Sweet romance, some swearing in charming comedy/fantasy.
“Yesterday” is a comedy with fantasy elements about a musician named Jack (Himesh Patel) who, after an accident, wakes up to a world in which the Beatles never existed — and all their hit songs can be his. The movie’s levels of sex, violence, and language are appropriate for teen viewers, making this a good choice for cross-generational viewing. Violence is limited to an early scene in which Jack is hit by a bus (and the aftermath, in which viewers repeatedly see him with broken and missing teeth). Characters kiss and fall into bed together in a couple of scenes, but there’s no sex. A sweet romance builds over time between well-drawn characters who both have agency; it stalls at one point because they agree they don’t want to start a romance if they aren’t ready for it to get serious. Adults drink at parties and celebratory moments; at one point, two characters decide to get drunk so they can find the courage to kiss. Language is infrequent but includes “s---,” “son of a b----,” “damn” and “bloody.” The cast is diverse in terms of race, ethnicity and class, with both women and people of color in strong central roles. And characters are thoughtful and respectful — they make mistakes but make up for them and do better, sending clear messages of integrity and courage. (116 minutes)
Not much new, but sequel is well-crafted and spooky.
“Annabelle Comes Home” is the third “Annabelle” movie and the seventh film in the “Conjuring” horror franchise. While the movie isn’t especially original, it’s well-made and has plenty of intense scares. Expect lots of scary ghosts, demons and monsters, as well as very spooky sounds and music. One creature wields a knife while wearing a bloody dress, and another has a bloody face. There’s a stabbing in the stomach, and a scene of a ghost “vomiting” a stream of blood into a character’s face. A character is bullied, and a man is nearly hit by a truck. Language includes a use of “f---” and a few uses of “s---” and “balls.” Teens flirt a bit, and a teen boy tries for a kiss but is thwarted. (106 minutes)
Gory killer doll/slasher reboot is unexpectedly fun.
“Child’s Play” is a reboot of the 1988 slasher film about a killer doll named Chucky (now voiced by Mark Hamill). This version is less about serial killers and dark magic and more about the nature of friendship, but it has even more graphic, gory violence than the original, including a bloody skull; severed head/other body parts; stabbing; characters getting chewed up by lawn mowers and table saws; a woman being tied up and hanged by a rope; fighting; and general screaming and mayhem. Language includes several uses of “f---,” “s---,” “a--hole,” “b----” and more. A boy catches his mom kissing her boyfriend and spots the boyfriend buckling his belt (implying he and the mom just had sex). One character is cheating on his wife, another spies on a woman in a bathroom (she undoes her bra with her back to the camera), and there’s a brief, sex-themed Chucky Internet meme. Smoking and beer-drinking are shown. Thanks to some humor and pathos, the movie works pretty well, but it’s definitely not for younger viewers. (90 minutes)
Sensitive teen shoplifting drama has sex, crime, friendship.
“Trinkets” is a dramatic series about a trio of teen girls who become friends after meeting at Shoplifters Anonymous. The content is mature but appropriate for older teen viewers. Intimate partner violence is core to one story; a boy grabs his girlfriend roughly and refuses to stop having sex when he’s pulling her hair and hurting her. Sexual content includes scenes in which teens visit an adult store and look at and buy toys (including a vibrator and a penis ring) and one in which two teens have sex underneath a sheet — no graphic nudity is shown, but viewers do see rhythmic movements. Expect both opposite- and same-sex kissing. A party scene shows teens drinking from Solo cups and urging each other to “drink, drink, drink”; a character uses a vape pen in one scene. Serious topics like stealing and marital infidelity are handled in a thoughtful, respectful way, and a main character’s LGBT sexuality is accepted easily by her friends. Language includes “f---,” “s---,” “b----,” “goddamn,” and “d---.” (10 approximately 25-minute episodes)
Available via Netflix streaming.
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