Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Movie review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed Movie Poster Image
Controversial look at evolution meant for family discussion.
  • PG
  • 2008
  • 95 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Ben Stein is committed to asking questions, both of other people and himself. When he is faced with a tough subject, he admits he needs time to ponder it, and often goes to the geographical source of the query.

Violence

Graphic images of the Holocaust; images include emaciated cadavers piled up before they are disposed of.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Edward R. Murrow is shown smoking a cigarette when he gives a talk.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this treatment of the subject of evolution contains a number of hot-button topics. From the existence of God to the destruction of humans in the name of racial purity, this documentary pokes at a lot of sensitive topics. It's the type of documentary that some families will seek out for discussion with their mature teens and some will avoid on religious and moral grounds.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bycrackerjack5 January 21, 2010

A must-see for every biology student!

Ben Stein does a wonderful job exposing the biases that exist in educational institutions over science. Little kids will be bored, but it is an excellent movie... Continue reading
Parent of a 14-year-old Written byTsion July 9, 2009

Provacative and Stimulating, A Must-See!

This movie is perfect for family discussion. Not only is it extremely well-made, it is very thought-provoking and stimulating. There is no language, sex, or o... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byhurstårdettill October 17, 2010

Absolute Garbage

This "critical" look at the teaching of creationism had about the intellectual content of a road-runner cartoon.

Other reviews stated that it's... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byKaty0 September 19, 2009
Expelled is fine for 10+ (some photos and talk of the Holocaust) but most children at that age probably won't get much out of it.

What's the story?

Ben Stein is part comedian, part intellectual, part documentary filmmaker, who is disturbed by a trend in scientific academia. He finds that some academics are being punished for exploring a topic that does not follow the prescribed views held by people in power. Somewhere between Creationism (the belief that God created the heaven and Earth, as written in the Bible) and Darwin's Theory of Evolution (that all life sourced from a single, living cell and evolved over many millennia) lies an idea called Intelligent Design, or I.D. I.D. seeks to explain the unexplainable holes in the Darwinist concept by allowing that a higher intelligence may have been involved in the creation of life as we know it. But what Ben Stein discovers is that those scientists who are exploring I.D. have been silenced or shunned by the Darwinist-dominated status quo.

Is it any good?

What might be disturbing to viewers is the adamant belief which some academics hold that God does not exist. Moreover, some opine that religion is a hobby, or an activity, which could be removed from people's lives to their benefit. Yet when questioned about from whence that single cell from which all life originated, the same intellectuals have no answer. Ben Stein takes the questioning a bold step further and connects Darwin's theories to the Nazi movement and consequent ethnic cleansing. He even points a finger at Planned Parenthood, implying that this organization was founded on the premise of eugenics, or getting rid of certain members of the human race. In this sense, he brings an emotional element into the inquiry that borders on dogma. Viewers will have a lot to think about after seeing this film, and it might leave them wondering about their own beliefs and how they came to rest in them.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what their core beliefs are regarding the nature of life. How do religious beliefs and scientific doctrines differ? How are they similar? Do you like Ben Stein's approach to the subject? Why or why not?

Movie details

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