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"THE INVASION"
(2007) (Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Science fiction/Horror: As scientists seek a cure and a group of doctors combat an alien invasion that works like a virus and overtakes humans through contact with bodily fluids, a psychiatrist fights to save her young son from his already-alien-invaded father.
PLOT:
Carol (NICOLE KIDMAN) is a Washington, D.C. psychiatrist, divorced from her Center for Disease Control (CDC) official husband Tucker (JEREMY NORTHAM) and raising her little boy Oliver (JACKSON BOND) on her own. Called to the scene when a space shuttle crashes to earth, Tucker is afflicted with a mysterious goo.

In the days following, the CDC declares a "flu epidemic," encouraging citizens to be inoculated at government-approved stations, but Carol suspects it is something else when a patient, Wendy (VERONICA CARTWRIGHT), reports tearfully, "My husband is not my husband."

The infected folks style themselves as peacefully conformist, and background TV reports confirm that the world's wars and nuclear threats have subsided. Though Carol admits she has treated patients with medication to help them to "fit in," now she insists on the importance of being individuals, even in the face of conflict.

Carol is helped in her effort by her colleagues Ben (DANIEL CRAIG) and Steven (JEFFREY WRIGHT), who look into microscopes and deem the invading entity "highly resilient," able to survive 700 degrees of heat. As they race to find a cure, Tucker tries to infect Oliver, and Carol follows them to Baltimore, where she is pursued by packs of aliens. In order to save her son, she turns into an action hero, stealing and crashing cars, shooting guns, and battling those who are infected.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Yes, if they like alien invasion movies, or if they're fans of Nicole Kidman or Daniel Craig, the new "James Bond."
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For violence, disturbing content and terror.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • NICOLE KIDMAN is Carol Bellen, a morally sound, successful Washington, D.C. psychiatrist who must protect her son -- and by extension, the rest of the earth's population -- from the alien virus.
  • DANIEL CRAIG is Carol's colleague and best friend, who helps her to seek a cure and save her son.
  • JEREMY NORTHAM is Carol's ex-husband, a CDC official who is infected early on by the alien virus, then tries forcefully to infect his son and Carol.
  • JEFFREY WRIGHT is Steven who works with Ben at a hospital, and researches the virus.
  • JACKSON BOND is Oliver, Carol's young, brave son.
  • VERONICA CARTWRIGHT is Carol's patient, Wendy, who worries that her husband has changed.
  • CELIA WESTON plays Ludmilla Belicec, a maternal friend of Ben's who approves of his new date, Carol. She is also frighteningly loyal to her husband.
  • JOSEF SUMMER is Ludmilla's husband, Dr. Henryk Belicec, a diplomat who is very elegant, even when he's been infected.
  • ROGER REES plays Yorish, a Russian ambassador who argues over dinner with Carol, suggesting she has too much trust in people's essential goodness.
  • ERIC BENJAMIN is Gene, Oliver's friend, who threatens Carol.
  • 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 brief summary of the content found in this science fiction thriller that's rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 2 "s" words, while there are brief shots of two different women in their underwear, changing clothes, and there's one brief, passionate kiss.

    Violence includes a space shuttle crash, a dog attacking a little boy, aliens chasing and tackling humans, car chases, crashes and people being hit by vehicles, and humans attacking aliens with metal rods and guns. Some of that has bloody results, while the infected humans/aliens are gooey and gross to varying degrees. Those scenes and various moments of peril might be unsettling, suspenseful or possibly even scary to younger viewers and those with low tolerance levels for such material

