Honest Thief (PG-13)
Lean, entertaining but violent Neeson revenge/action movie.
“Honest Thief” is a Liam Neeson action/revenge movie that’s much lighter and more breezily entertaining than other Neeson movies of a similar nature. It’s simple, effective and lots of fun, despite the sometimes-intense violence. It’s mostly comic-book style stuff, although there is a scene of a man fighting a woman and bashing her face on a hard surface; she fights back, but it’s still brutal. You can also expect guns and shooting, deaths, someone being stabbed with scissors fighting, car chases/crashes, and explosions. Gunshot wounds and cuts and scrapes are shown. Language includes “c--p,”” “a--,” “p----” and a partly obscured use of “s--t.” Two characters kiss and celebrate with wine. (99 minutes)
Ben 10 vs. the Universe: The Movie (TV-Y7)
TV-based movie has extended fight scenes, lots of peril.
“Ben 10 vs. the Universe: The Movie” is an animated movie in the Ben 10 universe that follows 10-year-old Ben (voiced by Tara Strong) as he ventures into space to save Earth from an archrival determined to destroy it. Expect constant cartoon violence as Ben and his friends and family do battle with a tentacled bad alien named Vilgax (Yuri Lowenthal), among others. Characters get thrown around and fall from high places. There are vehicle chases and explosions. Some of the aliens might be too scary-looking for younger/more sensitive viewers. There’s also name-calling, as one character calls Ben a “loser,” and potty language (e.g. “butts”). Teamwork and cooperation are highlighted, and there’s a positive moment of representation featuring a same-sex couple. Overall, the movie is best for those already familiar with “Ben 10” and his Omnitrix: The story and backstory may not be easy to follow for those coming into Ben’s world for the first time. (69 minutes)
Available on various streaming platforms.
A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting (TV-PG)
Fantasy violence, brave teens in book-based monster tale.
Some of the characters, fantasy violence and suspense in “A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting” are definitely meant to frighten. All of the action, based on the first book in author Joe Ballarini’s series, takes place on a dark Halloween night. The monstrous Grand Guignol (Tom Felton) is made to look particularly creepy, with a pronged tail, elongated limbs and scarred facial features. While his behavior wavers between menacing and somewhat goofy, he does threaten, hypnotize and abduct a child with the goal of stealing the scary creatures of the boy’s nightmares. The mostly female members of a secret society of teenage babysitters display courage and considerable knowledge to take on the Guignol, his monsters known as “Toadies” and a witch who lives in a gothic mansion with hundreds of lethal cats. The heroes put themselves and even a newborn baby in harm’s way to fight the villains, including a tentacle “shadow monster” that turns things to ash and chases a girl around a house. Killing the Guignol involves punching a potion into his heart. The kidnapped boy shows impressive courage in confronting both the Guignol and his dream creatures. Some realistic teen scenes take place in high school — where kids tease the insecure main character, calling her “monster girl” — and at a high school party, where teens flirt with each other and drink punch out of red plastic cups. Other taunts include “twerp,” “blithering idiot,” “pathetic loser” and “sad, small, cruel, insignificant little heart.” (98 minutes)
Available on Netflix.
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