Happy Independence Day! Today I did something I’ve never done before…I brought my under age 13 kids to see a PG-13 movie..Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Yes, for shame, for shame. Prior to the movie, I tried to find blogs or any specific parental advisories on the movie and could barely find any. All I could find was the formal PG-13 advisory indicating extensive scenes of violence, expletives, and some sexual inuendo. So here is my two cents on bringing your under age 13 children to this movie.
1. Robot violence: Yes, the movie is full of robot violence. The majority of the “violence” of the movie is robot violence. I didn’t clock it, but it felt like the last full hour of the film was 100% battle/war sequence…if your kids cringe if they see machines get torn apart or explode, this is not the movie for them. This includes robot decapitation, loss of limbs, spewing oil/goo or whatever transformers having flowing through them (this wasn’t that often). Some autobots are killed. Don’t take your kids to see this if they may get sensitive to this.
2. Human violence: During the armageddon-like scene of the movie, there are tons of humans running, screaming, crying. I was shocked to see that they were getting shot by the Decepticons and immediately blew up into ash. This came off more as explosions rather than carnage to me. Blood is not a visual in the movie. I think the only time I saw blood was on some of the military soldiers and it was on a small graze on their forehead or something…very minimal. However, seeing humans get shot and blown up into ash in a nanosecond is still graphic for a young eye. There is also hand-to-hand combat, shooting at the transformers, and getting thrown, tossed, falling, etc.
3. Explosions and loud noises: oh yes, tons of it throughout the majority of the movie.
4. Sexual innuendo: There is some kissing and canoodling, but nothing I felt too graphic. I did read in advance that there was a gratuitous focus on the backside of Victoria Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. She was wearing panties and a white collared shirt . I didn’t think it was anything cringe-worthy for my kids.
5. Expletives: Yes, but I honestly didn’t think it was gratuitous. Maybe I don’t have a scrutinizing ear for expletives, or maybe I hear them too much from my husband. I didn’t notice it too much at all.
Overall, I felt like it was a great movie. My 10 year old truly enjoyed it. My 6 year old fell asleep, not because she was scared, but because the movie was 2 1/2 hours long! She usually falls asleep in the movies, which is one of the reasons I felt okay bringing her. I was primarily worried about her, but she enjoyed the movie as well. It really depends on how sensitive your kids are. I think you are okay bringing the average 8-12 year old kid who is a fan of the franchise and action films. Ages 5-7…I would caution. 4 and under? Leave them at home. They will freak out at the noise. I think it is a fun family movie with lots of action and good vs. evil themes. The main character of Sam struggles with finding his identify throughout the movie, which I think any age can relate. If you and/or your kids are Transformers fans, then there will definitely be moments where you’ll be cheering. It was good family fun. I don’t have any regrets in bringing my kids!
An important note is that when you watch a PG-13 movie, the trailers that are played just prior to the start are for PG-13 movies as well. This obviously can include some scary movies, suspense thrillers, etc. To be honest, I thought sitting through the trailers was the most questionable part of the experience. So you should definitely keep that in mind!
Lesson Learned: Really make sure your kids are ready for content in a movie, TV show, etc. They appreciate your censoring eyes and ears although they don’t usually tell you.