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Planet 51 Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Space junk Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

A tedious, clichéd space yarn. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    A perky though not terribly imaginative feature aimed primarily at youngsters.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Although not bowling me over, Planet 51 is a jolly and good-looking animated feature in glorious 2-D.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    Delivers a few pleasant surprises, including a smart story -- a reverse-E.T. riff that plops an American astronaut down in a world of just-like-us-only-green creatures -- and clever characters.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Planet 51 reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

Underwhelming alien comedy has some suggestive humor.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this animated alien comedy earns its PG rating with a fair bit of sexualized humor -- including jokes about anal probing and penises which may go over younger kids' head (though middle schoolers won't be duped -- in fact, they'll probably find it hilarious). There's also some mostly mild violence -- though weapons are involved -- as the alien army attempts to capture and subdue a human astronaut (voiced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), as well as references to a maniacal doctor's desire to suck out Chuck's brain for scientific reasons. The language is mostly tame ("moron" and "stupid"), if disrespectful; beyond the sometimes-crude jokes, the sexuality revolves around one character's infatuation with another, which culminates in a kiss. Despite taking place on another planet, there are a few brands featured in the movie, including Volkswagen, Twix, and iPods.

  • Families can talk about how the movie plays on the media's standard jokes about and portrayal of aliens. Who is the "real" alien in Planet 51? How do the movies and comic books that characters read on Planet 51 affect the way its population reacts to Chuck?
  • What purpose do all of the pop culture references -- particularly to well-known movies -- serve? Is it funny? Is it original?
  • To what kind of movies is Planet 51 an homage? How are the '50s portrayed?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true0

    Educational value: Not applicable

  • message true0

    Messages: Much of the positive stuff is secondary to the suggestive humor, but Lem and his friends do work together to help Chuck, and Chuck learns to trust the aliens, despite his initial hesitation.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Some characters are less than admirable, but Lem and Neera are positive role models: Lem takes a risk to trust Chuck, and Neera believes in peaceful protest to enact change.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: An alien general and soldiers try to take down the American astronaut with military weapons and guns. An alien doctor is after Chuck's brain -- for scientific reasons, of course...

  • sex false2

    Sexy stuff: "Parking" aliens talk about how it's their first time "parking" (i.e. kissing in car). Two alien adolescents flirt with each other and eventually kiss. A female alien with robust cleavage gets angry at a male alien who's staring at her. A character makes repeated references to alien "probes" and how to discourage them. The astronaut tries to teach an alien how to romance "chicks." After seeing the astronaut naked (he drops his towel for a second, but the audience doesn't see anything), an alien jokes "that's a funny place for an antenna."

  • language false0

    Language: Mild language includes "what the...," "moron," and "stupid." There's also crass humor that includes commentary about "chicks," "alien probes," and a penis joke (the alien thinks it's an "antenna").

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Twix candy bars, Sea Monkeys, and Volkswagen are recognizable/discussed brands. There's also an iPod-looking device and many obvious references to other movies.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable