Pitt flies high to reach emotional depths in sci-fi drama.
“Ad Astra” is a stunning, thoughtful sci-fi drama starring Brad Pitt. The title is Latin for “to the stars,” and although the film has all the trappings of a great space adventure, space travel is just the setting. This is really the emotional odyssey of a man who’s trying to make peace with his conflicted feelings about his father (Tommy Lee Jones) — and therefore not especially likely to entertain most teens. Still, Pitt’s character, Maj. Roy McBride, is an admirable man — courageous, calm and thoughtful — who’s living in a future where it appears that race, gender and age have equal professional footing. Sci-fi action includes guns, moon battles with explosions, solar flares and other things that might go wrong in space, including a jarring animal attack that isn’t shown but has gruesome results (which are shown); characters die. Much of the sound is muted through the quiet of a spacesuit, so this may be a good choice for those with audio sensitivities. Faith-focused families will appreciate elements such as prayer and positive acknowledgments of God’s presence in the universe. Strong language is used sparingly but includes “hell” and “goddamn,” and a possible use of “f---ing.” (122 minutes)
Coming-of-age comedy about feeling different; mild cursing.
“Tall Girl” is a comedy about fitting in that’s set in high school, where the pressure to conform can be overwhelming. At 6-foot-1, 16-year-old Jodi (Ava Michelle) literally will never “fit”; she’s endured merciless teasing about her height since elementary school. The message she constantly hears from friends and family is to walk tall — but it’s hard to ignore the characteristic that’s defined her self-view and (she feels) doomed her to social oblivion. Friendship and family support are given high value here, as is the need to achieve self esteem. With its heart in the right place, the movie may speak to teens who feel marginalized, isolated, or even bullied, but watch out for too-easy answers to difficult questions. Teens kiss, a fight breaks out at a party (resulting in a black eye), and language includes “crap,” “b----,” and
Available via Netflix streaming.
Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly (TV-MA)
Drugs, constant profanity in
so-so music documentary.
“Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly” is a documentary about Scott’s rise to the top of the musical landscape and the release of his 2018 album “Astroworld.” Expect constant profanity, including “f---,” “motherf---er” and the n-word. People are also shown smoking pot and cigarettes and drinking. In concert footage, fans get into fistfights; some get injured and are lifted by the crowd to waiting paramedics. One of Scott’s bodyguards is shown walking behind him carrying an assault rifle. The documentary also covers Scott’s Houston roots, his humble beginnings, and testimonials from devoted fans who discuss how much his music has helped them through difficult times. That said, this is ultimately little more than a promotional video for Scott, his music career and “Astroworld.” (85 minutes)
Available via Netflix streaming.
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