In this heart-thumping, slam-bang action extravaganza, aliens arrive and blow up the world’s major cities. The president (Bill Pullman) and fighter pilots (led by Will Smith) must find a way to fight back. Some kids will find this too intense and scary, but others will want to see it over and over (and over) again. Themes to discuss include behavior in a crisis, honesty, the dilemma faced by the president in making the choice to use nuclear weapons, and, for film fanatics, finding all of the references to other classic films, from Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb to 2001 – A Space Odyssey.
Parents should know that the movie was justifiably accused of being sexist. One of the female leads is a stripper. We see her perform, though she remains covered. Her lover resists marrying her because it would hurt his career. Another couple divorced because she was too committed to her career. In addition, parents may be concerned about an unmarried couple that is clearly intiÂ¬mate, and by the tension as the characters are in peril, as well as a massive number of deaths, including two of the main characters.