Good action packed movie for not oversensitive teens
SPOILERS ALERT: Don't read it if you haven't watched this movie (and you have to watch it before even deciding it for your kids).
Well, at first - this is not classical Alien style gothic horror, no. It still has the dark ambient atmosphere of doom and despair, but it's packed into, in fact - 3 hours timeframe, before the nightmare spaceship will reach the Earth. And this is, probably, the only moment when human characters had shown any humanity - they do care about the Earth and the inevitable end of mankind if the aliens will reach the planet. That's it. In general, almost all human characters are disgusting and amoral, greatly outlining the fact that in this bright future world humans are worse than aliens. Crazy and amoral scientists, making alien-human hybrids and using human hosts for aliens. Mercenaries, hijacking the cargo ship to deliver humans for experiments to the scientific ship. Military turned into huge greedy corporation with no moral standards. The only neutral or rather, semi-good characters are the survived marine and the man from the cargo ship with alien inside. Closer to the end of the movie Ripley says to Call: "I should have guessed that you're a robot. You're too humane to be a human". Truly, the two good characters of the movie are half-alien and a robot.
Now about the rating. Great messages: well, the whole movie is a single great message making one big negative example, where gore and violence are used as background to deliver it. Role models: a robot and half-alien? No, probably not. Too much violence even for Alien sequel and, generally, too much for teenagers. No sex at all - there are several scenes of partial nudity of Ripley and her clones, but they are asexual by their nature and the only "sexual" scene is where a man gives the legs massage to the women. A lot of swearing in general (but not too much, giving the circumstances). Some drinking and smoking at the beginning.
Now as for the age rating. We were watching it with my 7 y.o. daughter in a dark room at 10:00 PM as a scary bedtime story. She had no nightmares and really enjoyed the plot and action, but I had to explain several topics, like: "they said that the ship's autopilot is set to return the ship to Earth (as its home base) automatically in case of emergency" or "Call had just connected to the ship's central computer to schedule its self-destruction before it reaches the Earth" or, in general: "the Aliens behave like hornet hive with a Queen, eggs and workers or rather as parasitoid wasps that use caterpillar hosts for their larvae". Still, I think that most kids should watch it at 12+, 14+ or 16+ - all depends on their individual tolerance for blood, gore and freaking monsters.
This title contains:
Violence & scariness