. It’s historical, filmed well and even has good acting performances, but the main thing that I liked was the never-give-up attitude of the Spartans. No matter what the Persians threw at them, they overcame. This is a good analogy (although not intended, I’m sure) of how we Christians need to act when the world comes at us. Leonidas even lays down his life defending his people for his beliefs, which is another strong message for ANYONE.

As far as the movie’s nudity, yes, there is some and while I’m not defending it at all, there are numerous other major-release theatrical movies with a lot more graphic scenes. You can tell when these scenes are coming… just close your eyes or look away.

The violence is actually a lot more muted than I expected from a Frank Miller film. There are some very violent images, but if you’ve seen movies like “Saving Private Ryan” or “Gladiator” you’ll know what to expect.

On the subject of “blasphemies,” people in that age referred to their kings as “gods” or “lords.” These were un-saved, worldly, pagan people who did not worship THE God, THE Lord. In this sense, the movie maker’s were not trying to blaspheme, they were simply showing the world as it was. There is NO cursing in the film which is a plus.

In the end, make your own moral decision on “300.” Yes, there is some nudity and violence that don’t need to be there, but the movie itself is amazing. The filmmakers did a great job of actually getting the audience pumped up with powerful speeches, fast paced action and a great overall story.
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—Mike, age 27
Positive—When the massive Persian army led by the general Hydarnes approaches, Spartan King Leonidas divided his army and remained in the pass with his 300 and with some warriors who refused to leave. The King’s intent was to delay the Persians, sacrificing himself and his men. Before the battle starts, the Persian warns him about the futile defense against the massive Persian Army, suggesting that “Our arrows will blot out the sun.” Leonidas replied, “Then we will fight in the shade.” “300” is the adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the same name. So, it’s not the exact historical depiction or dramatic like the previous 1962 film “The 300 Spartans.” The movie still has messages of sacrifice, chivalry and freedom. I really enjoyed this movie.

My Ratings: Average / 5
—Cyril Thomas, age 30
Positive—I saw the movie “300” just yesterday, and as a Christian I did not personally have any serious issues with it. The bloodshed and gore was too cartoonish to make me wince, although I’ve seen more of my fare share of the realities of war. As a solider myself, I definitely disagree with the main reviewer’s take that anger should not be present in battle as it was with the Spartans. I will save my breath on that however, because it is obvious that the main reviewer has never been in battle himself, fighting for his own life as well as his comrades. Christian or not, anger is present, and very, very necessary in war.

As far as the nudity goes, I will agree that the scene with the Oracle and with Xerxes harem were both too much, but simply in the sense that it added nothing. The same effect could have been achieved without those obviously devilish/evil portrayals, and it did little to aid to the storyline as a whole.

However, I did not find the sex scene between Leonidas and Gorgo offensive in the least. They were married, and to put it quite bluntly, it was a beautifully done montage. While it is said that “nothing was left to the imagination,” that is not at all the case, as neither frontal male nudity or below-the-belt frontal female nudity was witnessed. (Many Hollywood movies cross this boundary, and “300” did not.) I’m not saying that as a Christian you have to be comfortable with this, but I also do not believe that a Christian who is comfortable with this particular scene is in the wrong. I am married, and my Christian wife also did not find it offensive; but rather a very real, raw, beautiful display of love and passion between husband and wife. However, if a scene like this could spurn lust in your heart, then it would be better that you get a coke and popcorn during said scene.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Zack, age 25
Positive—This was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while! I love the whole way the colors were played down, to me this made it feel more like the graphic novel it’s based on. The battle this movie is based on was one of the most heroic “last-stands” in history but one that a lot of people have never heard about (checkout the book The Histories). All in all, I really enjoyed this movie…
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—Jim Thorse, age 28
Positive—…it was based off of the comic book by Frank Miller. A comic book. What do you expect? In an interview, Frank Miller even said that the movie is not historically accurate. He said how he changed things, and wanted to make it more gruesome and intense. A comic book.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Jack, age 18
Positive—“300” is a fantastic epic, similar to “Gladiator,” although not as good, in my humble opinion. I will say it’s a must see for anyone into that type of movie, as a film of this style and quality are few and far between. This movie does have a few scenes of female nudity, and a scene of… err… “consensual” rape? Can’t go into detail, but no nudity is shown. However, that is the one scene of the movie that I would consider offensive. This movie isn’t for children, but isn’t that obvious from every aspect of the film?

