Babylon A.D.

Movie review by
James Rocchi, Common Sense Media
Babylon A.D. Movie Poster Image
Violent actioner is dull, dreary, and defective.
  • PG-13
  • 2008
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Several dystopian elements are involved in the plot -- nuclear attack, ecological catastrophe, biological warfare, genetic engineering, and more. The villains are in a quasi-religious cult. The lead character is given to nihilistic pronouncements like "there's no mercy for the weak."

Violence

Frequent violence, including fistfights, firefights, explosions, missile salvos, and more. A sequence involves cage fighting; the film also features drowning, strangling, riots, terrorist bomb attacks, and more. Animals are butchered on screen. Some blood. Discussion of nuclear and biological weapons.

Sex

Brief glimpses of scantily clad women; a moment of sexual tension between a shirtless man and a woman.

Language

Some, including one use of "f--k," "s--t," and multiple uses of "ass," "bitch," "hell," "s--thole," and more.

Consumerism

Extensive on-screen brand presence, including (but not limited to) Coca-Cola Zero, Marlboro, Marriott, Range Rover, and Google.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cigarette and cigar smoking; characters drink wine and hard liquor.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sci-fi action movie takes place in a bleak, ruined dystopian future. It's quite violent, with explosions, shootings, strangling, and more. There's also extensive discussion of nuclear attacks, genetic engineering, and refugee movements, as well as religious themes and imagery. Several characters are kept alive by high-tech machinery, and some scenes of surgery and medical processes are quite intense. Also expect swearing ("s--t," one use of "f--k"), product placement, and some drinking and smoking.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 10 years old July 5, 2009
Teen, 15 years old Written bySkyrock5 June 3, 2011

I think not.

Unfortunately, this film doesn't make sense a lot of the time, which is strange, because it really doesn't require a lot of attention and concentratio... Continue reading

What's the story?

BABYLON A.D. takes place in a near-future landscape in which world-weary mercenary Toorop (Vin Diesel) is hired to escort a young woman from a Mongolian monastery to New York. The young woman, Aurora (Melanie Thierry), is protected by Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh). The trio sets out on their perilous journey -- as they approach New York, the sinister plans of the group behind the trip become increasingly clear.

Is it any good?

This movie is dark, dreary, and dull. Babylon A.D. has already been disavowed by director Mathieu Kassovitz, and it wasn't screened for critics in advance of its theatrical opening; these two facts alone should tell you a lot about how good it is in the final analysis. Diesel's brooding, bulky hero is a run-down recycling of characters he's played in other, better films like The Chronicles of Riddick and Pitch Black; he doesn't help the film any with his performance, stumbling through the film like a man with a hangover.

Babylon A.D. may have been intended as a rock-'em, sock-'em action film that examines important social and ethical issues, but the finished film plays like a series of bland, blurry action sequences with occasional breaks for pretentious posturing between explosions. All the special effects and stunt sequences thrown at the screen can't make up for the fact that it's a film with almost nothing to really say between the booms and bursts of bombs and gunfire.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of dark visions of the future. Are dystopian movies a way for us to process our anxieties about the present? In the movie's vision of the future, corporations have more control than governments; does the film's extensive use of corporate logos on screen warn against excess corporate power or represent it? Families can also discuss the challenges and concerns surrounding genetic engineering -- what ethical and moral complications does it pose for people now and in the future?

Movie details

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