Common Sense Media’s weekly recommendations.


A brilliantly crafted sci-fi horror tale is gore, swearing.

“Nope” is a horror/sci-fi comedy from writer-director Jordan Peele about humans and their strained relationships with other species. It may not live up to Peele’s previous films “Get Out” or “Us in terms of cultural impact, but it’s a diverse, well-made, and spectacularly entertaining film that comes highly recommended for mature horror fans. Be prepared for shocking violence: a chimpanzee covered in blood runs amok, pummeling a young girl off-screen and threatening a young boy. A character is killed after a projectile hits him in the eyes in a pretty bloody way. There is a lot of blood throughout: stains, squirts and rain on a house, dripping down the windows. You can also expect disturbing noises, spooky tricks and spooky jumps. The language includes many uses of “f—” and “s—” and more. Vape, smoke pot and drink characters. Besides the horror elements, there are themes related to teamwork, inclusivity, and problem solving in the face of impossible odds. (131 minutes)

Positive messages, diversity in fun, campy following.

“Zombies 3” continues the franchise’s message of accepting others, differences and everything. The film is wholesome, with dancing and singing, feelings emerging, minimal kissing, no strong language, and violence that isn’t meant to be terribly scary. The zombies wear “Z-packs” that infuse their veins with blood and give them powers; they can sometimes turn into monsters. Werewolves sometimes howl and growl, showing their claws, their eyes turning a fearsome yellow. In terms of portrayal, a character who uses the pronouns “they” has a crush on a boy and a girl, and the main characters of diverse races treat each other with empathy and kindness – their motto is “We are better together”. A character will be the first of his kind to go to university and thus open this path to others. The film contains environmental messages about saving the planets from destruction and pollution. (90 mins)

Available on Disney Plus.

Anything is possible (PG-13)

The trans girl comes into its own; tongue, drink.

“Anything Is Possible” points out that surviving high school is tough for everyone — and even more so for trans students. The film features upper-middle-class suburban parents and children learning different ways to be authentic, accept differences, and experience love. Some students hurtfully label being trans a mental illness, while others are fully supportive of their trans classmates. A boy tells his trans girlfriend that he is attracted to “everything” about her. A girl says she was assaulted but later admits it was a false accusation. Two former best friends are arguing. The language includes “f—”, “s—”, “b—-“, “d–k”, “a–”, “hell”, and “suck off”. Teenagers drink alcohol. (95 mins)

The summer I became pretty (16+)

YA romance tour show is sweet, summery, totally relatable.

“The Summer I Turned Pretty” is based on the book of the same name by Jenny Han. Like the book, the series is primarily concerned with romance, specifically a love triangle between a teenage girl and two brothers. Expect lots of talk about boyfriends and girlfriends, flirting, dating and kissing. The dialogue can sometimes turn blunt, such as when one girl teases another by calling her a “dirty little slut” for wanting a “steamy makeup session”. Adults are also involved in romantic complications, with a recently divorced woman meeting someone she is interested in. In several scenes, the characters smoke pot alone or share a joint; the characters also drink at parties, and it’s not always clear whether all drinkers are of legal age. The characters drink too much, articulate their words, and act sloppy. Several main characters are of Asian descent, although this is not mentioned as often as their relatively poor financial situation in the wealthy beach town they are visiting. Swear words include “f—“, “s—” and “a–hole”. A young girl is at the center of the action; its romantic and sexual maturation reads as realistic and moving instead of exploitative. (Seven episodes of approximately 45 minutes)

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