Parents' Guide to


By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Pro-STEM twist in often violent sci-fi boy-and-"dog" tale.

Movie PG 2018 90 minutes
A.X.L. Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 22 parent reviews

age 9+


Great movie to much sex but it was amazing

This title has:

Too much sex
1 person found this helpful.
age 9+

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (22):
Kids say (9):

Combining action, animals, extreme sports, robots, and special effects, this movie succeeds in delivering an appealing fantasy of a boy and his 21st-century "dog." The robot canine is the world's coolest gadget and an amazing pet, all in one. At first glance, A.X.L. is a charming film that elicits compassion for abused animals. But then the "wait ... what?" of it all kicks in. Thankfully, the dialogue addresses the doubts that may nag at the audience, such as, "Can you abuse a robot? What does that even mean?"

That said, the script isn't all that sharp, leaning on standard-issue characters. Pop singer Becky G. is believable as Miles' love interest, and Thomas Jane has an ease about him as Miles' supportive dad. But the standout is Alex MacNicoll, whose take on the clichéd rich-kid bully is so natural and unexpected that it's shocking when he pivots into teen tormenter. Setting a story in the environment of motocross sports does bring something fresh, and between the bike stunts and the illusion of an amazing mechanized dog, the film is an optical treat.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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.

See how we rate