A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie is fine for tweens overall (despite lots of violent material) and will appeal to kids who've read the popular book series it's based on. It's fairly tame when it comes to sex and language, but the violence is pretty intense for a PG-rated film. There are guns, shooting, and explosions throughout, as well as scenes of peril and action (involving airplanes, motorcycles, horses, cars, and boats). No blood is shown.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
After his parents' tragic deaths, 14-year-old Alex Rider (Alex Pettyfer) ends up living in London with his banker uncle, Ian Rider (Ewan McGregor). When Ian is killed under mysterious circumstances, Alex learns he was a secret agent for MI6, Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, and he'd actually been craftily training his nephew to become a spy. The head of MI6's Special Operations Division, Alan Blunt (Bill Nighy) decides it's time Alex got into the spy business. Alex is reluctant, but acquiesces when he sees all the cool spy gadgets and learns that his nanny (Alicia Silverstone) will be deported if he doesn't cooperate. Soon, Alex is tailing Darrius Sayle (Mickey Rourke), a shady businessman with ties to several dangerous and hostile nations, and the creator of Stormbreaker, the most sophisticated computer system of the 21st century.
Is it any good?
If James Bond had taken up spying as a teen, his adventures probably would have looked a lot like this action-packed movie based on the popular Alex Rider books by Anthony Horowitz. There's plenty of action and violence, but no blood is shown, making this an acceptable film for tweens who aren't overly sensitive. The film should be especially appealing to kids who've read the popular book series it's based on.
As Alan Blunt, head of MI6's Special Operations Division, Bill Nighy is a scene-stealer, but Mickey Rourke gives a rather uninspiring turn as the bad guy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether a 14-year-old would really have the guts and gumption to be a spy. Why does he put himself in dangerous and life-threatening situations? Did he have any other options, or was he forced into being a spy? Parents can ask kids who've read the books to compare them to the big screen version -- which do they like better? Why? Who would they have cast in all of the roles?
- In theaters: October 12, 2006
- On DVD or streaming: December 19, 2006
- Cast: Alex Pettyfer, Alicia Silverstone, Ewan McGregor
- Director: Geoffrey Sax
- Studio: Weinstein Co.
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Book Characters
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: sequences of action violence and some peril.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.