WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.
The Force Awakens (2009) by J. J. Abrams (Director)
Type: Science Fiction
Basic Plot: Thirty years after the events of Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker has long disappeared and a new evil force is rising. Fate again has to call a hero on a journey to save the galaxy.
Plot: 3/5 Average: The story in the series is an ok transitional one, but is a poor one on its own. To start, most of the movie is based off of things from other movies that without the knowledge, would still be understandable but awkward. Another thing that made it feel more transitional was that it had a nearly constant flow of action from start to finish, with little time to really develop the characters. Most time is spent on moving the story forward, not on having the characters learn anything new or become better people. If one could get to know them a little better, perhaps they would be more interesting, but as pawns in the story, they are a little dull. Finally, suspense was well created, especially near the beginning, but did not really culminate in anything spectacular. Most of what happened was predictable and even anticlimactic, making the story itself in some ways disappointing.
Acting: 4/5 Well Done: While the characters were flat, unlike in the prequels, they were well acted. Expressions are vivid and exciting, and emotion is raw in the voice. It is a bit overdone at times, but not near to the extent as some of the other movies in the series.
Moral: 1/5 No Clear Moral: There is no moral I could find in The Force Awakens whatsoever.
Other: Some other things to note besides the main components of the movie was that the film had beautiful, compelling music and quite impressive details in its background and makeup.
Overall: 3/5 Average: While beautifully designed and well acted, The Force Awakens leaves much to be desired when it comes to any meaningful content. This does not mean that later in the series, the story could become more engaging and interesting, but this film was lacking in comparison to the other movies of the series.
Sexual and Inappropriate Content: ½/5 Brief Hinted Romance: None A girl kisses a man’s forehead. There is the brief skin tight outfit on a woman. There is mention of boyfriends.
Violence: 2½/5 Frequent, Rarely Intense Violence: A man burns his lightsaber into a man’s shoulder. A woman hits a man across the face with a lightsaber. A woman hits a man with a stick, kicks him, and bites him, and a droid electrocutes him. An animal’s tentacles are cut off by a door. A man chokes another man. A man puts a light saber through another man. Characters shoot laser guns, shoot from ships, fight with light sabers, and use flamethrowers, though sometimes on walls and the last not on people. There is a one on one confrontation as well as frequent shooting battles between about every ten minutes. A village is massacred, though most of it is not shown. There are frequent explosions.
Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 1/5 Brief, Light Cursing: “Damn” is misused at least once. “Hell” is misused twice.
Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 2½/5 Some Intense and Scary Content: Characters die, one a key one. Giant tentacle monsters with eyes in in their mouths attack and eat people. Once latches on, mouth open, onto the front window of a ship. Characters are tortured, though most is not shown. Blood is smeared on a helmet and is on a man’s face. A man gets a large scar on his face. Animal fluids come out of cut off tentacles. There is a showing of a man’s deformed helmet. Poison gas is talked about and nearly released. There is some brief crying.
Religious Issues: 2/5 Some Involvement: The characters all believe in something called the Force, and it is briefly explained as being something that flows through all living creatures. It is mentioned to have an unexplained dark and light side, and characters are consequently Jedi and Sith. Some characters use it to read minds and torture people, and there is discussion in using it to train people. Characters also say “May the Force be with you.” “Haunt” is used for descriptive purposes.
Magic: 0/5 None
Overall: 2½/5 Older Child Appropriate: I believe personally that this movie would be appropriate for children ten to twelve and older depending on the child. The sexual content and swearing are low. The main thing of concern would be the mentions of the Force as well as the violence and disturbing content, though I believe that most older children would be alright with them.