Emma (PG)

Age 12+

Delightful Austen adaptation has a couple of cheeky scenes.

Emma” is a delightful adaptation of Jane Austen’s much-beloved classic about a clever, charming young woman who can’t stop meddling in her friends’ love lives. It’s quite tame overall, but there’s a quick scene of partial nudity when Knightley (Johnny Flynn) undresses (his naked backside is shown) and another side view of Emma (Anya Taylor-Joy) as she warms her rear end near the fireplace for a moment before lowering her gown. Neither scene is sexual in nature. But characters do kiss, flirt and talk about marriage and courtship. Characters drink socially, and Emma believes a man to be drunk. There’s no strong language or violence, though one character is nearly set upon by thieves, and another gets a nosebleed. The movie, like the book, explores issues of women’s roles in society, friendship and courtship across social classes and why manipulating others, even for their own good, rarely ends well. Adapted by screenwriter Eleanor Catton and directed by photographer and music director Autumn de Wilde, the movie has themes of empathy, compassion and learning to ask for forgiveness. (122 minutes)

My Hero Academia: Heroes (PG-13)

Age 13+

Imaginative but violent anime adventure has some swearing.

My Hero Academia: Heros Rising” is a Japanese animated movie in which a group of heroes-in-training must save innocents from a horde of powerful villains. There’s quite a bit of cartoon action violence, peril and monster/demonic imagery. In one scene, one of the villains holds a young girl up by the throat while threatening to choke her to death. Characters are shown injured and bandaged after intense fighting. Mild profanity throughout includes “crap,” “damn,” “b------” and “hell.” One of the more aggressive young heroes tends to call both his peers and his rivals “losers” and “damn nerds.” One of the villains is never without a cigar in his mouth. One main female character is typically dressed in skimpy attire. Despite being on the edgier side, it’s endlessly imaginative in its animation, its storytelling and positive themes of teamwork and living up to your fullest potential. (116 minutes)

Zombies 2 (TV-G)


Age 8+

Sweet sequel promotes inclusion, challenges stereotypes.

Zombies 2” is the sequel to Disney’s “Zombies.” It follows the Seabrook residents as they encounter a new round of nonhuman beings in their town. Like the first movie, this one offers positive messages about self-esteem, identity, inclusion, tolerance and challenging stereotypes. In addition, the idea of prejudice is explored from different points of view. That theme is particularly effective because it involves a zombie who had previously suffered prejudice by humans — this time around, that character is one of the main perpetrators of the injustice, which shows how insidious prejudice can be. A sweet teen romance continues to build and culminates in a kiss. Expect some mild scares when the werewolves show their force and bare their fangs and claws, but ultimately there’s more good than bad in this energetic, funny movie with positive themes. (84 minutes)

Available on the Disney Channel and via Disney Now streaming.

Locke & Key (TV-14)


Age 13+

Suspense abounds in creepy graphic novel adaptation.

Locke & Key” is based on the same-named series of horror-themed graphic novels. There are violent moments throughout the series, both in the present and in flashbacks to a defining moment in the characters’ lives when a family member was shot and killed. In other scenes, a woman chokes a man to death, there’s a lengthy fistfight, and there’s a death by fire with suspicious causes. Language includes “bulls---,” “a--hole,” “hell,” “Jesus” and name-calling like “d---wad.” There’s also teen sexuality (no nudity) and underage drinking and smoking. That said, the show is exceedingly well crafted to appeal to teens and adults, and the villain’s sinister, mysterious nature makes for a riveting watch. Need another reason to like it? The Locke kids’ relationships start off realistically strained but improve as they face the uncertainty of their challenges together, which helps them better cope with a tragic loss. (10 roughly 45-minute episodes)

Available via Netflix streaming.

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