Nolan’s violent, elaborate epic is best for deep thinkers.
“Tenet” is a spy action movie directed by Christopher Nolan that stars John David Washington as an international secret agent who must save the world from World War III. The film opens with terrorist activity at a concert, and there’s a lot of action fighting throughout the film. It’s mostly bloodless, but there are guns, shootings, explosions, crashes and beatings. Domestic abuse and child custody are a big part of the story line. Strong language is infrequent, so when it comes, it’s noticeable: Expect to hear
“f---ing b----,” “s---,” etc. Characters drink socially (wine, vodka), and a suicide pill makes an appearance. Like many of Nolan’s films, Tenet explores the concept of time, and it is complicated: This isn’t a movie where you can check your brain at the door. Save time to talk about it afterward, because it’s hard to catch all the information — often because audio involving key details is muffled by masks, walkie-talkies, etc. But the ultimate message is one about being the hero of your own story, and characters demonstrate teamwork, perseverance, courage, curiosity, integrity and empathy. Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki co-star. (151 minutes)
Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Authors (TV-Y)
Virtual book club for preschoolers spotlights Black authors.
“Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Authors” spotlights prominent Black authors. In each episode, a Black celebrity reads a picture book written by a Black author. The selected books have great age-appropriate messages around self-acceptance, anti-racism and treating people fairly. Some episodes feature books that depict racism against Black people. Within the books, there are sometimes examples of meanness and characters who dislike each other, but interactions are age-appropriate, and the stories emphasize why they’re wrong. (12 episodes of
Available on Netflix
Pets United (TV-Y7)
Animated pet tale falls flat; violence, mild language.
“Pets United” is an animated movie about animals who find themselves up against robot police. Expect nonstop animated action, including chases, fights, predatory animals and robots, car/train crashes, flying knives, a menacing machine that crushes scrap metal (including, almost, a robot with human feelings and some pets) and the ultimate — and somewhat vengeful — destruction of an evil mastermind robot. Happily — possible spoiler alert? — the pets survive unharmed, including one who appeared to have been crushed at the start of the film, thanks to their courage and loyalty. The pets all have their own backstories and quirks, as well as a variety of European accents that could be seen as stereotypical (menacing zoo animals are Slavic, a braggy poodle is Italian, a spry fox is Irish, a snooty feline is British, etc). One animal is obsessed with body treatments such as lip enhancements, eyelash extensions, nose jobs, waxing, massage and more. Language is mostly taunts and insults (“loser,” “stupid,” “freak,” “scum,” “wimp,” “bootlicker,” “buffoon,” etc.), and there are references to the “devil,” “hell,” “poo” and “fart.” The movie tries to convey messages about respecting nature and the dangers of artificial intelligence, but it buries them too late in the film to have much impact on younger viewers. (92 minutes)
Available on Netflix.
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