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Movie Review

Race to Witch Mountain a.k.a. “Witch Mountain,” “A Montanha Enfeitiçada,” “Corrida para a Montanha Mágica,” “Cursa spre Witch Mountain,” “Útek na Horu carodejnic,” “Die Jagd zum Magischen Berg,” “La Montagne ensorcelée,” “Katadioxi sto vouno ton magisson,” “Sihirli Dag”

MPAA Rating: PG for sequences of action and violence, frightening and dangerous situations, and some thematic elements.

Reviewed by: Elisa A. Walker

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family Teens
Sci-Fi Adventure Thriller Comedy
1 hr. 38 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
March 13, 2009 (wide—3,000 theaters)
DVD: August 4, 2009
Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Aliens (extraterrestrials)

What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer

Are we alone in the universe? Answer

Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer

Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.
Featuring: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Carla Gugino, AnnaSophia Robb, Cheech Marin, Ciarán Hinds, more »
Director: Andy Fickman
Producer: Walt Disney Pictures, Gunn Films, Andrew Gunn, Mario Iscovich, Ann Marie Sanderlin
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

“The race is on.”

Jack Bruno (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) is just your normal, everyday cab driver—until siblings Sara (AnnaSophia Robb) and Seth (Alexander Ludwig) sneak into his cab. Chased by government agents and an alien assassin, Jack and his newly found companions have a tough task ahead of them—saving Earth.

With the help of Dr. Alex Friedman (Carla Gugino) and some friends, Jack, Sara and Seth may come out alive. As they race against time to stop utter destruction of our beloved planet, they must stick together and trust no one. A film that is out of this world, “Race to Witch Mountain” is one remake you don’t want to miss.

Morality Issues

“Race to Witch Mountain” is a breath of fresh air. With no profanity or sexual content whatsoever, this film is definitely family-friendly. The only comment that could offend someone was when Jack muttered, “Don’t go into the pimped out fridge Jack”, which turned out to be quite comical. The violence was mild, it is your average PG action-packed film; with exciting car chases, mild gunfights, a train crash, some cool hand-to-hand combat scenes, a couple of objects blown up and a creepy alien that somewhat resembles “Predator”. Nobody dies and only scrapes and bruises are seen, no outpouring of blood anywhere.

Spiritual Issues

As far as storyline content goes, the movie does revolve around two alien children. Since this is a remake of an old children’s movie, I did not find this offensive nor did I find the movie to be promoting any substantive theory/worldview that extraterrestrials exist. But if you do happen to be concerned about aliens, here are a couple of scriptures to help you. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?' (Romans 8:31); “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; those who contend with you will be as nothing, and will perish. You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, those who war with you will be as nothing, and non-existent. For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, who says to you, do not fear, I will help you” (Isaiah 41:10-13).

I highly recommend this film; it is clean, fun and action-packed. The action and creepy alien may scare small children, but I took my 4 year-old niece to see this when it was in theatres and she was fine, she couldn’t tear here eyes away from the screen. “Race to Witch Mountain” is a great movie that is acceptable for the whole family. People of all ages will love it!

Violence: Mild / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None


See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—Saw this today with our boys 7 and 11. A lot of action, a moderate amount of violence—nothing graphic. No offensive language that I noticed. (“Pimped out fridge” was the worst I remember.) 7 year old thought the villain was scary, but not like “nightmare scary”—just effective as a villain. Zero sexual content, main characters have a love interest that is presented in a very positive and clean fashion. Some extremely brief and minor New Age concepts keep me from giving it a “Good” rating. Main characters show selfless heroism… that is rewarded in the end. We liked it and would recommend it for families ages 7+.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Bob, age 44 (USA)
Positive—…“Race to Witch Mountain” is a very entertaining movie. It has government conspiracies, alien assassins, the mafia, action, and plenty of good acting.

The story goes that Jack Bruno (played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) is a taxi cab driver who picks up two kids who are really aliens in disguise. They are trying to recover a data node that contains information that would protect Earth from invasion, but an evil assassin is sent by forces on their world to stop them.

The movie is very predictable is some area, but other than that, the acting is very good, the special effects are phenomenal, and the movie is very clean. There is no bad language, not even the Lord’s name is taken in vain. There is nothing sex/nudity. Nothing. The action in it may offend people. There are some fight scenes, but there are tasteful. There is a lot of explosions that might scare younger kids, but that’s about it.

