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"A. I. - ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE"
(2001) (Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Moderate Heavy *Heavy None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Mild Heavy None *Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy None Moderate Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Sci-fi: Sometime in the future, an advanced robotic boy, who's been the first such mechanical being programmed to love, sets out on an odyssey where he hopes to find a fairy tale character he believes can turn him into a real boy.
PLOT:
Sometime in the future, after the polar ice caps have melted, flooded coastal cities and reduced natural resources, androids have become commonplace since they're never hungry and don't consume commodities. Since reproduction is also legally restricted, the perfect solution for anyone wanting their first or an additional child would obviously be to have a robotic one. Yet, since robots don't love, Professor Hobby (WILLIAM HURT) of Cybertronics Manufacturing has come up with a solution -make one that does and can consequently be loved back by its parents.

Monica (FRANCES O'CONNOR) and Henry Swinton (SAM ROBARDS) are one such couple in need. Their young son, Martin (JAKE THOMAS), is in suspended animation due to some illness or injury, and Henry agrees to take home the latest such "mecha" model named David (HALEY JOEL OSMENT). At first, Monica hates the idea and is unnerved by the boy who looks real on the outside, but is completely artificial under his skin.

Yet, she eventually warms up to him and decides to go through with an imprinting process - that can't be reversed or deleted - where David will see and love Monica as his real mother. Although David's behavior is still a little odd as he observes and learns, things seem to be progressing just fine, even causing Monica to give him Martin's old "Super Toy," Teddy (voice of JACK ANGEL), a fully mobile, self-sufficient teddy bear.

Then comes news that Martin has emerged from his coma or illness and returns home, instantly generating some sibling rivalry within the real boy. After several accidents and odd occurrences, the Swintons decide they must get rid of David. Knowing that he'll be destroyed if taken back to Cybertronics, however, Monica dumps the android in the woods. Believing if he'd become human like Pinocchio his mother would love him, David pleads for her not to leave, but it's to no avail.

From that point on, David sets out to find the Blue Fairy from that story whom he believes can turn him into a human. As he does so, he makes a strange ally in Gigolo Joe (JUDE LAW), a love android programmed to please the ladies but now on the run from the law, and has run-ins with various sorts of characters, including Lord Johnson-Johnson (BRENDAN GLEESON), the emcee of the Flesh Fair where angry humans cheer on the demise of robots they fear are out to replace them.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of someone in the cast, director Steven Spielberg, the late Stanley Kubrick or futuristic, sci-fi films, it's a good bet they will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some sexual content and violent images.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • HALEY JOEL OSMENT plays the latest android, a boy designed to love and be loved. When this ultimately doesn't occur, he sets out to find a fictitious fairy that he believes will turn him into a human so that his real mother will love him in return.
  • FRANCES O'CONNOR plays that woman who's torn in her reaction to David and how he fits in with her family.
  • SAM ROBARDS plays her husband who initially brings David home as a test replacement for their son who's in suspended animation, but then doesn't see David as anything but a toy.
  • JAKE THOMAS plays their son who recovers from his illness and returns home, only to develop something of a sibling rivalry and condescending attitude toward his robotic brother.
  • WILLIAM HURT plays a professor who issues the directive for his company to build a robotic boy who can love and be loved.
  • JUDE LAW plays a lover robot, a mechanical gigolo created and programmed to please human women in any number of ways. After being framed for murder, he then goes on the lam and becomes an unlikely ally to David.
  • BRENDAN GLEESON plays a human who rounds up and then systematically kills androids in torturous fashion for the amusement of other humans who can't stand and/or fear robots replacing them/making them obsolete.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this sci-fi drama/thriller that's been rated PG-13. One of the androids in the film is noted as being a "lover" model, a robotic android designed to "please" human women. Accordingly, there's some non-explicit, sexually related talk (a woman wonders if "it" will hurt with him before he climbs on top of her, clothed, on a motel bed and sex is implied) and he briefly mimics the sound of a woman's aroused/pleasured sounds. Meanwhile, some downtown structures/signs show or are in the form of shapely women.

