Parents' Guide to

The Creator

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Smart AI sci-fi thriller has intense war violence, language.

Movie PG-13 2023 135 minutes
The Creator Movie Poster: A man and a child stand in the foreground, a spaceship of some kind above them

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 13+

Contains some disturbing war-like violence

There were some disturbing war-like scenes that were too much for a preteen. A soldier holds a gun up to the head of a small dog and threatens to kill it while a young child shrieks in terror. Soldiers terrorizing villagers and small children. Robots dressed as monks are executed point-blank. Soldiers decapitate a human-like AI, shoot a human-like AI in the face after tricking her, and refer to cutting off the face of another. We had thought the movie would be Star Wars-level violence, but this felt more close-up, more like the horrors of war, many of the more traumatic moments reminiscent of the Vietnam War. Other aspects of the movie were good (and our teen enjoyed it), but wish we’d had better info about the more disturbing scenes before we brought a preteen to see it too.
age 10+

World changing!

My 10 year old and myself believe this was the best movie we ever saw. Amazing cinematography and sound. It has depth beyond imagination. We spent over an hour after the show to just talk about it. We'll be talking about it again tomorrow. It brought tears to our eyes but with hope for acceptance of all and the love of family as we all are around this globe.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (14 ):

Director/co-writer Gareth Edwards' moving, intense, genre-bending film is part futuristic thriller, part intergenerational buddy flick, and part relationship drama. The world-building in The Creator includes many unanswered questions, but the film's strong leading performances, dazzling visuals, and touching central story arc make it both thought-provoking and heartbreaking. Washington is a compelling performer who tenderly conveys Joshua's inexhaustible grief and post-traumatic depression, as well as his cautious, fatherly feelings toward the AI he names Alphie. And Voyles is instantly adorable as Alphie, with her expressive eyes, her precocious curiosity, and an emotional resonance that renders her much more than the weapon of mass destruction the Western military supposes her to be. Alphie and Joshua share a connection that starts off transactional and ends up transformative.

In the supporting cast, there are memorable performances from Allison Janney as an American military commander, Ken Watanabe as Maya's AI friend/guard, and singer-turned-actor Sturgill Simpson as a former agent and Joshua's one friend. And in its technical aspects, the movie is excellently executed. Greig Fraser and Oren Soffer's cinematography is gorgeous, with epic shots of landscapes both lush (especially in the parts set in Southeast Asia) and industrial. Hans Zimmer's score is memorable and emotive. The anti-imperialist themes are thought-provoking, if a bit heavy-handed, but Edwards balances the anti-AI zealotry with explanations of AI violence toward humans. Like Edwards' Rogue One, The Creator doesn't boast a happily ever after, but it does end on a hopeful note that will likely inspire conversations about humanity and the ethical considerations of artificial intelligence.

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