I Am Number Four Movie Poster Image

I Am Number Four



Sci-fi thriller/teen romance isn't as good as the book.
  • Review Date: January 23, 2011
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 110 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie seems to say that you can't avoid your destiny -- and no matter how overwhelming the responsibilities of that destiny may be, you can rise to them.

Positive role models

John is principled and protective, and Sarah is curious and kind. But other than them, far too many of the characters are one-dimensional -- the bullying jocks, the nerdy sidekick, etc.


Plenty of action-packed moments, some of which are somewhat bloody and involve intricate weapons that are similar to machine guns and scythes. The killers hot on John's heels appear quite menacing, flashing reptilian teeth and gills. They seem determined to destroy anything and anybody that gets in their way -- for example, one scene shows them about to gore a man with a weapon that looks like a small circular saw, and then he's shown being carried out in a body bag. One haunted house scene depicts teen boys manhandling a teen girl, and a boy who tries to protect her crushes them in an intense fistfight. Some bullying (taunts, shoves, etc.).


Some kissing and light sexual banter.


Some swearing, including "a--hole," "s--t," "p---ies," "ass," "crap," "hell," "oh my God," and "bitch."


Logos and brand names like Ford, Canon, and Nikon are flashed on screen. Characters use iPhones and call/text each other on them frequently.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One scene takes place at a boisterous teenage party where kids are shown drinking what's presumably beer from cups.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sci-fi thriller based on the best-selling young adult novel by Pittacus Lore is heavy on suspense and action, some of which may be too intense for younger fans of Glee's Dianna Agron and up-and-coming "it" guy Alex Pettyfer. In addition to the movie's action/violence (which includes fights, weapons, and menacing killers), expect some swearing (including "s--t" and "a--hole"), scenes depicting high-school bullying (taunts, shoves, pranks), implied teen drinking, and a bit of kissing/flirty banter.

What's the story?

John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) isn't the golden boy high-schooler he appears to be. He's really number four, one of nine aliens who fled their planet and found safety on Earth -- but who are being hunted down, one by one and in sequence, by a team of assassins from their home. Number three has just been extinguished, which means John is next. He and his warrior-protector, Henry (Timothy Olyphant), have just abandoned Florida and are setting up in Paradise, Ohio. But try as he might, John can't keep a low profile, attracting the attention of town bullies whose ringleader is still in love with the mysterious pretty girl (Diana Agron) to whom John is also drawn. Once the Earthling is on John's heels, his extra-terrestrial tormentors will be, too.

Is it any good?


Judging by the special effects alone, I AM NUMBER FOUR is a successful, action-packed sci-fi adventure. The fight sequences are choreographed fairly thrillingly, the pacing skillful enough to create a few memorable jump-out-of-your-seat sequences in this Twilight-meets-Terminator production. But unlike Twilight, the scenes that aren't amped by CGI wizardry hold very little interest, hobbled by a befuddling back story -- why did John leave his planet, when, and how? -- and a woefully predictable plot.

The leader of a pack of stereotypical bullies is unsurprisingly a jock who's unsurprisingly hung up on a former cheerleader who, being the romantic lead, is unsurprisingly longing for a bigger life than her small town can offer and is unsurprisingly intrigued by the unsurprisingly mysterious newcomer. (Get the picture?) And where is the chemistry between John and Sarah? (They're no Edward and Bella.) We care so little about them as a couple that it doesn't really matter when the extra-terrestrial assassins show up for a battle royale that may or may not tear them -- and their town -- asunder.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. Is it necessary to the story? Is it as scary as what you've seen in other movies? Why or why not?

  • What do you think of the bullying scenes? Do they seem realistic? What would the consequences for that kind of behavior be in real life?

  • Romances between two people who are very different -- as in one is human, the other isn't -- seem quite popular lately. Why do you think that is?

