Godsend

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Godsend Movie Poster Image
A bad thriller that is too intense for tweens.
  • PG-13
  • 2004
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages
Violence

Horror-style thriller with scary surprises and grisly images.

Sex

Non-graphic sexual references and situations.

Language

Brief strong language.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink and smoke.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie is a horror-style thriller with many scary surprises and grisly images. Characters are in peril and some are killed. Characters drink alcohol and use some strong language.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bywashfernsurf June 18, 2018

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What's the story?

Paul (Greg Kinnear) and Jessie (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) are the loving parents of Adam (Cameron Bright). He is killed just after his 8th birthday and a former professor of Jessie's named Richard (Robert DeNiro) makes them a stunning offer. If they give him access to some of Adam's cells within 72 hours, he will use them to create an exact replica of Adam. If they agree, they will have to leave their jobs and home and cut off all ties with friends and family, because no one must know. At first, it seems like a dream come true. Paul and Jessie have a beautiful new home and they have their son back. But when Adam turns 8, he begins seeing things and his behavior is increasingly aggressive, even disturbed. They take him to see "Uncle Richard," who says that "things could change once he crossed the age when he died." They knew exactly what to expect up for the first 7 years, but "we don't have a map past age 8."

Is it any good?

Once Adam turns eight, GODSEND falls apart, turning into a mishmash of jumpy surprises and creepy portents. Add in a dash of exposition drivel, some scenery-chewing, and a lot of stuff that even in the horror movie-watching-suspension-of-belief mode makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

The movie updates two of the most compelling and enduring themes in horror. First is the idea of the beloved child who becomes threatening or evil. In a sense, all children turn into monsters at some point. Those darling angels who love us more than anything and want us to know everything about them eventually turn into hostile teenagers who want us to know nothing about them. The second theme goes all the way back to the earliest recorded stories: men trying to play God with, tragic results. As with hundreds of myths and fairy tales, this is a story whose moral is "be careful what you wish for."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about other stories inspired by the wish to bring back a loved one who has died, including The Vampire Lestat, The Monkey's Paw, and Frankenstein.

Movie details

  • In theaters: April 30, 2004
  • On DVD or streaming: August 17, 2004
  • Cast: Greg Kinnear, Rebecca Romijn, Robert De Niro
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Run time: 102 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: violence including frightening images, a scene of sexuality and some thematic material

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