I must strongly disagree with the reviewer that this movie is anti-religious, ESPECIALLY anti-Christian. Just because the deformed “priests” are of an old religion hardly makes the movie anti-religious, and especially not anti-Christianity. To me, the film would have to have an agenda or at least say negative things about the topic to be considered against it. There was nothing offensive to my faith in this film at all. Come to think of it, the only “gods” that were being spoken of negatively are those of Greek-Mythology… who gets offended by that?
My Ratings: Offensive / 4½
—Brett Lacher, age 21
Positive—…“300” is a well made movie. I think even more importantly I was made aware of the fact of how powerful God is by one thing I saw in this movie. You may not get the same message, but I was impressed by one particular scene in which the envoy for Xerxes comes to the 300 and commands them by the authority of a mortal and refers to him as 'Ruler of rulers, lord of lords'. I just kept thinking if someone that was mortal and evil could be called that, how much more could we as believers have boldness to say that about God, because we really do serve the King of Kings. We should have the same boldness when venturing for him. I loved that in the movie. The fight scenes are breathtaking .I loved the way the movie makers established the credibility of the movie. Unlike the film troy, I really got a sense of scale with Xerxes’ armies, and I was reminded of biblical references to armies that were as vast as the sands of the sea, and no man could count them, in this film we get to see that and it’s awesome to behold. Another aspect I like was the overall portrayal of courage, we get to see people who are standing against impossible odds and holding their ground. They keep their faith up even when all appears lost. They work together and move as one, each man looking out for the other. If you go to see the movie don’t just focus on the negative, realize that there will be some negative things, but look for the positive as well. The acting is well done, and more than just an action movie, this film has some very touching performances as well. I really cannot say enough about the incredible fight scenes, they are reminiscent of the best scenes of gladiator but only much, much better. They are breathtaking to behold, and the slow motion technique used brings out the maximum impact, it’s just breath taking, there are no short cuts taken by the filmmakers, the fight scenes rock.

Another thing I loved about the movie was the factor that Leonidas sticks to what he believes and is not swayed by the corrupt oracles who tell him to wait. He always maintains his composure as king and is an example for his men. However, even with all the good things it has going for it, “300” is not without it’s faults. I would first like to say though that this is not a kid’s movie, so please do not bring children to see it. It’s very violent, but none of the violence is ever used for gore sake, it is always used to have a greater impact. There are some disturbing moments in the film. One of which is a scene where a man is beheaded, others include a beating of a child for punishment, another scene is with a wolf, and there are also some decapitations in the move, so I reiterate this movie is not for kids. There are also some scenes of nudity and sexual content. The first two of which occurs between a man and his wife, it could have been left out of the movie though, because that is private. We shouldn’t be allowed to view that activity, but even still that does not discredit the film. There is a scene where we do see Leonidas rear end, I almost cringed in my seat… There is also another scene in which involves several woman, but I believe that is to show corruption, or one characters venture over to the dark side, it shows a perversion taking place, not just an excuse to put sex on the screen. It’s still disturbing none the less, and borderlines pornographic, I turned my head from the screen. Another point has been made about the men in the movie. There are not gay elements to the movie, except Xerxes, end of discussion. If you are reading that into the movie you have a problem, the same thing could be said for ladies. I don’t think that the buff men in the movie should cause a problem, but if you are sitting in the theater I heard one reviewer say that this movie is slightly homophobic, and to a degree that is true. The only really gay aspect is Xerxes. He is scantily dressed and extremely effeminate almost to a bizarre level. I feel that this film is not really intended to be offensive. Overall, the message I feel you will be left with is one of hope. There were never any moments in the film where violence was undeserved. It mostly occurs during the battles. There is one scene where Xerxes beheads his generals which is disturbing, but even that is not shown as graphically as possible.
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—Chris, age 21
Positive—Do not see this movie if you have issues of sexual addictions or just simply want to protect your eyes from female nudity and/or male bodies in thongs and lots of guy thigh. Anyway, this movie was shot in a warehouse, but you wouldn’t think it while see the amazing imagery. It looks like a comic book, but like Sin City did (which was also written by Frank Miller). A very, very beautiful comic book. The action is intense and perfect. You know you hate it when an action scene is shot all crazy so you don’t know what’s going on? Well, this is not like one of those movies. It’s like a nature film where they try to show you something amazing that happened too fast at normal speed. However, this is not a knock off of the Matrix. The action in “300,” in my opinion, is way better. Besides the morally questionable items (one sex scene, and two very weird scenes involving nude women), there are some interesting moral themes. One is the idea of going against gods, and their priests, who don’t seem to have the best in mind for their people. Another is simply laying down one’s life for a friend, or, rather, an entire nation, and not wanting to be bought off.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 5
—Nathan R. Carlsen, age 25
Positive—I think one of the reviewer’s problems with this film, can be summed up in this quote. 'Personally, I prefer my realism to be realistic.' The “300” wasn’t ever intended to be realistic, it was based on a graphic novel. The monsters were meant to embody the persian army as the Greeks saw it, overwhelming and monstrous. Indeed believe it or not cultures very rarely look upon invading armies in objective, rational ways, to expect a Vulcanesque rationality to be portrayed in ancient Spartans when this is something we have yet to achieve in the 2500 years since this event is wholly unfair. besides this point, one should not go to comic book or graphic novel movies expecting realism, everything is blown out of proportion.

