The Creator Parent Guide
The film is so beautifully designed and intentionally planned that it's totally immersive.
Parent Movie Review
Although the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in the early 1950’s seemed like a major breakthrough, it led to a great deal of bloodshed. Humans and artificial life managed to coexist for decades, until a flaw in the AI network responsible for defense led to the detonation of a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles. Now the United States has banned all AI, and is prosecuting a deadly war with the New Asian states, which have refused to ban what they believe to be sentient beings. The Americans have one great advantage - the Nomad, a trillion-dollar military platform in low orbit, capable of dropping precision missiles on any target.
Josh (John David Washington) is an American secret agent who has been infiltrating a New Asian community in order to root out the mysterious “Creator”, an unknown individual believed to be responsible for developing new Artificial Intelligence in secret. An untimely American raid blows Josh’s cover, and kills his pregnant wife and source, Maya (Gemma Chan). Five years later he’s back in the country, now with Colonel Howell (Allison Janney), chasing after a new threat. The Creator has developed a weapon capable of disabling the Nomad and erasing the American advantage. But the weapon in question turns out to be a small child, Alphie (Madeleine Yuna Voyles), and Joshua starts to question whether this war is worth fighting…
Gareth Edwards has a better grasp of scale in science fiction than most other directors I’ve seen, and he certainly continues in that vein here. And it’s not just the scale: this film feels remarkably intentional, visually speaking. Everything in frame feels like it was built and designed to be there, and it makes the entire film so immersive that I almost didn’t notice that the runtime crept up over two hours.
The Creator isn’t just another pretty face, either. The film tackles some serious issues, from American militarism to the ethics of artificial intelligence, and does so more effectively than I would have expected. Lest I leave you with the mistaken impression that this production is somehow perfect, I should point out that there are a couple of really wobbly spots in the plot which, if you pick at too much, will drive you a little nuts. Good news - I was crazy before I got here.
The violence in this film ranges from war crimes against civilians to individual firefights, and neither contains much gore. Bloody or not, the violence is frequent and the body count is substantial. Parents will also have concerns about the script’s profanity, which consists mostly of a particular scatological term and a single f-bomb – a PG-13 action movie, in other words. While younger children would find the film quite frightening, teens shouldn’t have many issues. More to the point, I had a good time, and if you’re a frequent flier here on the site, you know how rare that is. It may not be perfect, but I’ll take some rough spots if it means I get to watch something that feels like a deliberate creation and not some big studio cash grab. If nothing else, the film’s stunning visuals are well worth the price of admission.
Directed by Gareth Edwards. Starring John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe. Running time: 133 minutes. Theatrical release September 29, 2023. Updated September 28, 2023
Watch the trailer for The Creator
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Creator rated PG-13? The Creator is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for violence, some bloody images and strong language.
Violence: Individuals are frequently shot and killed in explosions, and some are hit or beaten. There are depictions of bombings against civilian populations and suicide bombing. Several people are killed when the vessel they are in is deliberately depressurized in a vacuum.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are 36 scatological curses and occasional uses of mild curses or terms of deity, as well as a single sexual expletive.
Alcohol / Drug Use: In one brief scene, adult characters are seen drinking alcohol socially.
Page last updated September 28, 2023
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Gareth Edwards also directed modern sci-fi classics like 2014’s Godzilla, as well as Rogue One; A Star Wars Story. Other visually impressive science fiction films include Blade Runner, Blade Runner 2049, Oblivion, Interstellar, Elysium, War for the Planet of the Apes, Snowpiercer, Ad Astra, Arrival, I, Robot, and Moon. Eye in the Sky focuses on the ethics of drone strikes. I also think I caught a brief reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey. A much less action-focused approach to the fundamental questions raised by artificial intelligence is After Yang.