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

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