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"A SOUND OF THUNDER"
(2005) (Edward Burns, Catherine McCormack) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Sci-fi: After a time-traveling expedition 65 millions years into the past results in progressive changes in the future, a group of scientists races against time to go back and fix things before it's too late.
PLOT:
The year is 2055 and through the results of poachers, viruses and more, natural wildlife as we know it no longer exists. Realizing he can fulfill a niche for hunters and other adventurous types, Time Safari Incorporated CEO Charles Hatton (SIR BEN KINGSLEY) has come up with a solution. Since his outfit has just recently perfected time travel, they offer hunting packages that go back 65 million years where the rich can hunt dinosaurs.

As innovative scientist turned protestor Dr. Sonia Rand (CATHERINE McCORMACK) constantly reminds them, such trips are fraught with potential danger, not only for the time travelers, but also for everyone else in the present should anyone change anything in the past. Only using an Allosaurus that was ready to die anyway, the expedition - run by lead scientist Dr. Travis Ryer (EDWARD BURNS) -- follows a strict regimen of operating procedures on all such trips.

None of the guns -- filled with frozen liquid nitrogen "bullets" -- can be fired until Ryer fires his and everyone -- including Tech Officer Marcus Payne (DAVID OYELOWO), hologram trip recorder Jenny Krase (JEMIMA ROOPER) and Dr. Andrew Lucas (WILFRIED HOCHHOLDINGER) -- must stay on the virtual pathway created by the time machine and which hovers above the ground to prevent any potential contamination. And for an extra layer of caution, government worker Clay Derris (AUGUST ZIRNER) is present to oversee the operation.

On one such trip, however, Ryer's gun malfunctions -- preventing anyone else from firing -- and they're nearly eaten by an Allosaurus, sending two of the clients rushing away to hide on the virtual pathway. When they return to the present, they eventually realize that they inadvertently changed something in the past that's now having a temporal ripple effect in the present. With each tidal wave type ripple progressively changing how things have evolved over millions of years, Ryer realizes they must act quickly. With the aid of Dr. Rand, they then set out to make a return trip to the past to fix things, but must race against time and the rapidly changing evolutionary forces that threaten them and their world.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into time travel stories and/or are fans of someone in the cast, they might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sci-fi violence, partial nudity and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • EDWARD BURNS plays the lead scientist and expedition leader at Time Safari, guiding clients back in time to hunt dinosaurs. He does so in an effort to collect DNA samples of extinct species, but soon comes to the realization that something was changed in a previous trip. He then sets out to right that wrong. He uses some profanity and presumably has sex with one of his clients.
  • CATHERINE McCORMACK plays the scientist who invented the computer that makes time travel possible, but now protests what Hatton and the others are doing with it. When Ryer comes asking for help to save the world, she reluctantly joins his quest. She uses some profanity.
  • SIR BEN KINGSLEY plays the greedy CEO of the company who will do anything to make a buck and easily spins any bad news around in his favor. He also cuts corners to save money, but endangers everyone in doing so.
  • DAVID OYELOWO plays the tech officer in charge of making sure the technology works properly on each trip.
  • JEMIMA ROOPER plays the team member in charge of recording each trip on a hologram device and who's a lifelong friend to Ryer.
  • WILFRIED HOCHHOLDINGER plays another member of the team.
  • AUGUST ZIRNER plays the government worker who's assigned to oversee the operations but is in cahoots with Hatton in cutting corners to save money.
  • 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:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this sci-fi action film that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of several slang terms using male genitals, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some sexually related dialogue is present, while a casual sex scene presumably takes place off camera (the woman waits -- presumably nude -- for the man in a chair facing away from the camera and is later seen with just a sheet around her).

    Violence consists of a person shooting and killing a person before committing suicide, various monstrous creatures killing humans, and humans shooting dinosaurs in the past. Some of that has bloody/slightly gory results, while such scenes and other moments of peril might be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material (and some of it could induce nightmares in the very young). Much of the material, however, is so silly/stupid that most others probably won't have the same reaction. Some characters have bad attitudes, a few drink, a brief drug related comment is present, and thematic elements include evolution, suicide, corporate corruption and the ramifications of time travel.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, we see that from flicker from a fire and later there are flashes of light in a tunnel.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some jumpy camerawork, particularly during the time travel sequences.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see a stack of champagne glasses filled with champagne as Hatton leads a toast with their clients for a successful trip.
  • Ryer tells Clay that the latter looks like he could use a drink, adding that the latter is a government inspector and they're supposed to drink on the job.
  • We see a woman holding a drink.
  • About getting inoculations for traveling into the past, a client jokingly complains that he's getting track marks on his arms (a drug-related joke).
