for some violence, sci-fi action and thematic material
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld
Release Date/In Theaters
Sometime in the near future, aliens invade the Earth. The first time humanity suffered massive devastation and loss. The aliens, known as Formics, left. But not all was safe and they soon returned, only this time humans were ready. In an epic final battle, a great hero defeated them. Now, 70 years later they are back to annihilate the human race for good. What humanity needs is a hero. Ender's Game tells the story of this hero who will be the savior of the planet and defeat the aliens for good. If he fails, the tale of humanity is over. This parental guide to the movies has the scoop on whether this is a good one for the entire family, or if it should be saved for the older family members only.
Ender Wiggin is born a special child with special gifts and talents. The powers that be need to select a candidate to train to launch the final blow to the aliens. Ender has been chosen for this role. He is separated from his sister and brother to be taken to a battle school to be prepared for the most important role of his life. He learns to fight, but he must also learn to deal with feeling of compassion for all beings. He must learn to fight so that his family and all of humanity can live on.
Ender is a shy and compassionate boy at the beginning of the movie. This is really a coming of age movie with a unique sci-fi twist. Ender learns about the harsh realities of life and death as he prepares for his mission. As Ender grows and learns, he encounters some situations that might not be something that you want your children younger than the teen years to see. For instance, as the boys at the academy train, they must harm other children. It is suggested that Ender kills another child. The family movie review thinks that this material my be too graphic or disturbing for some children. Violence in the spirit of training to defeat the aliens and save the earth is condoned in this movie.
One of the peculiarities of this world is that population control is achieved through a ban on having a third child. The movie goes into great detail on the topic of population control by this method. There are many themes in this movie that center around the concept that the individual must make sacrifices, even their life if necessary, for the greater good. Compassionate and gentle Ender must learn to become a cold hard killer, putting his own convictions aside for the sake of humanity. This theme might be a little rough for younger members of the family, or those that are more sensitive.
This sci-fI action adventure has plenty of death and mayhem from the opening title to the closing credits. Some characters meet their demise in gruesome ways. This movie may be violent for those under the age of 13, and many adults for that matter. The thematic elements concerning violence and children earn it a definitive word of caution for moviegoers with little ones.
Read more family movie reviews by Parental Guide.