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Max Rules Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Spy Kids-style adventure is lackluster but may amuse kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this kids' spy flick is definitely directed at families with elementary-aged children, so there's little objectionable in the movie. There's a bit of violence (the three kids use martial arts to kick and shove out of harm's way with two menacing adults), some mild taunts ("fool," "idiot," etc.) and some questionable decisions on the part of the kids, but otherwise, it's fine for the second-grade and up crowd. Families should know that despite their heroism, the three central children are considered rule breakers at home and trouble makers at school, but at the end of the film they prove they were right to follow their instincts.

  • Families can talk about why movies with kid spies so popular. What's the appeal of young characters who can hold their own against nefarious villains? Which movies in the genre are your favorite and why?
  • Is it realistic that a school principal asked Max and his friends to work for a video-game company?
  • What are some of the messages in this movie about troublemakers? How are adults portrayed? Are there any role models in the movie?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true-1

    Educational value: This movie is for entertainment purposes.

  • message true2

    Messages: Positive messages about friendship and teamwork are prevalent, but sometimes the kids are also troublemakers who disregard rules, both at home and at school. But it can't be denied that their perseverance and courage save the day.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Max and his friends work together quite well, but they can also be mischievous, like when they execute a food fight in the cafeteria or sneak out without permission. They eventually band together to stop an ill-intentioned video game company from using a stolen top-secret micro-chip.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: Toward the end of the movie, there is a frightening sequence when the kids fight off the villains, who push and shove them. Jessica uses martial arts to fight off a menacing man, who aims to harm the kids. The kids kick and tackle their nemeses.

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: In health class, the kids snicker when the teacher mentions "reproductive organs," and it's clear they're looking an anatomical figure, because they start joking. Max has a crush on a classmate, and in one scene, it looks like they are about to kiss, but they don't. Scott and Jessica are classic best friends with secret feelings for each other; they end up going to a dance together. The cab driver is on a date with a woman but flirts with another.

  • language false1

    Language: Insults like "idiot," "fool," "shut up," and "stupid."

  • consumerism false-1

    Consumerism: No overt product placements, although some viewers may recognize a Ben Sherman shirt or a particular car model.

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