  • We see the stack of champagne glasses again as Hatton leads another toast after a mission.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Sonia sprays blood or red paint on Hatton and the others as a means of protest.
  • Sonia appears to have a little blood on her arm after being knocked down.
  • We see what looks like a trail of blood on the floor in the present.
  • We see some blood on a man's skin and torn clothing after some vines grab and injure him.
  • We see a guy with some blood on his shirt.
  • We see two dead people on the floor (one with a small bloody bullet hole in their head) with a comment made about them having killed each other.
  • We see some blood on a man's shirt after he's just been shot and killed.
  • We see a dead body under some shallow water and it appears to have some blood on it.
  • We see what looks like blood mixing with water from a dead creature.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Hatton admits that he runs the business just to get rich. We later learn that he's cut corners in order to save money and make himself richer, thus endangering all of mankind in the process.
  • One client accuses another of being nervous, saying he has "balls the size of BBs." When the latter shows some backbone, the first says "They're so big I can hear them clanging."
  • A rich client asks, "What's the point of being rich if you can't buy things others can't afford?"
  • Hatton spins any bad news into something positive to keep himself out of trouble.
  • Hatton is demeaning to Clay, particularly about his intelligence.
  • For those concerned with such matters, the film touches on the topic of evolution (specifically how things evolve differently over millions of years due to one change in the past).
  • We learn that Hatton turned off the bio-filters that are designed to detect anything the time travelers might have inadvertently brought back with them.
  • There's the rumor that Hatton bribed Clay to keep him from reporting on the above.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material (and some of it could induce nightmares in the very young). Much of the material, however, is so silly/stupid that most others probably won't have the same reaction.
  • The first time the team is in the past, we don't know what's occurring as we and they hear thunderous booms of something approaching them. They then spot a huge Allosaurus quickly charging them, with everyone unable to fire until Ryer does. He waits and continues to do so until the last moment when he finally fires, thus allowing the others to do the same. The dinosaur is hit and then falls into a pool of tar into which it then sinks (there's no blood).
  • We see a lion racing toward Ryer and Sonia in the company's building but it turns out to be just a hologram.
  • During another trip back, the Allosaurus charges the team and its two new clients. As before, Ryer waits until the last minute to fire, but this time his gun won't and the dinosaur comes right up to them. The clients panic and run off, with Ryer trying to distract the dinosaur with a flashlight. He has to avoid contact with it and then get it away from Jenny when it appears ready to eat her. The gun is finally fixed and Ryer uses it to shoot the dinosaur dead.
  • The team makes another trip into the past, but this time they've arrived too late. A nearby volcano blows and the pyroclastic flow races down toward them. The group flees back into their time portal, with Jenny scrambling to retrieve her holographic recorder off the virtual pathway. She and Ryer then jump into the portal just in time.
  • A huge hole suddenly opens in a street, with a futuristic cab crashing into it nose-first (we don't know about those inside it), while the cab carrying Ryer barely swerves out of the way just in time (and people sitting nearby have to flee to avoid being).
  • Ryer and Sonia see what looks like an enormous tidal wave approaching their city off the adjacent huge lake (this is Chicago). It then sweeps across part of it, but it turns out to be a temporal wave and the shock of it knocks Ryer down. They then hear a scream in the hallway and open the door to find a person collapse to the floor, completely covered by bugs of some sort. Those bugs then race into Sonia's place and she and Ryer try to get them off each other, but there are too many. He then causes a gas canister to explode, and joins Sonia in jumping from her place (they crash down through various trees that break their fall).
  • Following a temporal ripple (where things change with its passing), Ryer and Sonia then see that their city is now in ruins, with all sorts of plant life growing up through everything.
  • Ryer travels back in time, but there's a malfunction and he ends up on the American prairie where a bunch of American Indians on horseback charge at and then jump over him. Another tidal wave type temporal wave then races at him. He runs back into the time portal, but the wave then hits him and others back in the present, knocking them around.
  • We see what looks like a trail of blood on the floor in the present.
  • The team travels out into an overgrown park at night to face whatever changes the temporal waves have brought to their city over the past 65 million years. As they proceed in the dark, they hear various strange animal noises, including what seems to be a loud monster sound. There are more such sounds when a bunch of sharp vines suddenly grab one of the men, severely wounding him (we only see a little blood on his skin and some on his torn clothing), but he's unable to proceed under his own power.
