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.


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

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