MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: +1/2

Shia LaBeouf, Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Anderson, Rachael Taylor, Megan Fox, John Turturro, Jon Voight. Sci-fi. Written by John Rogers, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman. Directed by Michael Bay.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Our world becomes a battleground for aliens who come to face off. As the forces of evil seek the key to ultimate power, Earths only chance for survival rests in the hands of young Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf).

PREVIEW REVIEW: Now, for those of you unfamiliar with Transformers, they are beings from another world who are able to change into various objects such as cars, planes and other technological wonders. The Transformers are the good guys. They are careful of us puny Earthlings and do their best to protect us from the Decepticons (they can also turn into cool cars), who want to rule the galaxy. With the aid of high schooler Sam Witwicky and the tough hottie Sam has a crush on, the Autobots battle to prevent the evil Decepticons from getting a device that will give them unlimited power. The humans duck and cover a lot, while the giant metal beings from other worlds break up a lot of buildings and roadways as they wrestle for ultimate control. Sound like your kind of movie? I have to tell you I kinda got caught up in the intense action (incredible special effects and never-ending action sequences no expense was spared). Action packed, witty and with a heart, Transformers is a winner for the 14-year-old boy in all of us. Couple this feature with the new Die Hard film and youll be buzzed all week.

That said, I have a concern. While it has a comic book feel, and I just assume the concept was designed for a younger audience, the amount of visceral violence gained the film a PG-13 rating. Because of the amount of violence already aimed at kids by the worlds entertainment community, I question this films suitability for the audience it was made for.

In so many action films out this summer, the lives of minor characters are cheap. This one opens with US soldiers getting blown-up and tossed around by the Decepticons. The films background characters serve no purpose but to get whacked by the bad guys. This was also true for the recent Live Free or Die Hard. These are throw-away people. We dont know them so it doesnt matter that these extras are killed to further the story. Im concerned that this is desensitizing. Maybe Im wrong. Maybe its just a release. But when these minor characters are killed on screen, they are given no more thought by the audience. We only care about the main players. Again, Im not sure if this is a legitimate concern, but the special effects and action sequences seen in summer blockbusters becomes more chaotic and noisy in each new release. Is this harmful on young psyches? Or anyones for that matter?

I can just hear some of you Lighten up, Phil. Its only a movie. Okay, okay. Theyre your kids.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Paramount Pictures

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: I caught nothing

Obscene Language: Six obscenities (the s-word) and a couple of minor expletives (damn, ass, hell); also, at one point, a woman gives authorities a rude gesture.

Profanity: I caught no misuse of Gods name.

Violence: The action is endless and intense with huge robots battling each other, causing the destruction of high-rise structures, roadways, etc. Several soldiers and secret service agents are killed by the bad robots. Blood: A few scrapes, but no gushing blood.

Sex: None

Nudity: None, but the teen girl dresses provocatively.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: A comic conversation between parents about masturbation. One obscene gesture.

Drugs: A married couple has wine with dinner.

Other: Positive messages including self-sacrifice and caring for others.

Running Time: 140 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and older

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