A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
An alien visitor judges mankind's stewardship of the planet Earth and finds us wanting -- resulting in a plan to eradicate human life from the planet. Discussion of loss and death; discussion of the human capacity for change in the face of disaster.
Positive Role Models
The alien is unlikable; Helen is a better role model, but her character isn't really developed well.
Violence & Scariness
Military forces shoot an alien visitor, with blood spatter; later, people bleed from wounds created by microscopic nano-bots that devour everything in their path. Missile strikes and bombs are rained down on indestructible alien robots and ships, with some humans in the path of the blast. A police officer is struck by a car; several supporting characters are knocked out or suffer pain as an effect of some high-pitched noise the alien technology emits.
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Hardly any -- just one "hell" and a couple of expressions along the lines of "oh my god."
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Products & Purchases
A good bit of product placement -- the Windows logo is clearly visible at several points, and one scene takes place at a McDonald's. The NASA logo is also visible. Several shots of cityscapes, where advertising for companies like Coca-Cola and The New York Giants can be seen.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Two people driving drink beers.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this drama/thriller (which is a remake of a 1950s classic that most kids probably haven't seen) has lots of urban destruction, as well as some scenes of science-fiction-style violence perpetrated against people. There's some blood and some graphic visuals, such as when a man with broken legs is healed through super-science and his broken legs are seen straightening out. There's also a notable amount of product placement, particularly for Windows and McDonald's. On a positive note, there's basically nothing in the way of swearing or sex, and the movie offers thought-provoking discussion about humanity's relationship with Earth's ecology. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This remake of the 1951 genre classic might have better visions and visuals than the low-budget original, but it lacks the heart and sense of wonder the first film had. It's as if the people behind this film figured they could get by on special effects alone. Reeves plays the alien visitor as an unlikable, unrelenting functionary who's doing what he must: "The decision is made; the process has begun." Connelly's character tries to get him to change his mind, while also fitting in some relationship management with her distant, moody stepson (Jaden Smith); as Benson pleads and Klaatu stays impassive, the film throws plenty of big-screen spectacle at us, but it never really connects the high-tech tricks with any heart.
Director John Derrickson has previously worked on lower-budget horror films and thrillers, and he shows a capable hand with the bigger budget -- but he doesn't show as much promise with the film's bigger ideas. The Day the Earth Stood Still wants to move our minds and quicken our pulses, but it does a far better job of the latter than the former; for all of the film's discussion of how mankind is destroying the Earth, there's precious little mention of what we're doing wrong or what we could do better. It as if the filmmakers were afraid of upsetting anyone ... while they proceeded to destroy New York and show us the end result of their effects budget. In the attempt to avoid saying anything controversial, The Day the Earth Stood Still winds up not saying much of anything at all.
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.