Transformers

  • Review Date: October 14, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 144 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Toys come to life in big, boomy explosion fest.
  • Review Date: October 14, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 144 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Though you could argue that the movie has some kind of take away involving teamwork and friendship, really it's all just an excuse to blow stuff up. There are some stereotypes -- a Latino character is mocked for his "magic voodoo powers," a computer expert embodies lots of geeky cliches, and a "black" robot uses street jargon and gang signs.

Positive role models

Sam is mostly a good kid -- though he deceives his parents, he also saves Mikaela from a bad boyfriend (and the world from bad robots). Mikaela has a criminal record and can hotwire cars.

Violence

Early attack by alien robots results in fiery explosions and bodies flying; Transformer attack at car dealership (loud noise, car windows blow out); huge battle in the desert (robots vs. Air Force); Transformers attack Sam and Mikaela (lots of chasing, crashing, noise); flashback shows destruction of Transformers' planet; little robot monster with sharp limbs terrorizes humans and infiltrates Air Force One. A lengthy fight scene in city streets ends the film -- more explosions, shooting, missiles, and bodies. At one point, the villain transforms into a plane and flies into a skyscraper -- images that will remind many viewers of 9/11.

Sex

Mikaela wears a cleavage-showing midriff top; bikini girl posters in Sam's bedroom; Miles calls Mikaela "the evil jock's concubine"; Miles reminds Sam that it's "bros before hos"; song "Sexual Healing" on car radio; close-ups of Mikaela's sweaty belly from Sam's POV; Sam says "I'm cool with females working on my engine"; Sam says he keeps a magazine called Busty Beauties under his bed; Glen admits he's still a virgin (this appears to be a joke at his expense); following a noise in his room, Sam's mom asks him "Were you masturbating?"; Sam's online user name is "Ladiesman217."

Language

In addition to a couple of incomplete "f--ks," the language includes "damn," "crap," "bitch," "s--t" (multiple uses), "ass," "crackhead," "frigggin'," "hell," and a spelled-out "bee-otch" on Sam's car freshener.

Consumerism

The entire film is virtually a commercial for Hasbro toys (the company is listed as both a production company and the maker of Transformers action figures). There are also visual or verbal references to Mac laptop, eBay, Camaro, Austin Healey, Porsche, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Volkswagen, music acts (50 Cent, Garbage, The Strokes, Rage Against the Machine), the Redskins, Armageddon, Ding Dongs, Taco Bell, Nokia, Mountain Dew, Star Trek, and GM vehicles (most of the Autobots are modeled on GM cars). Bumblebee speaks in bits of commercials and TV shows ("Message from Starfleet, Captain").

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Sam's dog takes pain pills (he calls the dog a "crackhead"); Sam asks Agent Simmons if he's "on drugs."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that even though the myriad tie-in toys are being marketed to kids as young as 2, this explosion-heavy action movie based on the '80s cartoon and action figures is not for young children ... no matter how "cool" they think the robots/cars are. It's packed with scenes of loud, hectic combat (including gunfire), destruction, and flying missiles and bodies. Plus, it's long (144 minutes, the last 20 or so of which are devoted to a big fight scene), the characters swear ("bitch," "s--t," "damn," a couple of incomplete "f--ks," etc.), and there's some sexual imagery (shots of cleavage and a short-skirted bottom, jokes about masturbation and virginity, and more).

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In this live action film based on the 1980s cartoon series, the Decepticons, an evil race of alien robots, attack a U.S. military unit stationed in the Middle East. The men launch an immediate offensive -- but meanwhile, back in the States, Secretary of Defense John Keller (Jon Voight) learns of a secret U.S. project involving Megatron (voiced by Hugo Weaving), a bad robot that crash-landed in the Arctic decades before. In the film's civilian side-story, teenager Sam (Shia LaBeouf) buys a used car, unaware it's an Autobot -- a good robot. Neither does Sam realize that he has in his possession the key to the all-powerful cube -- which all the robots, good and bad, desperately want. The film's many characters and plots collide with the help of the Autobots' courageous, red-and-blue-colored leader Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

You'd expect a summer action movie directed by Michael Bay, CGIed by Industrial Light and Magic, and based on a line of toy cars to bring the noise. TRANSFORMERS does exactly that. Big and boomy, it skimps on plot and character development, instead focusing on its decidedly spectacular explosions. Though the opening voiceover offers a cursory backstory, it hardly matters why these giant robots have come to earth. The point is much simpler: They blow stuff up.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why kids want to see this movie -- is it because of the story or all of the toys and other tie-in products they've been hearing about?

  • Who's the movie's intended audience? Is it today's kids (and, if so, what age group?) or grown ups who were kids when the toys were first popular in the '80s?

  • How does this big-screen version compare to the different TV shows and the previous movie? Do the explosions and crashes seem more serious here than in the cartoon versions?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 3, 2007
DVD release date:October 16, 2007
Cast:Megan Fox, Shia LaBeouf, Tyrese Gibson
Director:Michael Bay
Studio:DreamWorks
Genre:Action/Adventure
Run time:144 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, brief sexual humor, and language.

This review of Transformers was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 3 and 7 year old Written bykelldeal October 9, 2009
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 12 and 15 year old Written byprescottrdjd August 2, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

AWESOME MOVIE Good for all ages

It was even better than the first one. Great to see the old cartoon come to life on the big screen.
What other families should know
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old April 3, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

just plain bad

wow i think i have never seen a movie as warped and volient as transformers.A robot scorpion tale rips through a man for gods sake!constant bad langue and megan fox is so emotionless i thought she was a robot !
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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