Harriet (PG-13)

Age 12+

Tubman biopic includes realistic violence, racial slurs.

Harriet” is award-winning director Kasi Lemmons’s historical drama about Harriet Tubman’s evolution from being a young, married slave in Maryland, to her escape to Philadelphia, to her courage to become the “Moses” of the Underground Railroad. Starring Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo as Harriet, the film is intense: Expect frequent use of the n-word, as well as one use of “f---ing” and a few other terms. Violence is often upsetting and almost all aimed at black characters, both free and enslaved. White slave owners/catchers pursue, beat and even shoot black men and women. A few characters die, both from beatings and gun violence, and a few scenes show the violence close-up. Viewers will learn how Harriet interpreted her visions and seizures as prescient visions from God and how she ultimately took 19 trips into the South and escorted more than 300 slaves to freedom, demonstrating courage and integrity. (125 minutes)

Terminator: Dark Fate (R)

Age 15+

Sixth Terminator film is a violent but dull reboot.

Terminator: Dark Fate” is the sixth movie in the popular Terminator series. It ignores the third, fourth and fifth movies and brings back older characters, including Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and the original terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sci-fi/fantasy violence is intense: Expect lots of weapons, characters being shot and dying, blood, crashes, explosions, futuristic war sequences and robots flying apart. Characters are also stabbed, sliced, run through with chunks of metal and thrown from moving vehicles. Language is also strong, with uses of “f---,” “s---,” “motherf-----” and more. Time-travelers arrive, as always, naked; both male and female bottoms are shown, and there’s a very brief, distant side view of a naked woman. A young couple is seen making out. Characters drink beer, and a character remarks that she regularly “drinks until she blacks out.”
(128 minutes)

Are You Afraid of the Dark? (TV-PG)

Streaming

Age 11+

Horror series reboot thrills with tense, frightful story.

Are You afraid of the Dark?” is a reboot of the same-named teen-geared 1990s horror series. The show is very scary — not in the blood-and-gore sense, but in the creepy, mysterious style that implies terror and messes with your sense of reality. There are some physical frights, too: bumps in the night, clowns that leer at and chase teens, a zombie who tries to drag a girl into the water and plenty of jump scares, as well as the implication of people’s disappearances. Perhaps scariest of all is the basic premise that a person’s nightmares can come true. This fantastic series is best reserved for older tweens and teens who can handle the content. Those who watch will also notice how the storytelling group at the heart of the plot is a great equalizer for its members and allows them to relate to each other, despite differences in their social standing. (45-minute episodes)

Available via Nickelodeon streaming.

Eli (TV-MA)

Streaming

Age 16+

Blood and gore, demonic imagery in excellent horror movie.

Eli” is a 2019 horror movie in which a young boy (Charlie Shotwell) undergoes a last-ditch effort to be cured of a rare autoimmune disorder, only to discover a shocking truth. There’s plenty of horror-movie violence, some gore and blood, and demonic imagery. Expect plenty of jump scares. Characters’ heads blow up, and characters are set on fire. A character discovers the rotting corpses of children. There are graphic depictions of surgery, including a drill to the skull and a scalpel to skin. Eli has what appears to be a life-threatening allergy attack in which he screams, cries and gasps for air while his skin turns red. Some bullying — a gang of young adults drinking beer by a trailer make fun of Eli for wearing a hazmat suit in public. There's ccasional profanity, including
“f---,” “s---” and the middle finger gesture used. (98 minutes)

Available via Netflix streaming

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