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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This movie is for entertainment purposes.
Positive messages about friendship and teamwork are prevalent, but sometimes the kids are also troublemakers who disregard rules, both at home and at school. But it can't be denied that their perseverance and courage save the day.
Positive Role Models
Max and his friends work together quite well, but they can also be mischievous, like when they execute a food fight in the cafeteria or sneak out without permission. They eventually band together to stop an ill-intentioned video game company from using a stolen top-secret micro-chip.
Violence & Scariness
Toward the end of the movie, there is a frightening sequence when the kids fight off the villains, who push and shove them. Jessica uses martial arts to fight off a menacing man, who aims to harm the kids. The kids kick and tackle their nemeses.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
In health class, the kids snicker when the teacher mentions "reproductive organs," and it's clear they're looking an anatomical figure, because they start joking. Max has a crush on a classmate, and in one scene, it looks like they are about to kiss, but they don't. Scott and Jessica are classic best friends with secret feelings for each other; they end up going to a dance together. The cab driver is on a date with a woman but flirts with another.
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Insults like "idiot," "fool," "shut up," and "stupid."
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Products & Purchases
No overt product placements, although some viewers may recognize a Ben Sherman shirt or a particular car model.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this kids' spy flick is definitely directed at families with elementary-aged children, so there's little objectionable in the movie. There's a bit of violence (the three kids use martial arts to kick and shove out of harm's way with two menacing adults), some mild taunts ("fool," "idiot," etc.) and some questionable decisions on the part of the kids, but otherwise, it's fine for the second-grade and up crowd. Families should know that despite their heroism, the three central children are considered rule breakers at home and trouble makers at school, but at the end of the film they prove they were right to follow their instincts. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It's not terrible, but some the adult supporting characters should consider going back to acting school. They are either completely over the top (the health teacher) or soporifically monotonous (the FBI lead). But families in the market for a kid-friendly movie that's full of mild adventure may not care about the low production values and the laughable script, especially if parents don't plan to watch the movie with their children, who are much more forgiving about sub-par writing and acting.
At least Davis seemed to take his role as Uncle Rick seriously, and even that relationship is unbelievable (as is the plot point that has a school principal punishing students by having them work for a private corporation). The kids are fine -- they laugh, looked worried, and get physical on cue, but they aren't the charming child actors you know are destined for a career in acting. It's obvious the movie took a long time to finish, because the end has an epilogue set three years in the future. Surprisingly, that sequence is the most entertaining of the entire movie.
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.