Could You Survive the Movies?

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Could You Survive the Movies? TV Poster Image
Award-winning series makes film science entertaining.

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A lot or a little?

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

Stands out for positive role models.

Positive Messages

This series encourages curiosity by investigating how movie scenes would play out in the real world and what science tells us about the effects they would have. By applying scientific concepts to imagined scenarios, the cast and viewers gain new perspective on what is real and what is not in the world of movie magic.

Positive Role Models

The cast gets answers by asking a lot of questions, showing viewers that knowledge comes from curiosity and a willingness to put theories to the test. Science experts in the show include both men and women, challenging traditional gender roles with regard to women in STEM fields.


All experiments that pose a possibility of danger use test dummies or computer simulation rather than human subjects, though some scenes are re-created using the cast and stunt techniques. No human injuries are shown, but potential ones (cracked skull, broken neck, death) are discussed in detail. 


Rarely stand-in cursing like "mother pussbucket."


While the series centers on famous films, it re-creates rather than shows scenes from them. Roper’s collaborators get billing as YouTubers, so fans may want to check out their other viral work.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Could You Survive the Movies? is an award-winning series that explores the real-life science behind famous stunts and scenes from films like Alien, Die Hard, and Men in Black. The cast uses re-creations and experiments to test the plausibility of the kind of movie magic that yields wow moments in the movies, incorporating concepts like mass and distribution, pressure waves, and sound waves with relatively simple explanations about how they relate to the movie scenes as they go. Some experiments result in graphic descriptions of what injuries a person would sustain if the events played out in real life, but the impact is shown on crash-test dummies or in computer simulations. Expect some occasional pseudo cursing ("mother pussbucket," for instance), but otherwise little content that’s concerning.

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What's the story?

In COULD YOU SURVIVE THE MOVIES?, host Jake Roper puts the real science behind fantastical film plot devices like time travel, proton blasts, wormholes, and extraterrestrial life to the test. Working with fellow YouTube educators to create experiments that replicate famous scenes from the likes of Back to the Future and Ghostbusters, Roper helps explain the plausibility (or lack thereof) of some of films’ most iconic and memorable moments. 

Is it any good?

Roper and his collaborators do a lot with a relative little in this curious scripted series with costumed movie scene re-creations that are most fun for viewers who have seen the original films. Could You Survive the Movies? is exceedingly intriguing and educational, thanks in large part to its engaging host and crew. 

One prominent and welcome factor in the show is its inclusion of female cast members in positions of STEM expertise. Roper usually takes center stage and does most of the scripted narration, but he shares the spotlight in movie scene remakes with his costars, including female collaborators with specialties in the sciences. Viewers who watch will learn how hard science supports or disproves those murky concepts that movies cash in on and likely will gain a greater appreciation for the imaginations that create some of the most iconic films and franchises.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how movie science blurs the line between fantasy and reality. As technology improves and it becomes more difficult to tell what's real and what isn't -- how does that change the impact of scary movies in particular? 

  • How do the cast members create experiments that test fantastical concepts? What questions do they ask themselves before they begin? Who brings expertise to the process? How does curiosity help them arrive at an answer?

  • How has the internet made access to shows like Could You Survive the Movies? more accessible? In what ways does this accessibility encourage creativity through less-traditional series? How do you manage screen time limits when so much of our work and play is online? 

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