Battle: Los Angeles Movie Poster Image

Battle: Los Angeles

(i)

 

Violent alien invasion movie is a waste of time.
  • Review Date: March 8, 2011
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 116 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Despite the movie's nonstop violence, it does promote the value of teamwork and thinking positively.

Positive role models

The soldiers show bravery and positive thinking, and they work together well, solving problems and eventually triumphing over the odds. Nantz is haunted by past battles and terrible mistakes he's made; his men don't trust him, but he demonstrates admirable heroism. He shows inclusiveness and empathy toward the story's civilians.

Violence

This movie is an almost constant battle, with a plethora of guns and shooting. Many characters get shot and die, and there's a generous amount of blood. There are also grenades, missiles, and big explosions, as well as general devastation and destruction. In one graphic scene, the heroes "operate" on an alien body, looking for major organs in an attempt to figure out how to kill it.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Language is strong and frequent, pushing the boundaries of a PG-13 rating. Words include one "f--k," as well as many uses of "s--t," plus "ass," "hell," "goddamn," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), "damn," "bastard," "oh my God," and "son of a bitch."

Consumerism

Some billboards can be seen, including Pepsi and Panda Express.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this violent alien invasion film is more or less a war movie in disguise, with constant fighting and shooting, explosions, death, and blood. Between the violence and the strong language (including "f--k" and many uses of "s--t"), it pushes as far as it can get with its PG-13 rating. All of that said, although the movie isn't very good, some of the characters do behave admirably and could be considered positive role models who work well together.

What's the story?

In August 2011, meteors begin approaching the Earth; they turn out to be alien invaders bent on colonizing our planet. The military underestimates the threat, and soon everything comes down to one band of scrappy young Marines. Troubled veteran Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) winds up in charge, despite rumors that he once let several of his men die in battle. Making their way through the ruined concrete jungles of the bombed-out city, Nantz and his warriors pick up a few stranded, brave civilians and slowly begin to discover their attackers' secrets. But can they put their knowledge to good use before it's too late?

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Director Jonathan Liebesman (Darkness Falls, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning) leaps into the fray with his camera twitching and lurching, capturing more flying metal and concrete dust than actual characters or aliens. But even though he chooses, disappointingly, not to linger on the invading creatures, BATTLE: LOS ANGELES is not a subtle movie. It's 100% devoted to rampant destruction.

It's possible to actually recognize some of the actors -- Eckhart, Michael Pena, Bridget Moynahan, etc. -- through the haze and the Marine uniforms and helmets, but none of them has anything much to say; sometimes it's hard to hear anything above the noise, and sometimes the music blares at the top of everything. There's hardly a breather or a moment to connect with anyone. Once upon a time, alien invasion movies were about ideas. They usually managed to tell us something about what it means to be human. Battle: Los Angeles only shows what it's like to waste everyone's time and money.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's extreme violence, fighting, and death. Is it necessary to the story? Does it send any particular message?

  • Is the movie scary? Would it have been scarier or less scary if it had shown more of the aliens?

  • What's the appeal of alien invasion movies? Do they play on any real-life fears?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 11, 2011
DVD release date:June 14, 2011
Cast:Aaron Eckhart, Bridget Moynahan, Michelle Rodriguez
Director:Jonathan Liebesman
Studio:Columbia Pictures
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:116 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sustained and intense sequences of war violence and destruction, and for language

This review of Battle: Los Angeles was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 12 years old July 14, 2014

Alien invasion movie is entertaining but violent.

This movie was pretty entertaining, however equally violent. You can expect extensive war and sic-fi violence including destruction, gun battles, explosions, and disturbing images of a character trying to understand how to kill one of the aliens. Although this movie is really violent, I wouldn't really be concerned unless you are extremely sensitive. One main character dies, which can be emotional. There is also a lot of cruising including several variations of "s**t," to f-words, as well as "b**ch," "a**," "h**l," "g*d**n," and "b*stard." One character gets drunk and throws up. Altogether, although sexual content isn't a problem, parents beware of extensive sci-fi warfare and frequent harsh profanity make this a movie only suitable for older action junkies.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byTheSuperman765 April 3, 2011

Battle: LA is violent and...... O.Kay

The good stuff * Messages: Despite the movie's nonstop violence, it does promote the value of teamwork and thinking positively. * Role models: The soldiers show bravery and positive thinking, and they work together well, solving problems and eventually triumphing over the odds. Nantz is haunted by past battles and terrible mistakes he's made; his men don't trust him, but he demonstrates admirable heroism. He shows inclusiveness and empathy toward the story's civilians. What to watch out for * Violence: This movie is an almost constant battle, with a plethora of guns and shooting. Many characters get shot and die, and there's a generous amount of blood. There are also grenades, missiles, and big explosions, as well as general devastation and destruction. In one graphic scene, the heroes "operate" on an alien body, looking for major organs in an attempt to figure out how to kill it. * Sex: Not an issue. * Language: Language is strong and frequent, pushing the boundaries of a PG-13 rating. Words include one "f--k," as well as many uses of "s--t," plus "a*s," "he*l," "god*amn," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), "da*n," "ba***rd," "oh my God," and "son of a bi*ch." * Consumerism: Some billboards can be seen, including Pepsi and Panda Express. * Drinking, drugs, & smoking: Not an issue.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byEpicKingKong January 7, 2013

Content is suitable for 9+ but most younger kids won't get the story

Loved this film! One of the best war films ever. As for the age rating, bar the moderate language and some violence there's not a lot that would be inappropriate for younger viewers. In my opinion the content is ok for 9+ but I recommend it for older kids because some younger children might not understand the point of the story.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide