Dark Waters (PG-13)

Age 14+

Essential, harrowing true story of environmental crime.

Dark Waters” is a drama based on a 2016 New York Times Magazine article about huge chemical company DuPont knowingly using toxic substances in its billion-dollar products. Mark Ruffalo plays real-life lawyer Robert Bilott, who’s trying to fight for the chemical’s victims. The movie is harrowing and unsettling but extremely well-made and absolutely worth watching. Expect some disturbing images, including sick and dying cows, diseased cow parts, deformities in humans, shooting a cow with a rifle (some blood shown), and a house being set on fire. Language is fairly strong, with a couple uses of “f---,” plus “s---,” “goddamn” and more. Teens skinny-dip in one scene, and a bare bottom is briefly seen. There’s social drinking at a party and background cigarette smoking. (127 minutes)

White Snake (Unrated)

Age 13+

Chinese folklore-based adventure is dark, violent, sensual.

White Snake” is an animated action-adventure tale based in Chinese folklore that has enough dark violence and mature sensuality to make it iffy for younger viewers. The film is a prequel of sorts to the Chinese legend of White Snake: It follows a white snake demon (who can change into the form of a young woman) who loses her memory while in human form and ends up falling in love with the young man who finds her. The story is fairly complicated, and the battles between the snake demons and their enemies are destructive and violent, leaving humans and demons alike dead and villages destroyed. Sexual content includes scenes of partial nudity (bare backs and legs, and a quick glimpse of a woman’s bottom), as well as passionate kissing in one fade-to-black love scene in which it’s clear that the central couple has spent the night together. So it’s not for little kids, but teens and adults who enjoy foreign animation or legend-based stories will appreciate the film and its connection to Chinese folklore. (98 minutes)

Knives Out (PG-13)

Age 13+

Expert, effortlessly entertaining all-star mystery-comedy.

Knives Out” is a delightful all-star murder-mystery-comedy that’s reminiscent of Agatha Christie stories. Violence includes a murder victim with a slit throat and a trickle of blood, fighting (punching and slapping), arguing and harsh dialogue. Language includes one “f---,” plus “s---,” “son of a b----,” “a--hole” and more. There’s a bit of sex-related talk, and one character is said to have had an affair. People drink at a party, characters smoke cigars and pot (there’s a secret stash of joints), prescription meds are injected and there’s dialogue about a morphine addict. Starring Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, and many more, this expertly crafted movie is both a satisfying mystery and a hilarious comedy with appealing characters, and it even touches on the state of the world today and sends the message that kindness and compassion are virtues that win the day. (120 minutes)

Let It Snow (Rating)

Streaming

Age 13+

Fun teen ensemble romcom has language, drinking.

Let It Snow” is a fast-paced holiday romcom in which a group of Midwestern teens spends Christmas Eve managing a series of emotional challenges, both separately and together. Other than twins who bully others in brief sequences — in one, they repeatedly slam a skater to the ice — there aren’t any villains. But the kids are sometimes their own worst enemies. They make mistakes or misbehave; learn important truths about themselves, their relationships and their families; and then work toward resolving their issues. Expect some swearing and sexual references/innuendo, including “balls,” “a--,” “s---,” “hell,” “b----” and one instance each of “f---,” “d---” and “p---y.” Characters kiss, and there’s some underage drinking/partying with no obvious consequences. It’s based on the 2009 YA book by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson. (93 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.