OSS agent Marissa Wilson (Jessica Alba) is attempting to capture a criminal named Tick Tock (Jeremy Piven), who purchases a mini-disk stolen from OSS. Despite being nine months pregnant, she continues her pursuit against the admonitions of her boss Danger D'Amo (also played by Jeremy Piven). Tick Tock is captured and the mini-disk, which contains information on a weapon of mass destruction called Project: Armageddon, is retrieved.
At the hospital, Marissa meets her spy-hunting TV host husband, Wilbur (Joel McHale), who thinks she is an interior decorator, and her two stepchildren by him, twins Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard) and Cecil (Mason Cook). Marissa gives birth to a daughter, Maria. Rebecca does not accept Marissa as a replacement for her deceased mother, and delights in playing pranks on her. Attempting to strengthen her rapport with Rebecca, Marissa gives her a red-sapphire necklace that she says her own parents gave her when she was Rebecca's age.
The media reports that time is speeding up at an increasing rate. A criminal mastermind called the Time Keeper (also played by Piven) claims responsibility, saying he will unleash Project: Armageddon as punishment upon a society he believes wastes time with meaningless pursuits instead of treasuring time with one's loved ones. The Time Keeper demands that Tick Tock bring him the Chronos Sapphire, which is revealed to be the jewel in the necklace Marissa gave Rebecca. The OSS calls Marissa out of retirement, and instructs her to bring the Chronos Sapphire with her. When Marissa asks for it from Rebecca, it further strains their relationship. When Marissa arrives at OSS headquarters, she discovers that the box Rebecca gave her did not contain the jewel, but it contained baby food.
Tick Tock's henchmen break into Marissa's house, and Rebecca and Cecil are directed to take refuge in a Panic Room, where they view a video of Marissa informing them of her secret career. The twins escape and go to OSS headquarters, where Marissa's niece and their step-cousin, Carmen Cortez (Alexa Vega), gives the twins a tour of the defunct Spy Kids Division.
As Marissa pursues Tick Tock, Rebecca and Cecil go after the Time Keeper. Their search leads them to a clock shop, which is Tick Tock's headquarters. The twins view a video of the Wells Experiment, which reveals the nature of the Chronos Sapphire in Rebecca's necklace. The twins are captured by Tick Tock, but are rescued by Marissa and Carmen, though Tick Tock manages to steal the Sapphire. Wilbur's investigations lead him to the clock shop, but he is shocked to learn that Marissa is a spy. When he destroys the footage that he and his cameraman filmed of the battle, he is fired, and becomes estranged from Marissa and the children.
As time continues to speed up, OSS agents are debriefed on the Wells Experiment. The OSS shut down the experiment, and placed the device under lockdown. Among the agents assigned to the case is Carmen's estranged brother, Juni Cortez (Daryl Sabara). The twins confront Danger over the fact that his watch is similar to the one worn by the Time Keeper, and his name is an anagram of "Armageddon." He reveals he is the Time Keeper and imprisons them. When a group of OSS agents led by Marissa, Carmen, and Juni return to the clock shop to confront the Time Keeper, he freezes the agents in time using circuity in their ID badges, and does the same to 18 major cities. Juni, whose badge was thrown away by Carmen, manages to free Marissa and Carmen.
Danger reveals his father was head of the Wells Experiment, and he was the boy frozen in time. His father spent the rest of his life trying unsuccessfully to set him free. The OSS managed to shut down the experiment with the Chronos Sapphire. Now Danger plans to use the Armageddon Device in go back in time to spend more time with his father. Cecil deduces that Danger has already tried this before multiple times, and each time he comes back worse, pointing out that Tick Tock and his minions are all versions of Danger. Rebecca, who sympathizes with Danger, tells him he should use what time he has wisely, instead of trying to acquire more of it. When Danger's time vortex opens, he steps through and meets his father in the past, but returns an elderly man, and realizes that Cecil was right, as he could not change anything. He shuts down the device, and Tick Tock is apprehended by Wilbur, who is reunited with Marissa and the children. Carmen and Juni announce they will co-lead a revived Spy Kids program, while Rebecca and Cecil become recruiters of new agents, including the kids watching the movie, breaking the fourth wall.Rowan Blanchard as Rebecca Wilson, Wilbur's daughter.
Mason Cook as Cecil Wilson, Wilbur's son who is hearing-impaired.
Jessica Alba as Marissa Wilson (née Cortez), Rebecca and Cecil's stepmother and also Carmen and Juni's aunt.
Joel McHale as Wilbur Wilson, Marissa's spy-hunting reporter husband.
Alexa Vega as Carmen Cortez, a top secret agent for the OSS.
Daryl Sabara as Juni Cortez, a retired OSS agent.
Elmo as Argonaut, Rebecca and Cecil's dog.
Ricky Gervais as the voice of Argonaut
Belle Solorzano and Genny Solorzano as Maria Wilson, Marissa's daughter and Rebecca and Cecil's half-sister.
Jeremy Piven as Danger D'Amo/Time Keeper, Danger's Father, and Tick Tock
Danny Trejo as Isador "Machete" Cortez, Carmen and Juni's uncle.
Angela Lanza as Female Spy OSS Agent
Robert Rodriguez was prompted by an incident on the set of Machete to start envisioning a fourth film in the Spy Kids series. Star Jessica Alba had her then-one year old baby Honor Marie and was dressed to appear on camera when her baby's diaper "exploded". Watching Alba change the diaper while trying not to get anything on her clothes prompted Rodriguez to think "What about a spy mom?" Production on the film was officially announced on September 25, 2009, six years after the release of Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, by Dimension Films. The script for the film was completed by Robert Rodriguez in December 2009. The title for the film was officially revealed as Spy Kids: All the Time in the World on March 24, 2010 as well as an August 2011 release window, which was later updated to an August 19, 2011 release date.
The film received generally negative reviews upon release, with an approval rating of 22% and an average rating of 3.9 out of 10 on Rotten Tomatoes. It has a score of 37 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 14 reviews indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was a B-plus on an A-plus to F scale. Common Sense Media gave the film 1 out of 5 stars. The website reads, "Positive messages can't save worst film in action series."
The film took in $4 million on its opening day and $11 million over the three-day weekend, debuting in third place behind The Help and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. That was on the low end of expectations, but an executive of The Weinstein Company said, "We're okay with this number. We're going to be in good shape with this film, and it will play for the rest of the summer". The following weekend, it dropped 48% to $6 million, and took sixth place, and on the following weekend, it earned an additional $6.8 million over the four-day Labor Day Weekend. As of November 2011, the film earned $38 million in the U.S and $47 million in other countries for a worldwide gross of $85 million.
The film was released on DVD, Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and on DVD + Blu-ray + Digital Copy combo packs on November 22, 2011.
Dimension Films has announced a fifth installment in the Spy Kids series following Spy Kids: All the Time in the World. It was under talks to have the original cast expected to return. The film was permanently delayed from its intended 2012 production, as the film's stars Rowan Blanchard and Mason Cook, who are no longer kids, are both committing to current projects (Girl Meets World and Speechless respectively). However, as Netflix and The Weinstein Company announced on June 16, 2016 that an animated Spy Kids series titled Spy Kids: Mission Critical is set to be released in 2018, it was reported that Robert Rodriguez would be open to make a fifth film.