  • A monstrous cross between an ape and lizard grabs one person and carries them off. Ryer goes after it, repeatedly shooting it, but his "bullets" bounce off its skin before finally killing it with a shot to the neck (no blood). More such creatures continue to show up and advance toward Ryer and an injured man. The latter tells the former to leave him as there's no hope. Ryer reluctantly does so and then watches as the creatures surround and then apparently attack and kill the man (we don't see the actual impact, but we see the mass of them in a pile on him).
  • Another creature suddenly attacks a man (in front of his son) and Ryer shoots and kills it.
  • As some of the group members ascend a stairwell, they're cautious not to make contact with thorny vines that move and seem to be alive.
  • A former client shoots at Ryer and Sonia when they enter his place looking for answers.
  • A man shoots another man dead. He then holds the handgun to his head and pulls the trigger. We see this from a partial distance in the partial dark, with no blood but a full view of the man's body falling to the floor.
  • Flying creatures come after the vehicle containing Ryer and others. They look monstrous and repeatedly bang into it, with one finally peeling back the roof and yanking out a person who's carried away. The car eventually wrecks and slides through the glass wall of a building.
  • A man warns the others of huge monstrous creatures hanging asleep from the ceiling like huge bats. They try to retrieve what they need as quietly as possible and want the man to leave with them. He won't, but then reconsiders, although it's too late as they're already gone and he's now in the dark as the creatures drop down to the flooded floor and surround him.
  • The remaining survivors get into a crashed subway car in a tunnel that then starts to collapse, with ceiling pieces and water collapsing other cars. The tunnel then floods and the small group finds itself trapped in the subway car that's now completely underwater. An enormous eel like creature (as long as the subway car) then suddenly bursts through a window and snatches a person, with the act starting to flood the car. Ryer then shoots out a window, completing the flooding process until the two survivors are underwater and then swim out, only to encounter the enormous eel. Ryer's gun won't fire underwater, so he pulls out his knife and stabs the eel when it returns, but we then see that it has him coiled up in its tail. More wreckage then lands on the eel, killing it and releasing him. Ryer floats as if dead, but Sonia pulls him up above the surface and resuscitates him. The eel's head suddenly pops above the surface by them, but it's dead.
  • Ryer and Sonia race to get to another building to jury-rig a time machine, but we see the ape-lizard creatures scrambling all over the outside of the building. As the two set up their travel, the creatures bang and smash the closed entry to their location, all as another time ripple races toward the building.
  • After another time ripple, a person has turned into some sort of fish-human hybrid creature.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Various guns: Used to shoot at and kill others.
  • The team carries various futuristic weapons that fire frozen liquid nitrogen "bullets" and are used to kill the same dinosaur time and again.
  • Sonia points a gun out the opening in her door to make others leave her alone.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Due to a bad audio mix on the film and/or bad audio in the theater, some of the dialogue was hard to understand/hear. Thus the following should be considered a minimum in such regards. That said, we heard the following phrases: "To compensate for your little willies," "I'm not really that big of a d*ck," "You *sshole," "Could piss someone off," "Screwed up," "Balls the size of BBs," "What the hell /just happened/was that?" "Brass balls," "Why the hell not?" "Rich fat ass," "Pea-brain," "Like hell it is," "Moron," "Are you insane?" "Freaking out," "Great *sshole in the sky," "I suggest we get the hell out of here," "Who the hell are you?" "That little weasel," "Damn right," "Piece of crap," "It will hurt like hell" and "Stop being a pain in the ass."
  • Sonia sprays blood or red paint on Hatton and the others as a means of protest.
  • One client accuses another of being nervous, saying he has "balls the size of BBs." When the latter shows some backbone, the first says "They're so big I can hear them clanging."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A creature suddenly attacks a man (in front of his son) and Ryer shoots and kills it.
  • An enormous eel like creature (as long as the subway car) suddenly bursts through a window and snatches a person.
  • An enormous eel's head suddenly pops above the surface of a flooded tunnel by two people, but it's dead.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • Due to a bad audio mix on the film and/or bad audio in the theater, some of the dialogue was hard to understand/hear. Thus the following should be considered a minimum in such regards. That said, we heard the following: At least 3 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck" and "willies"), a possible slang term for sex ("tap"), 14 hells, 6 asses (2 used with "hole"), 1 crap, 1 damn, 5 uses of "Jesus," 3 of "Oh my God," 2 each of "For Christ's sakes," "My God" and "Jesus Christ" and 1 use each of "G-damn" and "Oh Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Due to a bad audio mix on the film and/or bad audio in the theater, some of the dialogue was hard to understand/hear. Thus the following should be considered a minimum in such regards. That said, we heard the following:
  • It sounded like someone on the team bets another that a guy is going to "tap" a client's adult daughter tonight (meaning have sex with her).
  • A woman shows some cleavage.
