Transformers

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Transformers Movie Poster Image
Toys come to life in big, boomy explosion fest.
  • PG-13
  • 2007
  • 144 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 127 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 222 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Transformers is an explosion-heavy action movie based on the '80s cartoon and action figures that 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).

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9-year-old Written bysnowfireny May 7, 2010

Great movie, not good for under 13

This had way too much teenage-driven sexual innuendo. My 9 year old loves transformers, but I would not feel this is appropriate due to the high volume of sexu... Continue reading
Adult Written byChrisams August 20, 2010

Avoid, unless you're looking to waste a couple of hours.

For a movie that essentially a massive advert for toys aimed at 4-11 year olds, - the content is totally inappropriate for any child under 10 and some parents w... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old March 22, 2015

cybertronian awesomeness

my favourite was bumblebee
Kid, 12 years old August 23, 2014

ik just ik

THE WORST MOVIE EVER GROSS

What's the story?

In TRANSFORMERS, a 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?

Big and boomy, this toy-based movie 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. Just keep in mind that Transformers is most likely too intense for the kids who are the most interested in playing with the Transformers toys.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why kids want to see Transformers -- is it because of the story or all of the toys and other tie-in products?

  • Who's the movie's intended audience? Is it today's kids (and, if so, what age group?) or grownups 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sci-fi

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