A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this live-action film based on the popular Ben 10 animated series follows the adventures of a secret team that combats evil alien invaders. Hero Ben Tennyson is older here than in the last live-action Ben 10 movie, but Alien Swarm is still clearly aimed at tweens. Luckily, most of the content is age-appropriate for them -- there are several relatively tame fight scenes, some very mild flirting, and a few verbal clashes between team members who have different ideas about how to handle the threat.
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What's the story?
Teenage Ben Tennyson (Ryan Kelley) and his pals are part of a secret organization, the Plumbers, that's dedicated to protecting the world from evil extraterrestrial invaders. But when an old friend suddenly comes back into his life, Ben has to make a choice. Will he help Elena (Alyssa Diaz), whose father may be involved with a dangerous alien conspiracy, or will he side with Grandpa Max (Barry Corbin), the Plumbers leader who threw Elena’s dad out of the group years ago?
Is it any good?
BEN 10: ALIEN SWARM is based on the popular Ben 10 animated shows, and it loses little moving from animation to live action. The main effect that young fans will be watching for, of course, is Ben’s Omnitrix, a gadget that looks like an oversized wristwatch and gives him the ability to transform into a variety of alien shapes. This comes in handy when he has to battle the Hive and its millions of nanotech robotic chips. Ben gets backup from his cousin, Gwen (Galadriel Stineman), and their friend Kevin (Nathan Keyes), who both have their own abilities; together they're a formidable force.
The original cartoon series started when Ben was a 10-year-old boy, and Ben 10: Alien Force picked up five years later. Now he’s an older teen -- driving cars, making his own decisions, and definitely paying attention to girls. But the film is still age-appropriate for younger viewers -- the fight scenes are relatively tame, and the romantic subplots are very restrained. Fans of the cartoons will like this entry in the franchise, and there’s no reason why tweens can't watch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Ben’s decision to defy Granpda Max. Why does Ben choose to do so? Do you agree with his choice? How does Ben’s choice affect his friends, who are forced to take sides? In the end, do you think Ben made the right choice?
How does this live-action film compare to the animated series it's based on? Do you think the actors are similar to the cartoon characters?
Do you think this movie is aimed at the same audience as the cartoon?
For kids who love sci-fi
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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