Project Almanac

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Project Almanac Movie Poster Image
Teen time-travel movie is entertaining; some racy stuff.
  • PG-13
  • 2015
  • 106 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 11 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Characters establish rules about working together, but one character breaks those rules for selfish reasons and pays a terrible price for it.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The teens mostly use their time-travel abilities for selfish reasons -- i.e. to increase their popularity or make their high school existence easier. 

Violence

Time-travel sequences include lots of noise, shouting, and characters seemingly being tossed about, since they land in various positions on the ground. Some arguing. Teens chased by angry dog. Teens break into a school to steal things. Characters disappear. Teens chased by cops.

Sex

Teens think and talk about sex frequently, and two characters have sex (nothing sensitive is seen) and are shown in bed together. The "found footage" sometimes ogles teen girls' bodies. Kissing. A teen girl comes out of the bathroom wearing a towel, then opens it to show a boy her body (out of view). Some innuendo.

Language

Teens use "s--t" frequently. Also "bitch," "hell," "God dang it," "frigging," "idiot."

Consumerism

Several brands are mentioned or shown: Petco, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Coke, Red Bull, etc. The Lollapalooza music festival is shown.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Project Almanac is a "found footage" time-travel movie about teens. They mostly use their technology for selfish reasons, but they do establish rules about teamwork; when those rules are broken, a terrible price is paid. The word "s--t" is used a lot, as are "bitch," "hell," and more. There's tension and chases, but not much true violence -- though the time-travel sequences include some loud noises, yelling, and characters seemingly being flung about (they pick themselves up off the ground after a time jump). The teen characters think about sex a lot; there's some kissing, plenty of innuendo, and ogling of female body parts. Two characters have sex and are intimate in a few scenes (i.e. lying in bed together), though nothing sensitive is shown. Product placement is fairly frequent, with mentions of Petco, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; Red Bull and Coke drinks are shown.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byDan G. January 30, 2015

Too much objectionable content for children, even adolescents.

The language is that which if your child used it, would get them suspended from school (including the f word, a constant barrage of s__t, and the uses of God... Continue reading
Adult Written byLewis1 February 2, 2015

Not for children

This was a fair movie, but not something children should be watching, in my opinion. Quite a bit of foul language and sexual content. I didn't realize it w... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byShadowofchaos41 February 10, 2015

easily a rental for your home dvd player

I guess it wasn't too bad. But not worth paying to go see. I suggest wait until it comes on dvd and rent it for family movie night or something. Sex and La... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byStevie111 June 10, 2015

Surprisingly good time tavel film

Based off of the trailers, I was not looking forward to watching this movie. Then, my sister convinced me to give it a shot and it was pretty good. It's pr... Continue reading

What's the story?

David Raskin (Jonny Weston) is a brilliant teen, an inventor like his late father. He gets into MIT, but his meager scholarship doesn't cover much, so he starts looking through his father's notes for something he can use. David stumbles upon a time machine his father nearly invented; after lots of trial and error, he and his pals finish it up and take it for a spin, using it to pass tests and win the lottery. But when David goes back alone to re-do a failed kiss with the prettiest girl in school (Sofia Black-D'Elia), he creates a ripple affect that must be repaired, and each trip only results in more catastrophe. In the end, drastic steps must be taken.

Is it any good?

The movie fails to go very deep, and it ignores several interesting time-travel possibilities, but it's worth seeing overall. Yet another entry in the "found footage" genre of films, PROJECT ALMANAC -- like so many others -- isn't really helped by the conceit of having its characters filming everything that happens to them. It's fine to film an experiment, but the idea that the characters would also film the construction of batteries -- or continue filming while running for their lives -- is stretching it a bit thin. (The only reason to not film this story in a more traditional manner is that the "found footage" method is supposedly cheaper and thus more profitable.)

Otherwise, this is an entertaining film with likable characters and fun situations. The characters are appealing, and the romance that brews between the two leads is sweet, while the best friends provide some fun comic support. The visual effects are pretty cool, with rattling, damaging time jumps and plenty of floating, flying objects.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Project Almanac's sexual content. How frequently do the teen characters think about sex? How often is it tied to affection or love?

  • What would you do with the ability to time travel? Do you agree or disagree with what these characters chose?

  • Why does David choose to make time jumps on his own? Why doesn't he confide in his friends? Why did he break the teamwork pact? Do the consequences seem appropriate?

  • What's appealing or unappealing about the "found footage" style of movie?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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