I Am Number Four (2011)

Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for language
Length: 109 minutes
Grade: C-CCD=C-
Rotten Tomatoes: 30% favorable, 4.7/10 average
Budget: $60 million
Box Office: $155 million (55 U.S., 89 Intl., 11 DVD)

Written by: Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (The Mummy, Herbie Fully Loaded, and Spider-Man 2) and Marti Noxon (TV such as Mad Men, Private Practice, Grey’s Anatomy, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer), based on the novel by Jobie Hughes & James Frey
Directed by: DJ Caruso (Eagle Eye, Disturbia, Two for the Money, and The Salton Sea)
Starring: Alex Pettyfer and Teresa Palmer
With: Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron, and Callan McAuliffe.

The only surviving super-powered teens of an alien culture are hiding on Earth from the deranged predators who killed their civilization and are now bent on killing them.

Entertainment Value: C-
And I think that’s pretty generous. This is a thoroughly silly movie that feels like a third-best version of everything you might compare it to. It feels like a slightly updated Power Rangers, with the creepy/silly enemies. It’s got Michael Bay’s fingerprints all over it, and it just winds up being a hackneyed plot with poor writing and uncompelling characters who fit every stereotype. Still, it’s sort of fun, but when I’m laughing at (not with) an action/sci-fi movie, that’s not a good sign. I’m sure it makes more sense if you know the book, at least I hope that’s true.

Superficial Content: C
Drugs/Alcohol A, Sex/Nudity A, Violence C, Language C
This movie can’t decide whether it wants to be standard light teen fare or a serious and fairly gruesome action film. It’s mostly harmless in the beginning, with some bullying, but then the latter half has some fairly unsettling moments of implied torture and gore. I’d say PG-15. The language is no worse than the violence, no F-variants, and it’s almost squeaky on sex and nudity.

Significant Content: C
Home is where you make it, and it depends more on the people than on the location. Aliens who look like humans are good. Aliens who eat frozen turkeys are bad.

Artistic/Thought Value: D
Not so much.

Discussion Questions:
~If I could think of any, I’d ask them.

Overall Grade: C-
A hackneyed action sci-fi Michael Bay exercise in silliness that must only be cool if you know the book it’s based on. Cheap frivolous fun. I mean who doesn’t at least somewhat appreciate a super-powered shootout with lasers and alien beasts of prey on the campus of a high school?

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