Another quote I take issue with is this. 'But the main reason I didn’t like the portrayal of the Persian army in the movie as containing freaks and monsters is because I felt the Greeks in the movie must become, in some measure, monsters to defeat them. In a sense, one is defined by one’s enemies, as well as by one’s friends.' If this were true then wouldn’t be true in the modern day? Wouldn’t this make our soldiers be defined by their enemies? I think this criticism rings pretty hollow. 300 men standing against a seemingly unstoppable force, defending their homeland, they are not monsters, they are heroes, they make an incredible sacrifice to ensure the freedom and safety of their country. Being made angry or even hateful by a foreign power intent on slaughtering and enslaving your nation does not make you a monster and seeing your son cut down before your very eyes isn’t exactly going to fill you with warm and fuzzy thoughts.

There is yet another portion of the review that I believe to be entirely unfair and that is this. 'Up to this point we had heard speech after speech which emphasized ‘justice,’ ‘law and order,’ ‘liberty,’ ‘hope,’ and above all, ‘reason.’ Over and over in the movie, ‘reason’ is cited to characterize the Spartans and the Greeks in general. But this is not a reasonable response, and the ancient Greeks did not fight with hatred.' Even Greeks could possible break down emotionally and put aside the Vulcanesque rationality when they see a beloved child cut down before their eyes. With all due respect to the reviewer, nobody knows what feelings were felt during that battle. The makers of this movie make no claim to it being 100% historically accurate, and they themselves will say that they were not trying to achieve that, this is simply their fictional portrayal and interpretation of events taking place 2500 years ago, this is their understanding of what the Spartans must have thought, and their attempt to do justice to the bravery and courage those men must have embodied to do what they did and on top of that, their goal was to entertain, which the film did, this was accomplished, at least for me.

'These comments will seem like quibbles to some, but in a movie about justice, liberty, and reason, it is the tone that informs the selection of images, the delivery of the lines, and the portrayal of certain characters.' This is another indication of misunderstanding on the part of the reviewer. This movie was never intended to be about 'justice, liberty, and reason'. It was intended to portray 300 men that were willing to give all to protect a society that valued those characteristics. The tone given to those men is that they would fight rabidly, doggedly to defend that society, and if that be unto death, then that is far better than standing by and allowing one’s country to be raped, pillaged and finally destroyed.

“This is most evident in how the lines are delivered by Gerard Butler, who shouts in almost all the key moments of the movie.” Have you ever seen military commanders? Such as drill sergeants? Coaches? Yelling gets people motivated, psyched up, it makes perfect sense if you think about it. I mean please, can you see King Leonitus being up there in front of 300 guys just kind of talking and saying something like “hey guys, just uh, eat a hearty breakfast because tonight, we dine in hell”? I just don’t see that.

“Whether this is his fault or the fault of Zach Snyder, the director, is unclear, but the result is a portrayal of an angry man rather than a passionate man. Again, people will disagree on this point, but it is how it struck me.” I do disagree with this point, if we were being invaded by an unstoppable force that wanted to make my sons and grandparents slaves and my sisters into sex slaves… I wouldn’t just be passionate, I would be downright furious… I feel that anger is completely acceptable under the circumstances. Other than these differences that I hold with the reviewer, I agree that it is a technically fantastic movie, and one I will be seeing again very soon at that.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 5
—Adam, age 22
Neutral—Film-Making: “300” was a brilliant movie in so many ways. Although once was enough for me, it was an incredible viewing experience. It evoked a visceral response from me, and as an art historian, I found the filmmaking to be beautiful. The movie really heightens your senses. When the battle first begins there is a shift between slowing the action down and speeding it up. Personally, I liked it, although some may find it fake and overdone. For me, it gave the experience of the chaos of battle and how time would seem nonexistent. One moment could feel brief, another like eternity. The choreography was well planned, there was strong contrast between light and shadow, and great use of color. My only complaint as a history geek was the addition of a rhino and elephants to the battle, which wouldn’t have been there, but I’m sure a lot of people found it enjoyable. There were also a few parts of soundtrack that seemed out of place with electric guitar, but somehow it all seemed to work with Frank Miller’s spin on history. The actors delivered a good performance, as well, especially Gerard Butler as King Leonidas. He is very stoic and represents the Greek ideal well. I was pleasantly surprised by his unexpected wittiness and it helped ease such a serious situation as the Battle of Thermopylae. I found myself wanting to cheer for Leonidas from the very beginning, and he has a lot of great one-liners, although some viewers may find them cheesy.

There are also some good Christian parallels in the film. King Xerxes refers to himself as a god and towers over Leonidas in height, which is reminiscent of David and Goliath. Leonidas also undergoes a temptation, similar to Christ’s by Satan, when Xerxes offers him wealth and power, and eventually demands that Leonidas bow before him. There are also times when Leonidas stretches his arms out in a crucifixion pose, which seems Christ-like.

Violence: I can understand the violence in this movie because it is a historical war film. The Old Testament mentions the horrors of warfare and the disgrace of slain soldiers' bodies was commonplace (King Saul feared it)… but yes, this film does seem to glorify violence, and even as a female, at times I found myself caught up in the violence so beware, it’s an adrenaline rush! There are scenes of impalement, dismemberment of limbs, and the battle sequences are hack-slash followed by blood spray. However, the blood is very fake, in a cartoonish or comic book way.

