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Short Circuit Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 8+

Funny, bullet-proof robot might charm older kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that from the opening scene -- which shows robots attacking and blowing up mannequins and heavy war machinery -- to the closing moments -- when bad guy-soldiers are trying to destroy the beloved robot-hero -- guns, rifles, lasers, and automatic weaponry are fired at regular intervals. No one is injured or killed, but the lovable robot character is in danger throughout. Also expect frequent, angry and/or frustrated swearing and mild profanity in many sequences.

  • Families can talk about how the fighting in this movie looks less than real. Why does no one get hurt in all the gunfire? Also, what makes Number 5 think he's alive? What human feelings does he begin to have? How does the movie show that Stephanie is a caring person? Why is Ben funny? Do people from India really sound like Ben?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Heroes are kind to animals, people, and robots. Villains (military and industrial types) are stupid, violent, and hard-hearted. An East Indian scientist's stereotypical speech and struggles with the English language provides much of the humor.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: All cartoon/fantasy violence. Cars, equipment, mannequins blow up; lots of gunfire, though no one is hit or injured except robots, who almost always bounce back; physical scuffles on two occasions between young woman and ex-boyfriend; Three Stooges hits and slaps in several video excerpts; runaway truck causes cartoon mayhem; machine gun and laser attacks on robots.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: One gentle kiss. Some mild sexual innuendo with one character's continued misuse of words and expressions.

  • language false3

    Language: Frequent cursing: "hell" "damnit," "God damn," "pissed off," "Jesus," "fart," "red-ass," "son-of-a-bitch," "bulls--t," "bastard," "dips--t," "holy s--t," "asshole."

  • consumerism false5

    Consumerism: Product placement is pervasive: Dr. Pepper, Brawny, MacIntosh, Pemco, Colgate, Alaska Air, Oreida, Volkswagen, Texaco, Campbell Soups. Some humor is derived from robot regurgitating familiar 1980s commercials.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Robots are shown preparing and serving cocktails at party. Elderly couple at police roadblock briefly refer to the "grass in the glove compartment."