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Parents' Guide to

The Day After Tomorrow

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Some cool special effects...that's about it.

Movie PG-13 2004 123 minutes
The Day After Tomorrow Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 16 parent reviews

age 10+

Definitely appropriate in terms of graphics

Firstly I don’t agree with the 5* violence rating. Yes most of the world dies, but it doesn’t happen on screen or In a gory graphic way. To give an example without spoiling, the teens see a mammoth at a museum and learn that it froze so fast it was grazing when it died (obv. During the first ice age), it didn’t even know it was about to die or that it was in danger. From what I can recall that is the only kind of death that happens on screen (a couple that was sleeping and doesn’t wake up, a man that steps outside and is suddenly popsiclized) aside from one heroic moment of self-sacrifice (which happens off screen as well). All in all, if your kid takes death hard by all means avoid this movie, but if you are simply trying to find a movie that will appease your pre-teen that doesn’t have sex and gore this is the perfect movie. My son is 11 and really liked it. Any younger than 10 I think he would have been bored out of his mind because the weather stuff would have flown over his head.
1 person found this helpful.
age 12+

Deep Freeze Armageddon

The best film about climate change around. It really brings it home to you that we have to care for the planet. But it is action packed with most of the film being very scary and noisy with danger all around. This makes the few calms in the storm even more poignant. It is a film about how a group of teenagers are affected and how they try to get through and survive. So it might particularly appeal to that age group or a bit younger. However now as we face heatwaves and floods it is hard to imagine that the world could be destroyed by a sudden deep freeze.

This title has:

Educational value
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (16 ):
Kids say (54 ):

Co-writer and director Roland Emmerich gave us an entertaining disaster movie with Independence Day; this one has some of the same ingredients, but they don't mix as well. The Day After Tomorrow doesn't have the some heart or the zing that Will Smith, Robert Loggia, and Jeff Goldblum brought to Independence Day. It does have some striking visuals and cool special effects, from hailstones the size of basketballs in Tokyo to a huge Russian ship floating ghost-like through what once was 5th Avenue. But to the extent there was ever any pleasure possible in seeing New York City destroyed, that has surely been diminished by 9/11.

This movie gives us too much destruction to take in, but also too little -- we see only a small group of dead bodies, and the survivors have to deal with problems that are almost quaint and antiseptic compared to the real-life aftermath of lesser disasters. The drama seems curiously muted as well; with the exception of the Vice President's arrogance, just about everyone else is uniformly calm, dedicated, resigned, and heroic. Wouldn't we see some panic? Some selfishness? Some desperation? Some consequences? Combined with preposterous plot turns, this further diminishes the emotional impact of the movie's themes.

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