By Nell Minow,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Uneven and unfocused, but has some inspired silliness.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
Comic peril, some gross-out moments.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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Some strong language and gross potty humor.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has some strong language and very raunchy toilet humor, with two extended sequences featuring rectal probes. There's sexual humor and mild sexual situations. Characters drink and smoke. Characters are in sci-fi peril, mostly comic. Guns and shooting are equated with manliness. A woman shoplifts and another holds up a sign that says "I can't die a virgin." Female and black characters are smart, brave, and accomplished, and inter-racial colleagues have a strong friendship. But there's an unpleasant joke about how all a female character needs is "a good humping," and, to make things worse, she overhears the comment and is insulted not because it is sexist but because it implies that she is not sexual.
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Where to Watch
Based on 5 parent reviews
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Ok for older kids
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What's the Story?
In EVOLUTION, community college professors Ira (David Duchovney) and Harry (Orlando Jones) discover that a mysterious meteor is covered with one-celled alien creatures who can accomplish evolutionary development in days that took millions of years on earth. They try to keep it to themselves, hoping for fame and fortune. But the government steps in and takes over. A nasty general and a beautiful doctor named Allison (Julianne Moore) are now in charge. Dan Ackroyd plays the governor who is willing to nuke his state to get rid of the aliens. With the help of a would-be fireman (Seann William Scott) and some overweight students with dandruff-free hair, Ira and Harry manage to save the world.
Is It Any Good?
Evolution never really takes off. There are some good moments, though, and moments of inspired silliness, like Duchovney and Jones singing "Play That Funky Music White Boy." Jones gives so much zest to weak material that one longs to see him in something better. But neither the sci-fi nor the comedy are strong enough to sustain the movie.
No one expects or even wants a movie like this to make sense, but it is so sloppy that it is actually distracting. And even the good guys are not that good, caring more about credit and getting out of Arizona than about science or protecting people from the aliens. It is interesting how often someone in the movie tells someone else to focus -- that would have been good advice for the director and screenwriter.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about evolution and natural selection, and about how Ira got in to trouble and how he reacted to it. Why didn't he care more about his job? What would happen if aliens did come to Earth?
- In theaters: June 8, 2001
- On DVD or streaming: December 26, 2001
- Cast: David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Orlando Jones, Seann William Scott
- Director: Ivan Reitman
- Inclusion Information: Black actors
- Studio: DreamWorks
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 101 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: crude and sexual humor, and for sci-fi action
- Last updated: June 2, 2023
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Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
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