Impostor

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Impostor Movie Poster Image
A great cast can't save the poor script.
  • PG-13
  • 2002
  • 102 minutes

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Parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Violence

Some characters killed, gory violence.

Sex

Non-graphic sexual situation involving loving, married couple.

Language

Strong language, vulgar joke.

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

References to drug use

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has peril and intense violence, including injury and death for key characters, including parents of young children. We see injured people, including battle victims and a young girl. Characters use strong language. A character is drugged, which makes him hallucinate. There's a very mild sexual situation involving a loving married couple and a brief non-explicit shot of a nursing mother.

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What's the story?

In IMPOSTOR, Spencer Olham (Gary Sinise) is a brilliant scientist who has created a devastating weapon to be used in a war against genetically superior aliens. After a romantic weekend in the country with his beautiful doctor wife, Maya (Madeleine Stowe), and on the night he is to greet the head of the global government (Lindsay Crouse). But an inspector named Hathaway (Vincent D'Onofrio) tells Olham that the plans have changed. Hathaway has intercepted an alien message showing that Olham has been killed and replaced by an alien cyborg construction that so perfectly replicates Olham's memories and thoughts that even he does not know that he is no longer alive and himself.

Is it any good?

Even an outstanding cast, some good special effects, and an intriguing idea from a first-rate writer can't save this sci-fi thriller from a poor script and unimaginative direction. The studio's lack of confidence and its troubled history is evident in its long-delayed release and obvious cuts to take it from an R to a PG-13. If the plot sounds vaguely like Blade Runner, that is because both are based on stories by pioneering visionary sci-fi author Philip K. Dick. Like Blade Runner, this story envisions a world in which identity is so blurred that even we do not know who we are. Unfortunately, though it tries to impersonate a much better movie, its ideas are lost among pedestrian chase scenes, and even a twist at the end cannot make it compelling.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Oppenheimer, learn more about his trial for treason, and discuss some of the conflicts scientists face.

Movie details

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