Parents' Guide to

Bumblebee

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Better-than-expected Transformers prequel is big on action.

Movie PG-13 2018 113 minutes
Bumblebee Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 35 parent reviews

age 15+

Potential family movie ruined by gruesome, shocking deaths

This is yet another movie that potentially would have been great as a PG movie, but which was ruined by the inclusion of a dozen or so instances of foul language, and much worse, by the shockingly gratuitous carnage involving human deaths. Early in the show, two Decepticons murder a human for no reason at all, and the death is shown in graphic detail, in a disgusting, surprising way which has never been featured in any other movie I've seen. It's an intentional gross-out attempt to shock and scare the audience, and shows the filmmakers' lack of respect for human life and for their audience, which they must have known would include children, since it's a movie based on action figures. Then the movie rolls along as if nothing happened, until another human dies the same way later. Other than that, I liked the movie. 30 seconds of editing and this would have made a decent family film. But as-is, it should be reserved for older teens or adults.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
2 people found this helpful.
age 13+

Surprisingly violent and shocking beginning

We started to watch this with our 8 and 9 year old as it came up as a PG in the UK. There was way too much violence for them and we switched it off. They found it hard to get to sleep later in the evening as the images from the film were troubling them. I wouldn't have let them start watching it if I'd known.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (35):
Kids say (65):

The talented, expressive Steinfeld and a nuanced script elevate this prequel from "unnecessary" to "surprisingly poignant and entertaining." Comparisons between Bumblebee and E.T. are easy to draw, because Charlie nearly instantly connects with the voiceless, skittish alien. They bond over clips of '80s movies and music cassettes (he hilariously ejects The Smiths, one of her favorite, angsty bands, instead preferring radio jams that can speak for him). Charlie's sidekick is her adorkable neighbor, whom Lendeborg plays with sweet comedic sincerity. Their chemistry is cute, with only a hint of romance -- a much-needed change from the previous films.

Director Travis Knight, making his live-action debut and working from a script by Christina Hodson, helms the movie with a sensibility that mirrors the Laika films he's directed/produced (Kubo and The Boxtrolls): A lonely, grieving adolescent goes on an unexpected adventure, through which she learns about herself and her legacy. Knight might not have seemed like a natural fit for this live-action directing gig on the face of things, but it makes sense given his love of coming-of-age stories that feature particularly sensitive and brave young protagonists. Ultimately, there was no need for this prequel, but it's much better than expected, and the best (story wise) of the Transformers series to date.

Movie Details

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