    Some drinking is present (and a woman appears intoxicated), as is the taking of prescription medication. Tense family material is present, as are various bad attitudes.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, the film includes several scenes featuring hectic, handheld camerawork.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • The film opens in a pharmacy (then cuts back in time to show how Carol gets there), with Carol frantically grabbing at prescription bottles and gulping Mountain Dew in order to stay awake (very jittery camerawork and editing suggest her panic).
  • Carol prescribes anti-psychotic medication to her distressed patient Wendy.
  • Tucker says the aliens' making everyone the same is like her prescribing pills to patients, to "make their lives better."
  • Carol reminds Oliver to take his pills while he's visiting his dad (having to do with his nightmares).
  • At a D.C. diplomats' dinner, guests drink champagne and wine.
  • After the diplomats' dinner, Ben apologizes for a kiss (saying he "took advantage of a drunk woman"). She then walks stiffly (a little drunkenly) to her house and assures him she is not "drunk."
  • In a pharmacy, Carol rifles through pills for stimulants; she downs Mountain Dew and Pepsi to stay awake.
  • Carol instructs Oliver on giving her an adrenalin shot (in the heart) in case she falls asleep.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • The aftermath of a shuttle crash includes bloodied people, some dead, others staggering (these are shown as TV news images).
  • Whenever a character changes or begins to change, the scene shows blood molecules banging into each other in a hurry. This happens when Tucker turns, after which, he appears covered in crusty phlegm, wheezing in bed.
  • A dog attack on a little boy leaves blood on his ear, though it turns out to be the dog's blood.
  • Carol finds goo on the dog-attack boy and takes it to Ben, who tests it in the lab.
  • When Tucker holds a CDC conference, he has waiters serve coffee from urn. We see the waiters spit (almost vomit) into the urns, and then serve the coffee to unsuspecting attendees.
  • Yorish appears in bed, crusty and gooey.
  • On a subway car, Carol sees a woman with blood on her arm and shirt.
  • Aliens chase Carol and others on the subway, catching most of them and spitting goo on them as the victims struggle and scream.
  • Carol runs on the subway tracks, finds an empty service room and a body (blood around its head).
  • Carol and Ben see a dead cop near his cruiser and a pool of blood has formed around his head.
  • On the train from D.C. to Baltimore, Carol finds goo in the bathroom. She puts it on herself to fool aliens into thinking she's changed (we see blood cells careening whenever she starts to fall asleep, as she does briefly here).
  • There's blood on the wall in the pharmacy.
  • Carol shoots at least five aliens coming at her in the pharmacy (to protect Oliver), and then shoots Ben in the leg, so he can't chase her (blood is visible).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Although infected by an alien substance, those who are and try to infect others come across as having the bad attitudes.
  • Carol resists authorities like cops and security guards once she figures out they are aliens.
  • Oliver and his friend Gene sit outside playing videogames, when Gene says, "Something's wrong with my dad." Oliver says, "Mine too."
  • When Tucker holds a CDC conference, he has waiters serve coffee from urn. We see the waiters spit (almost vomit) into the urns, and then serve the coffee to unsuspecting attendees.
  • 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.
  • A space shuttle crash takes several minutes, featuring loud noise, a fiery entry, multiple explosions, and it leaves flaming debris and bloodied bodies, some dead.
  • When at the film's start, Tucker begins to change, his dog growls at him. Once he's in bed, Tucker turns crusty and yucky, then the film cuts to Oliver waking from a nightmare, screaming. His mother runs to his bedroom to comfort him.
  • A dog growls at trick or treaters. Carol tells the kids to back away, but the dog chases them down the street and attacks a boy. However, he calmly throttles the dog until its owner takes it away (still alive).
  • Carol sees a homeless man have a spasm on the sidewalk (he's roughly "contained" by police).
  • Carol notices that Wendy's husband, Richard, is very creepy. She calls Wendy to warn her that he's in the office, and Wendy, viewed from Carol's office window, runs away.
  • A woman runs frantically to Carol and Oliver's car, screaming, "They're coming!" and then runs into traffic, where she is hit violently by a car, flying up in the air and smashing to the pavement. Oliver looks frightened by that.
  • A creepy man who says he's a census taker comes to Carol's house late at night. He jams his arm in the door, she fights him off, he yelps, and tries again even more aggressively (arm-waving, grabbing, pushing and pounding on the door), scaring her.
  • Yorish appears in bed, crusty and gooey. He grabs at Carol, who fights him, while Ben also fights him. Yorish ends up on the floor gasping, then dead of cardiac arrest.
  • Tucker and other people in suits chase Carol, and he throws her down and spits on her face.
  • Carol runs from a group of aliens, from the suburbs into the city (apparently in seconds). She tries to stop cars to help her, but they all keep going.
  • Aliens chase Carol and others on the subway, catching most of them and spitting goo on them as the victims struggle and scream.
