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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It's better to use your brain than your fists.
Positive Role Models
Tom is a shy, decent high school student with a conscience who wants to avenge the rape of his friend. When he wakes up with the powers to manipulate the internet against a vicious gang, he tries to use violence and mayhem for good. His grandmother, who raised him, is kind and caring. A guy betrays a good friend for money.
Violence & Scariness
A teenager is raped by gang members. A few non-sexual moments from the attack are shown in blurry flashbacks. A boy is shot in the head by gang members. A man beats a teen with a pipe then he and others kick the boy when he is down. The boy's bloody nose and bruised face is seen. A girl shoots a man who is attacking her in the arm. Gang members break into a house and threaten and beat the boy and grandmother who live there. A boy sees internet images in his head and faints. Gang members break into a car. The car automatically locks. Then the engine starts on its own and bursts into flame, terrifying the trapped thieves. After the escape, the car explodes.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A teenage boy and girl kiss. A video of a boy who is masturbating (clothed and sitting at a desk) is shown in a classroom. No body parts are shown but it's clear what he's doing. A mural depicts a woman's tongue poised to lick a gun.
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"F--k," "s--t," "c--t," "bastard," "d--khead," "prick," "arsehole."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens smoke marijuana and drink beer. Drug dealers make money on cocaine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that iBoy is based on the sci-fi Kevin Brooks novel of the same name. The premise is that a smartphone accidentally embedded in a boy's brain gives him super cyber-powers. The movie's focus is on the defenseless, crime-plagued, inhabitants of South London public housing and the gangs that terrorize them. All who live there are trapped in their roles by poverty and hopelessness. Marijuana use, drug dealing, threats, beatings, guns, rape, and money laundering are all featured. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "c--t," and "bastard." Teens smoke marijuana and drink beer. A video of a boy who is masturbating (clothed and sitting at a desk) is shown in a classroom. No body parts are shown but it's clear what he's doing. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a curiously compelling movie, more focused on cyborg vengeance and cleaning up crime than on teen angst. Social commentary is the underlying theme, with an emphasis on the difficulty of upward mobility for those who start at the bottom. Tom's mother, also raised in the projects, died a drug addict. It's implied that doing well in school, as Tom does, is the best way out. While the gang members mock Tom's geekiness, there's a sense that they are jealous, too, that he's most likely among them to escape the drugs and violence of their world. Director Adam Randall manages to normalize and give some reality to iBoy's fantasy premise using a realist approach and competent special effects. The metaphor is unmistakable -- those who use their brains will probably do better in life than those who use their fists.
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.