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

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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 myself. I also didn't find it overly gory which a lot of violent movies are. If you are a fan of alien invasion films I think you could do a lot worse than this one.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
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 Eckhart doesn't bring as much as I had hoped in his performance but her certainly adds some credibility to the film. There is violence and language but 10+ kids are capable of know that this is movie magic and not to use the foul language.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Adult Written byP-T March 25, 2011
 
This movie had a chance to be pretty good. The way it was filmed was suppose to make you feel like you were there, however, it made you not want to be in the theater. It was like it was filmed with a home movie camera with a guy running around trying to keep up. Almost...

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