Some people may find that it parallels our political climate in some cases. The planet the aliens are from wants to invade Earth because their planet is dying, but the kids are sent to get information that could save them, but an assassin is sent to stop the kids from getting the information because there are forces that want war. Hmm, interesting.

All in all, it is a very good movie with some interesting twists. I think this is one of the best remakes that have been done.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Jacob Airey, age 20 (USA)
Positive—This was a very good movie to go see. There was nothing that I was offended by at all. Disney did a good job keeping this movie as clean as possible. Parents, this is truly a movie you should take your kids to see.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Alex, age 18 (USA)
Positive—Where to begin??? Disney has done what many people do not think possible in this day and age. With all the big time money movies that show nudity, graphic violence and are chock full of so many curse words that it would make a sailor blush, they have made a family movie that is full of action and adventure. Not full of the unwanted extras that fill our minds with the junk that Hollywood wants to distort our minds with. And it was refreshing to actually see a movie that had NO language, NONE, a movie that had no subliminal sexually suggestive material, NONE, a movie that the whole family could enjoy and just spend some quality time together.

After that let’s talk about the threat of aliens coming to this planet to invade and conquer us to use the planet for their own use. Whew that was a mouthful!! As a Christian, I could jump all over that and beat this movie into the ground because of what it may imply, that we are not the only beings in this universe. This just raises the whole other question of whether we are the only creatures that God created or were we just part of some “new” creation. That is not the purpose of a Christian, to wonder what God did before or after or during the creation of mankind, but to know that our God created us for fellowship with Him!! I believe that God gave man an imagination to not just write plays, books and other pieces of art about Him, but to think of things that can stretch our imagination to its limits.

This does not have to include anything that is bad. Look at “Chronicles of Narnia” a masterpiece written by a once pronounced atheist and just how good it was. When I look at Jack in “Race To Witch Mountain,” I see a man who is trying to get his life back on the right track. He has been down the wrong road and does not like where he has been. In the movie, he is put into a situation where he must make a decision about doing something for someone else or just looking out for number one. Jack makes the right decision and comes out on top for it in the end. Jack also shows a bit of the sacrificial love that we as Christians are suppose to display.

That is what our creator did, and we are supposed to do the same for others around us.

Now to the end of this review, this movie as I stated earlier had no language, no nudity and nothing that someone 10 and up would have a problem with. I will caution however that there is a good amount of cars and other things getting blown up, so if you have a child that scares easily then you need to be careful. I had only seen one of the previous versions of this movie, but I would have to say that due to the ability to create illusions with special effects, this one is by far better than the other one that I had seen. My opinion, take the family to this, it is good clean fun and you will not regret it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Larry Barber, age 45 (USA)
Positive—F/X: kinda kinky. Other times, pretty sweet. Plot: largely a kids' flick. Need I explain more?
Content: very clean. That’s what I like about this movie. That and the good ol' Rock. He was always a favorite back in my wrestling days. Well, the good news is he’s still taking names and probably eating a dozen o' donuts every day on the set. Don’t know really—I’d guess not ‘cause he’s chiseled true to the moniker, and I would suspect age has finally caught up with the Brahma Bull’s metabolism.

Anyhow, for the very reason that this movie is clean, I recommend it. There are so many pollutants out there in this day and age, so treat your mind, your spirit, and your heart to something a little more edifying every once in a while.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Keenum, age 22 (USA)
Positive—I saw this film with my wife today and really enjoyed it; it is clean, well made and leaves a smile on your face. The film does not openly give a religious theme, but it has a strong good versus bad theme. I can recommend the film to parents with kids.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Hans Van Aardt, age 34 (South Africa)
Neutral—I am picky. I watch only a few movies. I used to, when unsaved, watch 18-20 movies out. Now I don’t go, but watch videos. That said, I am picky. Entertaining, somewhat, but no character development really. Set in Vegas, the cabby was the best part. Evolution insinuated and accepted. Anti Bush, anti Patriot Act. Pro environmental, New Agey, and nothing of God or anything. The impact, in my opinion, to children is immense. The aliens are seen as gentle, and we—especially the government—portrayed as bad, ugly and no mercy. The Kids “the aliens,” murder, but done in a self-defense way. Hardly noticeable, i.e., a car accident they created. Another scene in which a train wreck happens, it looks like everyone died, but they said the conductor lived. Making it look horribly—implying death, but then later in a newscast, they said the person survived, but the impact had already been made.

