The Island Movie Poster Image

The Island



Explosive movie is best for teens and up.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 127 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Bad corporate and military figures.


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


Barflies make rude comments; protagonists have romantic sex.


Typical "action" language.


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.

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).

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:July 22, 2005
DVD/Streaming release date:December 13, 2005
Cast:Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Sean Bean
Director:Michael Bay
Run time:127 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:intense sequences of violence and action, some sexuality and language

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What parents and kids say

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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 lot. It brings up ideas about humanity and stuff like that. Intense and deep and eerie and WOW. I really liked it. I can compare it a lot to Neal Shusterman's "Unwind," and Ayn Rand's "Anthem," which are both books that disturbed me, in a kinda good--definitely interesting--way. ~~~~~ The bad: One F-word, one or maybe two S-words--if any other swears I didn't notice because they were likely more minor. References to porn and pre-marital sex. One mild sort-of sex-scene (characters are in underwear but it's close-up so you're mostly just seeing their faces). Some kinda gross views of partially-developed human clones. Fluids and stuff are scooped out of one's mouth to help 'im breathe. Some surgical scenes, notably one where a man wakes up during what may be heart surgery. Lots of violence. Cars blowing up, buildings collapsing partially, that sort of thing. More worthy of note/concern is the injuries the characters get, though. A man gets his hand nailed to a door with a nail gun, and there's lots of gun shots and punching. Someone gets strangled. Oh, and lots of injections, many of them lethal. ~~~~~ Makes me worry, though, 'cause this all seems very plausible. I can totally see us making clones of ourselves in order to harvest their organs to keep us alive.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Teen, 17 years old Written byLipGlossChck April 9, 2008
Adult Written byllarson April 9, 2008


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