A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Not too many positive messages here.
Positive Role Models
Though government authorities are repeatedly shown as untrustworthy, corrupt, and potentially evil, Agents Scully and Mulder uphold the FBI traditions and rules (including not abandoning a fellow officer). They also represent two different aspects of human inquiry. Mulder is imaginative and open to even the weirdest possibilities. Scully is more hard-headed and scientific. They have an incipient romance, not explored in depth here, but show professional appreciation and loyalty to each other.
Violence & Scariness
Alien claws gash humans; humans stab aliens. Explosions and gun shots. People bleed and get shot in the head and there are massive explosions.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few off-color references. Agent Scully is supposed to be naked in suspended animation, but we don't see much.
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"S--t" and "a--hole."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Agent Mulder gets drunk in a bar. A villainous character ("The Smoking Man") smokes a lot.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is pretty much what you'd expect from a typical X-Files TV episode, but with PG-13 amped-up profanity and violence. Fox Mulder curses, people bleed and get shot in the head, and there are massive explosions. A heavy paranoid-conspiracy mindset suggests that acts of terrorism (specifically the Oklahoma City bombing) could be perpetrated by untrustworthy U.S. government officials doing inside jobs -- a worldview some parents might not want to encourage. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Though one might expect an X-Files-based feature to take the series and its themes into fresh directions, this UFO-show doesn't gain much more altitude. The cast has the privilege of swearing, and the special effects and sets are more expensive. One very minor character held over from the TV show dies (or...does he?); others make brief fan-pleasing cameos. That's pretty much it.
As with the small-screen scripts, we get a tantalizing sci-fi plotline, full of questions, maddeningly unresolved by the finale, with shadowy villains still gloating that Mulder (who pops up mysteriously in Arctic for an especially farfetched and mystifying climax) still don't know what's really going on. If he doesn't, neither do we, and the show's repeated message to "trust no one," especially government authorities, starts to seem a little stale and lazy. When a drunken Mulder urinates on an alley poster for Independence Day, it may be a clue to what the filmmakers here thought of that simple-minded blockbuster. At least it had a storyline any average viewer could follow.
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.