Legion

  • Review Date: January 21, 2010
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Angels battle for mankind in violent, bloody thriller.
  • Review Date: January 21, 2010
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

Age(i)

2
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9
10
11
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie's overall plot/tone is negative, but it moves toward a kernel of optimism. The story is based on the idea that God has given up on mankind and has sent an army of avenging angels to possess the bodies of the weak and destroy everyone else. But the angel who was supposed to be in charge of the mission decided to disobey because of his enduring faith in humankind. He finds good and selfless things about some humans, especially their ability to give when others are in need.

Positive role models

It's hard to call Michael a good role model, since he's sullen and violent and sometimes cruel to the humans he's trying to protect. But in one scene he proclaims his faith in the human race by praising the selfless actions of "Jeep" Hanson, who is ultimately a stronger role model than Michael -- he too has his moments of weakness, but the movie gives him enough wiggle room that he emerges as a hero.

Violence

Heavy fantasy violence throughout, including fighting, guns and knives, bullet wounds, slices and dices, car crashes, and many dead bodies (including the bodies of possessed, zombie-like creatures). In one scene, an angel slices off his own wings and stitches up the bloody wounds. A possessed old lady bites a man's neck; she's hit in the head with a frying pan and eventually shot. A swarm of bugs attacks. Other disturbing imagery includes a man hanging on an upside-down cross with pulsing boils all over his body. He explodes and sends lethal acid flying. "Zombie" children are the victims of violence, and one zombie wields a knife and tries to attack a pregnant woman.

Sex

Not really an issue, except for the teenage character Audrey, who wears a skimpy, revealing outfit throughout the movie. There's also a brief discussion about abortion.

Language

Many uses of "f--k" and "s--t" in all their permutations, plus "c--t," "hell," "damn," "goddamn," "bitch," and "oh my God." Multiple uses of "God," both as exclamations and within discussion of the movie's themes.

Consumerism

Characters drink Busch beer in a handful of scenes, but it's never mentioned by name.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Bob drinks beer in several scenes, presumably as a way to cope with his ordeal. He also offers a beer to a woman who has suffered a loss. Many characters smoke cigarettes, including a pregnant woman (though other characters scold her for it).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Legion is extremely violent and follows a negative, apocalyptic plotline in which God has given up on mankind and sends an army of avenging angels to wipe out most humans. There's no end of blood, dead bodies, and strong language (including "s--t" and "f--k"), which makes it iffy for everyone except adults and older teens. Ultimately the movie celebrates empathy and selflessness as the saving graces of the human race, but these things come packaged with a large quantity of brutality.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In LEGION, God has given up on mankind and has sent an army of angels to possess the bodies of the weak and wipe out the rest of humanity. Angel Michael (Paul Bettany) -- who was meant to lead the mission -- disobeys God's order and appears at a remote rural diner to protect pregnant waitress Charlie (Adrianne Palicki), whose baby may hold the key to the future. The rest of the humans at the diner -- an assortment of characters either lost or stuck there -- help out. Together, they battle hoards of scary, zombie-like creatures ... and then face an even greater challenge when God's backup angel, Gabriel (Kevin Durand), turns up.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Scott Stewart of the San Francisco special effects house The Orphanage makes his directorial debut here, and it's something of a mess, unsuccessfully combining elements of Night of the Living Dead with The Terminator. The plot doesn't often make sense, especially the question of just why waitress Charlie is "the chosen one."

The battles often take place in grimy darkness -- and the result is often more numbing than it is thrilling. Still, some of the visual effects on the zombie creatures are nicely creepy, and a solid collection of actors -- including Dennis Quaid and Charles S. Dutton -- makes some of the downtime between violent moments bearable.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the film's premise. How does its more religion-centric take on an apocalyptic future compare to other movies about the destruction of humanity?

  • What's the impact of violent scenes like the ones in this movie? How does their fantasy nature affect that impact?

  • Which of the movie's characters can be considered positive role models? Why?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 22, 2010
DVD release date:May 11, 2010
Cast:Dennis Quaid, Lucas Black, Paul Bettany
Director:Scott Stewart
Studio:Screen Gems
Genre:Thriller
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong bloody violence, and language

This review of Legion was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old February 3, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 
my new favorite movie. the only iffy thing was the language.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written bycookiesrfun February 3, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

soooooo awsum!!!

luvs its!!!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written by9001 March 5, 2010
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

17+

I didn't see this movie, nor would I want to, but I saw the trailer for it and it scared me so bad I stopped watching it. This movie is definitely not intended for children. Depending on your child, use extreme discretion in letting them watch it. For instance, I have an unnatural fear of demons (I don't know really, when I was little I had an unnatural fear of vampires, so I'll probably stop being so afraid when I grow out of this phase), so even if it would be age appropriate for me when I'm 16, it may still scare me very bad. So depending on your child, use extreme discretion in letting them watch it. I strongly advise against letting anyone under 17 watch this movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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