Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG-13 Length: 113 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 12+. The film is based on the true story of four Hispanic teenagers who aim to compete in an elite robotics competition, and they must deal with threats of deportation, absent or borderline abusive (neglectful, emotionally manipulative) parents, and implied racism; there is an attempted robbery where a gun is shot but doesn’t hurt anyone; some cursing; some fighting involving a bully; some flirting and kissing between teenage couples; and adults drinking.
‘Spare Parts’ dramatizes the story of four Hispanic teenagers who, against all odds, aimed to compete in an elite, university-level robotics competition. The film is almost too earnest for its own good, but it’s ultimately heartwarming enough.
By Roxana Hadadi
In 2004, Wired magazine ran an unlikely piece called “La Vida Robot”: A feature story about an underwater robotics competition, in which teams from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke University, and other fancy universities went head to head with designs of their own making. Budgets for the projects ran in the thousands, and MIT always won, until a group of four high school students from Phoenix, Arizona (three of the boys undocumented immigrants from Mexico), showed up and gave everyone a run for their money. It was a surprise for everyone, and now that tale is an unsurprising film in the form of “Spare Parts.”