Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (R)

Age 16+

Violent and profane but promotes teamwork, friendship.

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” is a violent action fantasy based on DC Comics’ infamous supervillain “girl gang.” It takes place after the events of 2016’s “Suicide Squad” and seems to be aiming to be the female version of “Deadpool.” The movie’s theme is about women standing up to their male oppressors and showing that, when they work together, they’re unbeatable. Rape overtones are consistent, but the women aren’t harmed sexually. That said, violence is nonstop: Sometimes it’s silly fantasy, but many other times it’s graphically brutal. The main villain cuts his victims’ faces off while they’re still alive, and people (including a family with children) are gunned down, with blood splatter. Frequent drinking includes comically downing shots and drinking margaritas to celebrate sisterhood. One character smokes, and it’s implied in one scene that a character gets a sniff of cocaine, giving her a boost of confidence. Characters swear often, using words such as “f---,” “s---,” “a--” and more. While main character Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) doesn’t quite make it to antihero status — she’s self-absorbed and makes many self-serving decisions — Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) consistently put others’ needs ahead of their own. Overall, the female characters are diverse in ethnicity, age and sexual identity, and are all shown to be clever, tough and resilient. All the movie’s men, on the other hand, are either bad or disappointing. Themes include female empowerment, friendship and teamwork. (104 minutes)

Diary of a Future President (TV-PG)


Age 8+

Reflective look at go-getter’s tween years is mild, sweet.

Diary of a Future President” follows the ups and downs of a Cuban American middle schooler whose experiences help prepare her for an eventual rise to the presidency. The show sets up its reflective look back at 12-year-old Elena’s (Tess Romero) everyday life, and then settles there for the duration, rather than bouncing back and forth between Elena’s adult and tween personas. The show’s honesty in dealing with issues such as difficult emotions, stress and troublesome people raises worthy talking points for families. Other topics — menstruation, for instance — may inspire questions, depending on your kids’ age and awareness. This feel-good series features a diverse cast, a strong family unit and a hard-working, self-assured tween who aspires to — and eventually achieves — great things. (Half-hour episodes)

Available via Disney+ streaming.

Taylor Swift: Miss Americana (TV-MA)


Age 13+

Savvy doc with strong messages for girls; swearing.

Taylor Swift: Miss Americana” is a documentary about the singer’s evolution from a musically gifted child to illustrious superstar. It’s not a concert film — only a few songs are filmed in their entirety — but rather an intimate look at Swift’s journey as she wants it told. She shares her ideas, her “moral code,” her changing self image and memories of the difficult times in which she had to call upon strength and insightfulness to make it through. There’s lots of footage of Swift’s approach to songwriting, and it’s clear how intensely personal her songs are. The movie is filled with big messages that matter to girls and teens about self worth, body image, coping with adversity, political engagement and hard work. Though these mature themes are also relatable for younger audiences, there’s a fair bit of swearing (including “s---,” “f---,” “b----” and “a--”). That means that parents who might consider the language a dealbreaker for tweens may have a big decision to make, because Swift has much to offer as a role model. (85 minutes)

Available via Netflix streaming.

Star Trek: Picard (TV-MA)


Age 13+

Return of beloved sci-fi captain has adventure, violence.

Star Trek: Picard” is a sci-fi series that follows the journey of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” character Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) as he continues his adventures post-retirement. The series deals with similar issues as its predecessors and other “Star Trek” shows and movies, including justice, respect for alien cultures, and how to keep peace between warring factions. Families who are fans of TNG should know that this series is somewhat more mature, especially when it comes to violence. Characters are stabbed, maimed and burned to death on-screen (not particularly graphically, but it can be intense), and there’s the standard dispatching of many faceless bad guys. That said, the show maintains many of the franchise’s positive messages of equality, teamwork and empathy, and the cast is racially and gender diverse. (45-minute episodes)

Available via CBS All Access streaming.

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