Parents' Guide to

Battleship

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Over-the-top sci-fi action with great special effects.

Movie PG-13 2012 131 minutes
Battleship Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 10+

More than meets the eye

We watched this movie as it looked a little more child friendly than the Transformers movies, which seem to contain subtexts completely unsuitable for younger children. Whilst this movie also has its fair share of violence, it gave us more to talk about than most films we've seen recently. And that's possibly because it's one of the most satirical 'brain dead' action movies we've seen. The aliens are the good guys, the humans are the bad guys. The humans react with violence to every perceived aggression by the aliens without stopping to think about what is actually happening. The lead human character (and almost all the human captains for that matter) is dangerously impulsive and these impulses lead to a human instigated war, and is certainly not the role model that the common sense media summary makes him out to be. The aliens for their part, only react defensively and appear to take large steps to prevent endangerment to life. In fact, my oldest child wanted to stop watching it because it felt to him as if it were glorifying the destruction of a peaceful species that had simply sought refuge and contact. Instead they were met with destruction. These were complex themes that allowed us to talk about reflecting on our actions before acting, the consequences of dealing with situations with immediate violence, the danger that comes with assuming you're always the 'good guy' and also about how stories can have deeper meanings that aren't always clear. So in summary, on the surface it's a Navy recruitment video where the good guys save the Earth from the dastardly aliens, but in reality it's about stupid humans who can't think properly, committing a genocide against a peaceful alien species. It's Transformers via Spec Ops: The Line.
age 8+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (43 ):

Alien invasion films are ridiculously stereotypical, and BATTLESHIP is no exception. But what it lacks in originality, it makes up for in pretty spectacular special effects and sea-faring action sequences. This is no thinking viewer's war drama; this is the sort of big-budget spectacle to enjoy once on the big screen and maybe once more to give your home surround-sound a work out. After the unfortunate flop that was John Carter, Kitsch gets another shot at playing the hero, and he does it well. There's no finesse in the dialogue, but Kitsch is just right playing gorgeous rogues with a heart of gold -- as anyone who watched and loved Friday Night Lights knows.

As a bonus to FNL fans, director Peter Berg once again casts Jesse Plemmons as the nerdy guy who's always quick with the wisecrack. His boatswain character offers consistently good comic relief, as well as a decent acting partner for Rihanna's debut as a hard-as-nails weapons specialist. While Battleship's script is far from the layered finesse of, say, The Avengers, the action is exactly what you'd expect from an explosive summer popcorn flick. Tweens and teens -- especially boys -- will get a kick out of the military tactics and the broad humor (look, kids, elderly veterans curse!), while grown-ups might wonder if they've seen the same movie every summer for the past 15 years.

Movie Details

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