  • How does the movie compare to the book? Which do you like better?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 18, 2011
DVD release date:May 24, 2011
Cast:Alex Pettyfer, Dianna Agron, Timothy Olyphant
Director:D.J. Caruso
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:110 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:intense sequences of violence and action, and for brief language

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Teen, 13 years old Written byJaneEyre<3 June 9, 2011


I was disappointed,'cause I really thought it would be good, and it wasn't that the acting was bad,but the dialogue was really lame. It would have been soooo much better if they had worked a little on the dialogue. The language wasn't too bad, as long as you know not to repeat it, and the violence wasn't terrible,except for one part with the Mogs. I liked John ,cause he stayed behind to protect Sarah, and Sam, just cause he was the one who was picked on the most by Mark. I think the appearance of Number 6 was cool. Overall 5/10 stars. Watch it if you like sc-fi. But don't expect it to be the best movie ever.(And don't take me wrong by my username,I LOVE action and sci-fi and drama! and adventure)
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bymoviefan22 May 30, 2011

8 out of 10

Don't be fooled by this movie's trailers; this is not a rom-com! Sure, there is some romance here and there, but there is also plenty action! This movie will appeal to both genders, and that is why it sold so much. Kids 10 and younger won't understand the plot, and might be scared of the antagonists (the bad guys) in this movie. It's quite thrilling, but I do have one critique that brought this movie from a 5 to 4. The ending battle doesn't feel like the end. It's not like this movie is short or anything(1 hr 49 mins to be exact) but the ending was like the only BIG battle. It's hard to explain, but I felt that there was room for more action(not as a second movie, but just about 10-15 mins more movie). So, overall I give this movie an 8 out of 10 and I say, "See it!"
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written bykhan2705 June 7, 2011

another silly sci fi romantic flick which is dull but last act is fun.

Three are dead. He is Number Four. D.J. Caruso ("Eagle Eye," "Disturbia") helms an action-packed thriller about an extraordinary young man, John Smith (Alex Pettyfer), who is a fugitive on the run from ruthless enemies sent to destroy him. Changing his identity, moving from town to town with his guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant), John is always the new kid with no ties to his past. In the small Ohio town he now calls home, John encounters unexpected, life-changing events-his first love (Dianna Agron), powerful new abilities and a connection to the others who share his incredible destiny. John (Alex Pettyfer) is an extraordinary young man, masking his true identity and passing as a typical student to elude a deadly enemy seeking to destroy him. Three like him have already been killed...he is Number Four. Based on the book by Pittacus Lore. well another Sci-Fi teen romance flick, it was on my NOT INTERESTED list but there wasn't anything else to do in my boring summer holidays so i saw it on TV. i must be honest the movie is pretty below average and dull the whole time but it gets superbly thrilling towards the end and thats is why i gave it extra half star. screenplay has some big issues which my friends is a nowadays problem with every single movie, why can't they concentrate on the writing instead of the visuals? story was not that interesting but still acceptable, i am still a teen, come on i really get effected and charmed by the whole Teen romance thing. editing was awful. Directed by D.J. Caruso who's Disturbia was above average to me but Eagle Eyes was something i enjoyed watching. he likes this teen sci fi or teen thrillers i think. but his direction in this movie is very bad. the special effects were really below average, not impressed by them. it had few action scenes but nice one. the ending big finale was the only thing i actually enjoyed watching. that is what was thrilling and suspenseful and pretty entertaining. about the casting thing. i liked the whole good looks and charms of Alex Pettyfer but he can't act well. as much as i am a die hard fan of GLEE, i don't like Dianna Agron looks or her acting skills she looks good in the Cheerleader costumes though. other actors include Timothy Olyphant, Teresa Palmer, Callan McAuliffe , Kevin Durand , Jake Abel. ofcourse bad performances are something you will expect from it. this movie is another teen sci fi romantic flick which i am getting so sicked of right now. it has that Twilight charm to it but far worst than it. it was an experiment wen't wrong. honestly if you wan't to have a good time you might see it but you will have to wait for the ending to actually have that real fun. very dull movie i didn't liked it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing


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