  • Sonia complains that the men go back to hunt and kill dinosaurs to "compensate for your little willies."
  • We see a woman (presumably) sitting nude in Ryer's chair, holding a drink. Due to the camera position (from behind the chair), we don't see anything explicit, but Ryer apparently sees her full nudity when he walks in. It's implied that they have sex as we later see her standing in a doorway with just a sheet around her and he's in his boxers. Later, Jenny comments about that, with Ryer saying he sent that woman home, but Jenny knows better and asks, "Before or after?"
  • A guy jokes about Clay at home with chicken feet, whips and something else (sexual in context).
  • We see Ryer in his boxers.
  • Jenny is apparently changing behind a partial door of sorts that cover her midsection (we see her bare shoulders and lower legs). She jokes to Ryer that he's seen her that way before, and a comment is made about skinny-dipping, but Ryer says that was when they were 8.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • A former client says his friend's wife kicked out that second guy from their home.
  • Another creature suddenly attacks a man (in front of what's presumably his son) and Ryer shoots and kills it.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Time travel and the ramifications of doing so in the event anything would be changed in the past, and how that would affect the present.
  • Sonia complains that the men go back to hunt and kill dinosaurs to "compensate for your little willies."
  • We hear that in the near future, most natural wildlife is extinct due to poaching and viruses, etc.
  • The hunting of animals for sport.
  • The question: "What's the point of being rich if you can't buy things others can't afford?"
  • Hatton spins any bad news into something positive to keep himself out of trouble.
  • For those concerned with such matters, the film touches on the topic of evolution (specifically how things evolve differently over millions of years due to one change in the past).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Various team members and clients shoot and kill a dinosaur in the past (no blood).
  • During another trip back into time, Ryer shoots and kills that same Allosaurus again (no blood).
  • A huge hole suddenly opens in a street, with a futuristic cab crashing into it nose-first (we don't know about those inside it).
  • Ryer and Sonia see what looks like an enormous tidal wave approaching their city off the adjacent huge lake (this is Chicago). It then sweeps across part of it, but it turns out to be a temporal wave and the shock of it knocks Ryer down. They then hear a scream in the hallway and open the door to find a person collapse to the floor, completely covered by bugs of some sort. Those bugs then race into Sonia's place and she and Ryer try to get them off each other, but there are too many. He then causes a gas canister to explode, and joins Sonia in jumping from her place (they crash down through various trees that break their fall).
  • A temporal wave hits Ryer and others back in the present, knocking them around.
  • A bunch of sharp vines suddenly grab one of the men, severely wounding him (we only see a little blood on his skin and some on his torn clothing), but he's unable to proceed under his own power.
  • A monstrous cross between an ape and lizard grabs one person and carries them off. Ryer goes after it, repeatedly shooting it, but his "bullets" bounce off its skin before finally killing it with a shot to the neck (no blood). More such creatures continue to show up and advance toward Ryer and an injured man. The latter tells the former to leave him as there's no hope. Ryer reluctantly does so and then watches as the creatures surround and then apparently attack and kill the man (we don't see the actual impact, but we see the mass of them in a pile on him).
  • Another creature suddenly attacks a man (in front of his son) and Ryer shoots and kills it.
  • We see two dead people on the floor (one with a small bloody bullet hole in their head) with a comment made about them having killed each other.
  • Ryer shoots a door open.
  • A former client shoots at Ryer and Sonia when they enter his place looking for answers.
  • A man shoots another man dead. He then holds the handgun to his head and pulls the trigger. We see this from a partial distance in the partial dark, with no blood but a full view of the man's body falling to the floor.
  • Flying creatures come after the vehicle containing Ryer and others. They look monstrous and repeatedly bang into it, with one finally peeling back the roof and yanking out a person who's carried away. The car eventually wrecks and slides through the glass wall of a building.
  • The remaining survivors get into a crashed subway car in a tunnel that then starts to collapse, with ceiling pieces and water collapsing other cars. The tunnel then floods and the small group finds itself trapped in the subway car that's now completely underwater. An enormous eel like creature (as long as the subway car) then suddenly bursts through a window and snatches a person, with the act starting to flood the car. Ryer then shoots out a window, completing the flooding process until the two survivors are underwater and then swim out, only to encounter the enormous eel. Ryer's gun won't fire underwater, so he pulls out his knife and stabs the eel when it returns, but we then see that it has him coiled up in its tail. More wreckage then lands on the eel, killing it and releasing him. Ryer floats as if dead, but Sonia pulls him up above the surface and resuscitates him.



  • Reviewed August 31, 2005 / Posted September 2, 2005

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