Nudity/Sex: This actually disturbed me the most. Frank Somehow Miller finds a way to put sex/nudity in this film although it’s been said the only nudity in the battle was when the Persians saw the Greek men scraping oil from their nude bodies in a cleaning ritual. Yet, we see quite a bit of female nudity. The first is of the oracle who wears a transparent dress. She writhes on the floor as if drunken or possessed. You can see through her dress and one of her breasts becomes exposed. I can’t explain this scene very well, but it didn’t seem that erotic in its presentation. Shortly afterwards there is a love scene between Leonidas and his wife. I’m a married woman, but I thought it was pretty graphic, besides these things are meant to be kept between husband and wife anyway. We briefly see Leonidas' rear at the beginning. There is a lot of movement, and several shots that show his wife’s chest, along with intense facial expressions from both. These scenes are flashed in and out with a black screen, almost as if it is trying to give the imitation of movement or heartbeat. We also hear his wife sighing throughout the scene.

The last and worst is the scene of Xerxes harem, which was very uncomfortable to watch (even though my husband wasn’t with me). Dancing woman gyrate to music in revealing clothing that show their breasts or bottoms, or worse… are involved in lesbianism. There is even a kiss between two women and you hear constant moaning throughout the “orgiastic” harem scene. From what I saw of the graphic novel art work, these women were supposed to be freakish monstrosities with missing limbs, deformities, and such but the movie presents them as attractive women. I suppose the director/producer knew male audience members didn’t want to be repulsed by a freak show harem. Lastly, there is a scene of consensual rape (I know it sounds odd). Nothing is revealed but it is violent and can be upsetting.

Profanity: Basically nothing that I remember other than one use of hell as a place and then again as a “mild” profanity.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 5
—Melissa, age 25
Neutral—I went to see this yesterday with a group from my office. I must say up front the film is gorgeous! It’s amazing to look at from a production standpoint, perfectly crafted in every way. And the war scenes make you take a breath and hold it while you watch! Kudos to all involved on that front.

From a content perspective I feel they did the best they could with the subject matter. I mean, Sparta did exist, but we all know that the gods they believed in were just in their imaginations. There are mythical creatures involved. And a Persian prince who is around 9' tall who reminds me of the androgynous devil in The Passion of the Christ. Physically he looks male, but outwardly has both sexes’ attitudes. Other creatures pop up here-and-there.

There is some nudity and love making between husband and wife. No offensive language. Some suggestive language/phrases/comments. Without getting long winded here, which I feel I might have, this film is most likely not for your younger children under 16-18. But if you like filmmaking for the pure art of filmmaking you will just enjoy looking at this film. I would rent/see it, but not by the DVD.
My Ratings: Average / 5
—James Jordan, age 44
Neutral—Through circumstances I won’t go into, I saw “300” without first reading the reviews here. Had I known how much nudity was going to be in it, I would have passed on seeing it. On that count I have damaged my reputation and regret seeing it. However, from a movie making quality point of view “300” is outstanding. I enjoyed the stylized tone of the movie and appreciate the self-sacrifice of Leonidas and his men for their country. On that count the movie deserves high praise. As war movies go, this one delivers all the war you could want, which is not gratuitous to me, but magnifies the sacrifice of the men who fought and died for their freedom, their families and their homeland. Thus, I give it a neutral instead of a negative.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 5
—James Taylor, age 36
Neutral—I had mixed emotions about the message of this movie, but the visual effects were amazing. I’ll start with the good. I loved the use of slow motion and still pictures in the movie, mostly because I could watch more than 1 fight at the same time. The unrealistic fighting style where 2 people take out forty thousand people in less than a minute is on one hand horribly goofy, but a lot of fun to watch! Some of the monsters were very disgusting, but that, too, made the movie fun, I wasn’t expecting anything different, since I saw the trailers for the film. The barrage of arrows really DID blot out the sun, and it looked amazing, though again… very goofy!

There were a lot of funny one liners and other comic relief that made me laugh out loud, it was the first time I’ve seen a battle scene used AS comic relief. Whether or not that was the point, I don’t know, but I laughed at a lot of the fight scenes, though cringed at others.

The reviewer mentioned that it is very anti-religious. I don’t think that, in this case, it is a bad thing. If my “gods” were telling me that I was going to be destroyed and not to fight, and to just lay down my weapons and freedom for enslavement and tyranny, I would be a little ticked off, as well. I know that in “Sin City” there were anti-christian themes for sure, like the priest being a psycho and stuff, and it makes me sad inside to know that there really ARE people who claim Jesus as their savior and yet commit horrible acts. I really wish that people would start to show the GOOD Christianity has done for the world, but good isn’t exciting, apparently.

The sexual content (or lack there of) would have made the movie a lot more uhm… good? Yeah, that’s it. The stuff with the oracle was… well, I guess the least offensive, not sexual at all, really, just very creepy. The husband and wife having sex was not needed, a kiss and falling into bed would have been more tasteful, they’re married, so they’re allowed. The other time nudity is present was disgusting. The traitor was consumed with lust when he was offered the desires of his seemingly black heart, and it was all over his morphed face. It was quite disturbing to look at, so at this point of the movie, I looked over at my friend and started talking until the scene was done.


