Parents' Guide to

Code 8

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Super-power action tale falls short; violence, language.

Movie NR 2019 98 minutes
Code 8 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 11+

good movie

not that many curses, not too much violence,

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 10+


its an ok movie, good amount of violence and not much curses

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (6):

If you're going to tackle a superhero scenario that's already been played out by Marvel, DC, and Pixar, it had better be good -- and this one is not. The Avengers (Captain America: Civil War), the X-Men (The Wolverine and X-Men: Apocalypse), and the Justice League (Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice) have all already used plotlines in which the world turns against superheroes, seeing them as a danger. The difference in this disappointing film from Stephen Amell (the CW's own Green Arrow), is that here, those with superpowers don't see themselves as heroes. Thus, when their powers become illegal, they turn to illegal activities -- like making and selling drugs.

The goal is noble: Clearly, the film is trying to create a touchstone for viewers to understand the plight of marginalized groups who are trying to get by despite systemic prejudice. But Code 8 ends up feeling like an insult to those communities. First, the only sympathetic "powered" character is a white male (Robbie Amell), and he's only buoyed to his destiny by the savviness of telekinetic Garrett (Stephen Amell, also white) and given opportunity by the mind-reading drug boss who runs the underworld (Greg Byrk, who's also white). The powered women and the men of color are shown as weak or ultimately ineffective. There is an Asian cop with a reason to have empathy for the powered -- but even he must operate on the white guy's terms. It all just proves that even when you have superpowers, it's still a white man's world.

Movie Details

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