This movie is rated PG-13, which surprised me. I decided to watch it with the kids anyway (instead of beforehand) as there was no blood or sex or foul language. Turns out, the PG-13 rating was apparently for scenes of war and some intimation of death, but then, look at Monster House, which I didn't like, it had the old creepie guy outright die on the kid! Literally, on the kid! We didn't finish watching that one! I didn't like that one at all, but 9 was really cool! Ian did understand that 9 was seeing glimpses of dead people (it's post-apocalyptic) and they showed hands, they showed a profile of people in a car (a mother and child actually, so beware!) none were bloody or maimed, just still and Ian knew they were dead. I reminded him it was just a story. Nobody had actually died. I don't know, maybe I get Bad Mom points for that, but I don't believe in shielding my children from something that is natural and they have already encountered. I think talking about death is age-appropriate, as they talk about Jesus dying at school, his Great Grandma (GG) died over the winter and even our dog last spring---they all had to be explained! Sex, on the other hand, is not age-appropriate and he should not be exposed to that.
ANYHOO, just be aware that there are scenes, where the characters are remembering the war and there are bombs exploding and such, then one guy lobs a bomb and you see his feet flop down as he falls but again, there's no blood and they are careful not to show faces. Frankly, it's no worse than the scene from Disney's Tarzan, where they show the bad guy at the end, the shadow of his body swinging from vines where he strangled!
But the premise is awesome, the characters are well-developed. The color palette through-out is dark, bleak, but that is the whole point: 9 is the light in their darkness. He is the voice of reason really, asking why they aren't helping each other, why they are following 1 and why they aren't asking why! It's about facing fear, and really instigated some great conversation with my boys. We watched it twice and my husband liked it too. It had some cool fight scenes as the little robotic dolls fought against the machines that were left after the great war between humans and machines (sounds like a franchise I know....) and what I liked best: the warrior of the group was a girl! ;) Go Jennifer Connelly!!! It was also about ingenuity, creating something from nothing, being creative and being a problem solver, all of which I am a big proponent of and try to teach our boys.
All in all, the themes, generally speaking (except for war!) were good ones for the kids, but it gets a few points off for being PG-13. I could see they did as best they could to minimize the showing of war-related scenes, but it was pretty pertinent to the storyline. So although I loved it, and the kids liked it, I give it a B+ for some themes/scenes too mature for kids (hence the PG-13 label!)----when it could've been perfect for kids!! I think kids ages 6 and up would be ok, but that's a personal judgement, you may want to watch it first!