Fun time-travel comedy tweaks social stereotypes.
Popular with kids
  • Review Date: January 23, 2008
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Plenty of stereotyping of high school characters, including jocks, geeks, and cheerleaders -- though the point of the movie is to show how people can transcend these labels. The heroes steal a key scientific formula from NASA to build their time machine and later must lie to teachers to hide the device. A popular guy cheats on his girlfriend but gets what he deserves when she breaks up with him. Lots of bullying, often just for the sake of being mean (but the heroes try to prevent these incidents).

Violence & scariness

Some slapstick antics and frequent bullying, but no fighting.

Sexy stuff

No sex or nudity, though there's some kissing. One couple argues over infidelity issues.


No swearing, but frequent name calling -- particularly "geek," "nerd" and "dork."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this made-for-TV Disney movie is heavy on social mishaps. Characters are frequently (and needlessly) bullied, though many of the victims are rescued by the heroes, who go back in time to prevent the incidents. Some of the bullies antagonize their victims simply because they like being mean, and some characters see their social status climb because they choose not to defend friends who find themselves on the wrong side of the jock-geek divide. That said, the movie's message is to show how people can transcend that kind of stereotypical labeling.

What's the story?

If you could go back in time, is there any single event you'd change? For Virgil (Jason Dolley), the answer is obvious: the first day of high school, when he tried to defend a geek from a crowd of football players, an incident that left both of them social outcasts. Fast forward three years, and Virgil's the self-described captain of the dorks, jealous of his childhood friend, who's now the school football star. Virgil's new best pal is Charlie (Luke Benward) -- aka the geek he saved on Day One -- who happens to be a scientific genius. When Charlie invents a time machine, they become the MINUTEMEN, repeatedly traveling back in time to protect their fellow dorks from the wanton attacks of school bullies.

Is it any good?


Minutemen is rife with stereotypes. There are jocks, cheerleaders, and other popular kids, as well as plenty of nerds, geeks, dorks, and other misfits -- including Zeke (Nicholas Braun), a hulking social outcast from shop class who's recruited because Virgil and Charlie need someone who's good with tools.

The film's strength is the way that it lays out these stereotypes and then tweaks them. When Zeke examines the plans for the time machine, he surprises everyone with his knowledge of advanced physics. "Yes, Mongo read," he tells Virgil and Charlie, making it clear that he knows he's considered a brain-dead loser -- and simultaneously proving that he's not. And as the trio saves other nerds from humiliation, the school's dorks and geeks begin to gain confidence, upsetting the entire social order for the better. Though parts of the film are silly and predictable, Minutemen offers a fun look at what school could be.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about social labels. Do you think the movie's depiction of high school cliques is accurate? How can these labels be hurtful? Kids: Do you think anyone has labeled you? How does that feel? Families can also discuss time travel. Why is it such a common plot device? Do you think the characters use their technology wisely? Are there any embarrassing moments in your past you would like to change?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 25, 2008
DVD release date:May 27, 2008
Cast:Jason Dolley, Luke Benward, Nicholas Braun
Director:Lev L. Spiro
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

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Learning ratings

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  • 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, 12 years old April 9, 2008
This show is pretty good! I mean, i have seen better, of course, but this is a very good disney movie!!!
Teen, 13 years old Written byJustino4 April 25, 2011

Nothing Special

Some kissing and love situations leads me to say this should be PG.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Kid, 11 years old August 19, 2012

Lots of stereotypes

it's ok, i got a bit bored. also very stereotypical. but OK. i loved how luke benward was in it :)


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