A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Devoted families, no matter how unconventional, are a source of love and support.
Positive Role Models
Leading characters, a mom and dad, exhibit courage, loyalty, resourcefulness, and determination.
Violence & Scariness
Beginning at the 20-minute mark, it's all violence, all the time. Invaders attack from the sky to destroy a city: explosions, collapsing buildings, point-blank shootings, falling bodies, the dead strewn everywhere. A family hides, runs for their lives, constantly bombarded with scary close calls. A leading character is wounded, bleeding, near death.
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Single uses of "goddammit," "hell," "s--t."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Extinction is a science fiction film that centers on invaders from space descending and wreaking havoc on a modern city. The tale is told through the eyes of one family -- a dad, a mom, and their two daughters -- who are in intense jeopardy throughout the movie. The violence is sustained and bloody and includes many scenes that show dead bodies strewn throughout the streets and buildings. There are massive explosions, buildings are set on fire and collapse, and the streets become the film's harrowing, unsafe ground zero. Weaponry includes knives, all manner of gunfire, point-blank hits; both invaders and citizens are killed. One leading character sustains severe injuries and is on the brink of death. A pattern emerges: The family seeks safety, finds it momentarily, then is besieged again. A few curse words are heard: "hell," "goddammit," and one use of "s--t." It's a tense, nonstop race to survive. Not for kids. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Despite the earnest efforts of the actors, decent low-budget effects, and escalating tension, this inventive movie loses its way simply because too many questions are raised that are left unanswered. In science fiction anything's possible, but in this violent, family-in-jeopardy-driven film, don't jump to any conclusions; nothing's as it seems. "Suspension of disbelief" is a pact that audiences make with storytellers. But that agreement requires that the audience be given enough rationale to make sense of the improbable (or even preposterous). It doesn't work here. And for many, the sustained brutal violence will be too much.
On the other hand, it's nice to see good actors like Michael Pena and Lizzy Caplan as leads, even in the one-dimensional roles they play in Extinction. The two young actresses who play their daughters have a thankless task, moving from terrified to scared to frightened out of their wits and back again.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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