Movie review by Teresa Talerico, Common Sense Media
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Common Sense says

age 7+

Kids' sci-fi adventure never fully blasts off.

PG 1985 109 minutes

Parents say

age 10+

Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 3 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 11+

Great for the first 75%, then falls apart.

I remembered really enjoying this movie when I was a kid but I don’t remember how old I was at the time. I really enjoyed the mysteriousness of it all as these young kids, who act like young adults even though I think they’re in fifth grade or something, try to figure out how to use the “alien” information they’ve been given. Watching this with my eight-year-old son, we both enjoyed it. Our biggest issue was that once the boys get to the alien planet the movie really drags and if they just cut about 30 minutes off the end of that movie it would’ve been much better. Also, I thought the theme of the movie, how the aliens were just kids that were a little afraid of humans because they’ve seen television that shows humans always at war, to be a pretty good message. We then had a “movie night“ where we watched the movie with some of my child’s friends and their parents and it was only then that I realized there are a few very questionable scenes in the movie. There is more than one bullying scene which I found to be fairly traumatizing. The main character is also apparently discovering girls for the first time but shows this in a bizarre manner where he spies on his neighbor through her window. Pretty creepy and not the kind of message I want to send my son. All in all me and my eight-year-old son both enjoyed the movie and if anything it gave us a few things to talk about afterwards. The bullying scenes were way over done But my son didn’t seem too traumatized by it. I’m not sure he even noticed the spying on a girl bit but we talked about it afterwards anyway and I told him that that was just a movie and in no way is that appropriate in real life.
age 8+

A classic story with real-world themes

I read some of the other reviews here and am stunned with some of the negative opinions. This movie is appropriate for kids in grade school and it deals with issues such as bullying, love, friendship, loyalty. Different ages will get different messages from this movie, but the story line is relatable to everyone. I recommend this as a family movie for everyone to sit down and watch together. It's a classic story that blends fantasy with coming of age.

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