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Movie Review

Tomorrow, When the War Began

Reviewed by: Nora Ewington

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Action Adventure Teen Drama
1 hr. 43 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
_______, 2010
Australia and New Zealand: September 2, 2010
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Paramount Pictures

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Featuring: Caitlin Stasey (Ellie Linton), Rachel Hurd-Wood (Corrie Mackenzie), Lincoln Lewis (Kevin Holmes), Deniz Akdeniz (Homer Yannos), more »
Director: Stuart Beattie
Producer: Ambience Entertainment (Australia), Omnilab Media (Australia), more »
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

“Where were you when everything changed?”

“Tomorrow, When the War Began” is the first in a series of seven young adult invasion novels published from 1993-99 and written by author John Marsden.

There’s Ellie (the leader), Corrie (her gossiping best friend), Kevin (Mr. Popular), Homer (the prankster), Fiona (the princess), Lee (quiet martial arts guy), and Robyn (the good little Catholic girl).

The movie starts with seven teenagers who decide to go on a camping trip out in the middle of nowhere. Ellie wakes to a rumbling sound; looking up at the sky she sees a swarm of fighter planes going by, but thinks nothing of it. The teenagers return home to find everybody gone. They go from house to house, looking for anyone, but the closest they come to finding life is Kevin’s dog.

Ellie, Kevin and Corrie go into town to see if they can find out what’s happened. They find that all their families and townsfolk are being held by Asian militant soldiers at the carnival grounds, guarded with guns.

They nearly get themselves killed when Ellie decides to get closer to see if she can hear what is being said between two soldiers. She sees a man get shot in the head, and panics—running off. She is seen by the soldiers who chase after them; Kevin panics, leaving the girls on their own. The soldiers chase them all over town; Ellie blows three soldiers up using a ride-on lawn mower’s fuel tank. She then takes a dead soldier’s gun.

They spend the rest of the movie fighting, killing, and running from the soldiers.

They decide to take back their hometown, where they blow up a bridge with a petrol tanker. Ellie and Corrie get shot at by a soldier. Robyn, after refusing to use a gun throughout the movie, finally grabs one, and kills a bunch of soldiers.

Throughout the movie, there is swearing, and profanity. These include: “How the hell,” “d**khead,” “f***ing,” “p**s,” “bulls**t,” calling someone “a little s**t,” “shut up,” “bl**dy nutcase,” “Jesus,” “s**t,” “Christ,” “Jesus Christ,” “Oh my G*d,” “w**ker,” “s**t hits the fan,” and “smoking some really weird s**t.”

There is no sex or nudity, however, Corrie states in the beginning of the movie that she’d had sex with someone.

As Christians, we need to be really careful what we allow into our souls. Remember the old saying, “Your eyes are the gateway to your soul.”

Luke 11:33-36 says it better.

“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.”

I personally do not recommend this movie to anyone, let alone a Christian, mainly because of the level of violence and words used. Otherwise, the movie would have been alright. Definitely not for younger viewers.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: None

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

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments from young people
Positive—I saw this today and really liked it. I honestly didn’t find the language very offensive except for the use of Jesus' name. The fact that there was very little mention of sex, except for a few seconds in the beginning is pretty rare for a drama let alone a teen movie. The fact that the characters didn’t just kill and move on was a plus. I think it was good that the internal battle of the conscience over taking a life was hilighted. And although the religious character did end up breaking her vow to not kill, it seemed realistic to me of how a young teenager would act under the circumstances.

Yes, the Bible tells us not to kill, but under extreme circumstances there are instances of Christians killing their enemy though that is an argument better left for someplace else. I’ll admit I am biased because I’m from a country Australian town and could relate to that side of it really well, but I would recommend this to people, perhaps with a warning of the coarse language.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Kailah, age 17 (Australia)