The History of Future Folk

  • Review Date: August 5, 2014
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 84 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Quirky indie sci-fi film has positive messages about music.
  • Review Date: August 5, 2014
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 84 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The transformative and magical power of music is shown throughout the movie.

Positive role models

General Traius loves his daughter very much and sees the transformative and beautiful effects music has on himself and on those around him.


An alien (a man dressed in a space suit, basically) karate-chops an old woman, knocking her out. This same alien takes a female police officer hostage, tying her up in a bed. Another alien head-butts a security guard, knocking him out. Characters get into a brawl while in a holding cell in jail. Occasional sci-fi violence throughout: Aliens shoot laser guns at each other.

Not applicable

"Piss," "badass."


Pabst Blue Ribbon signs and cans are shown throughout the movie. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The two aliens often are shown playing music in a bar where characters drink beer. The main characters are shown drinking beer in a bar but do not act intoxicated.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The History of Future Folk is a quirky 2013 movie about a pair of aliens sent to destroy the Earth who change their minds after hearing music for the first time. It's a charming low-budget indie film that should appeal to parents and kids who appreciate strong story lines and don't mind minimal special effects. There's some frank discussion between a father and daughter about marital problems. There's also some fighting: Characters get into a huge brawl in a holding cell in jail, for instance, and, in other scenes, an elderly woman is karate-chopped and knocked out, a female police officer is taken prisoner, and a security guard is head-butted. Overall the film's message about the transformative power of music should appeal to a broad spectrum of viewers.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

General Traius is sent by the Planet Hondo to destroy the planet Earth. But when he visits a large hardware store for supplies, he hears music for the first time, falls in love with it, and changes his name to "Bill Hunt." He marries and has a child and also plays guitar and sings at a local bar while dressed in his red space suit. As he has settled into this new life on Earth, an assassin named Kevin is sent from Hondo to kill him for failing to fulfill the mission, but when General Traius plays him a medley of songs on a banjo, Kevin too falls in love with music. Kevin immediately learns guitar and joins Traius at his bar gig, and together they form the two-piece band Future Folk. As they start to gain a following, they also must find a way to prevent the planet Hondo from fulfilling its desire to destroy the Earth.

Is it any good?


THE HISTORY OF FUTURE FOLK is a quirky, low-budget indie movie that is as silly as it is bittersweet. Imagine Flight of the Conchords or Tenacious D as red space-suited aliens, and you begin to get the idea. It's an entertaining premise that does not let the lack of funds for big-budget special effects get in the way of a story that proves you don't need millions of dollars to make an enjoyable movie.

It's also a ludicrous premise, but the acting and the overall theme of the transformative powers of music is so assured and charming, it isn't the worst thing in the world to simply suspend your disbelief and enjoy this film on its own terms. Funny and strange, this one-of-a-kind movie is worth repeated viewings.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about low-budget independent movies. How do movies like this become popular?

  • How is the film's overall message on the transformative powers of music shown and discussed throughout the movie?

  • How does the film use comedy to tell its story, and where does the film present more serious messages?

Movie details

DVD release date:June 4, 2013
Cast:Nils d'Aulaire, Jay Klaitz, Dee Snider
Director:J. Anderson Mitchell
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Friendship, Misfits and underdogs, Music and sing-along, Space and aliens
Run time:84 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of The History of Future Folk was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • 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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 11 and 13 year old Written byMattmchugh September 8, 2014

Low-budget sci-fi comedy with laughs, heart, and great music

This is one of the most surprising and enjoyable movies I've seen in ages. The ridiculous premise (human-looking aliens with red bucket helmets hear Earth music for the first time and instantly form a band) is played completely straight, making it all the more hilarious. At its heart, though, is a sweet story of a friendship, a father trying to hold his family together, an oddball finding a place to fit in, and the enduring power of love and music. Oh, and with a comet is heading for his home world, General Trius must decide whether to wipe out life on Earth with a flesh-eating bacteria or team up with The Mighty Kevin and launch a disabled nuclear missile to save both planets. Oh, and Dee Snider from Twisted Sister is in there, too. Ludicrous and wonderful. The guitar-and-banjo musical numbers are true showstoppers you'll be humming for days. There is some mild profanity and several fistfights where nobody gets too hurt but realistically bruised. Characters run from the police, there's some laser-beam stun shots, and an evil alien who looks like something out of the Power Rangers. It's hard to imagine anyone finding much offensive in this film, and even young kids will likely get out kick out of it. There really is something here for the whole family to enjoy. Highly recommended. -- mm


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools