Fearless

Movie review by
Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media
Fearless Movie Poster Image
Animated adventure has diverse cast, action, humor.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 89 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 8 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn valuable life lessons, like perseverance and courage, from playing video games, but they also need to live in the real world and apply those lessons there. It's not healthy to try to avoid real life by escaping into virtual reality.

Positive Messages

Superheroes come in all shapes, colors, sizes. Some kids may try to escape real world by spending more time online. On the downside, there are some weight-based jokes ("chubby," "muffin top").

Positive Role Models & Representations

Reid admits that he prefers virtual world because there he doesn't flunk classes, get called names, or get turned down for the prom. He learns to be as brave in the real world as in the virtual one. Melanie has a life plan that includes college and getting married, but she learns to live a little outside her scheduled plans. She has more advanced mechanical and engineering skills than male classmate. A father risks his life and ventures to a new planet to save his children. Majority of heroes are Black.

Violence & Scariness

Lots of animated action, including video game characters who fight with fire, lasers, stun guns, swords, spears, and get tossed around, squeezed, caged, let loose in mazes, hit, shot out of spaceships into space. Dr. Arcannis kidnaps space babies to "harvest" their superpowers, maliciously twists neck of a talking teddy bear. He freezes and shoots up entire U.S. Army units (which use guns, tanks), and blows up an Army plane in plan to dominate Earth. The babies escape, wreak havoc as they uncontrollably wield their superpowers. One almost gets hit by a truck but saves the driver right before truck falls off bridge, explodes. Babies fight off Arcannis and minions, save Reid and Melanie. The teens almost drive a motorcycle into oncoming traffic, take a death-defying jump off a cliff, put their lives at risk fighting Arcannis.

Sexy Stuff

Reid and Melanie grow to like each other and have a date in the final scene, where Reid touches Melanie's hand.

Language

Taunts about a creature's weight ("chubby," "muffin top") and bad breath. Angry name-calling like "filth," "imbecile," and "you pile of worthless skin cells." The general's swear-substitutes include "Sweet God in heaven," "Mother of all things holy" and "Poop just got real."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fearless is an animated action film about criminal masterminds, space babies with superpowers, and "real world" teens who have to put down the video game to save the day. The action can get fairly violent, but it's animated and generally offset with humor. The moments likely to be scariest are when the adorable babies find themselves in danger -- like when they're kidnapped repeatedly or when one is almost hit by a truck. Characters also fight with fire, lasers, stun guns, swords, spears, tanks, guns, cages, monsters, mazes, and machines to transfer superpowers. Teens almost drive a motorcycle into oncoming traffic, take a death-defying jump off a cliff, and put their lives at risk fighting the bad guys. But the film also has plenty of humor, including in the characters' mutual taunts (some -- "chubby," "muffin top" -- target a creature's weight). Angry name-calling includes "filth," "imbecile" and "you pile of worthless skin cells," while a general uses swearing stand-ins like "Sweet God in heaven," "Mother of all things holy" and "Poop just got real." The diverse group of characters demonstrate courage and perseverance, and there's a clear message about the idea that it's not healthy to try to avoid real life by escaping into virtual reality.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7-year-old Written byHolmaj August 21, 2020

Dynamic Cast Overshadowed By Disrespectful And HostileContent

The mostly good: It was amazing to see so many leading characters of color in dynamic and positive roles (the superheroes, attentive father, military commander,... Continue reading
Parent of a 8 and 13-year-old Written byDirk J October 23, 2020

Fun night in

Good movie that is fun to watch. Family-friendly all the way, lots of humor, and some light fighting that is never too scary. There is nothing about this mov... Continue reading
Written byAnonymous December 11, 2020

Can We Stop Underestimating Children and Teens???

I'll divide this review into both pros and cons.

The pros are as follows:
1. I liked how the characters were racially diverse
2. Females did have empoweri... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 15, 2021

What's the story?

FEARLESS is the screen name of talented teen video gamer Reid (voiced by Miles Robbins), whose plan for a weekend home alone goes awry thanks to three babies with superpowers -- who happen to be characters from one of his games. They're being pursued by alien criminal mastermind Dr. Arcannis (Miguel), who wants to suck away their superpowers, as well as by their father, Captain Lightspeed (Jadakiss), who's concerned about protecting them and managing their superpowers until they're able to control them. Arcannis kidnaps the babies, but they escape and wind up on Reid's doorstep. Reid and his classmate Melanie (Yara Shahidi) find themselves responsible for the safety of the babies and on the run from both Arcannis and soldiers led by the commanding General Blazerhatch (Gabrielle Union).

Is it any good?

The plot, action, and animation are all engaging, but what really sets this film apart is how much fun the voice actors seem to be having with their many one-liners. Union is especially amusing as General Blazerhatch, the power-hungry commander of the special task force assigned with capturing the errant aliens. Blazerhatch has been gifted with a stockpile of unreasonable demands (like being handed a clipboard every two minutes), a blustery cluelessness, and laughable expressions of wonder like "poop just got real" or putting out an APB on "infants of mass destruction."

In addition to the entertaining characters, the film has a good soundtrack and some fun asides, like that the space babies can only be soothed by the music of "national treasure" Lionel Richie. Though Fearless starts off with an action scene that's a little disorienting until all the characters are properly introduced, the story really clicks about 30 minutes in, when the two teens take off on the run from Dr. Arcannis. The deepening relationship between Reid and Melanie, their care for the babies, and the lessons they learn about themselves on their adventure provide a sweet storyline to balance out the action.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the idea of applying skills from video games to real life, like Reid does in Fearless. Can you think of any skills or lessons you've learned from playing games online that you've used in real life?

  • The movie offers positive representations of Black characters. Have you seen that often in animated or superhero movies? Why is representation in the media important?

  • Which characters do you consider role models in the movie? What are their character strengths?

  • Which parts of the movie did you find scary? How much scary stuff is OK for kids?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love video games and aliens

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate