Parents' Guide to

The X-Files: I Want to Believe

By James Rocchi, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Second X-Files movie is grisly, disappointing.

Movie PG-13 2008 104 minutes
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Coming to theaters six years after the end of the TV series and a decade after the last big-screen outing for The X-Files, it's a little hard to see the point of X-Files: I Want to Believe. The film doesn't really intersect with the aliens-and-shadowy-humans conspiracy mythos explored throughout the series and in the prior film; instead, it's a stand-alone story that feels a little lonesome, as if no one could think of any reason beside the profit motive for returning to the franchise. Fans will no doubt be disappointed by the film's avoidance of director (and series creator) Chris Carter's squirrely rat's nest of entanglements and secrets that was the hallmark of the series; non-fans probably won't care in the first place.

Worse, The X-Files: I Want to Believe squanders both Duchovny and Anderson. Duchovny slouches back into action-hero mode, armed with his faith in the unknown and avid desire to understand the incomprehensible; Anderson gets to agonize over the questions surrounding a young child with a terminal illness. Both of the actors are capable of more than this, and it feels like they know it. The subplot involving Connolly's psychic pedophile priest comes out of nowhere and stays there, never really engaging the audience and wasting the charisma and charm that stand-up-comic-turned-actor Connolly has brought to prior roles in films like Mrs. Brown and Fido. Moody, murky, and graphically grisly, The X-Files: I Want to Believe seems like a film made solely to make money. But will it even be able to find box-office dollars years after the series' original pop-culture cachet has come and gone?

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