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

IFC Apple TV Plus stop motion BBC rotten movies we love ABC Family PBS Hulu scary movies worst movies video on demand Binge Guide name the review CBS All Access binge PaleyFest Western CMT 72 Emmy Awards supernatural Arrowverse Ghostbusters VH1 Television Academy Marvel Television mutant new star wars movies Adult Swim high school social media LGBT VOD indiana jones The Walking Dead slashers singing competition Marathons Masterpiece Watching Series Calendar Tarantino MSNBC Tubi NBA Sundance Now rotten golden globes Television Critics Association spanish language series reboot romance 2019 critics Apple heist movie prank TV One films adenture Mary poppins Brie Larson toy story a nightmare on elm street blaxploitation FX true crime The Purge Rocketman historical drama king arthur RT History psycho Best and Worst book adaptation Paramount YouTube christmas movies Opinion Film Amazon Prime Video Disney Plus A24 football Spectrum Originals ABC Signature Baby Yoda Marvel Summer political drama golden globe awards Hear Us Out miniseries universal monsters cinemax harry potter Year in Review Video Games Britbox BET Election all-time Creative Arts Emmys Pacific Islander Peacock movies Cannes Academy Awards DirecTV MCU nature politics zero dark thirty anime Toys Epix new zealand hidden camera Family unscripted Musical Paramount Network Women's History Month Nat Geo Hallmark Christmas movies OneApp Disney YouTube Red 21st Century Fox Rom-Com First Reviews classics target TCM BBC America TIFF suspense WGN Lifetime superhero canceled revenge disaster chucky Elton John cancelled TV shows new york aapi Trophy Talk documentary ghosts black Nominations scene in color festival Tumblr 2015 obituary nfl twilight Discovery Channel superman Legendary Trailer sequels adventure vampires Star Wars comedies marvel cinematic universe romantic comedy streaming comiccon casting natural history Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Endgame Star Trek space The Walt Disney Company cancelled TV series anthology Spike 20th Century Fox APB spain sitcom Acorn TV Super Bowl streaming movies Superheroe wonder woman Valentine's Day serial killer Logo Universal Wes Anderson Photos cartoon breaking bad Horror CW Seed french die hard zombie Podcast archives GLAAD 4/20 Ovation Country USA composers SXSW Mary Tyler Moore Alien Broadway Certified Fresh deadpool Comedy Central emmy awards Crunchyroll TLC Mary Poppins Returns El Rey Freeform Emmy Nominations olympics HBO razzies transformers nbcuniversal dogs concert TCA Winter 2020 Reality Sundance TV dceu venice Pirates SundanceTV Awards based on movie MTV 2016 X-Men Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Comedy parents WarnerMedia DGA boxoffice 99% technology Exclusive Video teaser Emmys legend robots sag awards Pop indie Funimation Song of Ice and Fire documentaries green book Thanksgiving travel Image Comics NBC Comic-Con@Home 2021 movie war TV Land GoT 45 Pixar sports Polls and Games Food Network National Geographic Showtime Turner Classic Movies Bravo justice league Dark Horse Comics saw zombies ABC boxing Set visit jurassic park animated The Witch Black History Month screenings Extras Sundance halloween tv independent Holidays Lifetime Christmas movies YouTube Premium rom-coms Cosplay Fantasy satire dark criterion book RT21 godzilla adaptation werewolf Kids & Family 2018 child's play aliens ITV mockumentary CNN 007 elevated horror discovery VICE E! award winner jamie lee curtis Box Office TV renewals trailers BET Awards DC Universe San Diego Comic-Con DC streaming service docudrama 2017 spanish crime CBS south america Oscars Tokyo Olympics TCA Awards Pride Month Shudder ESPN Teen comic rt archives Schedule Martial Arts Netflix Christmas movies Syfy worst richard e. Grant Music facebook Amazon children's TV Action cooking Animation History period drama science fiction E3 HBO Max FXX spy thriller Superheroes blockbuster USA Network Christmas Winners Disney streaming service directors Fall TV Winter TV Heroines dragons diversity Lionsgate festivals GIFs A&E Reality Competition television Crackle TV movies 24 frames live action Disney+ Disney Plus Comic Book talk show tv talk 90s finale pirates of the caribbean TCA 2017 Ellie Kemper cars Mudbound YA Lucasfilm theme song james bond Rocky Amazon Prime latino 2020 Turner Chernobyl batman mission: impossible Infographic lord of the rings stoner Trivia ID Stephen King thriller Interview DC Comics TNT cancelled television The CW Awards Tour NYCC Amazon Studios spider-man ViacomCBS free movies Classic Film 1990s screen actors guild BBC One Netflix popular SDCC psychological thriller medical drama 93rd Oscars hispanic Columbia Pictures Marvel Studios Fox Searchlight australia Mystery See It Skip It Cartoon Network Premiere Dates toronto comics TV AMC japan video police drama Hallmark Biopics witnail italian Comics on TV telelvision game show American Society of Cinematographers kids halloween Musicals Vudu Apple TV+ kaiju monster movies biography Travel Channel canceled TV shows comic books President FOX Sony Pictures docuseries what to watch remakes Red Carpet quibi crime thriller Pet Sematary dc New York Comic Con best Film Festival asian-american crime drama Pop TV news franchise doctor who Grammys Black Mirror ratings Countdown The Academy HBO Go basketball versus sequel renewed TV shows know your critic fast and furious Quiz stand-up comedy Mindy Kaling BAFTA Rock Character Guide LGBTQ IFC Films TCA hist strong female leads Warner Bros. Walt Disney Pictures Disney Channel laika foreign spinoff 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards crossover Nickelodeon cops cults joker TBS international hollywood scorecard Starz Sci-Fi game of thrones Fox News japanese OWN Spring TV cancelled fresh First Look king kong The Arrangement 2021 Sneak Peek dramedy Anna Paquin Tomatazos Esquire Drama Holiday FX on Hulu Captain marvel Avengers Writers Guild of America 71st Emmy Awards TruTV Shondaland reviews cats PlayStation kong Paramount Plus blockbusters women