We Can Be Heroes

Movie review by
Stephanie Myers, Common Sense Media
We Can Be Heroes Movie Poster Image
Rodriguez' superhero-kid adventure has action, humor.
  • PG
  • 2020
  • 110 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 72 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Intended for entertainment rather than education.

Positive Messages

Working as a team, you can accomplish great things. Always believe in yourself and the ability of others. Lead by example.

Positive Role Models

Main character Missy has many great qualities. She understands that for the kids to be successful, they need to work together. Though she doesn't have any superpowers, Missy shows courage, is able to inspire and encourage the other kids through great leadership qualities. Wheels (so named because he uses a wheelchair) is the first superhero kid to speak to Missy and make her feel welcome. He's good with technology, is supportive of the other kids. A single dad raises a preteen daughter thoughtfully. Cast is very diverse. Adult superheroes bicker, seem more interested in showboating than in trying to be a team.

Violence & Scariness

Comical violence, including superheroes punching and slapping aliens. Kids perform martial arts-style combat moves on both aliens and human security guards. Several aliens get frozen and zapped with a laser. Some of the children stumble and accidently hurt one another. No one is seriously injured, no one dies. A girl's mother has died (not shown).

Sexy Stuff

"Oh my God" used as an exclamation. A child tells one of the aliens that it's the dumbest one he has met. One of the characters says she's a nobody.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that We Can Be Heroes is a follow-up to The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl and is set in the same world as Spy Kids. Like those movies, it centers on kids with special powers/abilities saving the day. Expect lots of comical violence, including aliens zapping superheroes, and superheroes punching aliens -- but (spoiler alert?) no one dies or is seriously injured. A man is raising his preteen daughter solo due to his wife's death (not shown). Language includes "oh my God" as an exclamation. The movie has strong messages about teamwork and believing in yourself. The main character, Missy (Yaya Gosselin), exemplifies courage and leadership as she helps the other kids in the movie come together.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjzellmagic311 December 31, 2020

My kids prefer the 1st one

A little too much cleavage for my family's taste LOL
Adult Written bydanibilder23 January 2, 2021

Normalized violence and laughing at adults

We shut it off when the kids started punching and kicking adults ("aliens in disguise") in the face. My boys are 9 and 7 and struggle with adult auth... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old December 31, 2020

It's okay.

Okay, to be completely honest, this movie was just- bleh. It's good for maybe toddlers? Anyway, I wasted 2 hours of my life watching something with no actu... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bytien.17 December 30, 2020

Scared my 7 Year Old Sister, But It's Funny, Has Many Good Messages, and is a Great Family Watch

We Can Be Heroes is a GREAT movie! It wasn't scary for me, (10 years old) but my younger sister, who is 7, loved it just as much but the aliens and the mon... Continue reading

What's the story?

WE CAN BE HEROES centers on Missy (Yaya Gosselin), a young preteen without powers who lives with her retired superhero dad, Marcus (Pedro Pascal). When aliens come to the planet seemingly to destroy it, the head of the Heroic Central Agency (Priyanka Chopra), calls on all superheroes to fight the threat. This means that Marcus, former leader of the Heroics, must come out of retirement to join the fight, so Missy is taken to Heroic Central headquarters for protection. There she meets the rest of the superhero children (including the daughter of Sharkboy and Lavagirl) and learns that they all have pretty impressive powers: rewinding time, fast-forwarding time, super singing, control of liquid, elasticity, super strength. After the children's parents are defeated and taken back to the alien mothership and the kids learn that the aliens will be coming after them, Missy devises a plan for them all to escape ... and then the adventure really begins. Missy and the others must learn to work together, control their powers, and avoid capture by aliens in order to save their parents and Earth before time runs out.

Is it any good?

This follow-up to Robert Rodriguez' other superhero-kid movies is surprisingly fun and entertaining for the whole family. Normally, sequels aren't as good as the original, but We Can Be Heroes is much better than its direct predecessor, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl. This film's storyline -- and quality -- is more akin to Spy Kids. While some of the acting can be a bit over the top, kids will very much enjoy the movie's adventure aspect, as well as all the different superpowers on display. And parents are likely to find themselves chuckling, too.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how, in We Can Be Heroes, the adult superheroes are constantly bickering and arguing. What did the children do differently when faced with challenges? Did they do a better job working as a team? How can adults sometimes learn from children?

  • All of the kids except Missy have superpowers. How did she cope when faced with challenges and not having powers? How do you think you'd react in similar situations?

  • How do the characters demonstrate courage? Why is that an important character strength?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love superheroes

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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