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"MONSTERS VS. ALIENS"
(2009) (voices of Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen) (PG)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Computer Animated Sci-Fi/Comedy: After being struck by a meteorite, a bride-to-be suddenly grows to 50 feet tall and finds herself, along with a group of monsters long-held in secret by the U.S. Government, in a battle against an extraterrestrial, his clones, and the alien robotic probes sent to conquer Earth.
PLOT:
It's a big day for Susan Murphy (voice of REESE WITHERSPOON), a Modesto, California woman who's about to marry local TV weatherman Derek Dietl (voice of PAUL RUDD). Her plans change, however, when a meteorite, radiating with quantonium, accidentally smashes into her. As a result, she suddenly grows to 50 feet tall, and if that weren't enough to put the wedding on hold, U.S. Government officials working for General W.R. Monger (voice of KIEFER SUTHERLAND) quickly arrive, capture, and remove her from the scene.

When she comes to, she finds herself in a top-secret government facility, in operation since the 1950s, that holds any number of captured monsters. Among them is B.O.B. (voice of SETH ROGEN), an indestructible if dimwitted gelatinous mass; the half-amphibian, half-ape The Missing Link (voice of WILL ARNETT); the diminutive but brilliant Dr. Cockroach PhD (voice of HUGH LAURIE) who was accidentally created in a teleportation experiment; and Insectosaurus, a 350 foot tall moth that's easily distracted by bright lights.

They, and a shell-shocked Susan are called into duty by Gen. Monger when ruthless alien Gallaxhar (voice of RAINN WILSON) sends his towering robotic probe to Earth in search of the meteorite and its prized quantonium. After managing to defeat it, they must contend with Gallaxhar's next plan -- conquering Earth.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It's a good bet many will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For sci-fi action, some crude humor and mild language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • SUSAN is a normal woman who unexpectedly grows to 50 feet tall when she's struck by a meteorite. From that point on, she must contend with that, Derek's change of heart toward her and their relationship, the military abducting and holding her, and then having to battle Gallaxhar and his clones.
  • B.O.B. is the dimwitted but big-hearted and happy gelatinous mass who's pretty much indestructible and helps her on her mission.
  • DR. COCKROACH PH.D is part man, part cockroach due to a scientific experiment gone awry. Brilliant but bordering on mad scientist, he's the brains of the operation.
  • THE MISSING LINK is the somewhat over-the-hill jock of the group, half reptile, half ape, and full of ego that his body can't always back up.
  • GENERAL W.R. MONGER is the U.S. military officer who's in charge of the covert government monsters facility, holding various oddities, including Susan, against their will, and then asking them to serve their country by battling Gallaxhar.
  • GALLAXHAR is the megalomaniacal alien leader with squid legs who first wants the quantonium out of Susan's body and then desires to conquer Earth via his many clones.
  • DEREK is Susan's fiancÚ, a self-absorbed TV weatherman who puts his career ahead of his relationship with her, especially after she grows to 50 feet tall.
  • 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 PG-rated sci-fi comedy. Profanity consists of a tame slang term for breasts, while a few religious and more numerous colorful phrases are also uttered. Beyond the breast reference (and another possible hand gesture related to that), a woman's garter is seen as her dress shrinks into a tight fit as she grows to 50 feet tall, the side of a man's bare butt is seen as it's scanned, and a woman somewhat comes on to her date in a parked car.

    All sorts of sci-fi type action and violence are present, presented in comedy-based cartoon form (characters being blasted by lasers, otherwise being struck by others or things, the military opening fire on a giant robotic probe, and all sorts of property damage occurring, etc.), while slapstick style material is also present. Some of those scenes and various moments of potential peril might be unsettling and/or suspenseful to very young viewers, but probably few others.

    Some behavior might be enticing for kids to imitate, there's brief alcohol-related content, but no consumption, while several instances of crude humor are also present. Comedy-based and cartoon-like bad attitudes are also present.

