A.I.: Artificial Intelligence Movie Poster Image

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence



Provocative movie suitable for teens.
  • Review Date: June 17, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Running Time: 146 minutes

What parents need to know


Characters in peril, some injured and destroyed.


Character is a robot gigolo, some sexual references and images.


Brief mild language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is rated PG-13 for some sexual references (Joe is a robot created to have sex with women, a crude joke about the equivalent for men) and some violence (mecha are destroyed, critically ill child, characters in peril). Children may also find the theme and some of the situations disturbing and may also be unsettled by the open-ended nature of the story, which leaves many questions unanswered. It will be most suitable for teens, who may enjoy debating some of the issues of love, vulnerability, the nature of humanity, the future of the human race, and even the meaning of life.

What's the story?

David looks like a 12-year-old boy but is really a "mecha," a highly developed robot. He's the creation is Dr. Hobby (William Hurt), who decided to take robots a step further and develop the first robot that can feel love. One of his employees, Henry (Sam Robards) is chosen to be the beta tester. Henry and his wife, Monica (Frances O'Connor), have a son, Martin, who is critically ill. At first, Monica is horrified by the idea of "adopting" a mechanical boy, but her need for love is so overpowering that she initiates the sequence that will bind David irrevocably to her forever. He immediately changes from a pleasant if emotionless toy into a child whose mother is his whole world. He loves, which means that he is needy, jealous, and He thinks like a three-year-old, calling for his mommy and wanting her all to himself. When Martin gets better and returns home, he and David are jealous of one another. Believes that David may be a threat to Martin, she sets him loose in the woods. David is determined to find the Blue Fairy who can turn him into a real boy, as she did with Pinocchio, because he thinks that will make it possible for Monica to love him.

Is it any good?


Cross 2001 with E.T. and Blade Runner and throw in some Pinocchio, some Wizard of Oz, some Velveteen Rabbit and a touch of Our Town, and you might have some sense of what to expect from A.I. It is an ambitious, complex, provocative movie that is likely to lead to more late night college dorm debates than anything since the ones about 2001's monolith and the ape throwing the bone.

Developed by Stanley Kubrick and completed by Steven Spielberg, this is a two-part invention of a movie that owes both its strengths and its weaknesses to the collaboration between two men of such prodigious talents and such different, even opposing sensibilities. Kubrick is the master of the cool image; Spielberg the master of the warm feeling. The juxtaposition of their influence is particularly apt for this story of the struggle between heart and brain, not just on the part of the mecha, but on the part of the orga (humans) as well.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether what David feels is love, and Dr. Hobby's real reason for creating him. Is there any way to make a robot "real?" If the movie is about making a machine that can feel, why is the title "Artificial Intelligence?"

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 29, 2001
DVD release date:March 5, 2002
Cast:Frances O'Connor, Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law
Director:Steven Spielberg
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:146 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some sexual content and violent images

This review of A.I.: Artificial Intelligence was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


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; OK 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 these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • A dark, philosophical sci-fi drama for older teens.
  • Thoughtful adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel.
  • Violent sci-fi detective movie isn't for the faint of heart.

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

Teen, 15 years old Written bywho3697cares January 28, 2009
One of the best science fiction films (and one of the most overlooked) is this 2001 feature developed by Stanley Kubrick and completed by Steven Spielberg. It is all the proof someone needs that science fition can be more than just childish fantasies or violent messes.
Teen, 16 years old Written byMr581 August 2, 2009
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old April 2, 2010

A.I.Artificial Intelligence

Rated PG-13 For Some Sexual Content And Violent Images
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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

Family Media Agreement