The Water Man (PG)

Age 10+

Touching family drama explores love, friendship and loss.

The Water Man,” actor David Oyelowo’s directorial debut, is about Gunner Boone (Lonnie Chavis of “This Is Us”), a boy who tries to track down a local folk legend to save his sick mother (Rosario Dawson). This family drama is tween-friendly overall but does contain a few disturbing moments of brief peril, occasional language (“d---,” “BS,” “crap”) and discussions of cancer, death and child abuse. Scary scenes include a creepy-looking folk legend, a moment when a boy looks like he’s going to fall into rapids, an instance when a girl pushes a boy down on the ground, and a brief encounter with bugs that kids have to run away from in a hurry. Amid the serious themes are messages about honesty, courage, compassion and teamwork, as well as the importance of strong parent-child relationships. (92 minutes)

At area theaters.

Finding You (PG)

Age 10+

Pleasant romance about self-discovery has some drinking.

Finding You” is a wholesome, Ireland-set romance based on Jenny B. Jones’s Y.A. novel “There You’ll Find Me,” which is really about finding yourself. While it’s unquestionably about a young couple finding love, the elements are soft enough that it feels more like a family film with a touch of romance (there are two kisses and some hand-holding). Lead character Finley (Rose Reid) is role model material: She’s caring, thoughtful and self-confident. But female characters are also portrayed somewhat stereotypically: obsessed and gossipy, conniving and mean, and jealous and possessive. Finley’s love interest is a celebrity, and the story explores some of the unpleasant reality behind the management of child actors and their lack of agency over their own lives. Scenes take place inside a pub, a young character appears to be drinking in photos and a well-respected musician is often shown drunk. Expect to hear some Britain-specific profanity. The movie includes a faith-based element that feels authentic to the story, and characters demonstrate integrity. (115 minutes)

At area theaters.

Best Summer Ever (Unrated)


Age 13+

Joyous teen musical embraces inclusion; language, drugs.

Best Summer Ever” is a well-intentioned teen musical with positive messages and portrayals but also a lot of language and a plot line about growing and selling drugs. The teens with disabilities portrayed here include some in wheelchairs, others with Down syndrome, and many with apparent developmental or physical challenges. They are treated no differently than the able-bodied characters, and most of the teens and adults show one another empathy. The lead character, who uses a wheelchair, has two mothers who make a living growing and selling marijuana. Her boyfriend, who is Black, is struggling with his identity as a football player when all he really wants is to dance. A selfish cheerleader tries to bribe him by threatening to share pictures of him dancing on social media. There’s kissing and flirting, a drawing of a penis, and some un-scary accidents. A teen’s parents are dead. A girl holds up two middle fingers, and language include “s---,” “bulls---,” “d---,” “g--d---,” “d-----,” “d--k,” “d---head,” “blow me,” “a--,” “hell,” “Oh my God/Goddess,” “Jesus,” “skank,” “stupid” and “fool.” Executive producers on the film include Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ted Danson, Amy Brenneman and Mary Steenburgen. (79 minutes)

Available on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu and YouTube.

Cruel Summer (TV-14)


Age 14+

Creepy abduction is the anchor of this twisty teen mystery.

Cruel Summer” is a series about a popular teen who goes missing and the aftermath. The show’s focus on popularity is one of its strong points; it displays the pain of exclusion and the things people and, in particular, teen girls do to get and maintain popularity and power, including gossip and exclusion. An abduction is at the center of this show’s drama; expect to see a teen girl confined and abused by an adult man and to see her loved ones grieving in various ways. Sexual visuals are generally confined to kissing, including passionate kissing, but there are references to teens and others having sex, sometimes in vulgar language. A teen boy hits a girl in the nose, making her bleed, during an emotional moment; she forgives him immediately. A depressed teen drinks a glass of liquor while brooding over TV; another teen jokes about his father giving him his “first” beer on his 15th birthday. Language is infrequent: “hell,” “s---.” The show’s overall tone is dark and bleak; families and friends have battles and are at odds; teens are depressed and in need of help. (Roughly 45-minute episodes)

Available on Freeform.

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