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

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