Sound of Thunder, A

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -2

Combine Jurassic Park and Back to the Future, and you get a classic flop called A Sound of Thunder. Based on the short story by Ray Bradbury, this sci-fi adventure is set in 2055 Chicago, where scientist Sonia Rand (Catherine McCormack) has invented a Time Altered Mainframe Interface, or T.A.M.I., which allows people to travel back in time. Entrepreneur Charles Hatton (Ben Kingsley) uses the machine to take hunters back to shoot prehistoric predators moments before natural forces wipe them out. Scientist Travis Ryer (Edward Burns) begrudgingly leads the time-traveling tours so that he can research the animals of the past. When a hunter disturbs the prehistoric ecosystem by stepping on a butterfly, his misstep echoes into the future as time waves produce extreme climates and a variety of dinobeasts. Ryer must travel back to fix the future by tangling with a Jurassic giant.

A Sound of Thunder centers on the theory of evolution and develops the theory known as The Butterfly Effect. Though its thesis is far-fetched and its images unbelievable, this movie provides a great opportunity to discuss the likelihood of evolution. And while the special effects are less than impressive, younger viewers may be frightened by depictions of dinosaurs being shot and of humans being preyed upon by snakelike vines, batlike dinobirds, dino-apes and other creatures. Others may shy away from the images of people who’ve lost their minds or their lives in the midst of the destruction. Though there are several gunfire exchanges, they are not graphic. A scene where a woman comes on to a man and eventually sleeps with him is unnecessary. In fact, it distracts from the plot. Due to this scene, some crude language, profanity and violence, A Sound of Thunder earns a negative acceptability rating.

Preview Reviewer: Suzanne Keffer
Warner Brothers

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (3) times – moderate (b-lls 1, willy 1); strong (-ss 1)

Obscene Language: Once – strong (pr-ck 1)

Profanity: Few (3) times – strong (GD 1, J 1, C-sake 1)

Violence: Many times – mild (men fighting with each other over supplies, man tackling another man); moderate (people shooting at dinosaurs, people shooting at each other, human-like plants killing a man, animals attacking people, animal killing a man, man shooting at a man and a woman, animals surrounding a man to devour him, sea-monster-like animal grabbing a woman with its tentacle, sea-monster-like animal grabbing a man and almost eating him, dead people pictured)

Sex: Two times – mild (man and woman kissing, woman wrapped in a sheet coming out of the bedroom in the morning)

Nudity: Once – mild (woman wrapped in a sheet)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: One time – mild (woman asks man if he slept with a woman the night before)

Drugs: None

Other: One of the movie’s strong themes is evolution

Running Time: 103 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers and up

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