The Island

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
The Island Movie Poster Image
Explosive movie is best for teens and up.
  • PG-13
  • 2005
  • 127 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 14 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Bad corporate and military figures.

Violence

Explosions, shootings, surgery, a mother dies after childbirth.

Sex

Barflies make rude comments; protagonists have romantic sex.

Language

Typical "action" language.

Consumerism

Lots of brand names and logos, including MSN, Puma, XBox, Aquafina, Cadillac, Ben and Jerry's.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some smoking and drinking; drugs used to keep clones placid; Jordan gets drunk in a bar.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the movie features explosions, fights, and vehicle chases. Characters drink, smoke, fight, and kill one another. Several scenes show clones in various unfinished states (incubating in sacks and on tables); others show organs harvested (surgery) and a baby harvested (the mother is killed after giving birth). While the protagonists' social naiveté and first grade reading skills make them seem childish, they are definitely adult in their sexual interests and fighting abilities. Characters and background images make frequent references to commercial products (including MSN, Puma, XBox, Aquafina, Cadillac, Ben & Jerry's).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byllarson April 9, 2008
Adult Written byAvonLadyLisa April 9, 2008

Beware of Certain Scene, if you have kids under 10

I really like this movie, and so do both my children, ages 6 and 9. I have seen it twice, and do not recall at ALL, seeing "commercialism" or adverti... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byJocastaTheWeird March 18, 2015

Kind of blew my mind a little bit

Semi-futuristic film about cloning. ~~~~~ The good: This, for me, was the kind of movie that's mostly pretty fun to watch, but that also makes me think a... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byLipGlossChck April 9, 2008

What's the story?

It's 2019, and Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) is disturbed by nightmares that run counter to his conditioned belief that the "island" is a paradise, the last unscathed location in a post-apocalyptic world. He and his friend Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson) live at a facility run by Dr. Merrick (Sean Bean), until they are "chosen" to leave for the island. Lincoln learns his dreams are "genetic memories," and that he and his community are all clones, paid for by wealthy people who plan to use the clones' organs, genes, and wombs in order to prolong or enhance their own, "original" lives. Helped by engineering, non-clone friend McCord (Steve Buscemi), Lincoln and Jordan learn the world has not been destroyed, escape the facility, and flee to Los Angeles. Merrick hires a mercenary crew to hunt them down, led by former Special Forces soldier Albert Laurent (Djimon Hounsou), who has a particular, historically motivated understanding of breeding people for money.

Is it any good?

Loud, fast, and fulsome, this action movie actually spends a few minutes pondering ethical questions. But just a few. For the most part, The Island is simplistic science fiction, pitting very athletic, very attractive heroes on the run against plainly despicable corporate villains.

Besides Hounsou's character, the other visible black man is a football star (Michael Clarke Duncan), or rather, his clone, whose vigorous resistance to harvesting surgery initially reveals the truth to an understandably horrified Lincoln. Most of the film, however, is given over to the pretty white clones' multi-faceted education -- in running, spending money, driving, and soft-focus kissing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the film's important ethical and philosophical questions concerning clones and organ harvesting: When do clones become individuals? Who can afford to purchase clones or organs, and how does this create a hierarchy of health, longevity, and cultural power? Does the fact that technology exists justify or compel its use? Families might also talk about how the film reduces resolutions for such dilemmas by broadly outlining villains and heroes, stereotypical relationships, and high-powered, plainly expensive action sequences.

Movie details

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