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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie touches on global warming, but not in a way that really illuminates the issue.
Though the movie is about saving the world from alien invaders, its real message is about brotherly love. Siblings Nick and Tyler bicker and tease each other, and Nick often seems more interested in girls than his brother, but when it's important, he chooses to back up his little brother, whether he's facing down high school bullies, nefarious government agents, or alien creatures.
Positive Role Models
Both main characters ultimately prove to be positive models, but one starts out much iffier than the other. Nick initially seems to have little on his mind other than winning a date with Julie and happily blows off his schoolwork (behavior that isn't really punished, since he's allowed to graduate with his class anyway). But when it counts, he's there for his younger brother, and they eventually work together to fend off an alien invasion plan. Tyler is more responsible and a better student than Nick and encourages his brother to hit the books (though both brothers talk about deceiving their mom). In the "negative" column, Julie's character is little more than her good looks.
Violence & Scariness
Several scenes show high school seniors bullying younger teens. A government agent tries to intimidate Nick, Tyler, and their mother and acts menacing and threatening. A few fight scenes involve grotesque alien monsters. They're not especially explicit, though one culminates with the brothers bashing an alien with a big rock.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Just one romantic kiss, but Nick spends almost the entire film trying to win the attention of Julie, the object of his affection. He, his younger brother, and even their mother frequently refer to Julie as a "smoking hot babe" and use other phrases that refer to her appearance (though it's meant to be complimentary, her character has few notable traits other than being attractive). The brothers are both shown in their boxers. A young teenage girl speculates whether Tyler would be a good kisser.
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Very tame. "Kick butt" is about as salty as it gets.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this made-for-TV alien-invasion adventure about two brothers who stumble upon a UFO is equal parts sci-fi action and high school drama, with older brother Nick trying to win a date with the girl of his dreams while defending younger brother Tyler from a pack of bullies (and, eventually, working with him to save the world). This Disney production is aimed straight at tweens, so the action violence is on the tame side, and there's no swearing or drinking to concern parents -- though Nick's academic habits leave much to be desired, and the siblings frequently discuss the art of deceiving their mother. While romance is limited to one kiss, there's a good bit of talk about how attractive Nick's crush is (the phrase "smoking hot babe" is used). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Skyrunners suffers a bit from genre confusion. Is it a sci-fi flick about alien invaders or a high school drama? It plays like both, but it isn't really long enough to develop either plot line. As a result, viewers get a few fun scenes with the spaceship, a standard story about freshman Tyler getting bullied, a subplot about whether Nick will be eligible to graduate, and then suddenly a mad rush to introduce the extraterrestrial villains in the third act.
Still, while some of the story feels a bit forced, tweens will probably still enjoy much of the movie. And Blatz and Pollari have a nice chemistry as brothers -- it's nice to see Nick defend Tyler from a gang of toughs. That said, the siblings also spend plenty of time plotting to deceive their mother (for Nick it's almost an art form), and Nick seems to be interested only in pursuing girls. He's even willing to blow off an important school assignment and skip out on Tyler's performance in a play to pursue his crush. Fortunately he's willing to step up to the plate when Tyler's really in danger, since the fate of the world is at stake.
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.