I was expecting at least one more battle after the Spartan Captain, I think he was, saw his son killed, but the closest thing to was the attempt made to kill Xerxes, where everyone ended up dead. I was also a little disappointed in the ending, I wanted to see the 2 large armies fight, maybe a full out Phalanx formation, or just seeing how the 3000 spartans fought. Directors cut please?
*end of spoiler*

Overall, I had a great deal of fun with the movie, but was saddened by the directors use of nudity in the movie. Some of the messages given were not of great moral value, such as the, “my heart is filled with hate,” “Good…” incident. I walked out of the theater with a “whoa, that was epic” expression on my face, but still did not like all that I was shown.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4½
—Cody Forsman, age 18
Neutral—…Frank Miller …isn’t known for “historically correct” literature. I like his graphic novels a lot, and they are in no way attempting to portray history as correct. He takes things that have an interesting base and expands them into something to be exciting. The way he portrayed the Persians was not attempting to be historically correct, he was trying to make them hateable-which is not something many moviemakers do correctly. He also tried to make the heroes-the Spartans-likeable. Both of which he does astoundingly well, better than most I’ve seen. Remember that Frank Miller doesn’t do Historical Fiction, this needs to be looked at as a Fantasy Epic-A battle between good and evil.
My Ratings: Average / 3½
—Graham, age 21
Neutral—I must say that I truly enjoyed this movie, yet I think though people don’t realize that it is based on a Frank Miller Graphic novel not on actual history so much. I cannot contest the nudity or sexual overtones in this movie, while I do believe they were unnecessary, it is an “R” movie and plainly says in the box what’s in the movie. Which begs me to ask this question “Why do I read review after review about how horrible the content is in ‘R’ movies?” It would seem to me that history has proven that it just gets worse content wise in movies. So why the general surprise when there is high content of nudity and violence? If you see a movie that is “R” read the content if it says violence, sex, language or nudity then one can be sure there is just that in the movie! I don’t think Hollywood is for christians and most movies are made for christians in mind, so it really comes down to how liberal are you and can you look past it all to the story underneath? “300” has it’s inspiring moments and is a visual treat, but there is a lot to muck through as with most “R” movies. Ask yourself first before seeing any “R” movie 'Can I turn a blind eye to the content for the story and acting?' If not then well. maybe seeing “R” movies isn’t a good idea!
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 5
—Brian Montgomery, age 30
Negative—…my wife and I decided to have a date night tonight and watch “300.” After seeing the previews a few times, I thought it would be an alright movie; I was thinking it would be along the same lines of “Braveheart.” The quality of film making this movie has is amazing: very well written, acted, filmed, and produced, but could have done without some of the scenes, especially the orgy scene.

This scene just about made me leave the theater. With my head lowered and eyes closed, just the sounds were gut-wrenching. Nudity, lesbianism, implied homosexuality, graphic violence-although not as bloody as I expected-not to mention the numerous references to Xerxes as “king of kings” and “lord of hosts” and flat-out calling him “the only true god” is just about all the “bad stuff” in the movie, and more than enough not to recommend this movie to be viewed unless you have a movie-filtering DVD player such as Clearplay. The story is awesome from a historical perspective; typical Hollywood ruined it for me.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 5
—Richard Scott, age 25
Negative—The entire film is riddled with an atmosphere that gives the viewer a very dark feeling. From the very beginning of this movie and unto the end, I felt that I had only wasted my time. This movie isn’t even historically based, as its artistic license generates even more bizarre interpretations of Greek mythology. I’ve seen plenty of questionable movies, such as the Departed—which, by the way, I would give an “average” moral rating, since I could take something from that particular film. This film, is simply for those who devour themselves into the filthy mindset of grisly violence for the sake of entertainment. I hope you enjoy yourself, Doc!

Below are my insights into the movie’s questionable elements:

**Sex: The theater was packed with people, most of whom were shocked at the opening various scenes of full-out intercourse. One gentleman adjacent to me mumbled, “Why am I watching a porn flick in the movie theater?” Might I warn you, that nothing was left to the imagination. I felt ashamed that I did not allow myself to withdraw myself from that kind of environment during the first incident. Where do I draw the line on these things? If I don’t have any standards at least in public, am I any different?

**Violence: I gained nothing from the violence, other than amazement of how corny some shots looked. I found it odd at how the movie pushed comic relief into a scene of when the Spartans were slaughtering the wounded Persians. I sometimes wonder how a VET would react to that kind of humor. After all, it’s just animation that looks real, right? …I mean, surely, real people around the world never encounter those predicaments. Other than that, the violence is so cheesy, that it actually gives the movie a video game feel.

**Disturbing Images: The film is filled with filth that radiates a sickening feeling, as sex, violence, and deformities are distortedly displayed in the most horrendous ways conceivable. Just for an example, we see a monstrous hunch-back seduced by nude females having orgies, so that Xerxes can tempt him into betraying Sparta. What’s with the lesbian orgy in the background? Many in the theater found this particular scene both “vomit generating” and unnecessary, as I witnessed few leaving at this time.

