Eagle Eye

  • Review Date: September 24, 2008
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2008

Common Sense Media says

Explosion-filled thriller that's best for older teens.
  • Review Date: September 24, 2008
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2008

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie's major themes are the moral ambiguity of the president's (and government's) decisions, the ethical dilemma of doing something illegal to save either your life or the lives of loved ones, and the idea that "we the people" have a duty to revolt against corrupt leaders. Other themes include a single mother's selflessness and a man's wish to honor his dead brother and make his father proud.

Violence

Lots of car explosions and bombs that kill police officers, special agents, and civilians, but there isn't that much actual blood. The violence begins with a guided missile attack on a village in the Middle East where a terrorist is supposedly living; there's collateral damage from the attack. A couple of individual characters are killed. During a funeral service, a deceased man's body is shown in a coffin. A heavily burned man's corpse is visible in one scene.

Sex

Jerry and his co-workers discuss someone's chances of sleeping with his girlfriend; Rachel asks her friends who's "getting any" a couple shares a chaste kiss.

Language

Stronger and more frequent than many PG-13 films; words include "a--hole," "hell," "goddamn," "s--t," "dick," "bitch," "oh my God," and two uses of "f--k."

Consumerism

Porsche Cayenne, Dell, Amtrak.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Rachel drinks in a bar with friends (all characters are over 21).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this action thriller from the producers of Transformers -- which stars Shia LaBeouf and promises plenty of "blow 'em up" scenes -- is likely to appeal to teenagers, especially boys. But while the movie is plenty violent, it's not especially graphic: It's obvious that people are dying in all of the explosions, but there's little blood. The language is stronger than most PG-13 films, featuring a couple of "f--k"s and the frequently used "a--hole," "s--t," and "bitch." Aside from a couple of early, tame conversations about dating and sex, there's only one little kiss in the movie. Product placements aren't overwhelming, but one extended sequence highlights a Porsche Cayenne SUV.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Copy-store clerk Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) and single mother Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) are mysteriously "activated" into a secret, illegal mission by a cell phone call. Neither wants to comply with the female voice giving them dangerous directives via phones and digital signs, but "she" has framed Jerry -- who's now a suspected terrorist -- and threatens to kill Rachel's son, who's on a school trip to D.C.. While Jerry and Rachel go around Chicago committing felony after felony as instructed, an FBI agent (Billy Bob Thornton) and Air Force investigator (Rosario Dawson) try to figure out why this seemingly normal duo have turned into super criminals.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

In an episode of The Simpsons, Homer says "I'm going for the Shia LaBeouf thing. Not quite a nerd not quite a hunk. Shia LaBeouf!" That's the perfect way to explain the curly haired leading man's "ordinary guy" charm. In EAGLE EYE, LaBeouf again does his thing as the wise-cracking Jerry. He and Monaghan don't create sparks a la Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves in Speed, but they're likable enough as strangers literally thrown together who can't figure out what in the world is happening to them. Meanwhile, the impressive supporting cast doesn't have much to do except look surprised and angry. In addition to Thornton and Dawson, Michael Chiklis adds gravitas as the Secretary of Defense, and Anthony Mackie handsomely fills an Army uniform for the last third of the action. All are notable actors, but their characters are two-dimensional stereotypes at best.

Director D.J. Caruso channels his inner Michael Bay to fill this thriller with as many huge explosions as possible. The problem is that, unlike Bay's so-easy-a-caveman-could-follow-it scripts, Eagle Eye was written by four screenwriters. That's rarely a good thing, and in this case, the many twists turn one too many times, ending up in the realm of the completely ludicrous. Let's just say the terrorist mastermind is akin to a 21st-century HAL with a constitutional-law obsession. Confused? That's OK, because it's a muddled plot. But, look -- something else is blowing up!

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the film's Orwellian message. Is the idea of Big Brother even more frightening now that people share so much of their personal information online? How does the film depict technology and government surveillance? Kids: Does what happens to Jerry and Rachel make you at all cautious about social networking sites, blog, and other online activities?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 24, 2008
DVD release date:December 27, 2008
Cast:Billy Bob Thornton, Michelle Monaghan, Shia LaBeouf
Director:D.J. Caruso
Studio:DreamWorks
Genre:Action/Adventure
Run time:118 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:intense sequences of action and violence, and for language.

This review of Eagle Eye was written by

About our rating system

  • 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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Teen, 13 years old Written bynekosan February 14, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Good movie reminds me of IRobot quite a bit though. I don't understand how some people see i as confusing though...

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written bycheese-process January 22, 2011
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Explosions and stuff.

Some of the scenes were awesome, but some parts were a little tricky to know what's going on, but it wasn't too bad. I liked the story and the characters, but so many ideas in this movie were stolen from other movies, so it's nothing new.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byOldBob13 April 16, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Fun, exciting, and well-acted, but not for anyone under 13

There are a lot of action movies that try to entertain rather than tell a decent (or complex) story. Eagle Eye may finally break the barrier, and it's really fun on top of it. It tells the story of different individuals who are told to do unspeakable things by a mysterious phone-caller. Like I said, the story is fresh and entertaining, but some aspects are not so great. First of all, the characters are not potrayed well. While Shia LeBouf and Michelle Monaghan do a superb job with there roles, the characters are nonetheless very paper-thin. Not only that, but they send a bad impression to viewers. For instance, Rachel (Michelle Monaghan) seems like she is a good mother, but when her son goes off on a trip we see her true side: A carefree, laid-back and somewhat lazy individual who doesn't care about what other people think of her. She is a hard-drinker, has a wandering eye (although she is seperated), and is definetly not a good role model. Still, Eagle Eye is a top-notch actionier that will rouse many viewers. Content issues: There is a discussion about sexual contact, lots of explosions, and frequent coarse language. Best reserved for teens and up.

What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages

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