Monster movie sequel is muddled, violent, overly long.
“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is the sequel to 2014’s “Godzilla”; it features the same giant lizard, as well as a host of other massive monsters. Expect destruction on a massive scale: Giant swaths of land and cities full of people are wiped out by monsters who stomp through civilization heedlessly. Scores of people are killed — crushed, eaten, dropped from great heights, hurled against walls, imprisoned in giant webs, etc. — but there’s no blood or gore, and the deaths are usually pictured from a distance. That lessens the impact, but young/sensitive viewers might still be scared. A couple of deaths are scarier, including ones in which characters sacrifice their own lives to save others. Romance/sex is almost nonexistent, save for a few references to mating monsters, and there’s no drinking (one character does have a beer on his desk and refers to inviting a monster over for a beer). Cursing is infrequent, but characters do say “f---,” “s---, “goddamn,” “a--,” and “b----,” generally in reference to the monsters. The movie’s central theme, in which humans wish to find ways to reverse the damage we’ve done to our planet, is a positive one, but the method one particular scientist is working toward will only succeed if huge numbers of people die. The supporting cast has extensive diversity, but the main characters are all white, and none of them are given particularly meaty arcs. Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler co-star. (131 minutes)
Upbeat rom-com has some swearing, sex, drugs.
“Always Be My Maybe” is an upbeat romantic comedy about childhood BFFs that stars former “Fresh Off the Boat” colleagues Randall Park and Ali Wong (they also co-wrote it, and FOTB exec producer Nahnatchka Khan directs). It also features lots of sumptuous food and a thoughtful look at contemporary Asian American families. Expect sexual situations — with kissing, passionate embraces, post-sex scenes in bed, and a comic back-seat-of-the-car hookup — as well as frank, casual conversations about virginity, masturbation, condoms, multiple partners and more. Language includes “s---,” “b----,” “d---,” one use of “f---” and more. Characters drink in social settings, and one of the main characters smokes pot in several scenes (with little negative judgment/consequence); he also gets drunk and pees onstage. The movie may tell a familiar tale — “boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back” — but in this case, the girl calls most of the shots in the relationship. And there are clear messages about the value of family, integrity, hard work, compromise and communication. (101 minutes)
In select theaters; also available via Netflix streaming.
Glittery, glam rock musical soars; expect sex and drugs.
“Rocketman” is a musical biopic about the life and work of Elton John (Taron Egerton). It has plenty of mature content, but the overall tone is sweet and life-affirming, and John is portrayed as someone who has the trappings of fame and success but only finds true happiness through deep, authentic connections with other people. His addictions and flaws are addressed frankly; the movie begins with him admitting he’s an alcoholic, a drug addict, a sex addict and a shopaholic, and viewers see him indulging openly during the movie. (Ultimately we learn that he’s nearly three decades sober.) John is also a proud gay man, and the film doesn’t shy away from showing that part of his life. Expect many scenes of flirtation, romance and affection between men, as well as a frank sex scene that begins with men kissing passionately before falling into bed to pull off their clothes; they’re briefly shown nude and moving rhythmically together. Some of the film’s language is also connected to John’s sexuality; at various points in the film he’s called — or calls himself — “f-g,” “poofter,” “fairy” and “queen” (other salty terms include “s---,” “f---” and more). Violence is minimal, but at one point a man hits his boyfriend in the face, leaving bruises, and a character washes down pills with vodka before standing on a diving board and declaring that he’s going to kill himself. Many scenes show John snorting lines of cocaine and drinking heavily; he appears sloppy and out of it, and the people in his life criticize his use. (121 minutes)
Tons of language, blood, teen drinking in so-so thriller.
“Ma” is a thriller with horror elements about a woman (Octavia Spencer) who offers to let teens party and drink in her house — but it turns out she has some pretty dark secrets. Expect extremely mature content on all fronts. Teens and others are tortured in various ways (lips sewn shut, burned with an iron, etc.), a character is shot, and there’s plenty of blood, as well as a jump-scare or two. Nudity includes brief glimpses of a penis and a naked bottom. Oral sex is strongly implied, teens kiss passionately, a teen kisses an adult, and teen sex is mentioned. Language is constant, with many uses of “f---,” “s---,” “a--hole,” “p---y” and more. Teens drink throughout, sometimes getting drunk and passing out. They also smoke pot and vape, and characters are unknowingly drugged by the villain. (99 minutes)
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