The Adam Project parents guide

The Adam Project Parent Guide

Past, meet future.

Overall B+

Netflix. A young boy teams up with his future self and late father to save the future while healing from the past.

Release date March 10, 2022

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

Why is The Adam Project rated PG-13? The MPAA rated The Adam Project PG-13 Violence/action, language and suggestive references.

Run Time: 106 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Twelve can be a difficult age and it is proving particularly challenging for Adam Reed (Walker Scobell). Bullied at school and still grieving the unexpected death of his father, Louis Reed (Mark Ruffalo), eighteen months ago, Adam is just waiting for a future where he doesn’t have to worry about any of this…and that’s coming much sooner than he thinks. One night, as his mother, Ellie (Jennifer Garner) is on a date, he finds a strange man in his dad’s garage – a strange man with all his memories, a familiarity with his dog, and an identical scar under his chin. The man, as it happens, is his older self (Ryan Reynolds) from roughly 30 years into the future.

The future is in trouble, so Adam has come back to his past to find his wife, Laura (Zoe Saldana), who disappeared in a deeply suspicious time travel incident. The last thing he wants is a 12-year-old tag along, let alone this particular 12-year-old, but he doesn’t have much of a choice. The time machine is keyed to his DNA and won’t let him access it due to injuries he sustained in his escape from the future. He’s going to have to learn how to get along with his younger self if he wants to get anything done.

If you’ve seen Free Guy, you have a good idea of what to expect here. While the plot is completely different, the tone and content are quite similar. Parents have little to worry about apart from some mild cursing and stylized sci-fi violence, and families will likely enjoy Reynolds’ signature banter, now echoed by Walker Scobell as his younger self. I had some concerns about a younger actor mimicking Reynolds, but Scobell does a great job without going over the top. Or, at least, no more over the top than Reynolds is.

Parents will also appreciate the family-focused themes of the story. Adam and Adam both have good advice for themselves and each other, covering grief, love, and being kind to your mother. And it manages to cover all those topics without feeling preachy or slowing down the sci-fi action fun. The film also avoids getting lost in the weeds with time travel paradoxes or physics, giving you enough to suggest complexity without confusing younger viewers.

While too profane and violent for little kids, and maybe a bit too complex for older kids, this popcorn flick has lots to offer younger teens and their parents. Time travel, action, a great cast, and a reminder to be nicer to your mom – it’s a home run. I’m just glad it’s not my problem: If I had to deal with my twelve-year-old self, there would be precious little comedy involved…

Directed by Shawn Levy. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell, Mark Ruffalo. Running time: 106 minutes. Theatrical release March 10, 2022. Updated

Watch the trailer for The Adam Project

The Adam Project
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Adam Project rated PG-13? The Adam Project is rated PG-13 by the MPAA Violence/action, language and suggestive references.

Violence: A character is seen with a bleeding gunshot wound. Kids hit one another. People are struck with blunt objects, shot, and blown up, which causes them to turn into glowing particles and disappear.
Sexual Content: Adult characters are seen kissing passionately. There are several brief, non-graphic sexual references.
Profanity: There are thirteen uses of scatological profanity, a handful of mild curses, and thirty uses of terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are briefly seen drinking socially.

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The Adam Project Parents' Guide

What advice does Adam give to his younger self about coping with grief? What advice does young Adam give his future self?  What does Louis tell both of them?

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Ryan Reynolds and director Shawn Levy also worked together on Free Guy. Another case of familial time travel is in Meet the Robinsons. Other kids’ sci fi options include Ron’s Gone Wrong, Big Hero 6, Wall-E, Flubber, andLilo and Stitch. Ryan Reynolds plays a pilot with even worse luck in Green Lantern. The film references other time travel classics like Back to the Future and Terminator 2.