Push

Movie review by
James Rocchi, Common Sense Media
Push Movie Poster Image
Sci-fi thriller has more style than story; some iffy stuff.
  • PG-13
  • 2009
  • 121 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 30 reviews

A lot or a little?

Parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

Government agencies are depicted as venal, power-hungry amoral mobs that use people with special talents as tools to get jobs done. Overall, the movie has a grim tone. The movie's heroes come together out of a sense of self-protection and self-assertion. A 13-year-old character is placed in several adult situations of peril, even brandishing a gun at one point.

Violence

Extensive sci-fi action and combat, including bolts of telekinetic force, and hypersonic screams of destruction. Also gun violence, fistfights, and martial arts combat. Several people are impaled with lengths of bamboo; others are hurled to their deaths or shot at point-blank range. Paranormal mind-controllers induce suicides through unbreakable psychic suggestion. Extensive surgical/medical imagery.

Sex

Kissing; implied sex; some caressing. A scene takes place at a "hostess bar."

Language

Relatively infrequent swearing includes two non-sexual uses of "f--k," as well as "s--t," "goddammit," "hell," "damn," "crap," and "crappy."

Consumerism

Only a few brands -- Coke, Jack Daniel's -- are shown/mentioned. Due to the Hong Kong setting, many of the corporate logos in the film are unidentifiable or wholly in Chinese.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Characters smoke cigars and cigarettes and drink beer, wine, and hard liquor. A 13-year-old with psychic abilities drinks alcohol to "focus her visions" -- which, in the film's science-fiction world, works, but is also played for laughs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sci-fi thriller about a group of psychic "supeheroes" stars Dakota Fanning and features lots of special-effects violence. Guns and other weapons are used, people are attacked with blasts of telekinetic force, bloody wounds are shown, and overall, the atmosphere is quite grim. Characters also smoke and drink; alcohol helps Fanning's 13-year-old character "focus her visions." Expect some swearing (including "f--k") and implied sex as well.

User Reviews

Adult Written byguyton July 25, 2009

underage drinking

personally i like the movie, but it wasnt the greates movie for the kids. this is language that isnt suitable, also not to mention that the thriteen year old gi...
Kid, 11 years old July 3, 2010
Kid, 10 years old July 11, 2009

Please Read, Should a Mature Ten Year Old See Push!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ok, i've never seen Push, but i love sci fi, and the telekinetic abilities, and Dakota fanning and Nick grant are amazing. I need some help, should a 10 y...

What's the story?

In Hong Kong, Nick (Chris Evans) lives a life of shabby exile. He's one of a number of people who are skilled psychics or have other special abilities; governments use these "genetic abnormalities" as tactical weapons, but Nick wants no part of that world. But he winds up with little choice in the matter when 13-year-old clairvoyant Cassie (Dakota Fanning) knocks on his door. She wants to enlist him in a scheme to steal $6 million -- and save her mother, who's being held by the conspiratorial agency known as "Division" ... which just happens to want to make people like Nick and Cassie into living weapons.

Is it any good?

Stylishly shot, PUSH is a high-tech thriller that tries to combine the run-and-gun realism of the Bourne films with the high-flying fantasy of comic-book cinema. The simplicity and restraint in the film's central idea is interesting: The "special talents" can do incredible things -- see the future, move objects with their mind, control others'' thoughts, act as psychic bloodhounds -- but they can only do one incredible thing. But director Paul McGuigan's execution is too clever by half, losing our interest (and the thread of the plot) in a tangle of convolutions and tricks, when all we want is a smart story cleanly told.

Still, it's hard to have a bad time watching Evans and Fanning, and the film looks incredible -- the neon wasteland of Hong Kong at night gleams and throbs like an electric bruise. With a cleaner script and some judicious editing, Push could have been a nice addition to the recent explorations of the street-level side of comic-book action. Unfortunately, the film as it stands feels like a bungled attempt to kick off a franchise that will never happen.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether teen drinking seems less serious in a sci-fi setting. How does the movie portray Cassie's use of alcohol? Does it seem realistic? What would the consequences be in real life?

  • Families can also discuss the onoing appeal of superhuman fantasies. Why are they so popular? How does this movie compare to ones like Sky High and Spider-Man?

Movie details

For kids who love Sci-Fi

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