Loving family, intense scenes in DC’s Latino superhero tale.

Blue Beetle” centers on the first Latino superhero in the DC Extended Universe: recent college graduate Jaime Reyes (Xolo Maridueña), who unwittingly finds himself infused with superpowers when he comes into contact with an ancient alien relic. Expect lots of fantasy action violence, including fighting (pushing, shoving, kicking) in mech suits and/or with helmeted (thus, faceless) minions. While there are plenty of laughs, there are also several moments that may scare younger or more sensitive viewers. When the relic pairs with its host, it looks like what you might expect from a cinematic demon possession: There are screams of agony, red eyes and something large zipping around under the host’s skin. Also potentially upsetting is a scene of a late-night invasion that’s akin to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid, with a team of armored agents with weapons “rounding up” a family of immigrants and opening fire. There are images of war from the point of view of a child, and sympathetic characters die. Strong language is frequent (“d—,” “goddammit,” “s—”) but doesn’t stray into full f-bomb territory (just a truncated “what the fuh-”). Characters kiss, and one drinks beer and makes a reference to weed. Themes include compassion, courage and the importance of family, and the fact that the filmmakers and main actors are largely Latino helps ensure authentic representation. (127 minutes)

Landscape With Invisible Hand (R)

Quirky sci-fi adaptation has language, a death by suicide.

Landscape With Invisible Hand” is a sci-fi dramedy based on M.T. Anderson’s same-named novel. It’s a quirky story that’s set in the near future after a technologically advanced alien species has occupied Earth and left most humans unemployed except in service to the aliens. Teens Adam (Asante Blackk) and Chloe (Kylie Rogers) believe they can please their alien overlords by broadcasting their blossoming romance in a sort of reality show. There’s a disturbingly violent scene early in the movie when a teacher who’s been fired dies by suicide (with a gun) in front of his students. It’s in the background, but viewers will see him lift the gun and shoot and then a blood splatter. The aliens themselves are more odd-looking than scary. Expect several scenes of teens flirting, holding hands, kissing and dancing. Language is quite strong, with frequent use of “f—,” plus “s—,” “sucks” and “stupid.” In one scene, an adult offers a teenager a beer, and a family (including teens) drinks wine at a celebratory dinner. There’s a lot to discuss and unpack in this movie, from its themes of empathy and perseverance to the impact of occupation, the nature of the American family, artistic integrity and privilege. (105 minutes)

The Last Voyage of the Demeter (R)

Lots of gore, death in effective Dracula-inspired chiller.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter” is a moody, thoughtfully paced horror movie set in the late 1800s. It’s based on a chapter in the classic novel “Dracula” in which the vampire secretly travels by ship from Transylvania to London. Expect lots of gore and intense situations, including bloody animal corpses and a child being killed. Other characters are slashed and killed; people are burned; faces are smashed; and there are pistols, rifles, knives and much more. Language includes infrequent use of words and phrases like “diseased whore,” “darky savage,” “crap,” “idiot,” “hell,” “b——,” “goddamn” and “Jesus Christ,” and there are mentions of brothels and a brief sexual gesture. Sailors appear to have access to alcohol and sometimes seem drunk. Characters drink socially in a pub, and there’s some cigarette smoking. (116 minutes)

Gentle animated show pokes fun at life’s absurdities.

Strange Planet” is an animated series based on the same-named webcomic by Nathan W. Pyle. Content is very mild, with little that’s likely to concern parents. There’s no swearing and only the mildest of romantic content (including talk of crushes and dating), and violence is either nonexistent or soft-pedaled — like in a scene in which a plummeting airplane scares passengers enough to come up with a hit song. Language is playful, with made-up words for everyday objects like buses and cats. Children may greatly appreciate the silly terms. There’s a little bit of drinking, with characters drinking what they call “mild poison” at bars. (10 roughly half-hour episodes)

Available on Apple TV Plus.

Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. Go to commonsense.org for age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites and books.



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