Battleship

  • Review Date: May 15, 2012
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2012

Common Sense Media says

Over-the-top sci-fi action with great special effects.
  • Review Date: May 15, 2012
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2012

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters rise to the occasion to sacrifice themselves for the greater good, summon their bravery to take a stand against the aliens, and learn to think first and act later, even if they're usually impetuous people. Although violence is the story's ultimate problem-solver, Battleship is still a story of courage under fire and cooperating to target a common enemy.

Positive role models

Stone Hopper is the picture of a selfless commanding officer; he's smart, decisive, and brave. Alex learns to step up after he's forced to command the ship and, with the help of a core group of officers, becomes the kind of leader his brother would be proud of -- especially when he teams up with a rival Japanese officer to figure out how to defeat the aliens. A retired Army veteran, who's also a double amputee, displays leadership and courage.

Violence

As with most alien-invasion films, there's a huge body count. The aliens wipe out two entire ships, destroy a number of buildings, and cause widespread deaths in Hawaii and China, as well as worldwide panic. A few well-liked secondary characters die. Lots of explosions and gun violence, as well as some minor brawling among the rival naval officers. Characters are shown bloodied from close calls, as well as moments before their ships explode.

Sex

A few passionate kisses, a shot of a couple in bed, and the male star is shown wearing just a towel after coming out of the shower. One female character wears particularly tight or revealing clothes, even when she's working as a physical therapist. In one scene, she kisses her boyfriend while wearing only a string bikini top and very short shorts.

Language

Two implied uses of "motherf--er" (the last part is covered up by an explosion both times). Other words include "s--t," "ass," "hell," "bitch," "damn," "idiot," "oh my God," "goddamn," and the like.

Consumerism

The movie is based on the Hasbro board game, and Hasbro is credited as one of the production companies. There's one segment in which grid coordinates are called out just like in the game. Otherwise, there aren't any major product placements within the movie itself -- but there lots of tie-in products available, from special editions of the board game to first-person shooter video games, apps, toys, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking early in the film: Adult brothers do shots for a birthday at a bar where others are also consuming alcohol. The main character gets drunk and makes some iffy decisions as a result.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Battleship (inspired by the classic Hasbro board game) is the kind of summer alien adventure that, like Independence Day, features a doomsday alien invasion that only a select armed forces group can fight against. As you'd expect, there's a high body count -- mostly due to all of the building- and ship-destroying explosions that the aliens -- though not much gore. Many high-tech weapons are used, one female character dresses somewhat suggestively, and the language can be occasionally salty -- "s--t," "bitch," and two cut-off exclamations of "motherf--er." Although the effects-heavy action is filled with scenes of targeted violence, there are ultimately some positive messages about rising to the occasion and overcoming your fears.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Hawaiian beach bum Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) is a mess, and he proves as much on his 26th birthday, when he drunkenly breaks into a convenience store to steal a burrito for a potential date with Sam, a beautiful bar patron (Brooklyn Decker) who happens to be the admiral's (Liam Neeson) daughter. To turn his life around, Alex joins the Navy, where his big brother, Stone (Alexander Skarsgard), is an officer. Four years later, Alex is a hot-headed lieutenant trying to summon the courage to ask for Sam's hand in marriage, but his efforts are foiled when, during a war games exercise with the Japanese, a series of unidentifiable objects appears in the Pacific Ocean, creating an impenetrable field around three ships. After the objects are revealed to be aliens -- who destroy two of the ships -- Alex ends up the senior officer of the gathered forces, forcing him to cooperate with the Japanese to bring down the alien enemies.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Alien invasion films are ridiculously stereotypical, and BATTLESHIP is no exception. But what it lacks in originality, it makes up for in pretty spectacular special effects and sea-faring action sequences. This is no thinking viewer's war drama; this is the sort of big-budget spectacle to enjoy once on the big screen and maybe once more to give your home surround-sound a work out. After the unfortunate flop that was John Carter, Kitsch gets another shot at playing the hero, and he does it well. There's no finesse in the dialogue, but Kitsch is just right playing gorgeous rogues with a heart of gold -- as anyone who watched and loved Friday Night Lights knows.

As a bonus to FNL fans, director Peter Berg once again casts Jesse Plemmons as the nerdy guy who's always quick with the wisecrack. His boatswain character offers consistently good comic relief, as well as a decent acting partner for Rihanna's debut as a hard-as-nails weapons specialist. While Battleship's script is far from the layered finesse of, say, The Avengers, the action is exactly what you'd expect from an explosive summer popcorn flick. Tweens and teens -- especially boys -- will get a kick out of the military tactics and the broad humor (look, kids, elderly veterans curse!), while grown-ups might wonder if they've seen the same movie every summer for the past 15 years.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Battleship's violence. How does the fact that much of it is larger than life affect its impact? How is it different watching aliens get hurt than human characters?

  • What are some of the cliches associated with alien-invasion movies? Why are they such a popular genre to release in the summer?

  • This movie marks Rihanna's transition from music to film. Was her celebrity status as a pop superstar distracting in the role?

  • Why do rogue characters like Alex tend be more compelling than always-good characters like Stone?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 18, 2012
DVD release date:August 28, 2012
Cast:Alexander Skarsgard, Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch
Director:Peter Berg
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Space and aliens
Run time:131 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:intense sequences of violence, action and destruction, and for language

This review of Battleship was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written bylittlemonster98 May 21, 2012
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Suprisingly non violent movie...

This movie is full of action, and explosions....but almost no violence...just destruction. This movie was actually very good and exciting. A great movie to start your kid on action movies. Riri was amazing for her first role. Anyone should see this movie as long as they are in grade school or above.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old Written bySunset reader May 19, 2012
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

won't make you abandon ship

This was relaesed a month before in britain so i watched it on the 15th of april.this was not the best action film i have ever seen and rhianha CAN NOT ACT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but otherwise thres solid performences,ingenious nods to the game and awsome special effects

What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old Written byskittle5 May 22, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

GREAT ACTION PACKED MOVIE

This movie battleship is action packed movie, full of aliens and humans fighting for the world. It's a good movie that children and audults will love! EVEN THOUGH IT A LITTLE BIT OF CURSING AND VOILENCE( BECAUSE IT'S A MOVIE ABOUT THE ARMY IN A WAR) IT REALLY GREAT AND NOT INAPROPREATE!

What other families should know
Too much violence

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