Hopefully, this review will allow yourself to make a fair judgment, as I did not have the opportunity to read a review.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 3½
—Anonymous, age 18
Negative—…“300” was one of the worse movies, content-wise, that I have ever seen. I am very ashamed to even say that I went to see it. There is a very graphic sex scene that leaves absolutely nothing for the imagination. A few other scenes are shown that expose a woman. There is also a scene one will see that involves Xerxes, nude women acting extremely provocative, and even two women kissing. As far as the battle sequences, the movie was good, but it was heavily overshadowed by the filth that it contained. I would not recommend this movie to any individual.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4
—Paige Smith, age 19
Negative—Apart from the obvious issues regarding the sexual content and nudity in the movie “300” (which is readily available to teens through disregarded rating systems in video rental shops), I can sum my views up in addressing the one semi-subliminal statement made by the main character in which he deters putting trust in a “man-god.” While it is a portrayal of a time far before the appearance of Christ in history, the movie is relating it’s message to a generation far past His resurrection; the message of which will be used by the anti-Christ spirit to strengthen his hold on a generation of non-belief. Amazingly, whether fantastic in its retelling of history or not; or even total fiction, there are an overwhelming number of movie-goers who still accept movie script as doctrinal truth. Look at the after effects of “The DaVinci Code” for instance.
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—Scott Stacey, age 42
Negative—The review of this film is simple …'a little levin ruins the whole lump'. To excuse such perverted sexual content on the grounds that the movie has some sort of “redeeming value” is misguided, at best. To say it is accurate historically is inaccurate as well. There were not only 300 Spartan soldiers at the battle of Thermopaly. With them there was at least 1000 Thesbian soldiers who fought along with them. I do understand that even with this help they were still sorely outnumbered and that they still fought to the death, but nonetheless, it is not historically accurate. The only way an uncompromising Christian should see this film is if you can find an edited version after it comes out on DVD. Then you might be able to enjoy any entertainment value it holds with out the compromise of all the sexual content. As far as the violence goes this is certainly only for mature audiences. This is the nature of war. Sex is different. Sexuality is meant to be kept in the privacy of the bedroom between a man and a woman. Sex is not for the viewing pleasure of a movie audience.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 5
—Will Harrell, age 21
Negative—I lived in Europe in the 80’s and was aghast at what the public felt was OK in films produced there. We have now descended to that low of a level where relativism reigns in the place of God in our hearts. I ask myself the question, 'would Jesus go see this movie?' and the answer is an emphatic no. Barb has said it beautifully, read her review. Do you go to a restaurant trash can to pick out the “good” stuff left in it and discount what else you have to wade through and then give a high rating to the contents of the can? Will you allow your children or worse, do you teach them to judge what they participate in based on whether other children or the culture are doing worse? Based on that relativism, it is OK to be hooked on cough medicine because others are addicted to heroin. I only reason I did not leave the theater at the first sex scene is to be able to review it. At points I did close my eyes and start conjugating verbs in Japanese it was that offensive. I agree with Barb, the film would not have been harmed at all if the sex and extreme violence were left out. I doubt I will ever go see an R movie again.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
—Bob MacLean, age 58
Negative—This is another film which has a deep passion to ignite/instill anti-Christian, blasphemous views. It is neither historical nor accurate in its content. The subject matter is very interesting, but so often exploited by those who have personal agendas.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 2½
—Sylvester St Cyr, age 53
Negative—This movie was one of those… that I highly regret having seen! It appeared to be designed in such a way as to show as many topless men and women as possible. The lines were very cliché. Before any of the dramatic lines, I knew exactly what the actor was going to say, almost to the exact choice of words. I thought that the “video game”-type effects trivialized death and turned something serious and sad into something comical. However, it did serve to make the violence slightly less gory. My reaction after walking out of this movie was: “Why should I even bother going to the movies anymore?” This movie only confirmed my philosophy that 99% of movies are unedifying and leave me regretting having wasted my time in such a fashion.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 2
—Whitney, age 18
Negative—I went with a few mates to watch this, knowing there would be fighting blood, dismemberment, etc. First bit was okay, showing the passage of a spartan boy to being a king. Then the Persians arrive and the messenger is swiftly kicked down a big hole. Little bit of blood, but we knew this, so not a problem. Sadly, this is where the negatives come in. My friends and I are not really weak in the conscience, bear this in mind. Firstly a prophetess girl dances virtually naked, that’s bad, but we thought let’s give the benefit of the doubt. Then, within five minutes, a sex scene between Leonides and his wife starts off, and this was way too passionate for a 15 rated film. At this point we left the cinema, as the film seemed to have more pornography than anything else. So to emphasize the important: THIS FILM IS PORNOGRAPHIC …PLEASE AVOID. Remember, as I said, I am not a person that squirms away from 15 rated material, but this should be put in the pornography section as a DVD when released.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4
—Paul Hewitt, age 22 (England)
Comments from young people
Positive—Since this is a review supposed to be a “Christian” based review, let me say what I liked/disliked about the movie. …In this move their are several sex-related scenes, excessive violence, and blasphemies. I will split those up each into categories:

The first sex scene between the King of Spartans and queen is explicit, however there is no “full” nudity or any lower part nudity. Keep in mind that even though the scene is explicit, it is between a man and his wife, something that is promoted in the Bible. Also, you should know that the sex scene is mutual between the king and his wife, the expressions on each other’s faces is meaningful and passionate, rather than expressions of pain or lust.