    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 prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's fluid camera movement (in 3-D in theaters where available) that might cause that.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Seeing everyone at her wedding ceremony freaking out over her sudden and massive growth, Susan shouts out for them to have some champagne while they figure this out.
  • At a party, Dr. Cockroach offers humans an "Atomic gin fizz," but it explodes, leaving him and some others slightly charred.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • The Missing Link is fed dead fish and he bites off the head of one, leaving a little bit of a bloody end on the rest of the body (briefly seen).
  • About Insectosaurus, The Missing Link says, "He's gonna pee himself," but that doesn't happen.
  • B.O.B. removes his lone eyeball, bounces it off a wall, and swallows it back into his gelatinous body.
  • A young man falls and appears to have broken his ankle (no blood, but it appears to be bent the wrong way).
  • After ending up "swallowed" inside B.O.B.'s gelatinous body, Susan's mom is spit out, covered in slime/goo and states, "I taste ham."
  • Gallaxhar's spaceship beam starts sucking Susan up toward it, but Insectosaurus shoots silk strands from its nose to grab her.
  • The President states the security level color code should be changed to brown because he needs to change his pants.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • All of the following is played in a comedy-based, cartoon like fashion.
  • Derek changes his and Susan's honeymoon plans from Paris to Fresno so that he can go on an interview in the latter (meaning he's self-centered and career oriented).
  • General Monger and the others have bad attitudes for capturing and imprisoning the various monsters.
  • Gallaxhar has a bad attitude for wanting to conquer Earth.
  • Some viewers might not like when Dr. Cockroach points out to The Missing Link that the latter was "out-monstered by a girl" (referring to Susan).
  • Derek continues his self-centered and career-oriented ways, telling Susan she now casts too big of a shadow over him, and thus calls off their relationship. Later, he wants to do an interview with her since doing so will land him a network job, but she refuses.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be unsettling and/or suspenseful to younger viewers but probably few others. In addition, the 3-D effects (where available in theaters) might exacerbate a young viewer's reaction to the following.
  • We hear monstrous-sounding breathing as we see the POV of something moving through Susan's house and then into her bedroom. We then see that it's just her friends, one of which has asthma (and calms the heavy breathing with her inhaler).
  • A large chamber in the government facility opens, and we see what appear to be two huge glowing eyes, but they're just the output of General Monger's jet pack as he flies out.
  • Susan tries to hide in San Francisco that's now deserted, but hears thunderous footsteps. We then see the giant robot probe looming behind and above her, and it starts crashing through buildings to come after her. She then runs from rooftop to rooftop, but then ends up sliding down one roof and hangs on by the gutter, only to realize she's only feet above the ground since she's 50 feet tall.
  • Susan ends up on the Golden Gate Bridge with the giant robot probe right there, standing in the Bay. A truck jackknifes and a car crashes into that, with Susan having to rescue them as the probe's metal claw reaches out to try to grab her. As the bridge deck is tilted, Susan slides down that toward the probe's grinder section that's pulling in and grinding cars into its metal teeth, and struggles to keep herself from falling in (feet first). The claw then clamps down on her, but she manages to push it open from inside. The Missing Link tries to attack the probe, but bounces off the deflector shield and is knocked out. Dr. Cockroach manages to get inside, pulls out two cables and shorts them together, but is shocked in the process. Susan then holds off the claw, and gets everyone out of the way as the bridge deck collapses and falls onto the probe, decapitating its robotic head.
  • Gallaxhar's spaceship beam starts sucking Susan up toward it, but Insectosaurus shoots silk strands from its nose to grab her. The ship then blasts Insectosaurus, seemingly killing him (we see his eyes close and others comment on his death, but he's later seen alive), and then finishes sucking up Susan.
  • It's possible Gallaxhar's appearance (four eyes, alien features, squid-type "legs" etc.) could be unsettling to some younger viewers.
  • While not exactly played out in a realistically suspenseful way, the self-destruct mode is set on Gallaxhar's ship, counting down from 5 minutes before detonation, with B.O.B., The Missing Link and Dr. Cockroach getting caught behind a closed door.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Laser guns/Missiles/Attack choppers/Tanks/Fighter jets/Machine guns: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or maybe kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • Feds carry automatic weapons when they arrive on the scene of Susan's initial incident.
