Jumper

  • Review Date: June 8, 2008
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2008

Common Sense Media says

Action-heavy sci-fi tale has uninspiring hero.
  • Review Date: June 8, 2008
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2008

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

Hero with "jumper" superpowers uses them to steal money from banks (leaving IOUs), as well as travel the globe. Villains are determined to kill all jumpers. Girl needs saving.

Violence

Lots of cartoonish violence that leaves characters with bloody lips or bedraggled hairstyles. The jumpers' teleporting typically involves whooshing wind, slamming into floors, and sometimes thunder and dark clouds. Fights feature slamming bodies against and through walls, punching, leaping, and falling. Some shooting and exploding (in one instance a building is ripped apart). An early scene shows a boy nearly drowning (spooky underwater shots) and then, at home, fearing his angry father. Electric voltage is used against jumpers, leaving them looking stressed and pained. Jumper-car chase shows car slamming into then driving through traffic. A jump into a war zone shows soldiers shooting, fires, and explosions.

Sex

Post-sex shot shows a woman in bed, her bottom covered but her back naked. A couple kisses passionately and pulls off their tops (her bra remains on), as they fall from bed to floor laughing.

Language

Language includes "s--t" (one with "bull") and "f--k" (infrequent), several uses of "hell," and one character repeatedly says "holy crap."

Consumerism

Bedroom posters feature Metallica, Mark Twain, Kurt Cobain. Sony electronics, mention of Oprah.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Several scenes set in bars, with background drinking (beer and liquor). David drinks beers in a bar; his father drinks beers repeatedly.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sci-fi action adventure with Star Wars' Hayden Christensen features lots of violence that appears to have little effect on victims. The teleportation process causes abrupt ruptures in space and time and sometimes rams jumpers into walls or the ground. Fights show bodies slamming, falling, and crashing through walls, as well as gunfire and electric zapping. There are also explosions, a car chase, and a combat zone in the background. One scene suggests that sex has taken place (a woman's naked back is visible in bed); another shows a couple taking off their shirts (her bra stays on) and kissing. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," and "hell."

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

David (Hayden Christensen) is a jumper. At the outset of the film, it's unclear exactly how that happened, but what it means in practice is that he can teleport from place to place all over the globe, from the Sphinx to the Empire State Building. He eventually learns that he's not the only one; his is a genetically determined superpower that has been granted over centuries -- and has ignited a longstanding hatred by an organization of bullies known as the Paladins, who resent and fear the jumpers' abilities. Chief among these is Roland (Samuel L. Jackson), who is fiercely hunting David, determined to kill him and all of his friends and family -- including childhood crush Millie (first played by AnnaSophia Robb, then by Rachel Bilson), abusive father William (Michael Rooker), and absent mother Mary (Diane Lane). It's up to David to save Millie, find his mom, and figure out his place in the world.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Though it's based on a science-fiction novel by Steven Gould, Doug Liman's movie feels very comic booky, punctuated by action scenes, a car chase, explosions, and shoot-outs -- none of which are very original or visually compelling, despite the seemingly singular notion of "jumping." It doesn't help that Christensen makes a vague protagonist, with his motivations for stealing money from banks or beating up bullies remarkably banal (essentially, he does it because he can). Though he gets nervous when Roland shows up with a big electric stick that's part cattle prod and part taser, he's blown off the screen (metaphorically) when another jumper, Griffin (Jamie Bell), shows up.

Witty, wise, and charismatic, Griffin is a more exciting potential hero than David, but he's mostly used as a source of information: He has actually looked into what it means to be a jumper and has learned history, considered moral responsibilities, and even figured out a strategy for resisting the Paladins. David is less able to consider nuances, but that's what makes him a "hero" -- at least in his own mind. As he says, "I used to be normal, a chump like you." Now, he's considerably less interesting, even if he doesn't know it.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether this movie can be considered a "superhero" story. What makes a character a superhero? What do most movies about superheroes have in common? Does this film follow that trend? Do you think of it more as an action movie or a sci-fi movie? Why?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 14, 2008
DVD release date:June 9, 2008
Cast:Hayden Christensen, Rachel Bilson, Samuel L. Jackson
Director:Doug Liman
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:88 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sequences of intense action violence, some language and brief sexuality.

This review of Jumper 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.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written by4Spice July 28, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

very good

watch this movie lots of action 12 and over for sex

What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written byDr.Q November 19, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Is a good movie. The plot was well made. The actors were good. Jumping to other area in the planet was a thing to see.

Teen, 17 years old Written bywaffles4waffles July 20, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

good movie there is one sexual scene it has scenes of violence but no blood has language but pretty clean

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families