Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Familiar but effective sci-fi tale about death, robots.

Movie NR 2020 109 minutes
Archive Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+

Smart Sci-fi forces you to think

There's a degree of language in this, but overall good sci-fi with surprising twists that force viewers to think between the lines and formulate their own hypothesis about the characters, and even existence itself. The story is far less racy and far more compelling than Ex-machina, but does require a certain level of intellectual investment to be truly appreciated. Younger children probably won't have any interest in the somewhat slow-burn of the intrigue, but older sci-fi fans should enjoy the complexities of certain moral issues [keeping someone alive after death against their will, love with robots, the definition of being alive, etc]. [SPOILERS] Don't let the ending fool you into accepting a surface-level explanation. Think between the lines and the Mise en scene for the clues left by the producers, cinematographers, etc to dissect the plot. Parent's Guide Language: 5/10 Sex: 2/10 Nudity: 0/10 Blasephemy: 3/10

This title has:

Too much swearing
age 14+

Great movie

Surprisingly emotional, great performances especially Theo James

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (1):

Though it comprises familiar elements from many other sci-fi movies, this debut feature's appealing visual design and surprising emotional content are ultimately enough to make it worth a look. Written and directed by Gavin Rothery, Archive recalls other robot/artificial intelligence movies like Blade Runner, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and Ex Machina, as well as another movie about a lone man and a robot stuck in a single location: Moon, upon which Rothery worked as a designer and visual effects supervisor. Even the excellent music by Oscar-winner Steven Price (Gravity) sounds a little like the famous Blade Runner score. Consequently, Archive sometimes feels a bit second-rate.

But although the gorgeously designed J3 robot is part of a long tradition of beautiful female robots (going all the way back to Metropolis), Martin brings her own strength and personality to the part. Divergent heartthrob James, who co-produced, gives a serviceable performance, managing to work for the story by matter-of-factly dealing with the complex relationships between George and the robots. (They used to be his romantic partners, and now they're more like petulant children.) Rothery's screenplay for Archive ties all of its themes together nicely, asking questions about death and loved ones left behind, and provides a satisfying ending that's sure to please hard-core sci-fi fans.

Movie Details

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