  • Carol is on the street when she sees a crowd watching a couple on a rooftop. The couple kisses, then leaps to their death, to avoid changing. A woman screams, and Carol looks very briefly horrified.
  • Carol and Oliver run through crowds on the street. The camerawork and editing are very hectic, as is the music. When they hide in a basement, Tucker enters and threatens them. Oliver hits him with a crowbar, then Tucker grabs and tries to strangle him with the bar. Spoiler Alert: Carol then hits Tucker in the head with another bar, killing him to save her son (he falls with a thud, we don't see blood).
  • Carol instructs Oliver on giving her an adrenalin shot (in the heart) in case she falls asleep. He soon has to do this, and it scares him.
  • Carol and Oliver wait in the pharmacy for Ben to come, and aliens locked in a back room pound on the door after they've awakened, louder and louder, yelling for her to open the door.
  • Carol shoots at least five aliens coming at her in the pharmacy (to protect Oliver), then shoots Ben in the leg, so he can't chase her (blood is visible).
  • While aliens chase Carol and Oliver, who are in a car, Steven hovers overhead in a helicopter, directing her turns so she arrives at a rooftop heli-pad. The turns involve lots of crashing, and an alien throws a Molotov cocktail that lands on the windshield and explodes (from inside the car's POV).. This chase goes on for several minutes.
  • With the car on fire, Carol crashes it in a parking garage against a column, resulting in a big boom.
  • On the roof, aliens continue to pursue Carol and Oliver (now unconscious, so she carries him). The helicopter picks them up, with military figures holding guns on the aliens, who back away.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Automatic weapons: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others and/or cause property damage. See the following as well as "Violence" for details.
  • Carol grabs a dead subway guard's gun and shoots another.
  • Carol takes a gun from a cop in the pharmacy who is lying on the floor, wheezing and changing. She uses it to threaten Ben (who arrives at the pharmacy changed).
  • An alien throws a Molotov cocktail that lands on the windshield and explodes (from inside the car's POV).
  • Carol shoots at least five aliens coming at her in the pharmacy (to protect Oliver), then shoots Ben in the leg, so he can't chase her (blood is visible).
  • On the roof, aliens continue to pursue Carol and Oliver (now unconscious, so she carries him). The helicopter picks them up, with military figures holding guns on the aliens, who back away.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Need a Russian boot up your behind."
  • In the game Carol and Oliver play, they think up names in a category, like kinds of pickles.
  • Following trick or treating, Oliver and his friends scramble to sort through candy, squealing.
  • When Tucker holds a CDC conference, he has waiters serve coffee from urn. We see the waiters spit (almost vomit) into the urns, and then serve the coffee to unsuspecting attendees.
  • Carol is on the street when she sees a crowd watching a couple on a rooftop. The couple kisses, then leaps to their death (we don't see them hit the ground but hear it), to avoid changing. A woman screams, and Carol looks very briefly horrified.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A scene cut from Tucker changing to Oliver screaming is alarming, though not exactly a "jump."
  • A creepy "census taker" at Carol's door pushes his way in abruptly.
  • There are scary shots in the shadows in the basement, though none of the related cuts are exactly "jump," just very tense.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of tense, pounding, and action-related music occurs in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 "s" words, and 1 use of "G-damn."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Tucker's girlfriend undresses to her underwear (camisole and panties) before she gets into bed.
  • Ben and Carol kiss in the car after the diplomats' dinner. She pulls away, insisting they should remain friends.
  • Carol changes her clothes and we see her strip to her pantyhose.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Carol is concerned that Tucker suddenly wants to see Oliver after a four-year absence. The exes are tense whenever they talk together.
  • Carol asks Oliver if he's nervous about seeing his father. Oliver assures her they can "text each other all the time," which they proceed to do.
  • When Carol drops Oliver off at his father's she is tense with Tucker, and Oliver looks worried as she drives away (she has tears in her eyes).
  • When Carol meets Wendy's husband in her office, she calls Wendy to warn her he's there. Wendy sounds scared on the phone and asks Carol to lie to him so she can pack her things and leave home.
  • Oliver and his friend Gene sit outside playing videogames, when Gene says, "Something's wrong with my dad." Oliver says, "Mine too."
  • Carol reads a text message from Oliver and can't find him, resulting in her sobbing.
  • Henryk comes home changed. Ludi sees it and cries. He then instructs her to join him and she does.
  • Carol meets a young friend of Oliver's on the train, Gene, who tells her "stop pretending." Saying his family "didn't make it, he says, "Your family is my family now."
  • Carol and Oliver find one another and hug fiercely, both relieved and afraid.