In one of Disney’s films, the one where there is a city called Nirvana, and the main character is carrying a thing around his neck, stop and pause and go screen by screen, and you will see a Nazi symbol, in the hairs of a dream catcher type thing around his neck. Hard to see except if stopped as it is the size of an eraser or smaller and so fast you can’t see it. I saw it and reversed the DVD to that point and froze it. Unbelievable! And Nirvana, which is a Hindi term or Buddhist term for the reaching of revelation. Disney has some good films, overall, but the insidiousness of them makes me wonder sometimes.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Greg T, age 47 (USA)
Neutral—This movie is not for young children. I understand that movies today are rated very differently because of so much garbage out there. So for this to be rated high because of no sexuality, blood, language, I agree. But, the movie was highly action packed and too much for children under the age of 10. The scene that shows the gross alien head was scary for young children and I do not think this movie, based on those facts, should be getting such a high rating. Also, showing the powers the children had can be very confusing for young children and possible question that. It’s just too much for a younger child to comprehend. Take caution on allowing younger children to view this film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Sarah, age 28 (USA)
Negative—This is an action film directed towards around twelve year olds—probably because they are the most influential, unlikely to question what they see. The main concern about this story for those with a Christian worldview is that the “aliens” are seen to use supernatural gifts in their battles.

“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him” Colossians 1:16.

The alarming thing is that having seen these gifts reduced to e.s.p our youth could develop an insensitivity to God’s power.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Di, age 45 (Australia)
Comments from young people
Positive—In my opinion “Race to Witch Mountain” was a very exciting movie! I went to see it with my mom, dad, sister, and best friend. some of the movie was so exciting that my friend and I very squeezing our hands together and squealing! We really enjoyed it! the only thing I found offensive was some of the clothes that women wore, and it was a little violent. I really enjoyed the action scenes. a couple of them might scare a young child though. For example, the siphon was a little scary looking, and he is constantly chasing the heroes. Seth quoted something Buddha. I was surprised and happy that there was no bad language. Overall, it was a very exciting good movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jessica, age 14 (USA)
Positive—I went to see this movie with my mom and dad. It’s fantastic. There is no witches, if you were worried about that. I couldn’t find any bad language. The only thing parents might find offensive is the violence. I mean, it’s not like Rambo or anything like that, but people do get shot. There is no blood, though. Some little kids my be scared of an alien assassin, but I think that any kid seven or older could see Race to Witch Mountain.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Matt, age 10 (USA)
Positive—I thought this was a great movie! I saw it with my mom and younger sister and we all thought it was very clean. I saw absolutely nothing offensive and really enjoyed the movie. The alien assassin or “siphon” might be a little scary to younger viewers, but my 6 1/2 year old sister saw it with no problems. This is a great movie, you should take your kids to see it!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Bekah, age 14 (USA)
Positive—What a surprise! This movie was awesome, action packed and exiting. it was really well made and the acting was amazing! It was a Disney movie and was really cheesy at some points, but clean, the only rude thing the main character said was “pimped out fridge.” The director did a really good job of having a lot of action, but keeping everything clean. I bought my own ticket to see this movie and did not regret it. I loved it. I would recommend this movie to anyone. Go see it.

My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½

—Aaron, age 12 (Canada)
Neutral—I’m not saying that I do not like this movie, but there were only a couple of things I disagree with in this wonderful, adventurous, movie.

ALIEN CHILDREN. Now worldly, we might think of it as illegal immigrants, and if your looking space wise, you think of those crazy green antenna creatures. But in a Christian’s perspective, we would think of it as fallen angels: demons. Or at least that is what I believe.

Secondly, the young lady in the movie would always say: “It’s so amazing! It’s pure, true science!” Look at that word for a minute SCIENCE. Gaze at it for about 3 seconds. That is a true Darwinistic modern day saying. We know that God is our Creator. Not just of us, but of everything. The clouds cannot make the rain pour, the plants cannot give off transpiration, and an alien certainly cannot be in charge of the whole entire galaxy. It is Christ who made all these things, it is Christ who gives us the strength to do these things, not by any old alien! Other than those objectives everything else is fine. The movie itself, somewhat reminds me of our journey to Heaven.'

We must stand firm in the ways of the Lord, and keep on preaching and teaching about Him, or our lives could be in danger eternally.

Just like in “Race to Witch Mountain,” they could have given up and let themselves die. But they didn’t, they stood firm, and got their ship back.

And that’s what I love about this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Megan, age 12 (USA)
Positive—This was a pretty good movie. It was very exciting, and kept my attention the whole time. I thought the acting was pretty good, and the special effects were awesome. The expression “pimped out fridge” was the only profanity, which is really good compared to most action movies.

