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KIN Movie Review

Brotherly love is out of this world!

Reviewed by on Aug 31, 2018
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews KIN, a combination Sci-Fi actioner movie, family drama and crime thriller. Is it cool enough for your trip to the local cineplex?

By: Lynn Barker

When Detroit teen Eli Solinski (Myles Truitt) finds a bunch of dead alien soldiers and one of their working, high tech guns, his life changes bigtime. His older brother (Myles is adopted) Jimmy (Jack Reynor) is home after six years in jail for theft and Jimmy owes unsavory loan shark criminal Taylor Bolek (James Franco) sixty thousand dollars for the protection he got while in prison. Jimmy and Eli end up on the run from cops, Feds, the alien soldiers and Bolek’s crew with only the bizarre new gun that only Eli can operate, as their protection.

Eli has found an amazing weaponEli has found an amazing weaponCourtesy of Lionsgate

Alien War Action and Eli

In a Detroit slum area, in an abandoned factory, we hear weird sounds, see strange lights and a big explosion knocks out walls. What is up? Meanwhile, 14-year-old Eli is in trouble for fighting at school when some kids say unkind things about his dead mom. He’s sent home, gets on his bike and goes to strip copper wiring from another abandoned building. He sells it to have some spending money. He goes into the old factory, finds several dead, supposedly alien soldiers and a very strange gun. When he picks it up, one of the soldiers moves and he drops it and runs away.

An alien soldier with one of the gunsAn alien soldier with one of the gunsCourtesy of Lionsgate

Jimmy’s Debt

Construction foreman dad Hal (Dennis Quaid) is furious that Eli has been suspended from school. Mom wouldn’t have wanted this. Eli’s older brother Jimmy returns from six years in jail and hopes dad will get him a job. Eli barely knows him but he seems cool. Seems dad only visited him once in jail and is angry that Jimmy too is a thief. Jimmy goes to see loan shark Taylor Bolek and tells him he will get the sixty thousand he owes him for prison protection. Bolek threatens to kill him and his family if he doesn’t.

Dad Hal scolds Eli for stealingDad Hal scolds Eli for stealingCourtesy of Lionsgate

Get the Gun

Eli has strange dreams about the gun and goes back to get it. All the soldiers are gone and the gun is at the bottom of a pit. He retrieves it and it activates at his touch. He takes it home where dad is kicking Jimmy out for asking for sixty thousand. Can’t dad just take it from his safe at work? Dad lets Eli know that he loves him. He isn’t just a replacement for Jimmy. Later, dad with Eli in the truck, drops by his office to find Bolek and his men robbing his safe. Jimmy is with them. He begs dad to leave. Dad is shot in a struggle and Bolek’s brother is killed. Jimmy grabs the sack of money and runs, finds the truck with Eli in it and lies, saying dad knows and is okay with he and Eli taking a family road trip to Tahoe. Dad will meet them there later. He pretends dad is on the phone.

Gangster Bolek wants his moneyGangster Bolek wants his moneyCourtesy of Lionsgate

On the Run

Eli thinks it is weird but secretly takes the alien gun and the brothers hit the road barely leaving in time to avoid Bolek and his thugs. At a weird make-shift funeral Bolek swears to kill Jimmy for shooting his brother. Jimmy and Eli stay at a motel where Eli further investigates the gun while Jimmy sleeps. It lights up with a holographic site and more neat tech. Alien soldiers use strange drones to track the gun. Eli leaves dad’s phone a message saying “see you in Tahoe”. Bolek has the phone and now knows where the bros are going.

Eli learns to driveEli learns to driveCourtesy of Lionsgate

Meeting Milly

At a strip/dance club (clothed strippers), Jimmy has a drink and buys Eli a Coke. They meet stripper Milly (Zoe Kravitz) and the three have tame fun at their table. Jimmy throws around some of the stolen money and the club’s sleazy owner roughs him up when he defends Milly. Eli runs out, gets the alien gun and impresses by shooting a hole in the wall. The three escape together. Firing the gun helps the alien soldiers track it. They steal hot motorcycles and hit the road.

Eli has to use the gun at the clubEli has to use the gun at the clubCourtesy of Lionsgate

Get the Money

Milly and Eli compare scars. He has a strange one on his hand. He’s always had it. Jimmy realizes that he’s run out of the bar without his bag of money. They have to get it back. With Milly as get-away driver, Jimmy and Eli with his gun (only he can make it work. It is somehow paired with only him), go to the club owner’s poker game and rob the money back. Eli doesn’t kill anyone but enjoys shooting up the place and being a real thief for a change. Using their alien tech the soldiers are at the bar and can “see” what happened here with Jimmy and Eli.

Eli shows Milly the scar on his handEli shows Milly the scar on his handCourtesy of Lionsgate

Nevada Spree and Jail

Now the club owner, the cops, Bolek’s gang and eventually the Feds are after the brothers. On TV in a Nevada casino, Eli sees that his dad died in the robbery. Jimmy lied to him! Furious, he confronts him and the fracas they cause brings security. They are both arrested and taken in. Milly isn’t noticed. She waves a secret goodbye to Eli. Eli talks to Jimmy who is in a jail cell but he is still hurt and angry at him and walks away. Bolek arrives with his men and they lay siege to the police station. The Feds arrive outside as do the alien soldiers.

On the run, the gun comes in handyOn the run, the gun comes in handyCourtesy of Lionsgate


Who will live and who will die? Will Milly return? Will the aliens get their gun back and why is Eli the only person who can shoot it? Does Eli have a secret past that even he doesn’t know about?

Milly waits while the boys get the money backMilly waits while the boys get the money backCourtesy of Lionsgate

Wrapping Up

KIN is packed with very good acting, some nice brotherly bonding and some feisty action sequences but it can’t decide what it actually is storywise.  The movie is a family-in-crisis film, a crime movie, an on-the-run movie with a Sci-Fi element and a heavy-on-the Sci-Fi ending. It seems really set up at the end for a TV series starring really good new teen actor Myles Truitt.

Eli (Myles) as seen by alien technologyEli (Myles) as seen by alien technologyCourtesy of Lionsgate

There are some slow sections in the movie but it was overall enjoyable enough for us to go three stars. Should have been a Netflix TV series!

KIN Movie Rating: 3

KIN Movie PosterCourtesy of Lionsgate

See KIN in theaters now!

What Do You Think?

What would you do if you found an otherworldly weapon? Turn it in? Give it to your parents? Hide it? Use it? Leave a comment below or see the movie and write your own review to share on your Kidzworld profile page!