[Screen It]


(2001) (voices of Ming-Na, Alec Baldwin) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
*Minor Mild Moderate *Heavy Extreme
Mild None Extreme None Mild
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Minor None Minor Mild Extreme

Action/Adventure: A small group of human survivors try to figure out how to eradicate ghostly alien beings that have decimated Earth and killed most everyone else.
Sometime in the future, strange alien beings called Phantoms have taken over the Earth, decimating the cities and killing most of the inhabitants by extracting their spirits. It's the observation of that latter fact that has led Doctor Sid (voice of DONALD SUTHERLAND), and his protégé, Doctor Aki Ross (voice of MING-NA) to come up with a unique but controversial way of trying to stop the aliens and thus reclaim Earth.

Believing all life forms to contain signature spirits that can be identified and contained, Sid and Ross have set out to collect eight organic specimens whose collective spirit forces should counteract those of the alien beings. Having collected six of those eight spirits, the two are racing against various aspects of time. For one, Aki is infected with the alien force and she's living on borrowed time, although her condition has given her the ability to dream about the aliens and their origins.

More crucial, however, is the fact that General Hein (voice of JAMES WOODS) - who believes their spirit theory to be nothing but nonsense - desperately wants to use the Zeus Cannon, a powerful, outer space laser, to defeat the aliens once and for all. However, he doesn't have full support of the remaining human council to unleash the dangerous force on the Earth below.

As Sid and Ross try to prove Hein wrong and save the Earth in a more peaceful fashion, they must not only contend with him and the small military force - led by Captain Gray Edwards (voice of ALEC BALDWIN) and consisting of Ryan (voice of VING RHAMES), Neil (voice of STEVE BUSCEMI) and Jane (voice of PERI GILPIN) - sent to accompany and watch them, but also the beings themselves that seem determined to suck the souls out of every human they encounter.

If they're fans of the original video game, of "Aliens" type sci-fi action films, or of any of the vocal talent present in the film, it's a good bet they probably will.
For sci-fi action violence.
  • AKI ROSS is a scientist hoping to collect eight life spirits in order to quell the aliens' presence and hopefully free herself of her infection from them.
  • GRAY EDWARDS is the head of a military unit assigned to protect her. Although he doesn't believe much of anything she's proposing, he does help her.
  • RYAN plays a muscle-bound member of Gray's unit.
  • NEIL plays the comical cynic in the unit.
  • JANE is the tough female soldier in Gray's unit.
  • DOCTOR SID is Aki's mentor who's trying to prove his theory about all beings, and even planets, having life spirits and that's a way to counteract the phantoms.
  • GENERAL HEIN is the arrogant military man who's determined to get revenge - no matter the involved danger -- on the aliens for earlier killing his family.


    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).

    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this action-adventure film that's been rated PG-13. Violence is listed as extreme due to many people (and alien creatures) being killed in various fashions, although none of those incidents are particularly bloody or gory. They include ghostly and monstrous alien phantoms sucking the souls/spirits out of humans' bodies, those creatures being killed by various forms of weaponry, and some humans being killed or injured in accidents and explosions.

    Some of that material and the sight of the ghost-like, monstrous creatures may be unsettling, suspenseful or downright frightening to some younger viewers, but that all depends on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material. Profanity consists of at least 2 uses of the "s" word, while other expletives and some colorful phrases are also used.

    One character-the token military bad guy -- nearly commits suicide out of what seems like hopeless despair, while a man and woman briefly make out in weightlessness (clothed). Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for anyone in your home who may want to see it, we suggest that you more closely examine our detailed content listings for more specific information about what occurs in the film.

