When the sacred city of Alamut is invaded by Persia, the city’s princess, Tamina, is captured and forced to accept the proposal of Persia’s eldest Prince, Tus. When the Persian King’s adopted son, Dastan, is framed for his father’s murder, he flees with the escaped Tamina and soon discovers that a dagger he took from Alamut has the power to reverse time. Dastan suspects that Tus is the true killer of King Sharaman and the ambitious elder son wants the dagger for his own ends. Now, with the fate of mankind being determined by the keeper of the magical dagger, Dastan must stop it from being used to alter the course of history.

Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time (2010) – Director: Mike Newell

Is Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time appropriate for kids

Rating: 12

Running Length: 116 mins

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley

Genre: Action/Adventure



While the origins of the ‘Prince of Persia’ video game franchise can be traced back to the late 1980’s, ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time’ is primarily based upon the 2003 game of the same name. The movie garnered mostly negative reviews from critics; however this is a movie which is full of exciting and fun action that is a delight to watch. The energy of the games has been nicely captured and, with the founder of Parkour (David Belle, of the excellent movie ‘District 13’) choreographing the stunts, the smooth movements of the characters are expertly put together.

Jake Gyllenhaal as the movie’s protagonist, Dastan, is very likeable and carries the role well. Alfred Molina’s role Sheik Amar is a loveable rogue (and very reminiscent to Captain Jack Sparrow of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’) who brings plenty of comedy to the proceedings. As the magical dagger which reverses time is the main part of the film, it is a little disappointing that it isn’t used more often, however this doesn’t detract from the rest of the story.  If you’re looking for an action-packed movie which doesn’t take itself too seriously, ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time’ is likely to appeal and be a family favourite for a long time to come.


When the movie shows how Dastan was adopted by King Sharaman as a young street orphan, it shows the boy and his friend, Bis, escaping from guards after stealing food. Dastan protects Bis and leads the guards away from him. After a short chase, he is captured and slapped hard across the face several times. The guards hold out Dastan’s arm and raise a sword in order to chop off his hand but they are stopped by the King who is nearby. While nothing explicit happens and the part where the hand is about to be chopped off is done quickly, any children who understand this may be a little distressed by this type of punishment being carried out, especially to a child.

Because of the time in which the story is set, the fight scenes generally involve sword fighting and bows and arrows. This is mostly done with quick cuts and there is rarely any blood on display. The exceptions to this are one instance of an unknown character being hit around the head and a short shot of blood can be seen spraying from the wound, one character is cut on the chest with a sword and some blood is seen but the strongest is when an established character is killed by having his throat slashed. While he immediately covers the wound and blood isn’t seen at this point, there is a shot of him lying dead on the floor with a bloody wound on his neck. This isn’t too gory and as this happens towards the end of the movie, if children have been ok up until this point, this part should not be too disturbing for them. Another character is murdered by wearing poisoned clothing. They cry out in pain and their skin burns as if they have been covered in acid. There are a couple of shots of this character’s face which last a few seconds but again this isn’t overly gory.

Several established characters are killed and each death is mourned by people who are close to them. Two characters sacrifice themselves for the greater good and one may be a little distressing for children as the character cries and panics, showing that despite being brave enough to do this, they are still terrified of dying. While it is realistic, this is a little out of place for an otherwise fun action film and as kids may not be expecting it, it could be quite upsetting for them.



Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time’ is an excellent family friendly action/adventure movie. It’s full of humour, fun and sword fights that both adults and kids can enjoy. We recently watched this movie with a 7 year old who loved it and was not at all concerned by the violence. We therefore believe that kids aged 7 and over will be fine to watch this film.

  • Violence:  3/5 (in addition to what has already been mentioned above, during an action sequence, a knife is thrown into someone’s head. This is quite quick and, as the character is wearing a helmet, no blood is seen. There are also a couple of animal deaths; a snake’s stomach is slashed opened up with a knife after it swallows something and a lioness is killed by having a spear lodged into its mouth. The lioness is killed out of necessity to save the life of a young boy and is not done for cruelty)
  • Emotional Distress: 3/5
  • Fear Factor: 2/5 (the Hassansins are quite scary, particularly the leader who has bright blue, staring eyes and he regularly uses aggressive snakes to attack his targets)
  • Sexual Content: 2/5 (there is a close-up of Tamina’s cleavage, however the character who is looking at her is focusing on her necklace. One character talks of something spreading ‘like a venerable disease in a Turkish harem’. A female character asks Dastan where the dagger is and he invites her to search him for it but says that she will ‘have to be very thorough’)                
  • Bad Language: 0/5
  • Dialogue: 0/5  
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of family jealously, doing the right thing, sacrificing oneself for the good of others, betrayal and the corruption of ambition.

Words by Laura Record

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