If you are offended be seeing sex scenes, then you will not like this scene, plain and simple. But if you can realize that this scene is of man and wife and is out of love rather than lust, than it might be tolerable. The mutualness of this situation builds the connection between the two and allows the viewer to see how strong the love is between the two.

The second sex scene is a rape scene, and will be enjoyable for no one. The scene is not as explicit as the one before: no nudity is shown, and no moans or noises are made from the woman. Although this scene is horrible, it builds the evil character of one of the antagonists (who will remained unnamed to avoid spoilers) and shows the strength of the Queen as well as Spartan women as a whole. There is also a scene of lesbians kissing each other and having an orgy, however, I was in the bathroom (thankfully) during this part of the movie so I cannot say much about it. This scene seems to be the only FULLY unnecessary sexual scene in the film.

Excessive violence is throughout the film also, limbs will fly, heads will fall off, and blood is shed. But is that a surprise? Those who have seen “The Passion of the Christ” can handle the violence of this movie, especially since it has a superficial, comic book style. It is also undeniable that the war at Thermapoly that took place was way more violent.

The last topic about the film is the character/antagonist Xerxes, and whether this takes place before or after his involvement with Esther. Hopefully, this war takes place BEFORE his involvement with Esther, because he acts (and is) merciless (it is also recorded in history from Greek writers of the time that he was merciless, so this is not only for the movies).

In Conclusion: This movie earns its R-rating, and if you are a young Christian who takes the belief of purity very, very seriously, then you will be offended by this film. If you are a young christian who wants to remain pure, but can accept seeing scenes like these, and can handle them maturely and search for the reason why they were placed in the film, then you should be fine.

Jesus had not been born yet, so the belief of Mythological gods should be accepted with a feeling of isolation from God rather than calling them Satan worshipers. This movie is very entertaining, and its storyline lives up to its war scenes. It is a rare jewel in a sea of war movies, and if one can look past the un Christian views in this movie, it will be more than enjoyable. Remember, 17 AND ABOVE!
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—Stephen Bassford, age 17
Negative—This movie is too much of a mixed bag for me to give it a positive review. Though it is almost excellent in moviemaking quality, it is so lacking in moral quality that I simply couldn’t give it a positive review. But for your benefit, I’ll layout the positives and negatives of this movie.

First, the positives. The cinematography and visuals of this movie are simply stunning. The fighting sequences are so well done that they leave nothing to be desired. The battles are exciting, breath-taking, excellent, and they keep you avidly rooting for the Spartans (even though you already know what’s going to happen to them, the parts before the end make you doubt it’s going to happen). I also think that the acting was terrific (especially the acting of the man who played Lionides).

But even though I said the morality was lacking, there still was positive moral content. Lionides, the Spartan king, is a true patriot and is willing to face an almost insurmountable army to preserve his country, his people, and their independence. Though only having 300 Spartans at his command (and some Akkadians who show up later), he never loses hope (until the end) that they will be able to actually defeat the titanic Persian army by causing them so many losses and making the men so demoralized that they will have to go home. Though seemingly facing the armies of the entire world, the Spartans do not lose hope because they trust their king more than anyone else (you could say that they would march with him into Hell itself if asked to). The Spartans also have immense trust in each other (which King Lionides lets us know is absolutely necessary when your army fights in the phalanx). The unending courage, brotherhood, and strength of these men inspire the rest of Greece to band together to fight off the Persians.

Though there is quite a bit to praise here, there is also plenty that is offensive here (it mostly fits in one category).

Though I don’t consider violence to be offensive as long as it’s kept in the proper context, I know some of you do. So for your benefit, I’ll tell you about it. One kind of violence that doesn’t fit the criteria I mentioned above is infanticide. There is also a short sequence where we see one kid badly beating up another as part of his training. While none are actually shown being killed in the movie, we see their bones at the bottom of a cliff because they were “discarded.” During the battle sequences, there wasn’t as much blood as I thought there would be, but the blood still flies in a good quantity. People are stabbed through the stomach, chest, and eyes, they have their limbs chopped off, there are a few throat slittings that aren’t as graphic as in Braveheart, and there are some graphic beheadings. There are also scenes where we see people nailed in strange ways to a tree, people with spears through their mouths, human bodies in a wall, and a wall of human bodies. Seeing as how the 300 face an uncounted Persian army, the body count is obviously enormous.

