Battle: Los Angeles

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Battle: Los Angeles Movie Poster Image
Violent alien invasion movie is a waste of time.
  • PG-13
  • 2011
  • 116 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 18 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 51 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive messages

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

Positive role models & representations

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.


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.


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."


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

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

Parent of a 10 and 15 year old Written bylkscully March 25, 2011

After seeing it, I'm taking my 11 year old son.

Straight up "Popcorn Movie" shenanigans! Another retelling of the basic storyline of Independence Day without the slapstick humor. Sadly Aaron Eckha... Continue reading
Parent of a 1 and 5 year old Written bykkg0909 July 26, 2011

Predictable but not THAT bad.

This movie wasn't a one-star movie. Sure, it was predictable and not all that imaginative but it was entertaining. I watched the whole thing and enjoyed... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bystan101 May 20, 2012


awesome movie it was really great at the opening scene
Teen, 15 years old Written byJosh2515 June 17, 2013

Most realistic alien movie ever! Cant wait for the sequel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I personally really liked this movie. even though the acting was a bit off at times. There is ALOT of language but other than that there is only violence that y... Continue reading

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?

Director Jonathan Liebesman unhesitatingly 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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love sci-fi

Our editors recommend

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