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Agent Cody Banks Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    With her low voice, jumpsuits, cleavage and Segway, Miles (Harmon) is all satire all the time, and we love her for that.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    It's going to be a hit with libidinous boys, and their parents could do worse (see first review) than to watch the lavish, James Bondish gadgetry and cheerful anarchy of an action-adventure that's been made with all the finesse it needs, though not a jot more.

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    The real mission is product placement, of course: The movie seems to be set against the silvery backdrop of the Sharper Image catalog.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    As thrilling as the adventure sequences might be for kids, the better scenes take place on the high school campus.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    A high-speed, high-tech kiddie thriller that's kinda cute but sorta relentless.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 9+

Teen spy spoof with gadgets, girls is fun for tweens, teens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Agent Cody Banks is a James-Bond-like action movie for tweens filled with smash-'em-up cartoon violence, particularly a final sequence that pulls out all the stops -- explosions, electrocutions, jet-ski chases, and more. Other scenes include multiple martial arts fights, wild driving, kids captured and held against their will, and some cartoonish scary villains. Many bad guys' off-camera deaths are a result of the young lead's heroics. Mild, campy sexuality includes some revealing clothing, a comic scene in which the young hero is instructed in ways to attract girls, X-ray vision glimpses of undies, and a few leering males and breast jokes. Occasional potty humor and coarse language ("crap," "screwed"), and twice the hero is asked, "Are you in Special Ed?" -- meant as an insult.

  • Families can talk about how Agent Cody Banks compares with other spy movies -- both silly and serious ones.
  • Do you like Freddie Muniz as much in movies as you do on TV?
  • Have you ever thought about being a spy? Do you think it would be fun? Dangerous? Both?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Good triumphs over evil. In a fantasy world, kids can be as powerful and heroic as adults. 

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Though loving and kind, Cody's parents are gullible and ineffective. Adult authority figures (mostly members of a farcical CIA) are far less intelligent than their youthful counterparts, and are mostly rigid and clueless. One Asian stereotype -- a driving instructor -- speaks pidgin English and is an exaggerated caricature. Rich kids are described as "spoiled brats"; they harass and haze the hero. There's ethnic diversity throughout the cast. 

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence and scariness: Almost nonstop exaggerated action, starting with a baby at the wheel of a careening, out-of-control car and his rescue by a skateboard-riding teen daredevil in the opening sequence. From then on there are: fist fights, martial arts battles, jet ski and snowboard chases, a wild driving lesson, fires, crashes, launches through glass, a melting face, numerous narrow escapes, the "plastification" of a villain, a tense countdown to a massive explosion, and assorted falls, captures, and rescues. Despite all of the above, the violence is not played as real and most characters do not die on camera. 

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Cody’s statuesque CIA handler wears low-cut tops and bare midriffs. Some kids ogle girls' breasts; X-ray glasses reveal  girls' underwear; boys and men leer occasionally, once at a sexy holograph. In one comic sequence, Cody is instructed in seduction and attracting girls. 

  • language false1

    Language: Scattered potty language: "crap," "screwed." Twice Cody is asked, "Are you in Special Ed?" which is meant as an insult. 

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Cap'n Crunch, Albertson's Markets, Seattle's Best Coffee, Lo-Jack, Ruffles chips.  Clearly identified autos: Volvo, GMC, Ferrari. 

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue