The A-Team Movie Poster Image

The A-Team

(i)

 

Big explosions, big fun in big-screen adaptation.
Popular with kids
  • Review Date: June 2, 2010
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 117 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Although there are positive themes about loyalty to one's military and country, the A-Team is ultimately betrayed by both. They become "soldiers of fortune" working outside the law, but on the other hand, they try to do "good" and clear their names. Violence is shown as necessary.

Positive role models

Hannibal is a brave and loyal commanding officer, and the team is all incredibly courageous if impetuous. Most of the other characters are devious, double-crossing, unethical rogues who think nothing of murdering anyone who gets in their way.

Violence

Many, many explosions, shoot-outs, fake deaths, risky escapes, and chase scenes. There's definitely a body count, mostly by fire, explosions, or gunshots though no gore and most death happens offscreen.

Sex

Face (Bradley Cooper) is the stud of the A-Team and is shown several times with his shirt off. The movie starts with Face being punished for having an affair with a powerful man's wife. Some cleavage. Two passionate kisses, plus some sexual tension.

Language

The most common offender is "s--t," with "bitch," "ass," "damn," and milder words ("hell") also thrown into the mix. "Alpha Mike Foxtrot" is said a few times, which stands for "Adios Mother F---er," which is also heard, though an explosion or some other loud noise covers up the last part of the word each time it's said. Also a few uses of "God" as exclamations.

Consumerism

Brands featured include GMC, Mercedes Benz, Budweiser, and Apple.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A few of the A-Team members are shown with a drink in hand, and Hannibal smokes cigars throughout.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The A-Team is a tribute to the classic '80s television series and as such includes a lot of amped up gun violence, chase scenes, and explosions. The language is typical of a PG-13 action flick, with "s--t" being the most common word; there are a couple of "mother... f--kers" that are interrupted by explosions. "Face," the character played by a muscle-bound Bradley Cooper, is a ladies man whose exploits are mentioned, plus he's seen engaging in two passionate kisses. Hannibal smokes his signature cigars, and the team enjoys an occasional drink.

What's the story?

Col. John "Hannibal" Smith (Liam Neeson) leads a clandestine Army special forces unit consisting of handsome Lt. "Face" Peck (Bradley Cooper), B.A. "Bad Attitude" Baracus (Quinton "Rampage" Jackson), and certifiable pilot "Howling Mad" Murdock (Sharlto Copley). On a secret mission in Baghdad for their commanding general, the A-Team retrieves U.S. Mint plates that could be used to print counterfeit dollars, but Pike (Brian Bloom), the leader of a private military-defense unit, blows up the general's convoy and steals the plates, framing Hannibal and his crew. Without any evidence that they were ordered to get the plates, the A-Team is sent to military prisons, and in Murdock's case, a psychiatric hospital. Enigmatic CIA Agent Lynch (Patrick Wilson) helps Hannibal escape on the condition that the team track down Pike, reclaim the plates, and ultimately attempt to clear their names. Meanwhile, ambitious young Lt. Sosa (Jessica Biel), who happens to be Face's ex-girlfriend, is also on the hunt to find the plates and re-arrest the A-Team.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

The good news is that the cast is top-notch, and old-school fans will enjoy all the little nods to the original A-Team -- from the catchphrases "I ain't getting on no plane" and "I love it when a plan comes together," to Hannibal's trademark cigar-smoking and Murdock's general lunacy. Jackson is no Mr. T, but he certainly looks the part and even sports "Pity" and "Fool" tattoos on his knuckles for good measure (he sadly does not say "I pity the fool," but perhaps that's for the best, considering Mr. T's negative reaction to the movie). Cooper is turning into the new Matthew McConaughey and spends a ridiculous percentage of the time shirtless (his pecs and abs deserve their own billing) and sunbathing. Neeson is a hard-sell at first, but he nails Hannibal's sense of humor and fierce loyalty to his men. The best part, though, was Copley's Murdock. The South African breakout star of District 9 brings the crazy in a hilarious, scene-stealing way. If you pay close attention, he even gets to revert to his native accent and even speak Swahili. Brilliant!

Now for the not-so-great news. This is not good enough to merit a sequel, even though it ends begging for another "episode." The plot isn't very compelling (but then again, the show always had predictable storylines); and Biel's lone female character is unnecessary eye-candy for male viewers (not that she wears anything but sensible suits; sorry guys!). Wilson and Bloom get bonus points for their amusing villains, but this is basically a two-hour excuse to see container ships, tanks, vans, and all manner of things explode -- not to mention the over-the-top stunts and gun violence that characterized the series. If you're in the mood for a high-testosterone, simple-to-follow, incredibly loud story, this is a fun and substance-less action flick. Be warned, you may not be able to stop humming the theme music for the rest of the day.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the theme of necessary violence. How is violence discussed in the movie? Do any of the characters seem affected by the body count they are responsible for? Why does B.A. change in prison, and what makes him shift his beliefs again after he's out? What would the repercussions of that much violence and mayhem be in real life?

  • Many movies are remakes of older movies or TV shows. Is it lazy of Hollywood to produce so many remakes? Why do you think they do it? What are the best TV shows-turned movies? What are the worst?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 11, 2010
DVD release date:December 14, 2010
Cast:Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Liam Neeson, Sharlto Copley
Director:Joe Carnahan
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Action/Adventure
Run time:117 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:intense sequences of action and violence throughout, language and smoking.

This review of The A-Team was written by

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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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Teen, 14 years old Written bytom the pom March 22, 2011

13+

i think this is a fun, interesting action-flick which has adated from a classic series of the 80's.
Teen, 13 years old Written byThe book dork<3 July 9, 2011

Amazing movie for teen-ish age group!

I WATCHED THE EXTENDED VERSION ON DVD. First off, do not watch the extended version with little kids in the room. The first 10 minutes dropped so many F-bombs it wasn't even funny. The violence is a lot but it's very enjoyable and makes for a great movie. One character is 'mental' basically but he makes the movie so much more fun to watch. Not in a rude way, but just because he's humorous.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 12 year old Written byChicagoisdabest3243 June 7, 2010
not scary or violent at all great for kids all ages
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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