“The 5th Wave” (Columbia)
When aliens invade Earth and begin to decimate the human race, an Ohio teenager (Chloe Grace Moretz) fights to stay alive in order to reunite with her missing brother (Zackary Arthur). Two young men (Nick Robinson and Alex Roe) come to her aid and both become romantic interests. Yet it’s unclear who can be trusted in this scenario — based on the 2013 book by Rick Yancey — that tries to mesh coming-of-age concerns with multiple science-fiction motifs, including a zombie apocalypse.
Director J Blakeson creditably presents the action and special effects, and for the more intimate scenes he has the advantage of working with the estimable Moretz. All in all, it’s not convincing, however. Nevertheless, the movie, which is too harrowing for children and possibly for some teens, can be applauded for its commitment to espousing a positive moral outlook.
Much violence, including some intense gunplay, potentially frightening images, a scene of underage drinking, an ambiguous sexual encounter, occasional profanity and adult banter as well as a few instances each of rough, crude and crass language.
The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.