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Race to Witch Mountain (2009) - Movie review for Parents

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating
User Rating 2 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Race to Witch Mountain

(L-R) AnnaSophia Robb, Dwayne Johnson, and Alexander Ludwig in 'Race to Witch Mountain'

Photo © Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

Race to Witch Mountain MPAA Rating: PG, for sequences of action and violence, frightening and dangerous situations, and some thematic elements
Genre: Action/Adventure
Age range: 8+
Runtime: Approx. 99 minutes
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, AnnaSophia Robb, Carla Gugino, Ciaran Hinds, Alexander Ludwig, Tom Everett Scott, Christopher Marquette, Cheech Marin and Garry Marshall
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

Release Date: March 13, 2009

Race to Witch Mountain - Overview

With his ex-boss the mob leader's men after him, cabby Jack Bruno (an ex-con gone legit) has got some problems. Little does he know, his situation is about to get a lot worse. Two kids with a big wad of cash jump into the back of Jack's cab and ask him to drive. It doesn't take him long to find out that something is amiss.

The kids, Seth and Sara, turn out to be aliens who have crash landed on earth and are attempting to retrieve important data before Siphon, the robotic alien assassin, gets to them first. Now in way over his head, Jack soon finds himself being chased by mob goons, armed government agents, and an indestructible alien assassin. Jack has no choice but to help the kids, however, because if Seth and Sara fail to accomplish their mission, humans may become the next endangered species.

Race to Witch Mountain

(L-R) Chris Marquette, Ciaran Hinds, Billy Brown in 'Race to Witch Mountain'

Photo © Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

Race to Witch Mountain - Guide Review for Parents

Race to Witch Mountain has certain obvious similarities to the classic Disney film Escape to Witch Mountain, but the two movies are also very different. Much more suspenseful and violent than the original flick, Race to Witch Mountain takes viewers on an action-packed thrill-ride with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at the helm. I wouldn't want to be on the other side of any of the major blows he deals to mobsters, aliens, and government agents.

The exciting story in Race to Witch Mountain picks up as soon as the movie starts, and the action never stops. Kids will be on the edge of their seats the whole time, but the action includes a lot of violence in the form of hand to hand combat and gunfights. Weapons in the movie range from handguns, to machine guns, to alien arms that cause major explosions. While the violence is extensive, and many characters get their heads/bodies bashed against numerous objects, the blood and gore is minimal.

Viewing children may be frightened during the violent scenes. Kids may also be disturbed by the robotic foe (whose mask is removed to reveal an ugly alien), and by the treatment of the sympathetic extraterrestrial kids who are taken by the government. For more detailed examples of possibly scary or offensive content, please see content overview below.

Race to Witch Mountain - Content Overview

The following lists a few of the most prominent examples of possibly offensive content in the movie (may contain spoilers):

Violence (Extreme)
- A man fights with two thugs. He punches them and bashes their heads into the hood of a car. Other hand to hand combat in the movie includes punching, people hitting each other with objects, and people bashing each other's heads into various surfaces. (Blood shown is minimal.)
- A robotic looking alien shoots at characters with various weapons, causing explosions which send people flying.
- Government agents carrying machine guns and other weapons chase and shoot at characters throughout the movie. The agents face off with the alien in a large and explosive battle.

Sex/Nudity (None)

Language (Low)
- A man calls a group of people "nut jobs."

Alcohol/Drugs (None)

Bad/Disrespectful Behavior (High)
- Men in SUVs try to run a car off the road.
- Thugs tell a man, "You're a dead man!"
- Government agents plan to study the aliens without permission, possibly risking the aliens' well-being.

Scary Scenes (High)
- Scenes listed under violence will likely be scary for young kids.
- An alien assassin chases Jack and the kids through a dark and creepy underground jungle.
- An alien is unmasked and his slimy, fleshy head is seen as he goes after Jack.
- The idea that earth could be in danger of being taken over by enemy aliens may be frightening to kids.

Race to Witch Mountain

(L-R) Alexander Ludwig, Dwayne Johnson, AnnaSophia Robb, and Carla Gugino in 'Race to Witch Mountain'

Photo © Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sad/Unsettling Scenes (Low)
- The movie contains a tearful goodbye scene that may be unsettling for very young kids.

Race to Witch Mountain - Discuss the Movie

  • After watching Race to Witch Mountain, children may have questions about the following topics: extraterrestrials/aliens, assassins, juvenile delinquents, life on other planets, mob/crime bosses, UFOs, space ships.

Race to Witch Mountain - Blu-ray Features

The Disney Race to Witch Mountain Blu-ray combo pack comes with a DVD and digital copy of the movie. Both the DVD and Blu-ray versions are skimpy on bonus features, but the Blu-ray does have one feature that is not included on the DVD.

  • "Which Mountain": Do you remember the classic 1975 Disney film Escape to Witch Mountain? This feature reveals some of the hidden references the new movie makes to the older film that was the inspiration for Race to Witch Mountain. Director Andy Fickman also points out some of the other Easter eggs that were incorporated into the film. I generally am oblivious to these things when I watch a film, so I enjoyed this feature pointing out all of the little things I missed. (This feature is exclusive to Blu-ray.)
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Bloopers
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 1 out of 5
very surprised by the violence and gun-play, Member pamelar123

At the end, I actually checked our ticket stubs to ensure this was a PG movie and not PG-13. There was gratuitous violence from beginning to end. There were very tense scenes and though no one was hurt or killed I was more disturbed by this since my children then do not see the consequences of the violence. If it hadn't been Disney and hadn't been linked to a film I fondly remembered from my youth, perhaps I wouldn't be so surprised.

1 out of 1 people found this helpful.

See all 2 reviews

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