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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
Scary monsters, many killed; major characters in peril.
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Brief mild language.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie includes brief strong language and extreme prolonged peril, with the violent death of many major characters. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The movie's effects work best when the "actors" are moving, because their movements are based on that oldest of animation techniques, rotoscoping. They do less well when it comes to talking and, well, acting. In more standard animation, the conventions allow for a level of exaggeration and omission that allows us to project human-like reactions onto a character. But when we see something with so little difference from humans, it just makes clearer how important that difference is. Movie fans might also find it distracting to hear such instantly recognizable voices (James Woods, Ving Rhames, Peri Gilpin, Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Donald Sutherland) coming from faces so incongruously different from our associations.
Still, the technology is stunning. The monsters are extraordinary creations, somewhere between dinosaurs, dragons, jellyfish, and squid. A scene with a soaring eagle is breathtaking, genuinely touching. The post apocalyptic-settings are complex and believable. The dialogue is passable, delivered with panache by first-rate talent (Buscemi, as always, is a highlight). The problem is the script, which reads like a Pokemon reject, confusing gibberish about the earth's spirit that does not do justice to the beliefs of environmentalists or pantheists.
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.