I don’t remember any profanity or any drug or alcohol content, but the department where this movie really loses points is in the sexual content. First, we see an extended sequence where an 'oracle’s' breast is showing as she dances around strangely before supposedly telling these strange elders the oracle concerning Lionides' battle with the Persians. Not too much longer after this, there is a sex scene between Lionides and his wife. Later, his wife ends up offering herself to a treacherous man on the council so that he will convince them to send aid to the 300. Nothing is seen, but the concept is disturbing nonetheless. The last bit of sexual content comes in a scene where a deformed man turned down for battle by Lionides comes to see Xerxes. In the tent he finds Xerxes, there are women all around. They all are scantly dressed, some have their breasts showing, some are dancing around, one or two couples we see are kissing each other, and another couple that the man stares at for a while are either engaged in sex or are about to have sex. For this sexual content, I would have labeled this move Extremely Offensive if it wasn’t for the positive content.

Other negative material featured is that we see religious hypocrites that supposedly speak for the false Greek gods. They tell Lionides the oracle, but we see later that their telling of the oracle was influenced by payment from Xerxes. Some Christians might see this, and the mention that these men are leftovers from the age of Sparta’s darkness, as an indirect cheapshot at Christianity. I didn’t personally, but I could see how it could be viewed that way. Also, Xerxes fancies himself to be the king of kings and god of gods. While this notion isn’t supported in this movie, the fact that he fancies himself like this is deplorable (although I know that many other rulers thought of themselves this way).

As you can see, though I did enjoy the moviemaking quality and some of the positive morals, the bad morality was just too much for me to recommend this movie. I simply can’t, and I won’t. Though there are some good things about this movie, there isn’t enough to even adequately overcome the negative content (specifically the sexual content).
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4½
—Ross, age 17
Positive—“300” is pretty much the equivalent of seeing something blow up in the most awesome fashion right in front of your face. Everything about this movie is insanely cool, from the battles to just hearing Leonidas talk. I was pretty sure that the trailers for the movie would let people know that this could be a bit violent, maybe even have some sexual situations in it, but I guess not! I mean, it’s not like the rating and description tell us anything about it either, so I guess we as Christians should just all walk into a movie about a Spartan war and suddenly be extremely offended when it’s violent and has nudity! My goodness! What?! Violence and sex with Spartans?! Who would have thought?! So yeah. If you can handle things that are intensely awesome and make you feel like you could punch a bear in the face, go see this movie. If you can’t decide on what to see because you failed to read the big gigantic R-rating or watch any trailers for the movie, then perhaps you’d be more into “McGee and Me.”
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 5
—Ricky Martinez, age 16
Positive—I had very high expectations for this movie, and had been looking foreword to it for a very long time. This film met every one of them and more. Sure there is plenty of objectionable content, but a mature Christian audience should be able to handle it. The violence is excessive, and at sometimes exaggerated but is very stylized, similar to Kill Bill or Sin City, giving it a comic book-like feel. The visuals are absolutely stunning and beautiful. They are accomplished through green screen technology and CGI animation, giving it a dream-like appearance. The acting is fantastic, and Gerard Butler practically is Leonidas. Partnering with that is a solid, well written script. The simplicity of the plot is its main strength. Instead of trying to overwhelm the audience with politics, like many movies do to seem more complicated, the journey of Leonidas and the brave 300 is simple and frank.

This is truly two hours of bloody, entertaining action. Many reviewers had complaints about the violence and sex. May I suggest that next time you attend a movie you do not fail to notice the R-rating and what it is for, in this case “for graphic battle sequences throughout, some sexuality and nudity.” If you are too sensitive to handle this, don’t bother going because you will only end up walking out. For everyone else, I highly recommend “300,” and think you will have a great time watching it.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 5
—Tom, age 16
Neutral—The movie was very good, but had its morally objectionable moments. The love scene in the beginning was a little disturbing. I thought that the fight scenes were gory, but not nearly as bad as I had expected. The graphics were pretty good (except for the part where the king touches the 'god’s' face, you could literally see the blue screen). Overall, though, it was a fun movie. Do not go if you are offended easily.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4½
—Matt, age 17
Comments from non-viewers
There is a difference between being mature enough in your faith to handle an incidental exposure to immoral situations, and purposely going into those situations. It is entirely possible to be a strong Christian and accidentally come in contact with immorality and by the grace of God not be harmed/tempted/whatever, but when you CHOOSE to expose yourself to that, God is not honored. In fact, I believe you are sinning. Read the reviews; if you know a movie contains something that doesn’t honor God, don’t go. If you do go, aren’t you basically saying, “God, I know you well enough that I can sin, and it won’t really be sin, right?” I once heard a great analogy, a couple invites another couple over for dinner:

Couple 1—“After dinner, you could watch me and my wife have sex.”
Couple 2—“Whoa. No man, we’re Christians, we couldn’t do that.”
Couple 1—“Oh, OK, well we’ll just video tape it, and I’ll get you a DVD, you watch it at your house.”
Couple 2—“No guys, we can’t do that either.”
(Couple 1 is confused)
Couple 1—“Why? We just watched a movie at your house last week. It was full of sex.”
Is watching on a screen any different than real life?
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
—JR, age 20
After reading the reviews of this movie—our family has decided to purchase the 1962 movie 'The 300 Spartans'—thus avoiding the extreme violence and hopefully, all nudity!
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
—Paulette Carey, age 42