  • Gallaxhar's various clones carry some sort of laser gun type weapons.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Holy cheez-its," "It's a boy...look at his boobies," "Lame," "What a miserable looking mud-ball," "Jiminy," "Are you nuts?" "Eat lead," "Idiot," "What the..?" "Quack," "Freaking everybody out," "We're here to destroy you," "My bad," "You were out-monstered by a girl," "The cat's me-wow," "I taste ham," "A selfish jerk," "I'm such an idiot," "Wow, you really get around" (nonsexual), "Your voice is grating on my ear nubs," "What the flagnot?" "I was 'no way,' and she was all 'yes way,'" "Zip it," "...are the bomb," "O-M-G," "Oh, space balls," "Are you crazy?" and "By Hawkins' chair."
  • The Missing Link does all sorts of martial arts moves in the air.
  • The President plays the musical notes from "Close Encounters" and then the signature song of "Beverly Hills Cop" on a keyboard, flashes the "Star Trek" V-finger sign with his hand, and then flashes the rocker sign (index and pinky fingers extended) with both hands.
  • Various parts of a man's body are scanned to get into a high security area, including his finger, eye, tongue and bare butt (we see the side of that as he sits on the scanner).
  • A woman repeatedly screams each time General Monger shows footage of another monster (just the main characters and nothing scary), and since that's played for laughs (with the President then screaming that way too), kids might want to imitate such behavior.
  • General Monger gives a subordinate a wedgie.
  • Giant Susan ends up with a car on each foot, and then skates through San Francisco that way (kids might try the same with toy cars).
  • Gallaxhar drinks some sort of hot beverage by pouring it into his ear.
  • Dr. Cockroach does a mad scientist type, exaggerated diabolical laugh (for effect).
  • Dr. Cockroach does lots of quick-footed dancing to crack a computer code.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful, ominous, and heavily dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A vintage song, "Tell Him," includes at least 2 uses of "God" (as in "God I want it bad" -- nonsexual).
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 slang term for breasts ("boobies"), 2 uses of "God" (in a song's lyrics), and 1 use of "Oh my God" (with another said as "O-M-G").
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • As Susan starts to grow, part of her wedding dress (that mostly grows with her, but gets a bit tighter) tears, revealing a garter on one thigh.
  • B.O.B. thinks Susan is male, telling the others, "It's a boy, look at his boobies."
  • A young woman comes on to her date in a parked car, but he wants no part of that and pushes her away by her head, but the only thing that stops her advances is when a spaceship flies over, crashes, and explodes not far from them.
  • Various parts of a man's body are scanned to get into a high security area, including his finger, eye, tongue and bare butt (we see the side of that as he sits on the scanner).
  • We see archive footage of the various monsters, including The Missing Link on the beach as various bikini-clad women run away in fright (nothing explicit).
  • When General Monger describes Susan being a 50 foot tall woman, he holds his hands up in a way that some might view as suggesting breasts when he describes her giant size.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Although they're not yet married, Derek calls off the wedding and then his relationship with Susan after her unexpected growth spurt.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • How the various characters, despite not being "normal," contribute to solving the crisis.
  • The various bits of homage to old sci-fi, monster and alien invasion movies.
  • Susan being a strong role model for girls.
  • Derek putting his career ahead of his relationship with Susan, and what she saw in him in the first place.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Most of the following is presented in comedy or action-based, cartoon-like fashion.
  • A spaceship beam sucks up the fishing boy seated on the moon in the DreamWorks logo at the beginning of the film.
  • A planet, moon or other such body explodes.
  • Susan spots a flaming meteorite headed her way and tries to run away, but is smashed as it lands on her (not fully seen). She then stumbles out, stunned and a little dirty looking, but otherwise okay.
  • As Susan starts to grow, she accidentally causes some property damage to the inside and then ceiling/roof of a church.
  • Now 50 feet tall, Susan scoops up Derek in her hand, but ends up dropping him (he bounces off a firemen's life-saving trampoline carried by others to stop his fall, and lands hard on the ground) when the Feds start roping her. A huge sedative-filled needle is fired into her leg, with her throwing it back (its huge needle lands in a normal-sized man's foot), followed by the feds roping her once she falls to the ground.
  • Susan falls hard to the floor from her bunk in the government facility.
  • When Susan first spots Dr. Cockroach, and thinks he's just a bug, she repeatedly tries to hit him with a spoon, and when he grabs and holds onto that, she smashes that to a table repeatedly, dazing him (played for comedy). She then accidentally slips on B.O.B. and hits the back of her head hard on the floor.
  • Susan accidentally hits a chopper, causing it to crash.
  • A young woman comes on to her date in a parked car, but he wants no part of that and pushes her away by her head, but the only thing that stops her advances is when a spaceship flies over, crashes, and explodes not far from them.
  • A young man falls and appears to have broken his ankle (it appears to be bent the wrong way).
