Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Evolution Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Uneven and unfocused, but has some inspired silliness.
  • PG-13
  • 2001
  • 101 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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


Comic peril, some gross-out moments.


Mild references.


Some strong language and gross potty humor.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking


What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byGracenFaith April 8, 2019


Very inappropriate for younger audiences
Parent of a 4-year-old Written byTristan P. May 13, 2018

Ok for older kids

One jump scare in a cave
Overall, many creatures and aliens
My four year old enjoys it a lot
Teen, 17 years old Written byzacpb19 August 21, 2012

Some rude bits but nothing a 12 year old couldn't see

I watched this when I was 9 and loved it even if I didn't get all the jokes I found it really funny and I would say this movie is fine for 12+ some parts m... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byhomealonefan123 February 26, 2012

this extremely funny gross out comedy is meant for older kids

Parents need to know that this movie is filled with silly raunchy humor that makes this movie not for little kids. There is non-stop sexual humor, including an... Continue reading

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?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sci-fi

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