I haven’t posted about Family Movie Night in 2 years? WOW! Sorry about that. We still have a movie night each week. There are a lot of repeats because we enjoy the movies we watch enough to watch them again.

This week’s movie is no different. In fact, my kids loved this week’s Family Movie Night so much, they’re watching it again as I write this. We watched Agent Cody Banks. I chose this movie because my 15 and 16 year old sons were on a multi-day trip with our church and I wanted a movie that might appeal to my  5, 10, 12 year old sons and 7 year old daughter. The MGM movie came out in 2003, was rated PG, and is 1 hour 42 minutes long.

Some spy movies make the main character seem anything but ordinary. Not so with teenage Cody, who struggles with math and gets tongue tied when talking to girls. Here’s an anonymous review I found online:

To his family and friends, Cody Banks is a typical teen – he loves to skateboard, hates math, and feels like a complete idiot around girls. But Cody’s got a secret – he’s actually part of a secret teen CIA program.

Cody’s living every boy’s dream life – he can drive like a stuntman, has an incredible arsenal of cool gadgets, and his agency mentor, Ronica Miles, is totally hot. But Cody’s training is put to the test when he’s sent to pose as a prep school student and befriend fellow teen Natalie Connors in order to gain access to her father, a scientist unknowingly developing a fleet of deadly nanobots for the evil organization ERIS. From runaway cars and high-speed snowboard chases to a spectacular final mountaintop showdown, Cody has to use everything he’s learned to prove himself as an agent and stop ERIS… and maybe even get the girl.

What My Kids Had to Say

Isaac, age 12, prefers to watch more grown up movies. He liked it, but was in and out of the room when the kids watched it again today.

Ethan, age 10, said it was a fun movie kind of like Spy Kids. It was fun seeing him use the spy gear and get the money he might need to complete his mission. It was cool that Cody gave a bunch of it to his younger brother. He also liked it when the bully gets attacked.

Cami, age 7,  said it was fun! FUN! FUN! She liked the scene at the beginning when the baby/toddler was in the driver’s seat going backwards down the road. She thought it was interesting that the people were training teenagers. She thought it would be cool to have Cody’s glasses when looking for hidden treasure.

Jesse, age 5, usually plays toys when we have movie night. He prefers movies like Ice Age, Wall-E, the Madagascar series, etc.

If my family is any indication as to the perfect age group that would find this movie interesting, it appears that the target audience is 7-11 year olds.

As a word of caution to parents, Cody gets some gadgets in the movie. The one that they could have left out was a set of glasses that allows him to see through the first layer of clothing. He uses them twice. The first time he puts them on, he looks straight at his mentor, Ronica Miles (played by Angie Harmon). The viewer is left to their imagination as to what he saw before she covers her chest with her hands.  The second time he wears the glasses, his mentor puts parental controls on them when he uses them in the field, but not until you can see the shape of some girls’ underwear. It’s brief.

Another possible concern is that actress Angie Harmon’s shirt is low cut in a few scenes and there is some cleavage. Hillary Duff’s shirts are high cut just enough to see her belly button. As with any spy movie, there will be some violence.

I share these cautions because we each have different standards about what we will allow in our own homes. Compared to other videos that are PG and PG 13, this one is very mild in my opinion, yet I’m sure there are those who will deep it inappropriate.

The Agent Cody Banks Trailer gives a good overview of the potential concerns I mentioned above. If your family is sensitive to what I mentioned, I encourage you to watch the trailer before watching the movie as a family.

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  • Jay

    You know, even though I don’t have a family to watch movies with I must say reading this was very nice. It kind of reminded me why I watch movies in the first place. I’ve heard a lot of people saying that they watch movies because they need an escape from real life. But that’s not what watching movies is about, it’s about enjoying life and having fun – not running away from it. I think there’s a natural, child-like curiosity and sense of exploration that we forget somewhere along the way.

    • Becky

      Jay, thanks for dropping by and adding your take to this post. I agree, movie watching should be about enjoying life and having fun. My kids like this movie because it’s adventurous and being a kid-spy is something they haven’t tried yet. Plus, this kid doesn’t seem superhuman or unrelate-able, so my kids talked about what it would be like if____. It’s as though they’re imagining what it would be like to be a kid-spy themselves.

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