  • The military (missiles, attack choppers, tanks, fighter jets, machine guns, etc.) gather near an enormous alien robotic probe that's partially buried in the ground. The President then tries to make contact, but the probe tries to smash him with its huge metallic claw, and then crashes through the platform as he runs down it (and jumps into the arms of security just in the nick of time). The military then opens fire on the probe with all sorts of firepower, but none of it harms the robot.
  • A dart is fired into a man's neck when he's about to speak the name of a top-secret government plan.
  • We see archive footage of the various monsters, including Insectosaurus biting into the top of a building.
  • As part of an experiment to try to return Susan back to her normal size, Dr. Cockroach shocks her, leaving her hair standing on end and flashing images of her skeleton and skull from beneath her skin -- played for laughs).
  • B.O.B. gets in the way of the giant robot probe that steps down on him like a wad of chewing gum. He sticks to the bottom of the metal foot and briefly speaks when back in the air before being stepped on again, etc.
  • Susan tries to hide in San Francisco that's now deserted, but hears thunderous footsteps. We then see the giant robot probe looming behind and above her, and it starts crashing through buildings to come after her.
  • The Missing Link ends up hitting his head on a manhole cover.
  • Susan ends up on the Golden Gate Bridge with the giant robot probe right there, standing in the Bay. A truck jackknifes and a car crashes into that, with Susan having to rescue them as the probe's metal claw reaches out to try to grab her. As the bridge deck is tilted, Susan slides down that toward the probe's grinder section that's pulling in and grinding cars into its metal teeth, and struggles to keep herself from falling in (feet first). The claw then clamps down on her, but she manages to push it open from inside. The Missing Link tries to attack the probe, but bounces off the deflector shield and is knocked out. Dr. Cockroach manages to get inside, pulls out two cables and shorts them together, but is shocked in the process. Susan then holds off the claw, and gets everyone out of the way as the bridge deck collapses and falls onto the probe, decapitating its robotic head.
  • After telling the others to follow her lead at her parents' place, Susan accidentally steps on the front fence, prompting the others to do the same, smash the mailbox, and throw something off camera (we hear a crashing sound) before Susan makes them stop.
  • The Missing Link bounces up on a diving board but then accidentally lands head-first on the same.
  • At a party, Dr. Cockroach offers humans an "Atomic gin fizz," but it explodes, leaving him and some others slightly charred.
  • Susan pulls Derek out through a window, but accidentally hits his head on the opening while doing so.
  • Susan kicks a gas station canopy in anger/frustration, accidentally sending B.O.B. high into the sky (he lands safely since he's gelatinous).
  • Gallaxhar's spaceship beam starts sucking Susan up toward it, but Insectosaurus shoots silk strands from its nose to grab her. The ship then blasts Insectosaurus, seemingly killing him (we see his eyes close and others comment on his death, but he's later seen alive), and then finishes sucking up Susan.
  • Susan repeatedly smashes through metal doors that Gallaxhar closes to try to elude her, and then repeatedly blasts up through a tunnel while trying to grab him.
  • After his extraction machine returns her to normal height, Gallaxhar grabs Susan by the neck with one of his tentacles. He then throws her aside and tells one of his clones to take her to the incinerator. The clone then pushes Susan along with his gun.
  • An energy ball is fired at General Monger's plane, eventually hitting and causing it to crash. We don't see the impact, but do see that General Monger and another man parachuted out and are okay.
  • After a laser gun is handed to him, B.O.B. accidentally shoots a Gallaxhar clone with that. Moments later, Dr. Cockroach does the same to another clone. After The Missing Link strikes many clones, one clone tries to punch Dr. Cockroach, with his fist going through B.O.B. (but missing Dr. Cockroach). Susan is then blasted backwards while firing one of those guns, with the beam hitting The Missing Link and knocking him back.
  • The Missing Link hits his head on the bottom of a surface when Bob zips him and the others upward.
  • The Missing Link punches a clone.
  • Large robotic probes try to get Susan with their metal claws and she must avoid being stepped on as well, while an energy ball is fired at her, all as she skates through the robots.
  • Susan fires something that hits Gallaxhar, and as he tries to get away, she grabs him from behind. He hits her several times and both then fall to the floor where she then tries to poke him in any of his four eyes, with him blocking most such attempts until she pokes the middle two.
  • Gallaxhar's ship starts falling apart as Susan tries to rescue her friends. A huge piece falls down toward the three, with Susan catching it just in time. She and the others then dangle from the damaged ship, but Insectosaurus (now in gigantic butterfly form) flies up and catches them. They then fly beneath the ship where explosions blast out, followed by the entire ship exploding (they get out safely, but we don't know about Gallaxhar who was last seen inside).
  • When Derek tries to get back with Susan only to advance his career, she flicks him upward, with Bob catching him.



  • Reviewed March 21, 2009 / Posted March 27, 2009

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