  • Carol and Oliver run through crowds on the street. The camerawork and editing are very hectic, as is the music. When they hide in a basement, Tucker enters and threatens them. Oliver hits him with a crowbar, then Tucker grabs and tries to strangle him with the bar. Spoiler Alert: Carol then hits Tucker in the head with another bar, killing him to save her son (he falls with a thud, we don't see blood).
  • Carol instructs Oliver on giving her an adrenalin shot (in the heart) in case she falls asleep. He soon has to do this, and it scares him.
  • Carol shoots at least five aliens coming at her in the pharmacy (to protect Oliver), and then shoots Ben in the leg, so he can't chase her (blood is visible).
  • While aliens chase Carol and Oliver, who are in a car, Steven hovers overhead in a helicopter, directing her turns so she arrives at a rooftop heli-pad. The turns involve lots of crashing, and an alien throws a Molotov cocktail that lands on the windshield and explodes (from inside the car's POV).. This chase goes on for several minutes.
  • On the roof, aliens continue to pursue Carol and Oliver (now unconscious, so she carries him); the helicopter picks them up, with military figures holding guns on the aliens, who back away.
  • At film's end, Carol and Ben are happy in the kitchen together, though she knows what he can't remember, that he tried to kill her and Oliver.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The use of psychiatric drugs.
  • The comparative moral values of conformity and individualism.
  • Mother-son loyalties.
  • Yorish's suggestion that "In the right situation, we are all capable of the most terrible crime."
  • Trust in the government to look out for its citizens, through medicine, police enforcement, and emergency measures in the name of "national security."
  • Carol's decision to shoot Ben to save Oliver.
  • The recurrence of war after the alien invasion is put off.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Early news reports on TV describe suicide bombing in Iraq.
  • A space shuttle crash takes several minutes, featuring loud noise, a fiery entry, multiple explosions, and leaves flaming debris and bloodied bodies, some dead.
  • Wendy describes in detail her husband's violent behavior. When she throws a cup at him, he does not approach her, as he usually does, but goes after their growling dog, snapping its neck. Wendy is very upset when she tells this story, as is Carol, who is listening.
  • A dog growls at trick or treaters. Carol tells the kids to back away, but the dog chases them down the street and attacks a boy. However, he calmly throttles the dog until its owner takes it away (still alive).
  • A woman runs frantically to Carol and Oliver's car, screams, "They're coming!" then runs into traffic, where she is hit violently by a car, flying up in the air and smashing to the pavement.
  • A creepy man who says he's a census taker comes to Carol's house late at night. He jams his arm in the door, she fights him off, he yelps, and then tries again even more aggressively (arm-waving, grabbing, pushing and pounding on the door), scaring her.
  • Yorish appears in bed, crusty and gooey. He grabs at Carol, who fights him, while Ben also fights him. Yorish ends up on the floor gasping, then dead of cardiac arrest.
  • Tucker and other people in suits chase Carol, and he throws her down and spits on her face.
  • A car hits a person on the street, and the body hits the windshield, splattering blood.
  • Aliens chase Carol and others on the subway, catching most of them and spitting goo on them as the victims struggle and scream.
  • Carol runs on the subway tracks, finds an empty service room and a body (blood around its head) with a gun. She then shoots a man who comes at her.
  • Carol is on the street when she sees a crowd watching a couple on a rooftop. The couple kisses, then leaps to their death (we don't see them hit the ground but hear it), to avoid changing. A woman screams, and Carol looks very briefly horrified.
  • Aliens capture a woman on the street. Carol watches as she screams and they taser her (this is harsh-looking).
  • Carol and Ben steal a cruiser and drive through quarantine blockades (some slamming around and crashing into other cars).
  • Carol slams Gene against a bed to knock him out.
  • Carol and Oliver run through crowds on the street. The camerawork and editing are very hectic, as is the music. When they hide in a basement, Tucker enters and threatens them. Oliver hits him with a crowbar, then Tucker grabs and tries to strangle him with the bar. Spoiler Alert: Carol then hits Tucker in the head with another bar, killing him to save her son (he falls with a thud, we don't see blood).
  • Carol shoots at least five aliens coming at her in the pharmacy (to protect Oliver), then shoots Ben in the leg, so he can't chase her (blood is visible).
  • While aliens chase Carol and Oliver, who are in a car, Steven hovers overhead in a helicopter, directing her turns so she arrives at a rooftop heli-pad. The turns involve lots of crashing, and an alien throws a Molotov cocktail that lands on the windshield and explodes (from inside the car's POV).. This chase goes on for several minutes.
  • With the car on fire, Carol crashes it in parking garage against a column, resulting in a big boom.
  • On the roof, aliens continue to pursue Carol and Oliver (now unconscious, so she carries him). The helicopter picks them up, with military figures holding guns on the aliens, who back away.
  • After the alien invasion is put off, the newspaper again reports on violence and war: "83 killed in Baghdad."



  • Reviewed August 14, 2007 / Posted August 17, 2007

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