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

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