Pixels (Family Movie Review)

"Let the nerds take over!" ~ Pixels

All your favorite video arcade games from the 1980s come to life in this 2015 science fiction / comedy by Sony.  When Pixels was first released in theaters, I had no desire to see it and neither did my kids. It looked, well, for a lack of a better word - stupid! But this is one case where I learned not to judge a movie by its trailer. In all honesty, I enjoyed this film. However, as I sat down to watch with my 11-year old son, we quickly came to a scene with quite a bit of sensuality and I stated, "How is this film rated PG??!!" 

Well, it was my son who pointed out to me that it is actually rated PG-13 (for some language and suggestive comments) and, quite frankly, that just bugged me. This is clearly a film that is going to attract young viewers, yet because of the unnecessary language and sexual references it may not be suitable for all family members. I see no reason why they couldn't tone it down and make it PG.

Pixels starts off at the 1982 World Wide Video Arcade Championships where a young Sam finds himself in the finals against Eddie in a game of Donkey Kong. A video of this match and several others from the tournament are included in a time capsule sent into space by NASA. Although meant as a friendly message and cultural exchange between humans and aliens, the video is interpreted as a declaration of intergalatic war. 

"I'm just a loser who's good at all video games." ~ Pixels 

Fast-forward thirty-three years. Major cities all over the world are attacked by aliens that have created giant-sized gaming legends such as Pac-Man, Centipede and others. Governments and military forces are having no luck in defeating these atrocities. They must call on the help of Sam, Will, Ludlow, and Eddie before everything is pixelated. The fate of the world literally depends on these middle-aged gamers.  Maybe all those hours playing arcade games are finally coming in handy. 

Watch Official Trailer

The film is great fun filled with lots of laughs. And, how could it not be? Pixels stars Adam Sandler (Sam), Kevin James (Will), Josh Gad (Ludlow), Peter Dinklage (Eddie), Michelle Monaghan (Violet), and Jane Krakowski (First Lady) - all major comedy players.  Those who grew up in the 80s will enjoy the nostalgic components of the film including the music and several cameos by entertainment icons such as Madonna and Hall & Oates. While I am recommending this film for family movie night (for those age-appropriate), Pixels is an enjoyable watch for adults too!

Read more of my Family Movie Reviews

And, check out my Nik's Piks: After Hours reviews too! 


  1. My 10 year old son loves this movie. I also enjoyed this because I like Adam Sandler (he's usually funny) and I like that nerds can save the world! :)

    1. Yes, the cast was great fun! Please, without nerds we'd be in even worse shape than we are. :)

  2. I enjoyed this movie also, even though it is a pretty odd premise for a story. It's light and funny. I don't remember a sensual scene in it, actually, although that doesn't mean it wasn't there. I just may not recall that part. I do remember that one of the nerds was infatuated with a female video game character. I agree with you that they should keep those sorts of things out of a movie with young kid appeal.

    1. Yes, the sexy female video character too! But I was particularly referring to the interaction between Sam (Sandler) and Violet (Monaghan. He comes on to her pretty heavy. Not an issue for me watching with my 11-year old, but parents with younger children should be aware. As always, thanks for reading and commenting.


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