Source Code Parent Guide
"Source Code" offers a unique premise and easily holds your attention for its relatively short 93 minute running time.
Parent Movie Review
Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) isn’t quite himself this morning. He awakens on a commuter train headed to Chicago, but he is in someone else’s body—someone named Sean. The beautiful brunette (Michelle Monaghan) sitting across from him looks confused, especially when he begins speaking as if he is someone completely different. Wondering what is happening, Cpt. Stevens’ only conclusion is he must be within a sophisticated military simulation. Whatever it is ends abruptly eight minutes later when a bomb violently explodes and sends himself and all other passengers on board to their death.
But Stevens isn’t dead. He awakens in a capsule full of wires and a video screen where he communicates with Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga), a military officer who sits at a desk and interrogates the captive man, asking him questions about his "dream." She explains that he is part of project "Source Code," an experiment that allows scientists to replay the last eight minutes of someone’s life by analyzing latent memories within their brain. Stevens’ neurological compatibility makes him a choice participant, and allows the military to have him enter into the deceased Sean’s brain to try and discover who the bomber is. This procedure is especially important because the attack was only the first blast of the day. The next one planned is even bigger, and is supposed to happen in downtown Chicago.
When the visit doesn’t produce the necessary information, Cpt. Stevens is sent back as Sean’s and told to try again. As the eight-minute scenario is repeated over and over, Cpt. Stevens begins to piece together the terrorist puzzle. At the same time, he is anxious about his own state of existence. How did he get involved in this experiment? Where is this capsule in which he is encased? Tired and finding it more and more difficult to cope with each replay and its explosive ending, Stevens struggles to discover his own identity as much as the bomber’s.
Violence will be the greatest content concern for viewers. The repeated bombing of the train includes some slow motion effects of people being incinerated. Other scenes show blood from gunshot wounds, fisticuffs, and traumatic incidents, although the images don’t reach the point of explicit or gratuitous. We also see a disembodied human torso and head with a partial brain exposure in a medical environment. Language is infrequent (a pleasant surprise in this genre), however there still is a single use of a sexual expletive. You’ll also hear a couple of brief sexual remarks. From a religious perspective, this movie may or may not meet your expectations with its exploration of parallel universes and the nature of physical death.
Best described as Groundhog Day meets The Matrix, this film offers a unique premise and easily holds your attention for its relatively short 93 minute running time. For these reasons the solid action thriller with a sci-fi element may even have parents feeling comfortable about sending their older teens into the Source Code.Directed by Duncan Jones . Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga. Running time: 94 minutes. Theatrical release April 1, 2011. Updated July 17, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is Source Code rated PG-13? Source Code is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some violence including disturbing images, and for language.
Violence: A bomb explodes on a busy commuter train—this scenario is repeated many times with the train exploding and careening off the track onto a busy street. A man punches, harasses and threatens passengers on a train; he also breaks into a locked compartment and steals a conductor’s pistol. A character falls from a train and sustains bloody injuries. Two characters are shot and shown on the ground surrounded by blood. A terrorist discusses plans to detonate a large bomb. A disembodied human torso and head with part of the brain exposed is seen in a medical environment.
Sexual Content: Two brief sexual remarks are heard. A man and woman kiss.
Language: A single sexual expletive is used, along with infrequent scatological and mild profanities.
Drugs/Alcohol: None noted.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
More parents' guide for Source Code after the break...
Source Code Parents' Guide
What roles do men and women play in this film? Which gender would be a more likely terrorist suspect? Why? Do you think Colleen Goodwin would have behaved differently if she were a man? Why might filling that role with a male character have made the scenario more difficult for the audience to believe?
What "holes" can you find in the science of this movie? How much liberty would Cpt. Stevens have in navigating through the train and even outside of it if he was confined to one person’s memories?
The most recent home video release of Source Code movie is July 26, 2011. Here are some details…
Source Code releases to DVD and Blu-ray on July 26, 2011, with the following bonus extras:
- Audio Commentary with Jake Gyllenhaal, director Duncan Jones and writer Ben Ripley
- Access: Source Code activate dynamic “scene specific” features including interviews with the cast, expert opinions on time travel, trivia and more!
Related home video titles:
Denzel Washington plays an explosives expert who becomes privy to a top-secret surveillance system than allows government agents to see intimate details of the past in Déjà Vu. A woman finds herself reliving her husband’s death over and over again in Premonition. And a man who possesses the ability to see the future uses his gift to try to out guess the perpetrators of a terrorist plot in Next.