Story

Project Almanac is about David Raskin (Jonny Weston), a very bright student who has just been accepted into MIT. David’s scholarship doesn’t pay for much, and he must find a way to make some money so his mother doesn’t have to sell the family home to support him. He looks through his dead father’s belongings in the attic and discovers almost complete plans for a time machine.

Together with his friends Quinn (Sam Lerner) and Adam (Allen Evangelista), David completes the time machine, hoping to make some money from the discovery. David’s sister Christina (Virginia Gardener) films the construction and joins the young men when they decide to put it to the test. They ‘jump’ into a past time and find they can use the machine to their own advantage. David brings girlfriend Jessie (Sofia Black-D’Elia) into the project and uses the time machine to correct mistakes in their relationship. Things start to go badly wrong, however, when they realize that changing the past affects the present.

Themes

Time travel

Violence

Project Almanac has some violence. For example:

  • David throws things in frustration.
  • Girls at school bully Christina, and she gets revenge by throwing a drink in their faces.
  • The time machine causes explosions and blackouts that throw objects and people around and causes minor harm to people.
  • Adam gets badly injured when caught in a time warp. He is shown unconscious in hospital with black eyes.
  • David breaks a window to get inside the school and is shown with blood on his hands.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Project Almanac has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • The time machine makes a lot of noise, with sounds of crashing and wind blowing. This is likely to frighten children in this age group.
  • The machine makes weird things happen. These include a light bulb lighting up on its own and objects flying around the room by themselves.
  • Adam’s hands start to disappear and look very strange before the power supply goes and the friends are left in the dark.
  • A fierce dog chases David and his friends. In a later scene the police chase David and his friends.
  • Jessie disappears during one time travel episode.

    From 5-8
    Children in this age group might also be scared by the scenes mentioned above.

    From 8-13
    In addition to the violent and disturbing scenes mentioned above, Project Almanac has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:

    • David, Adam and Quinn break into their high school to steal hydrogen cans. They’re both scared and excited by this adventure.
    • The movie is filmed using a handy-cam (or ‘found footage’ style). This brings a greater sense of reality to the movie, which could concern children in this age group.

    Over 13
    Nothing of concern

    Sexual references

    Project Almanac has some sexual references. For example:

    • The young men like to look at girls’ bodies.
    • Jessie comes into David’s bedroom wearing just a towel. David asks her if they had sex (he has just come from another time zone) and she says they did. He asks her if he was any good and she says he was. He also asks to see her naked so she opens her towel, but no nakedness is shown on screen.

      Alcohol, drugs and other substances

      Project Almanac shows some use of substances. For example, the four young men drink beer in their shed.

      Nudity and sexual activity

      Project Almanac has some sexual activity. For example, one scene shows Jessie and David in bed together.

        Product placement

        The following products are displayed or used in Project Almanac: Coke and Red Bull.

        Coarse language

        Project Almanac has some coarse language.

        Ideas to discuss with your children

        Project Almanac is a teenage science fiction movie filmed as ‘found footage’, which brings a greater sense of reality to the movie’s story. It features time travel, which is used mostly for selfish reasons such as winning the lottery or getting better grades at school.

        Project Almanac is entertaining and will appeal to older teenagers. But we don’t recommend this movie for children aged under 12 years because of its sexual references and coarse language. We also recommend parental guidance for children aged 12-15 years. Some viewers might be affected by the hand-held camera style.

        The main messages from this movie are about the importance of working together as a team and the consequences of doing things alone.

        This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of stealing school property. You could also talk about what would happen if we could relive some important events in our lives.