    Some human on human violence is present (an off-screen murder with bloody results), as is that of the human on android variety (including a setting where human-like androids are systematically killed by various means of torture) and brief android on android violence (a robot boy smashes and decapitates a duplicate of him). Some of those scenes - particularly the torture elements - and others - including a near drowning -- may be unsettling or scary to some viewers, particularly younger ones.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes (some toward androids). Beyond a few religious phrases, there isn't any traditional profanity, but there are some tense family moments regarding a couple's initially ill son and their response to their new robotic one. Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for anyone in your home who may want to see it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific information regarding what's present in it.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, a few moments of that occur in one scene.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Henry and Monica have wine with a meal and do so again in a later scene.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We briefly see Monica sitting on the toilet when David suddenly opens the door to surprise her, but we don't see any nudity or biological functions.
  • David's face partially "melts" and distorts after he eats food (something he's not supposed to do).
  • We see some blood on the end of Joe's finger as he meets another trick and then realizes she's been murdered (we see blood from her head that's run down the side of some furniture).
  • Although they're robotic, we see many android body pieces (feet, arms, etc. that look realistic) being dumped in the woods.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Much of what follows depends on how viewers will respond to how humans treat androids that vary in their degrees of seeming real and/or human.
  • Henry doesn't accept David as his son, stating that he's just a toy.
  • Martin develops a strong sibling rivalry with David, pointing out David's faults.
  • Some kids are mean to David at a birthday party, asking if he can pee and then trying to see what he can't pee with (we don't see anything).
  • Believing that David is a danger to Martin and possibly themselves, Monica reluctantly drives David back to the plant knowing he'll be destroyed. She has second thoughts, however, and instead abandons him in the woods like an unwanted pet (although she's obviously upset about this).
  • We see that a man has murdered a woman.
  • Some could see those at the Flesh Fair as having both for participating in and/or cheering on the "killing" of androids.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers, especially younger ones, but that all depends on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material.
  • Told by Martin that Monica will love him if he cuts off a lock of her hair as she sleeps, David creeps into her bedroom with a pair of scissors to do just that. As he approaches her and prepares to make that cut, she suddenly rolls over and finds those scissors pointed right at her face.
  • A kid at an outdoor birthday party picks up a cake knife and prepares to jab it into David to prove a point, but David then grabs Martin and the two end up falling into a nearby swimming pool. Various adults dive in and must pry a now lifeless Martin from David's grasp and revive him up top (all seen from below the water). The sight of David then lying on the pool bottom (not hurt since he's a robot) may be unsettling for some viewers.
  • The sight of various androids in various stages of "decay" may be unsettling or scary for some younger viewers as those robots pick out discarded android body parts to replace their broken or missing ones (and thus we see ones that look human, but are missing hands or parts of their faces, etc.).
  • A nighttime scene where Lord Johnson-Johnson and his crew chase after and then catch fleeing androids (including David) might be tense or unsettling for some younger viewers.
  • A nighttime sequence set at the Flesh Fair - where humans celebrate the destruction and "death" of androids in a carnival/stadium like setting - may be scary, suspenseful and/or unsettling for some viewers as many human-like androids are pulled out of their cages and then systematically killed (by being shot from a canon through flames and into a spinning propeller blade - resulting in a flaming, severed head flying up against some cell bars - and others are torn/cut apart and have acid poured onto them). During this, David and Joe nearly receive the latter treatment, but are spared.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Since David's imitation of others seems to irritate adults, it's possible some kids could try to do the same.
  • To prove a point about androids of the time, Professor Hobby jams some sort of large needle/probe into a female android's hand (piercing the skin), but it doesn't seem to hurt her and there's no pain.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Monica turns the corner and suddenly finds David standing there.
