Luis and the Aliens

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Luis and the Aliens Movie Poster Image
Animated alien movie has potty humor, bullying.
  • NR
  • 2018
  • 86 minutes

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

No positive messages. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Luis learns to stand up for himself and see the good in the unique relationship with his alien-obsessed father. 

Violence & Scariness

Some cartoon violence. Car chases, characters slapped and punched. A bully shoves Luis into a garbage can. Luis' mother passed away.

Sexy Stuff

Bully taunts the lead character, calling him names like "Louise," "freak," "butthead," "nerd boy." Some potty humor: "ufologist" changed to "urologist"; the principal makes a joke about his "waterworks." 


The aliens land on Earth because they want to buy a massage mat they saw while watching Earthling television -- they watch an infomercial on the product and are immediately sold on it. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

While one of the aliens transforms into the maid of his family, a bully says, "The maid is drunk, yo." 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Luis and the Aliens is a 2018 animated feature in which a tween boy is befriended by a group of aliens who have landed on Earth so they can buy a massage mat. The humor is definitely geared toward younger kids, with lots of potty humor -- belching aliens, poop emojis, name-calling like "booger brain." Some bullying occurs: The lead character is shoved into a garbage can by the school bully, who calls Luis names like "freak," "butthead," and "nerd boy." There some cartoon violence -- usually slapstick punching between the aliens, but also a car chase and demonic imagery when the main antagonist is revealed to be a vicious alien. Luis' mother passed away, and that's mentioned on occasion, especially as Luis struggles to live with his alien-obsessed father, and his school is sending a representative to look into his home life. There's one reference to someone being drunk.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byQLDDAD August 25, 2018

Bad role models, negative body imagery

Bad role models, negative body imagery, poor dialogue. The 3 year old girl in the movie says nothing apart from "I'm a Princess" Rubbish moive wi... Continue reading
Adult Written byrjs1983 August 28, 2018

Too scary for my little one!

The film has some funny moments but the main premise is that social care/ child support will take Luis away from his father as he is unfit. The child support wo... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byAdam Tohamy July 19, 2019

What's the story?

LUIS AND THE ALIENS follows a boy name Luis (Callum Maloney), a tween who is having a tough time. He's bullied at school, he's awkward around the girl he likes, and his dad is obsessed with aliens. Things change when a group of aliens arrive on Earth (or as they pronounce it: "Eee-yorth") after seeing an infomercial for Nubbi Dubbi, a massage mat. Determined to buy a few Nubbi Dubbis, the aliens land and immediately meet Luis. In their own comical way, they help Luis stand up to the bully and manage to fool the principal of Luis' school and the wicked Ms. Diekendaker (Lea Thompson) -- who works for Family Services and seeks to separate Luis from his eccentric and perhaps irresponsible father. But things take a bad turn when the aliens are discovered, and Luis must find a way not only to get the aliens back into space with their Nubbi Dubbis, but also to prove his father right about the existence of aliens and avoid being taken to a foster home. 

Is it any good?

This animated tale revels in the kind of humor that made SpongeBob SquarePants and Captain Underpants so popular for younger kids. Any deeper messages Luis and the Aliens attempts to make about father-son relationships, the challenges tweens face in growing up, and accepting those who are different get lost in the noise of loud burping, slapstick cartoon violence, and aliens obsessed with an infomercial for a massage mat. That said, the enjoyment of the movie is entirely dependent on how much one enjoys potty humor. Younger kids will most likely love the goofy aliens and some of the jokes, but the humor becomes less funny the older the audience gets. 

The story itself is enjoyable enough: a tween coming-of-age story combined with a story of stranded aliens who need to get back home. The infomercial for the massage mat that inspires the aliens to visit Earth has some funny moments. It's very silly, overall. But Luis is also on the verge of being sent to a foster home because it's believed that his alien-obsessed father is unable to be responsible enough to take care of him, especially in the aftermath of the untimely passing of Luis' mother. There's obviously nothing silly about that, especially for kids who have experienced anything similar to Luis' family situation. It's difficult to balance the serious issues of growing up with the silliness of blobby aliens raving about massage mats whose dials "go up to 11," and instead of the two opposites working together, they just get in each other's way. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about animated features with aliens. How does Luis and the Aliens compare to other alien movies you've seen? Why are alien tales so popular?

  • How does the movie address topics like bullying, fitting in, and the challenges of living in a single-parent household when that parent is deemed "weird" by others in the neighborhood? 

  • What's the appeal of potty humor? Why do many kids find it funny?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love aliens

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate