A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Edge of Tomorrow is a thought-provoking sci-fi thriller that steers clear of some of the usual action-movie cliches -- mainly that women are damsels in distress in need of rescuing -- and presents both strong female and male lead characters (played by Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise). Expect a constant barrage of intense, chaotic combat as humans battle aliens: Soldiers are bombed, shot, obliterated by fallen debris, blown up by explosives, mangled by creepy aliens, and more. Not a lot of blood is seen, but many, many characters die -- including the main one, who dies over and over (most frequently via a gun to the head) as he learns how to defeat his enemies. There's also some swearing (including "s--t," "bitch," and one use of "f--k") and kissing.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s 2004 novel All You Need Is Kill, EDGE OF TOMORROW stars Tom Cruise as Major William Cage, a public relations genius who's never been on the front lines and serves as the official talking head for the U.S. Army's efforts to fight against the Mimics, aliens who've invaded Earth. His job is to sell the war ... that is, until a British general (Brendan Gleeson) sends him to battle, an order Cage defies, landing him in hot water. When he finally does see combat, he dies quickly, only to wake up and relive the day over again. Only special forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), the Army's best soldier, can explain what's happening to him.
Is it any good?
Don't expect Edge of Tomorrow to make much sense: Its "science" is muddy, mind-boggling, and at times difficult to follow. But that doesn't take away from the appeal of the film, which boasts impressive special effects and an interesting, complicated plot (which is inevitably reminiscent of the excellent Groundhog Day ... which also had a female lead named Rita!). Director Doug Liman knows when to make a joke and when to leave well enough alone, without taking away from the gravity of Edge of Tomorrow's darker themes.
But the biggest revelation may be Cruise, who reminds us how good he can be when he tackles roles that don't rely solely on his charisma and confidence. Here, he allows himself to be vulnerable and afraid, and it's refreshing. As is Blunt's Rita, a female lead who's finally given enough to do -- sometimes better than her male counterpart. The film's villains remain amorphous throughout, but the leads are compelling, and the movie can't help but entertain.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how time is manipulated in Edge of Tomorrow. Does it remind you of any other movies? How is it different? Does the movie adhere to the "rules" of time travel?
Rita is a strong female character. How often do you see women like her in action movies? What about movies in other genres?
Talk about the impact of the movie's violence. How does it compare to what you might see in a horror movie? Does it matter that so much of it is large-scale/over the top?
- In theaters: June 6, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: October 7, 2014
- Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton
- Director: Doug Liman
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Space and Aliens
- Run time: 113 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material
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