A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Despite its many problems, movie does attempt to convey positive messages: valuing family over business, unconditional love of your kids. Takes a strong stand against poaching, addresses oil companies' negative impact on the environment, with dialogue about small ways people can battle climate change. But movie set in Africa is centered on a White family's story, experiences.
Positive Role Models
Characters are thinly drawn, regularly make poor choices. One character who achieves redemption pays a steep price for it. A man learns that his family is more important than business, starts working through his personal prejudices related to having a gay son.
Violence & Scariness
A rhino smashes a vehicle, turns it over. Its horn punctures the metal, slicing open a character's thigh. Lots of blood. Character pokes stick into open wound, screaming in pain. Guns and shooting, characters shot. Dialogue about poachers being "shot on sight." Dead rhinos with missing horns (taken by poachers). Dislocated shoulder; setting it back in place with a "snap." Dead animal hangs on tree branch. Dog being sicced on human (they run off-screen). Car chase with crash. Characters tied up. Diabetic character suffers from lack of insulin. Vomiting.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two young characters kiss. Teen character mentions a boyfriend who's never seen.
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Several uses of "f--k," plus "s--t," "bulls--t," "a--hole," "bastard," "d--k," "goddamn," "hell," "damn," "badass," "pissed off," and "idiot," with exclamatory use of "Jesus" and "my God."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Two young characters (one possibly a teen) eat salvia leaves, also called "Lady Sally." (Dialogue explains that it "gets you high as f--k.") They have a mild hallucinogenic trip. Young character smokes pot frequently, talks about being "high." Adult sneaks a drink from small bottle on plane; his daughter catches him, makes a "drinking" gesture. Diabetic character injects insulin.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Endangered Species is an adventure movie about a family that goes on safari in Kenya, makes several poor choices, and winds up stranded and hunted by hyenas. It's quite bloody and gory, with guns and shooting, deaths, a bloody leg injury, characters covered in blood, and dead rhinos (with their horns removed by poachers). A diabetic character suffers from lack of insulin. Language is also strong, with several uses of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and "d--k." Two young characters kiss, and a young man mentions his boyfriend. Younger characters eat salvia leaves and experience a mild hallucinogenic trip. A character frequently smokes pot and talks about being "high," and a man sneaks a drink from a tiny bottle on a plane. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Well-meaning but too ridiculous to really work, this misfire of a family-bonding safari adventure is packed with frustrating characters, poor choices, and cheap-looking CGI animals. Endangered Species seems to have gambled its emotional arc on Jack's redemption. Unfortunately, he's so aggravating and despicable from the outset that it would take far longer than 101 minutes for most folks to really forgive him. He's immediately established as a weaselly oil company man who's whiny and yet arrogant, and it's not long before we learn that he has a problem with his son's homosexuality. He also hates his daughter Zoe's boyfriend. Zoe, for her part, has taken to calling him by his name rather than "Dad" out of a lack of respect, and it's easy to agree with her.
The family's predicament is entirely Jack's fault, due to his poor choices (no guide, failing to check in at the gate, going off-road, etc.). Other obvious plot elements, such as bringing along easily breakable glass bottles of water, not taking enough insulin for Lauren, etc., are further confounding. O'Connell overacts in a role that ought to be more menacing than it is, and the entire movie has a strange, quasi-comic tone, with the vague, off-putting feeling that we're supposed to be laughing from time to time. Perhaps the worst thing in Endangered Species is the fake-looking animals, with one exception: a beautiful bit of footage (not filmed for this movie) of a leopard rousing itself from sleep that might be worth the price of admission by itself.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.