• Review Date: May 19, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Running Time: 101 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Uneven and unfocused, but has some inspired silliness.
  • Review Date: May 19, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Running Time: 101 minutes





What parents need to know


Comic peril, some gross-out moments.


Mild references.


Some strong language and gross potty humor.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking


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.

Parents say

Kids say

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:June 8, 2001
DVD release date:December 26, 2001
Cast:David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Orlando Jones, Seann William Scott
Director:Ivan Reitman
Run time:101 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:crude and sexual humor, and for sci-fi action

This review of Evolution was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byForknose April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

The Truth is Out There

It was like watching the Brady Bunch episode of X-Files. Funny and with aliens!
Adult Written byAshnak April 9, 2008


Great parody about evolution in a scifi setting
Teen, 13 years old Written byJackson April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

This movie was scarey because of alien creatures that killed people.

This movie was scarey because alien creatures killed people, but they were not that real looking so it was easy to get over being scared. The movie was also funny because of the way the actors joked together. It is an ok movie, but not the best movie I've ever seen.


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