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) 60%

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

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