  • A motorcycle suddenly breaks through part of a wall at night.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of ominous/suspenseful music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • The following is listed as minor due to the absence of "traditional" expletives. Those sensitive to religious phrases being used as such may rate the inclusion of such phrases/words at a higher level.
  • At least 4 uses each of "Oh God" and "Oh my God," 2 of "G-damn" and 1 use of "God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • After Professor Hobby states that he proposes they build a robot that can love, an associate chimes in that they ship thousands of lover units every month (those designed to be lovers for adults).
  • We briefly see Monica sitting on the toilet when David suddenly opens the door to surprise her, but we don't see any nudity or biological functions.
  • Monica shows a bit of cleavage.
  • We see Gigolo Joe, an android designed to sleep with human women, in a motel room with a real woman. After he mentions that something she said excites him, she wonders what he has under there (referring to his pants) and asks if she can see what it looks like. He then asks her if this is her first time with someone like him and she replies that she's never been with a mecha. She then adds that she's afraid it will hurt, causing him to tell her that once she's been with a lover robot, "you'll never want a real man again." He then gets on top of her on the bed (both are clothed) and we see them kiss in a head and shoulders shot (and it's implied that they have sex).
  • Joe states that blue is the color of melancholy and that the services he provides will put a blush back on anyone's cheeks. He then imitates a woman's passionate/sensuous sounds ("Oh yes! "Oh God!" etc.) while telling David that the blue fairy he seeks will make David a real boy and Joe will make her a real woman.
  • Trying to get some young guys to give him and David a ride into the city, Joe tells these young men about the robotic hookers in town, stating that they won't get pregnant. He then projects a small image of such a woman dancing around (in bra, underwear and garters), focusing it on one man's crotch, stating that this and much more will be theirs if they agree (they enthusiastically do).
  • In a downtown district there's a huge neon-type structure designed to look like a woman reclining with her stocking-covered legs crossed. It features large, prominent, breast-like features on it that have lights on the end. We also see a building that has two women, androids or computer-generated images of some show girls who/that are wearing extremely high cut outfits (showing lots of leg all the way to the butt).
  • Monica shows a little more cleavage in the nightgown she wears.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We see Monica and Henry visiting their sick/ill son, Martin, who's apparently in a coma (or kept artificially alive) in some frozen chamber, and Monica is visibly upset about this.
  • Believing that David is a danger to Martin and possibly themselves, Monica reluctantly drives David back to the plant knowing he'll be destroyed. She has second thoughts, however, and instead abandons him in the woods like an unwanted pet (although she's obviously upset about this).
  • We learn that David was made in memory/honor of Professor Hobby's presumably dead son.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Robots/androids and whether they'll ever become so realistic that they'll look, act and be perceived as human, and whether they'll be able to love or be loved.
  • The reaction and behavior of the humans at the Flesh Fair toward the androids (systematically killing them due to fear, prejudice, etc.).
  • What makes a being "human" and how we're just biological "machines" where the sum of the parts inside us makes us who we are.
  • VIOLENCE
  • To prove a point about androids of the time, Professor Hobby jams some sort of large needle/probe into a female android's hand (piercing the skin), but it doesn't seem to hurt her and there's no pain.
  • Trying to abandon David in the woods, Monica finally pushes him to the ground so that she can leave without him.
  • We see some blood on the end of Joe's finger as he meets another trick and then realizes she's been murdered (we see blood from her head that's run down the side of some furniture).
  • At a Flesh Fair where humans celebrate the destruction of human-like androids, various robots are systematically destroyed by various means. They include sights of one being shot from a canon through flames and then into a spinning propeller blade (that decapitates the android); another being pulled apart on a rack-like device; a third being cut in half by a chainsaw (or something similar) as the attacker speeds by on a motorcycle; and yet another having acid poured onto her.
  • Some acid then drips on David's shoulder, but he seems okay (if nervous/scared).
  • The crowd turns on Lord Johnson-Johnson, pelting him with what looks like fruit and then storming the "stage."
  • Upset to find another android that looks just like him, David picks up a large object and strikes the other android with it, first tearing off part of his face and then decapitating him (while also smashing a glass table of some sort).



  • Reviewed June 22, 2001 / Posted June 29, 2001

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