Parental Guidance

How Family-Friendly Is Alita: Battle Angel?

Film critic Christy Lemire breaks down what to expect if you're taking the whole fam to see James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez's manga adaptation.

by | February 15, 2019 | Comments

Originally slated for release during the same week as Aquaman and Bumblebee, the James Cameron-produced, Robert Rodriguez-directed Alita: Battle Angel finally hits theaters this week. It’s an adaptation of a Japanese manga from 1990, so it would be easy to think it might be completely suitable for children. Film critic Christy Lemire offers up a breakdown of the special effects-heavy sci-fi fantasy to let you know whether or not it’s safe to take your kids to.


NOW IN THEATERS

Alita: Battle Angel (2019) 61%

Rating: PG-13, for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language.

It may look colorful and lively, and the main character may seem inviting with her wide, inquisitive eyes. But Alita: Battle Angel is really quite violent and not meant for young viewers. Fans of the manga series that inspired the movie probably won’t be surprised to learn that. And granted, much of the graphic violence happens to cyborgs who bleed blue, but still – they’re imbued with human characteristics, and we’re meant to care about them as such. So when they get stabbed or sliced in half or dismembered entirely, the imagery can be shocking. The visual effects and elaborate action sequences in the film from director Robert Rodriguez and writer-producer James Cameron are really the main reason to see Alita – that, and the game, physical performance from Rosa Salazar as the title character. She’s an abandoned cyborg whom a doctor (Christoph Waltz) brings back to life in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic society. But she can’t remember who she was; she only knows she has formidable warrior instincts and abilities that make her both powerful and a target. Alita also takes part in a Rollerball-type game that’s fast-paced and treacherous. She’s basically in constant peril. Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, and Jackie Earle Haley are among the impressive supporting cast. I didn’t bring my 9-year-old son with me to the Alita screening I attended, and I was glad afterward. It’s a big, mindless spectacle, but it really earns its PG-13 rating.

 

Tag Cloud

sequel Brie Larson spider-man DC Comics anthology Ellie Kemper child's play Esquire Rom-Com hollywood discovery based on movie children's TV Holidays zombie Turner Classic Movies nature mockumentary reboot Discovery Channel Cannes rotten movies we love independent 72 Emmy Awards indiana jones theme song Heroines Disney Plus classics VH1 versus Schedule VICE Lifetime Christmas movies The Walking Dead Lifetime Summer American Society of Cinematographers spanish language CBS finale sag awards TCA 2017 fast and furious critics dragons crime cancelled TV series cinemax Winners anime PBS CNN Apple Trophy Talk Women's History Month transformers Grammys Christmas Year in Review criterion Apple TV Plus YA USA Network cancelled television blockbuster FOX Rock Mindy Kaling Box Office 2016 SundanceTV sitcom 2017 Reality Competition PaleyFest festivals news composers richard e. Grant Fox News Crackle 21st Century Fox GLAAD Endgame christmas movies worst Syfy ghosts breaking bad aliens Amazon Studios Funimation TNT elevated horror Extras Polls and Games Pop Set visit die hard Red Carpet serial killer Fall TV teaser APB Black Mirror werewolf Travel Channel vampires cancelled TV shows thriller DGA FX boxoffice docudrama cops Comedy Shondaland Mystery RT History Sundance satire BBC America natural history cults WGN Adult Swim Western Dark Horse Comics franchise space disaster strong female leads AMC universal monsters 71st Emmy Awards Disney streaming service Trailer a nightmare on elm street cooking hist TLC Pirates Election movies Paramount Network Certified Fresh comic 45 Video Games E3 cancelled Chilling Adventures of Sabrina X-Men zero dark thirty Tumblr VOD Countdown Comic Book Premiere Dates BET Lionsgate Netflix Christmas movies ABC social media medical drama Mary Tyler Moore obituary cartoon TCA Winter 2020 Family Amazon MSNBC south america Disney+ Disney Plus Spring TV dark screen actors guild romantic comedy adventure Comics on TV blaxploitation Netflix Tomatazos Crunchyroll adaptation 2015 Ovation Action A&E Nominations stop motion President award winner Epix IFC Films Marvel Studios toy story MCU Musical documentaries doctor who crime thriller Shudder TV renewals Rocketman Nat Geo mission: impossible TCM Horror LGBT Black History Month 2019 book period drama emmy awards CW Seed police drama TCA singing competition Trivia witnail streaming slashers Marvel dceu E! Tarantino Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt LGBTQ Nickelodeon animated crossover Awards Rocky joker BBC One renewed TV shows The CW Hulu Film Festival psycho Turner 4/20 golden globes mutant war First Reviews justice league Fantasy harry potter OWN Showtime supernatural Walt Disney Pictures Photos game of thrones Character Guide latino History Paramount Opinion rotten 20th Century Fox TBS travel WarnerMedia ITV facebook comiccon Pixar game show tv talk DirecTV Spike National Geographic Cosplay Marathons unscripted Elton John biography sequels concert TIFF politics El Rey Chernobyl canceled TV shows Song of Ice and Fire technology Hallmark Christmas movies TruTV historical drama canceled reviews kids Arrowverse Warner Bros. Animation Drama green book The Witch Toys BBC Anna Paquin science fiction indie RT21 documentary Writers Guild of America ESPN Peacock First Look true crime video Ghostbusters Watching Series Television Critics Association Sneak Peek sports what to watch spain CMT Sundance Now directors YouTube Premium HBO Go dogs cats Cartoon Network robots comedies television GoT name the review USA ratings Logo films Country Pop TV casting Baby Yoda miniseries Classic Film OneApp Superheroes Sony Pictures See It Skip It psychological thriller superhero foreign Podcast movie Star Wars spinoff Interview romance 24 frames TV Land IFC Starz dramedy parents Hear Us Out The Arrangement chucky PlayStation Television Academy Disney Channel Amazon Prime Masterpiece free movies nbcuniversal Mudbound ABC Family DC streaming service FXX Freeform The Purge Bravo Film talk show DC Universe crime drama political drama NBC comics Awards Tour Sci-Fi Vudu Valentine's Day 007 Thanksgiving FX on Hulu New York Comic Con Tubi Columbia Pictures binge Universal Biopics screenings TCA Awards Star Trek Amazon Prime Video spy thriller Calendar scary movies Super Bowl GIFs Binge Guide series CBS All Access all-time Oscars best Spectrum Originals diversity SXSW Mary poppins Sundance TV Pet Sematary stoner Superheroe Holiday Acorn TV Kids & Family NYCC Hallmark stand-up comedy Emmy Nominations MTV Creative Arts Emmys Teen cars A24 Captain marvel Lucasfilm Musicals Music jamie lee curtis quibi Martial Arts BET Awards Academy Awards Emmys Pride Month Avengers Disney Food Network TV halloween twilight Comedy Central HBO Max SDCC zombies Britbox HBO YouTube 2018 dc hispanic laika Marvel Television batman San Diego Comic-Con Infographic 2020 asian-american revenge Stephen King Winter TV Reality Quiz YouTube Red Best and Worst video on demand BAFTA Mary Poppins Returns Apple TV+