Invasion Planet Earth

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Invasion Planet Earth Movie Poster Image
Clunky, low-budget sci-fi has some violence, adult themes.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 98 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Characters talk of maintaining hope during trying circumstances. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are too two-dimensional to be seen as positive role models. 

Violence

Sci-fi action violence throughout. Alien spaceships fire lasers at Earthling soldiers and police officers, who fire back with guns and machine guns. Earth, and New York City in particular, shown getting destroyed by a fiery CGI apocalypse. While experiencing alternate realities, characters are shot and killed, attacked by zombies, threatened with garden shears, hit on the head and knocked out with a bottle. In a flashback scene, a woman recounts letting her criminal father into the house she shares with her mother and having him pull a knife on her. The lead character and his wife are grieving the death of their young daughter.

Sex
Language

Infrequent profanity: "S--t," "ass," "son of a bitch," "hell." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Woman in a mental health clinic has what appears to be track marks on her arm. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Invasion Planet Earth is a 2019 low-budget science fiction movie in which a British doctor must find a way to save humanity during an apocalyptic alien invasion. Expect sci-fi violence in the form of alien spaceships firing lasers at Earthling soldiers and police officers, who counter with guns and machine guns. The movie also explores the mental illnesses of three of the characters the lead character works with. In a series of alternate realities, characters are shot and killed, attacked by zombies, threatened with knives, threatened with garden shears, hit and knocked out with bottles. The lead character and his wife are grieving the death of their young daughter. Occasional profanity, including "s--t." 

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What's the story?

In INVASION PLANET EARTH, Thomas is a psychiatrist struggling to keep a clinic going while also grieving the death of his young daughter. Things start to look up when his wife tells him that she's pregnant again, but before Thomas has time to fully process this good news, it appears that aliens have invaded earth. They take Tom prisoner, along with three of his patients. They experience alternate realities, face their demons, and find a clarity to their lives they've never experienced before. Meanwhile, Earth is facing apocalyptic destruction as the aliens face off against the armies of the world, causing New York City to be destroyed. As the world begins to succumb to a fiery end, Thomas must find a way to save what's left of the human race. 

Is it any good?

This movie is constrained by a low budget and a clunky story. The ambition of trying to pay homage to so many different science fiction films over the years (The Matrix, Dawn of the Dead, and yes, Independence Day, among many others) with a small budget is admirable in its own way, but the limitations of budget CGI become readily apparent. The story also tries to do entirely too much with so little to work with. Rather than staying in one lane, the movie careens unevenly between alien invasion (or is it?), mental illness, the grieving process, and something about hope. 

There are also some moments of unintentional hilarity in Invasion Planet Earth. For instance, as the news reports and shows footage of Manhattan perishing in a fiery CGI apocalypse, one of the main characters asks, "Was that New York?" and reacts further by muttering, "Jesus Christ..." like someone unexpectedly caught in a minor traffic jam rather than impending dystopia. It's a confused, confusing, and ultimately boring jumble of storylines and actions. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about low-budget movies. What would be the challenges in making a low-budget sci-fi movie? 

  • What's your favorite sci-fi movie? How does Invasion Planet Earth one compare?

  • How does the movie explore themes such as faith, mental illness, and facing one's demons? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love science fiction

Themes & Topics

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