Endangered Species parents guide

Endangered Species Parent Guide

It's impossible to care about the fates of any of the characters in this implausibly plotted disaster.

Overall D

Digital on Demand: An American family's safari vacation takes a turn for the worse when their vehicle is rammed by a rhino, leaving them alone in the wild with heavily armed poachers and dangerous animals.

Release date May 28, 2021

Violence D
Sexual Content A
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is Endangered Species rated R? The MPAA rated Endangered Species R for language, some violence and bloody images.

Run Time: 101 minutes

Parent Movie Review

The Halsey family have landed in Kenya, ready to go on the safari tour of a lifetime. Although Lauren (Rebecca Romijin) is much more excited about the trip than her husband, Jack (Philip Winchester), who would rather spend his off-time on a beach sipping cocktails, he’s agreed to try something new and exciting. But Zoe (Isabel Bassett) has brought her boyfriend Billy (Chris Fisher), who annoys both Jack and brother Noah (Michael Johnston).

Once at the safari park, the fractious family’s holiday starts to go off the rails. A delay at the park entrance led Jack to sneak the family into the park, meaning that no one knows where they are or where they’re going. When their van gets charged by a rhino, the Halseys find themselves in the middle of nowhere, with no water, transportation, or insulin for Lauren. With hyenas circling and no way to get the van running, they’re going to have to make a long and dangerous hike to find help – provided they live that long.

The only way Endangered Species can be even the littlest bit tense or stressful is if you like any of the characters, and that’s functionally impossible. Every single person in this movie is, in some way or another, so unfathomably stupid that there’s really no way to feel bad for them. If you see a guy digging a huge hole for no reason, you aren’t going to be surprised when he can’t climb out. You got yourself in there, bud. Figure it out. I spent the movie cheering for the leopard.

Despite the aggravating clichéd family drama subplot, this isn’t a good choice for family viewing. There is no small amount of profanity (including almost four dozen sexual expletives), and some very graphic scenes of people being injured and mauled by both wild animals and poachers. The filmmakers also decided to throw in a scene in which Zoe and Billy are implied to be taking salvia – although I’m inclined to believe they misidentified the plant, since they seem more or less sober, and salvia is a non-trivial hallucinogen. So, in addition to being unsuitable for children, it’s also too stupid to be watched by adults.

Which is a shame. The movie has a strong anti-poaching message, and I’m all for that. Poaching is a terrible crime, and anything that raises public awareness is probably for the best – but I cannot recommend watching this. The characters and the dialogue are implausibly asinine from start to finish, and unless you like feeling smarter than fictional characters, this is just going to drive you crazy.

Directed by M.J. Bassett. Starring Rebecca Romijn, Philip Winchester, and Isabel Bassett . Running time: 101 minutes. Theatrical release May 28, 2021. Updated

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Endangered Species
Rating & Content Info

Why is Endangered Species rated R? Endangered Species is rated R by the MPAA for language, some violence and bloody images.

Violence: Characters are shown bloodied and severely injured following run ins with rhinos and leopards. Dead animals are seen. Several individuals are killed in a car wreck. A number of characters are shot and killed.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are 42 sexual expletives, 33 scatological terms, and frequent use of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Individuals are implied to be under the influence of salvia, a hallucinogen.

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Endangered Species Parents' Guide

To learn more about the problem of poaching in Africa and to find out how to help, you can read these articles.

African Wildlife Foundation:

National Geographic: Poaching animals, explained

World Wildlife Federation: Illegal Wildlife Trade

PBS: The 21st Century Threat to Wildlife is “Cyberpoaching”

The New York Times: How to Stop Poaching and Protect Endangered Species?

World Wildlife Federation: Stopping Wildlife Crime


Home Video

Related home video titles:

Children with an interest in African wildlife are likely to enjoy Tarzan, George of the Jungle, or The Wild Thornberries Movie. Adults might try Holiday in the Wild, Out of Africa, or something more political like Invictus, Blood Diamondor Hotel Rwanda.