I wouldn’t recommend it to younger kids, because there’s quite a bit of violence, and the siphon thing is pretty creepy, especially when he takes his mask off! But I think most adults and teenagers would enjoy this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Katie, age 16 (USA)
Positive—Race to Witch Mountain is a great family movie. A warning to parents with younger children: this movie is filled with action, but absolutely no blood or gore. Younger children may also be frightened by the alien that is hunting the children’s face. There are many redeeming qualities as well. Jack Bruno was once the driver of get-away vehicles for the Las Vegas mob, but later he refuses all of the jobs he is asked to do. In the process he is beat for refusing. He also is very loyal, refusing to leave the kids to fend for themselves. This movie is an excellent movie, sprinkled with witty humor and filled with action. By a Christian standpoint is a very good movie given today’s movies.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Ben, age 12 (USA)
Negative—I’d normally give a lengthy review, but I’ll just keep it brief for this one. In short—very little offensive material. Quite a bit of non-graphic violence that might scare the little ones, but otherwise, no worries.

However… in terms of quality, it’s really a quite awful movie. It is one action sequence after the other, and they aren’t intense or suspenseful action sequences. Just your garden variety car chases and gunfights. Lots of explosions. In any given scene, you can expect that most of the set will be reduced to smoldering ashes before it’s over. In fact, this movie actually left me with a headache…and that’s coming from a huge fan of Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and other such movies. That should give you some clue as to exactly how much bang-zoom action there is in this movie. Unfortunately, even the special effects in these scenes are subpar. And the soundtrack seriously oversells the movie; it’s too loud, and it doesn’t match the action on screen very well.

The story is also rushed and fairly senseless. I counted no less than three reasonably major plot holes before it was over. Of course, that might just be because the handful of scenes where they’re NOT shooting at each other don’t do a particularly good job of explaining why the characters have to do this or that. It also never quite says what it is about the kids that make them so determined to save Earth, or why Dwayne Johnson’s character takes everything they say at face value and trusts that saving Earth really IS their motivation.

The movie’s sole redeeming factor is that Dwayne Johnson does have a natural charm and charisma, and the cast did pretty well for what it had to work with. But that wasn’t much.

I recommend saving your money and waiting for much better family fare to hit theaters.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Matt Triponey, age 17 (USA)
Positive—Race to Witch Mountain was a great movie. It had action that kept me on the edge of my seat until the credits roll. From an entertainment value, I thought this film was excellent. When it comes to Moral Values, it is still very good. This film spares the sex and harsh profanities. The violence is action packed and the film gets intense at some places. Please note that aliens steal money from an ATM Machine and rig Casino machines. Unlike “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” some aliens are here to save mankind while others are interested in terminating us. Obviously, the bad aliens are shown as bad, and the good aliens are shown as good. A great movie with a great message and with few objectionable content. Just be aware of the action violence before letting your youngest see it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jacob, age 14 (USA)
Positive—This is a very fun action-packed adventure Disney movie that deserves 2 thumbs up!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Emily, age 11 (USA)
Positive—Ok, I watched this movie with my younger brother and sister (13 and 10) and was naturally rather skeptic. I was anticipating a lame, cheezy movie (although I was looking forward to watching “the Rock”). But I was definitly surprised! It was really good! The whole storyline was pretty good (could be better, but hey—it’s a kids film), the acting great, and the effects awesome! Plus, it was hilarious. I was thrilled to find nothing morally wrong with it—not swearing, no suggesting comments, nothing. It was fantastic. (And hey—it was completely suspenseful—had me captivated from the beginning!) I totally recommend it!! (And don’t be bothered by WITCH mountain. It has nothing to do with witchcraft or anything of the sort. I was wary at first, but it’s merely the name of the mountain.)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Kyla, age 15 (USA)
Positive—This is a good movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Joseph, age 12 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
For Believers to let their kids watch movies such as this, should be very careful cause even movies concerning UFOs have the same genre as witchcraft. They display the same powers as witchcraft, telekinesis, mind reading etc. (That’s why I believe this movie is called “Race to Witch Mountain” because UFO believers practice witchcraft and I believe it has its demonic influences… and it could bring demon oppression or possession on your kids as they watch this. Bewitching (what Paul says to the Galatians) them, making it hard for them to accept the gospel of truth. Get acquainted on how Occultism affects people. Listen to Bill Mcloeds preaching on it. …
—John Zequin Araneta, age 28 (Australia)