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Eagle Eye

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Eagle Eye Movie Poster Image
Explosion-filled thriller that's best for older teens.
  • PG-13
  • 2008
  • 118 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 45 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie's major themes are the moral ambiguity of the president's (and government's) decisions, the ethical dilemma of doing something illegal to save either your life or the lives of loved ones, and the idea that "we the people" have a duty to revolt against corrupt leaders. Other themes include a single mother's selflessness and a man's wish to honor his dead brother and make his father proud.


Lots of car explosions and bombs that kill police officers, special agents, and civilians, but there isn't that much actual blood. The violence begins with a guided missile attack on a village in the Middle East where a terrorist is supposedly living; there's collateral damage from the attack. A couple of individual characters are killed. During a funeral service, a deceased man's body is shown in a coffin. A heavily burned man's corpse is visible in one scene.


Jerry and his co-workers discuss someone's chances of sleeping with his girlfriend; Rachel asks her friends who's "getting any" a couple shares a chaste kiss.


Stronger and more frequent than many PG-13 films; words include "a--hole," "hell," "goddamn," "s--t," "dick," "bitch," "oh my God," and two uses of "f--k."


Porsche Cayenne, Dell, Amtrak.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Rachel drinks in a bar with friends (all characters are over 21).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this action thriller from the producers of Transformers -- which stars Shia LaBeouf and promises plenty of "blow 'em up" scenes -- is likely to appeal to teenagers, especially boys. But while the movie is plenty violent, it's not especially graphic: It's obvious that people are dying in all of the explosions, but there's little blood. The language is stronger than most PG-13 films, featuring a couple of "f--k"s and the frequently used "a--hole," "s--t," and "bitch." Aside from a couple of early, tame conversations about dating and sex, there's only one little kiss in the movie. Product placements aren't overwhelming, but one extended sequence highlights a Porsche Cayenne SUV.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written bydoctormom50 September 6, 2010

Family Favorite!

My family loves this movie! It is really exciting and has a good story line. GREAT MOVIE. :)
Parent Written byfif May 4, 2009

Kept me on the edge of my seat

The movie started out slow and a little ridiculous, but at about the halfway point I was sucked in. This story has been done in countless movies, but this broug... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bynekosan February 14, 2010
Good movie reminds me of IRobot quite a bit though. I don't understand how some people see i as confusing though...
Teen, 14 years old Written byOldBob13 April 16, 2010

Fun, exciting, and well-acted, but not for anyone under 13

There are a lot of action movies that try to entertain rather than tell a decent (or complex) story. Eagle Eye may finally break the barrier, and it's real... Continue reading

What's the story?

Copy-store clerk Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) and single mother Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) are mysteriously "activated" into a secret, illegal mission by a cell phone call. Neither wants to comply with the female voice giving them dangerous directives via phones and digital signs, but "she" has framed Jerry -- who's now a suspected terrorist -- and threatens to kill Rachel's son, who's on a school trip to D.C.. While Jerry and Rachel go around Chicago committing felony after felony as instructed, an FBI agent (Billy Bob Thornton) and Air Force investigator (Rosario Dawson) try to figure out why this seemingly normal duo have turned into super criminals.

Is it any good?

There's often too much going on in this movie -- though Shia LaBeouf definitely does his thing as the wise-cracking Jerry. In an episode of The Simpsons, Homer says "I'm going for the Shia LaBeouf thing. Not quite a nerd not quite a hunk. Shia LaBeouf!" That's the perfect way to explain the curly haired leading man's "ordinary guy" charm. He and Monaghan don't create sparks a la Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves in Speed, but they're likable enough as strangers literally thrown together who can't figure out what in the world is happening to them. Meanwhile, the impressive supporting cast doesn't have much to do except look surprised and angry. In addition to Thornton and Dawson, Michael Chiklis adds gravitas as the Secretary of Defense, and Anthony Mackie handsomely fills an Army uniform for the last third of the action. All are notable actors, but their characters are two-dimensional stereotypes at best.

Director D.J. Caruso channels his inner Michael Bay to fill this thriller with as many huge explosions as possible. The problem is that, unlike Bay's so-easy-a-caveman-could-follow-it scripts, Eagle Eye was written by four screenwriters. That's rarely a good thing, and in this case, the many twists turn one too many times, ending up in the realm of the completely ludicrous. Let's just say the terrorist mastermind is akin to a 21st-century HAL with a constitutional-law obsession. Confused? That's OK, because it's a muddled plot. But, look -- something else is blowing up!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the film's Orwellian message. Is the idea of Big Brother even more frightening now that people share so much of their personal information online? How does the film depict technology and government surveillance? Kids: Does what happens to Jerry and Rachel make you at all cautious about social networking sites, blog, and other online activities?

Movie details

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