Overcomer (PG)

Age 10+

Well-made Christian drama succeeds despite stereotyping.

Overcomer” is a faith-based sports drama from Christian filmmaker Alex Kendrick, who also stars. The story’s central theme is forgiveness, which is demonstrated on many levels, the greatest of which is God’s atonement of man’s sins through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Other themes include compassion, humility and communication. The movie’s purpose is evangelical, and a student who feels tormented by her parents’ poor decisions finds immediate comfort once she’s saved. There’s no sex, swearing or violence in this message movie, but it does deal with drug addiction: A character’s past with drugs is a plot point, and there are references to a young mother who died from a drug overdose. While the casting is diverse, there are some stereotypes, like a black family with a teen who steals, meth-addicted parents and a father who abandons his baby. The white family, meanwhile, is depicted as pretty close to perfect and facilitates turning the black family’s life around. (120 minutes)

Aquarela (PG)

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Age 10+

Powerful docu captures beauty and devastation of water.

Aquarela” is a documentary about the immense power of water, demonstrating how humans are insignificant compared to it, especially in this age of climate change. It’s a visual spectacle: Shot at 96 frames per second and projected in theaters at 48 frames per second, with an ultrarealistic feel, it is like looking out a window. Expect some intense moments, such as when a car crashes through the ice, and two people climb out of the icy water claiming that a third has drowned. A rescue attempt is made, but the third person never comes up. A person is shown with blood on his face. There are also some shocking, sudden booming sounds, loud noises, sirens and alarms, and the movie has many troubling images of floods, storms, etc. Cigarette smoking is seen. (90 minutes)

Ready or Not (R)

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Age 16+

Ultraviolent satire is forgettable but fun for horror fans.

Ready or Not” is a comedy-horror movie with extremely graphic violence. Characters are dispatched in many ways (bludgeoned, shot, crushed) and die with spurting, pooling blood and gurgling in agony and terror — all of which the movie plays for laughs. Many deaths are presented as comic or unimportant: Some characters die just after doing something that the movie views as bad, for example, and others who’ve had no lines are dispatched bloodily, after which survivors argue about who has to clean up the “mess.” Small children participate in the violence; some are killed in over-the-top bloody scenes. Dead bodies are shown at length, including a long look at a severed head during a comic argument. Several characters smoke prominently, including a scene in which the main character smokes calmly in front of an apocalyptic scene. Other characters drink and act sloppy and hostile, snort white powder, and take unnamed pills and seem manic and out of it. Sex is confined to a mention of a couple’s “bone-athon” and a scene in which they kiss fully clothed and one tells the other to “take off your pants” (he doesn’t). Frequent language includes “f---,” “motherf----r,” “b----,” “a--hole” and more. This movie obviously intends to make points about power and wealth, but the messages are muddled. Samara Weaving stars. (95 minutes)

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Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling (TV-Y7)

Streaming

Age 10+

Embracing change is key in this fun, frenetic return.

Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling” is a special that brings back the characters from the classic ‘90s Nicktoon. Rocko (voiced by Carlos Alazraqui) and his friends Heffer (Tom Kenny) and Filburt (Mr. Lawrence) have been stuck in space for 20 years, and when they finally return home, lots has changed. Expect plenty of gross-out humor; for example, Heffer finds a TV remote in his butt, a nose-picking executive loses everything but his booger jar (which he fills repeatedly) and there’s lots of farting. If you forgot how edgy Rocko’s world is, “Static Cling” brings you back very quickly: The Fatheads (a show within the show) are like if “The Simpsons’ ” Itchy and Scratchy were a married couple — there’s lots of cartoonish violence, arguing and explosions. There are also some fat jokes and arguing between Heffer and Filburt. That said, positive messages abound about accepting change and loving unconditionally, primarily explored through a transgender main character’s transition from male to female. It’s lots of fun; just be sure your family is familiar with the “Rocko” vibe before you dive back in. (45 minutes)

Available via Netflix streaming.

Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. Go to commonsensemedia.org for age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites and books.

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