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Parents' Guide to

The Tomorrow War

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Scary monsters, explosive violence in sci-fi actioner.

Movie PG-13 2021 140 minutes
The Tomorrow War Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 12+

Common sense bias

This line has rubbed me the wrong way in common sense's movie detail: "Lead characters are White, but the supporting cast is more diverse" The selected use of "but" instead of "and" suggests there is something wrong with the lead character and his family being white. Or possibly the inverse that there may be something wrong with supporting characters being diverse. Either way you are making a statement neither of which I think is fair and demonstrates a biased behavior.
8 people found this helpful.
age 12+

Fun Sci-fi action thriller has gory monster violence

The Tomorrow War is a 2021 action film in which the entire world is facing its inevitable doom by alien creatures, and the only way to stop it is to travel forward in time. VIOLENCE: Relentless monster violence throughout which includes heavy detail, green blood and gore. Mostly if not all the violence about to be listed is shown in gory detail or shown with high amounts of blood spray and splatter. Scenes include aliens getting shot to pieces, aliens getting decapitated, alien gets brutally killed with buzz saw, aliens get crushed, shot down in extremely high quantities, aliens get shot in the stomach and aliens are lit on fire, held captive and repeatedly stabbed, one alien is repeatedly stabbed in the chest and face before it’s eyes get brutally stabbed out and is injected with toxins (common throughout) before getting pushed off a cliff. Human violence occurs frequently throughout and is shown mostly onscreen. Scenes include humans being eating alive, chomped in half, slammed on walls, shot with blade like items, slashed with claws and one sequence depicts humans falling from the sky and some have their bodies smashed on the sides of buildings, some crash into the floor, others plummet down below the camera and many die. During and after these sequences humans are shown with missing limbs, lying dead on the floor, shown bleeding and injured. Graphic and bloody violence for PG-13, however human violence despite still being graphic is shown with less blood. LANGUAGE: Use of “sh*t”, “d*ck” and mumbled use of “f*ck”. OVERALL: The recommended rating for this film would be: PG-13 for strong bloody creature violence throughout, disturbing images including gore and language

This title has:

Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (38 ):

Animation director Chris McKay brings the science back to sci-fi while delivering a shoot 'em up monster movie that seems tailor-made for action fans. McKay knows kids -- he's behind The Lego Batman Movie. And he knows older teens, having directed much of Adult Swim's Robot Chicken series. His knack with comedy is also on display in The Tomorrow War, combined with other factors that will appeal to older tweens and teens. First, there's Pratt, who's a consistent draw, even if he isn't quite as funny and relatable here as he is in Guardians of the Galaxy. Second, McKay uses his animation expertise to create ghastly human-eating aliens that will wow kids -- just make sure they're old enough not to have nightmares. Plus, kids are shown to be really smart, making significant contributions to the solution. And Forester is a cool high school science teacher, bringing viewers back to the classroom, where he lays the groundwork for elements that will play out later.

And make no mistake: What The Tomorrow War is really about -- the message that slides in subtly underneath the movie's splashier elements -- is that what you learn in school matters and has a real-life application. In fact, at one point, the film more or less says this clearly. And hopefully kids will pick up on it, because there's not one line of dialogue here that's wasted. If we see someone reveal a key character trait or hear them say something, it will pay off later. Of course, a tight script doesn't necessarily mean that the film makes sense; it definitely takes leaps in logic. It's also too long, and it ends in a moment of preposterous ridiculousness. But teens may well not care, enjoying it for what it is: a chaotic, video game-like retaliation against an alien coup with a nice father-daughter story layered on top.

Movie Details

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.

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