Fallen

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Fallen Movie Poster Image
"Twilight with angels" feels too late to be relevant.
  • PG-13
  • 2017
  • 91 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive messages

Hard to pinpoint any messages other than the overwhelming one about love being a powerful, all-consuming force. You could argue that one takeaway is that people should trust their instincts (like Luce's about Daniel) -- but also that not everyone is as they appear.

Positive role models & representations

Decent representations of strong, smart, capable young women who do more than discuss romance (although they do that, too). Not a lot of racial/ethnic diversity in the cast (one supporting character is black). Luce and Penn are intelligent and brave, as is Todd for helping them when they need it. The angel teens range from selfless and generous to angry and hateful.

Violence

Two fires kill a couple of characters; angels spar and fight in the air; a character's throat is slashed; a character is unconscious after nearly being killed.

Sex

A couple of kisses, one make-out session, and some longing looks.

Language

One "f--k" and a few uses of "s--t," "a--hole," "d--k," etc.

Consumerism

Apple, Volvo.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

During one teen party, the underage guests drink.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fallen is a supernatural romance/thriller based on Lauren Kate's best-selling 2009 young-adult novel. With themes and a love triangle reminiscent of many other page-to-screen YA films (cough, Twilight, cough), Fallen has some violence, language, and romance. The violence is both supernatural (angels fight one another while flying, fires engulf people) and realistic (a young character's throat is cut). Racy content is limited to a couple of kissing scenes (one is a short make-out session on a couch), and language includes one "f--k" and occasional swear words like "s--t," "a--hole," and "d--k."

User Reviews

Adult Written byShirain Z. October 12, 2017

Horrible

Okay while yes this is a movie you can watch with your kids, it’s not nearly as good as the book series. First of all as a person who read the series back when... Continue reading
Aunt Written byKari O October 11, 2017

Please make every sequel!!! I was ready to buy the next one! So much better than Vampires and Werewolves!

In my opinion I believe that the movie was showing a great way of looking at life. Love lives on against all odds and to stay true to yourself. Yes for younger... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byXonatxo February 8, 2018

There needs to be a sequel

Great movie really enjoyed needs to be a sequel to the movie
Teen, 13 years old Written bymylifeisabook February 3, 2018

So bad!

I am from Austria and I think it is a very bad film. The plot is boring and important scenes were pushed into the background. The actors play very well, but som... Continue reading

What's the story?

Based on Lauren Kate's 2009 young-adult novel (the first in a four-book series), FALLEN centers on a teen girl named Luce (Addison Timlin), who's sent to a reform boarding school as a state-mandated alternative to juvenile detention. Luce ends up at Sword and Cross Academy because a boy died in a fire immediately after they kissed, while she mysteriously survived. At her new school, Luce quickly befriends bookish Penn (Lola Kirke), who's there by choice, finds an enemy in Goth-dressed Molly (Sianoa Smit-McPhee), and inspires affection in dark-haired bad boy Cam (Harrison Gilbertson). But Luce is also inexplicably drawn to golden-haired artist Daniel (Jeremy Irvine). A religious history teacher (Joely Richardson) discusses the legend of a group of angels who were banished from heaven -- becoming "fallen" angels -- after one refused to choose between God and the devil and instead chose love. As tensions flare and romantic feelings blossom, it's clear that Luce's magnetic pull to Daniel is supernatural.

Is it any good?

Coming several years too late to capitalize on the height of the book series' popularity, this supernatural teen romance isn't good enough to merit any sequels. Kate's Fallen books have sold more than 10 million copies, but they were published from 2009-2012, after the peak of the paranormal romance craze started by Twilight, and there doesn't seem to be an audience clamoring for this right now. Irvine, who has range as an actor, is limited here to exaggerated looks of confusion, hurt, longing, and anger. Timlin and Kirke have good best-friend chemistry, but that can't make up for some of the movie's more ridiculous aspects -- like how the script is never able to clearly articulate what's happening or why there's a strange concentration of teen angels at the same reform school.

Even devoted fans of the book will feel disappointed that, despite some decent actors, this adaptation is unnecessarily convoluted, has an eye-rollingly predictable romance (the love triangle in the book is better handled than the one in the movie), and finishes with a frustrating scene that makes it clear the filmmakers hoped more movies would be forthcoming. That seems unlikely, considering how long it took to even release this installment. Fallen seems destined to join Vampire Academy, Beautiful Creatures, and The Mortal Instruments (to name a few) as the latest popular YA book series to get a one-and-done adaptation.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about who the intended audience is for Fallen. Do you think it's for fans of similar movies, like Twilight? How can you tell? How does it compare to that film?

  • Do you consider Luce a role model for teen girls? Why or why not?

  • Why do you think love triangles are so prevalent in YA novel-based romances?

  • If you've read Lauren Kate's book, did the film meet your expectations? What changes were good for the film? What scenes did you miss from the novel?

  • How did the movie's violence affect you? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love romance

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