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

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