A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Highlights how people are capable of empathy, compassion, gratitude, and selflessness. Also promotes how love makes people brave and protective, willing to put others' needs first. Cautionary tale about power of technology.
Positive Role Models
Carol shows the Superintelligence how people act when given all the resources they could ever imagine. George is sweet, attentive, and thoughtful.
Violence & Scariness
Several pratfalls/tumbles, played for humor. The Superintelligence threatens Carol with the possibility of destruction of humanity, and for a while toward the end, it seems like that's what's going to happen.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Several kissing scenes between Carol and George, including implied sex (the camera shows their silhouettes through closed blinds). Superintelligence encourages Carol to have a "romantic" and "intimate" night. Badunkadunk hookup website is discussed.
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"What the hell." "Badunkadunk" is used as a euphemism for sex in reference to a dating app specifically for hookups.
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Products & Purchases
Several brands are visible and discussed: Tesla, Microsoft, Sony, The Fresh Market, Law & Order, Glad trash bags, BlackBerry, etc.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink a special cocktail at a Mexican restaurant. Adults also look like they're drinking beer at a baseball game.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Superintelligence is a comedy about a sophisticated, all-powerful artificial intelligence (AI) system that chooses a perfectly "average" woman, Carol Peters (Melissa McCarthy), to test as an example of whether humanity should be saved, enslaved, or destroyed. The AI (which uses the voice of real-life comedian/talk show host James Corden) tasks her with reconciling with her ex-boyfriend, George (Bobby Cannavale), in order to prove that humans are capable of love and redemption. Iffy language is minimal ("what the hell," "Badunkadunk"), but there's some drinking and an implied love scene (silhouettes shown through closed blinds), as well as kissing. Expect lots of McCarthy's signature pratfalls and physical comedy -- other than that, violent/scary content consists of the AI's threat of mass destruction. Ultimately, though, the movie has themes of empathy, compassion, and gratitude. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
McCarthy's charm and comedic gifts make this otherwise serviceable end-of-the-world comedy worth watching, but it works much better as an unconventional romcom than a compelling thriller. There's arguably more romance in Superintelligence than in most of McCarthy's comedies, and her scenes with the endearing Cannavale are sweet and natural (unsurprising, since the two are friends and former co-stars). Corden is a convincing pick as the AI voice (it picks the voice that will be most calming for each person). Other notable performers include Jean Smart, who's underused as the president of the United States, and director (and McCarthy's husband) Ben Falcone and Sam Richardson as slightly bumbling intelligence agents.
Despite the talented cast, the screenplay isn't exactly inspired, and the entire premise is underwhelming and confusing (not in the too-difficult-to-follow way, but in the "could this really be all the AI wants?" way). Sure, it's fun to watch Carol get a Pretty Woman-level makeover, since the AI immediately turns her into a multimillionaire with a new penthouse apartment, a self-driving Tesla, and a boutique wardrobe. But the heart comes from her reunion and reconnection with George, a "tall, tan, and tenured" professor who's headed to a Trinity College appointment. The movie's tone is uneven, as the potential for peril never feels immediate, and the political aspects are definitely underdeveloped and played for laughs. Still, for all its flaws, it's always a pleasure for fans to witness McCarthy's gift for physical comedy.
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