Dark Skies parents guide

Dark Skies Parent Guide

Though teens may be drawn to the young stars in this movie, adolescent drug use, pornography, and gun play may be enough to discourage parents from bankrolling the cost of movie tickets.

Overall C

The Barret family (Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton) thought they were just typical suburbanites... until strange things started happening. Now they fear they have been chosen by some mysterious force that is intent on destroying them.

Release date February 21, 2013

Violence C-
Sexual Content C
Profanity C+
Substance Use D+

Why is Dark Skies rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Dark Skies PG-13 for violence, terror throughout, sexual material, drug content and language - all involving teens.

Run Time: 95 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Humans’ fascination with extraterrestrials has provided Hollywood with plenty of script ideas and steady work for the skinny, large cranium aliens who hide in the shadows until the moment of the “big reveal”. Unfortunately the plots for these alien movies are almost as predictable as the space travelers themselves.

Already facing family pressures, Lacy and Daniel Barret (Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton) have no idea they’ve been singled out for an alien experiment. The economic downturn cost Daniel his job as a land developer and Lacy, a real estate agent, is stuck with an outdated house that won’t move. Their teenaged son Jesse (Dakota Goyo) hangs out with an older kid who has introduced him to illegal drugs and porn movies, and brags constantly about his (unsubstantiated) female conquests. The couple’s youngest son Sam (Kadan Rockett) is starting to have nightmares.

However the real clue their life is different from the rest of their suburban neighbors comes the night they wake up to find the food from their cupboards floating around the kitchen. While that seems a fairly obvious indication that something strange is afoot, the film drags on and on in an effort to establish the fact. By the time the couple seeks help from an alien expert (J.K. Simmons), Sam is drawing disturbing pictures, Daniel is dealing with an irritating sore, and three flocks of birds have battered their house, leaving the family home with broken windows and bloody markings on the siding.

As the film preps for the moment of disclosure with an escalating musical score and obligatory jump scenes, the audience understands why the neighbors (who don’t know about the aliens) are increasingly leery of the family, why the police have a growing file on them and why child protective services have been called.

At this point, coming up with a convincing or even conceivable conclusion becomes a problem. Dark Skies skirts the issue by rocketing off into a strange, dreamlike sequence that depicts a dead body in a pool of blood, a room splattered with the red stuff, a suicide and the sounds of sexual activity coming from behind closed doors. When the script snaps back to reality, it comes without an explanation for the bizarre detour and leaves itself wide open for a sequel—should the aliens decide to return.

Though teens may be drawn to the young stars in this movie (Dakota Goyo appears in Rise of the Guardians, Thor, Real Steel and Resurrecting the Champ), adolescent involvement in illegal drug use, pornography and gun play may be enough to discourage parents from bankrolling the cost of movie tickets for these Dark Skies.

Directed by Scott Charles Stewart . Starring Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo, J.K. Simmons . Running time: 95 minutes. Theatrical release February 21, 2013. Updated

Dark Skies
Rating & Content Info

Why is Dark Skies rated PG-13? Dark Skies is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for violence, terror throughout, sexual material, drug content and language - all involving teens.

Violence: Characters lie on several occasions. Children overhear their parents arguing. Birds fly into a house killing themselves and leaving bloody marks. Characters experience moments of terror and peril. A woman bangs her head on a window until it breaks. Blood pours from a man’s nose. Characters have seizures or become paralyzed. Children are shown with bruises or other markings on their body and their parents are accused of abuse. A boy shoots another teen with a dart gun. A man attacks a boy and begins hitting him. He is attacked and punched in the face by another man. A man fires a gun. A woman uses a large kitchen knife as a weapon. A teen and his father argue. A dead character is seen lying in a pool of blood. A man in a room with blood-splattered walls shoots himself. (Shooting takes place off-screen.) Characters are threatened on numerous occasions.

Sexual Content: Teens watch part of a porn movie that includes groping and some sexual sounds. A boy later gropes a girl’s breast in the same manner. Teens kiss. A married couple kisses and is shown kissing and cuddling under the sheets. A man talks about spicing up the couple’s sex life. A boy brags about his female conquests. A teen uses crude terms to describe sexual activity and anatomy. A bare buttock is seen in a photo. Sounds of sexual activity are heard.

Language: The script includes infrequent scatological slang and profanities, as well as crude sexual language and terms.

Alcohol / Drug Use: A teen brings illegal drugs to share with his friends. He is later seen running wildly around the living room. A woman takes prescription drugs to deal with stress. Adults drink at a dinner party. A man smokes.

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More parents' guide for Dark Skies after the break...

Dark Skies Parents' Guide

Jesse gropes a girl in a similar manner to a porn movie he has watched. How does she react? How can pornography affect the way men and women act in real life relationships? What messages can porn teach teens about human interactions?

How does this family work together? What strength comes from being united? How can your family members support one another? How does this family’s dinnertime conversation make a difference during a difficult time?  What role can family dinner play in helping a family?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Dark Skies movie is May 28, 2013. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: Dark Skies

Release Date: 28 May 2013

Dark Skies releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet Combo Pack) with the following extras:

- Audio Commentary

- Deleted/Alternate Scenes

Related home video titles:

Mysterious powers affect the characters in these movies too: The Mothman Prophesies, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Secret Window.