  • Hein has what looks like a drink, but it's never identified.
  • We see various bodies on the ground or floor, but beyond seeing a few skeletal remains, they're neither bloody nor gory.
  • We see a bloody or charred, burn mark on a man's hand.
  • After a vehicle crashes, we then see that one man has been impaled by part of the vehicle (that sticks out from his chest/gut with a little bit of blood).
  • Gray has a few scrapes on his face.
  • Hein comes off as the bad guy as he throws all caution and advice to the wind in his quest to rid the Earth of the phantoms by using a dangerous, outer space laser gun.
  • The many sights of the various ghost-like alien beings (some large, some small and many of them appearing monstrous and/or menacing) could be unsettling or scary to younger viewers (particularly when they pursue and/or kill humans), but that all depends on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for and/or previous exposure to such material.
  • The same holds true for scenes listed under "Violence," Aki's many bizarre dreams where alien beings battle each other around her, as well as a few sights of human skeletal remains that are discovered and that of people's souls/spirits being sucked from their bodies.
  • Aki spots various phantoms as she makes her way through a decimated city at night and then she and Gray and his crew try to get out before the creatures attack and kill them.
  • It's discovered that Gray has been infected with an alien entity and Aki races against the clock to save him (via futuristic surgery) before he dies.
  • Many phantoms approach the crew, with one yanking the spirit from a human and seemingly chewing/eating it (killing him). As Aki appears to have an attack (from previously being infected), Gray and his crew try to get her and themselves out of the predicament.
  • Various phantom creatures make their way through a barrier city, sucking the spirits out of various humans (thus killing them). Aki, Gray and his crew then try to escape and elude the creatures as various people are killed.
  • Hein nearly commits suicide by shooting himself in the head, but stops when he's notified of arriving at his destination.
  • Aki and Gray must contend with various phantom creatures surrounding them, all while Hein fires huge laser blasts into the same crater where they're located.
  • Sci-fi weapons: Used by Gray and his crew to attack and kill many of the alien creatures that also use sci-fi weaponry as they battle each other in Aki's dreams about them.
  • Zeus Cannon: Large, outer space-based laser gun that Hein uses to fire upon the phantoms.
  • Phrases: "No sh*t," "What the hell /do you think you're doing/is going on (here)/is that?" "I'll be damned if…" "It's amore, baby," "(Let's) get the hell out of here" and "Freakin'."
  • Hein nearly commits suicide by shooting himself in the head, but stops when he's notified of arriving at his destination.
  • None.
  • An extreme amount of ominous, suspenseful and action-oriented dramatic music plays throughout the film.
  • None.
  • At least 2 "s" words, 8 hells, 4 damns, 1 S.O.B. and 1 use each of "Jesus," "Oh God" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • Gray and Aki make out (clothed) in the weightlessness of outer space, but we don't know if that leads to anything else or not.
  • None.
  • Ryan mentions that his father is somewhere among a pile of bodies that he and others come across in the remains of a battle fought long ago.
  • Hein mentions that his family was killed by phantoms sometime in the past.
  • The whole aspect of spirits/souls within all living creatures and even entire planets.
  • Whether something like this could ever occur on Earth.
  • The computer generated actors and actresses and whether they seemed real and/or might someday replace flesh and blood performers.
  • Gray and his crew open fire on various phantom creatures, killing them with their laser/pulse weapons. One of the creatures explodes, knocking a crewmember backwards, but he's otherwise okay.
  • Aki has another dream where alien beings chase after her and fire shots that explode nearby as two opposing forces clash with each other.
  • Many phantoms approach the crew, with one yanking the spirit from a human and seemingly chewing/eating it (killing him). A crewmember then shoots a creature, causing it to explode.
  • Military men working for Hein hold their weapons on Gray and his crew. One of the men then shoots Aki in the chest (she's injured, but lives) and Gray's men grab and hit these other men (with another shot fired, one of the men being knocked out and another killed when his spirit is sucked from his body by a phantom that comes through the floor of a spacecraft).
  • Aki has a dream where a nuclear-type explosion sweeps through and kills/vaporizes many alien creatures. She then has another where she and Gray see the opposing alien forces attacking and clashing with one another (with many of them apparently killing others). We then see the big nuclear-type explosion again, and then many of them across the planet that then explodes.
  • Various phantom creatures make their way through a barrier city, sucking the spirits out of various humans (thus killing them and we later see many dead, but not bloody or gory bodies on the floor). Various military people then open fire on the phantoms. A huge explosion then follows.
  • Crewmembers open fire on the phantoms, blasting them.
  • We see phantoms go through a spacecraft, apparently killing those onboard and causing the ship to crash and explode on a platform, apparently killing many more people.
  • Neil drives a dune buggy-like vehicle through various glass panels while trying to elude the phantoms. It eventually crashes and we then see that one man has been impaled by part of the vehicle (that sticks out from his chest/gut with a little bit of blood).
  • Jane shoots many of the phantom creatures with her sci-fi weapon.
  • A phantom impales one of the crewmembers with its ghostly tentacles and kills him (by removing his spirit), causing another crewmember to open fire on the creature before also being killed.
  • Gray shoots and then smashes through a glass panel.
  • More crewmembers fire their assorted weapons into a huge phantom creature.
  • Another crewmember is killed by a phantom that's then killed by a huge explosion.
  • Gray fires his weapon into a huge phantom creature (but doesn't seem to harm it).
  • Hein fires a large, outer space-based laser cannon down to Earth, killing many of the phantom creatures.
  • A space station explodes, killing some and possibly many people onboard it.
  • A person sacrifices himself to save another (as his spirit is yanked from his body).

  • Reviewed July 9, 2001 / Posted July 11, 2001

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