Story

The planet Lorien has been destroyed by a vicious race of murdering aliens called Mogadorians. The last survivors are nine young Loriens with superpowers and their guardians, who are all now on earth. As the last Loriens grow up, Mogadorians are systematically finding and killing them. Numbers One, Two and Three are dead, and Number Four is next.

Number Four is a teenager known as John Smith (Alex Pettyfer). To escape the Mogadorians, he and his guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant) make their way to the quiet town of Paradise in Ohio. Here John enrols in the local high school. John strikes up a friendship with Sam (Callan McAuliffe), the school’s science brain. Also, John is attracted to Sarah (Dianna Agron), but makes an enemy of Mark (Jake Abel), Sarah’s ex-boyfriend and the local sheriff’s son.

Just as John feels settled in his new life, the Mogadorians show up and kidnap Henri. The fight with the Mogadorians now begins in earnest, with John and his friends being helped by Number Six (Teresa Palmer).

Themes

Aliens; bullying; destiny

Violence

I am Number Four contains intense action violence and some school bullying. For example:

  • The tentacle-like arms of an alien creature smash through a door, grab hold of a man and pull him backwards through the door.
  • Several humanoid aliens chase a teenage boy and stab him in the chest.
  • John (Number Four) has scars representing the deaths of the last Loriens. He says he got his first scar when he was nine years old.
  • Number Six goes on a rampage, smashing up the inside of a house and using a knife to slash bedding. She turns on the gas stove and strikes a match. The house explodes in a ball of flame that engulfs Number Six, who protects herself with a supernatural energy shield.
  • Sarah humiliates a teacher by posting a picture of him picking his nose on the internet.
  • Some male students deliberately bump into another student, pushing him into some lockers. Later we see the same group deliberately throw a football into the same boy’s face, knocking him to the ground and ruining his lunch. John picks up the football and uses his superpower to throw the football at the bully’s stomach. The impact hurls the bully into some bushes.
  • When John and Sam open their school lockers, red paint explodes out of the lockers, covering their faces and chests. Sam charges at the boy responsible for the paint bombs.
  • Four masked boys attack John and Sarah. Three of the boys punch and kick John. The fourth boy drags Sarah by the hand and carries her over his shoulder. John hurls one of the boys into the air and pins another against a tree. He overpowers the boy holding Sarah and threatens to break the boy’s ‘throwing’ arm by pinning it behind the boy’s back. John stops when Sarah asks him to. Later we hear that the boys needed to go to hospital to have their injuries treated.
  • Henri shouts at John as he storms out of their house. Henri chases John who uses his powers to pin Henri against a wall. Henri grabs John from behind, kicks out John’s legs and pins John’s hands behind his back.
  • Sam has a shotgun. He tells John that he’s going to help him. John tells Sam to put the gun away. They enter a house to find Henri chained and hanging from the basement ceiling. They see some blood on Henri’s face. John uses his powers to break the chains. A man steps out of his hiding place and holds a gun at John’s head, threatening to shoot him. John uses his powers to throw the gunman against the ceiling and then drops him to the ground.
  • An alien jumps onto the bonnet of a car and pushes his sword through the car’s windscreen. The sword sticks Henri through the chest. Blood flows from the wound in Henri’s chest, and John tries to stop it with his hands. Henri dies on the side of the road. His body turns to stone and then dust, which the wind blows away.
  • An alien has a small metal ball with razor-sharp circular saws sticking out of it. He puts the ball into a man’s mouth, saying, ‘It wants to play with you’. The scene finishes with the man’s screams.
  • Number Six uses an alien gun to attack and kill aliens. The gun fires bolts of energy.
  • During a final battle, Numbers Four and Six blast the alien attackers with bolts of energy and stab them with a long sword. Monsters also fight in the battle. John uses his superpowers to set off a series of explosive devices wrapped around an alien’s chest. There’s a huge explosion, but Number Six uses her superpowers to shield Number Four and herself from the blast. Waves of flames and heat wash over the pair. When the battle is over, the schoolground looks like there’s been a nuclear explosion.
  • Monstrous alien creatures rip into each other using their talons and fangs.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie contains some scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight. For example:

  • While John is swimming in the sea, a blue light comes out of his lower leg, causing him lots of pain. He staggers out of the sea and collapses on the beach. At school, a blue light comes out of his hands, causing him to panic and run out of the classroom. He puts his glowing hands into a bucket of water. He seems to be terrified of his superpowers. He shakes, sweats and hides until Henri comes to get him.
  • There are several large scary creatures and aliens in this movie. Some of the giant aliens have bald tattooed heads, sharp teeth, gill-like slits on the sides of their noses, and threatening voices and ways of acting.
  • When aliens die, their bodies immediately turn to stone and then dust, which the wind blows away.
  • After John grabs at his leg in pain, a fresh circular red burn mark comes up on his lower leg. There are two other similar, but older, burn scars on his leg.
  • A lizard crawls behind a bush and comes out changed into a dog.
  • A humanoid alien creature peels the covering off the sides of his gilled nose and then takes out a set of false teeth. He has sharp fangs underneath.
  • John and Sarah go on a haunted hayride. They see fake (but realistic) severed bloody heads on poles, a man with a chainsaw who jumps out in front of them, a re-enactment of a man being executed in an electric chair, and a re-enactment of a serial killer chopping off a young girl’s leg.
  • A dog transforms into a giant cat-like monster with fangs and a clubbed tail.
  • At the end of the movie, the dog is covered in blood. It limps towards John.

From 8-13

Children in this age group might also be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Over 13

Younger children in this age group might also be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Sexual references

This movie contains some sexual references. For example:

  • Sarah’s parents talk about how sneaking out of their parents’ house when they were young led to Sarah’s conception.
  • Sarah makes a suggestive joke in relation to Number Four’s superpowers. She says, ‘You’re good with your hands’.
  • Henri tells John that Loriens don’t love like humans. He says that when John falls in love, it will be with a single woman for life.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

This movie contains some use of substances. For example, teenagers appear to be drinking alcohol at parties, but there is no drunkenness.

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie contains some partial nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • Teenage girls and boys wear tight, skimpy swimwear.
  • John and a girl flirt while swimming at a beach party.
  • John and Sarah embrace and kiss passionately a few times.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Apple laptop computers, Apple iPhones, Nikon and Canon cameras, and some branded cars.

Coarse language

This movie contains occasional coarse language, together with some put-downs and name-calling.

Ideas to discuss with your children

I am Number Four is a science fiction fantasy movie, targeting adolescent children and young adults. Parents of young children should be strongly cautioned that the movie contains intense action and frightening scenes likely to disturb younger children.

One of the main messages from the movie is that you can’t avoid your destiny. The movie also suggests that it’s not the place that you live that’s important, but the people who live there and the bonds you form with them.

This movie could give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as bullying. You could talk about how your children could deal with bullying in real life.