A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
When destiny comes calling, will you answer? It's important to rise to the occasion. But there's also no consequence for treating others with disdain.
Positive Role Models
A group of people work together through the decades to keep the world safe, but their method of securing and training the next hero isn't admirable. Main characters are frequently disrespectful.
No meaningful positive diversity: Heroes all appear to be White; one goofy friend is Black. Primary villains are people of color.
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Violence & Scariness
Lots of "real-world" violence within the fantasy elements, including big guns fired at close range, sword fighting, and Taser use. Physical fighting. Hitting with blunt instruments, such as a baseball bat.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Innuendo. Two young adults are pressured to sleep with each other. Kissing. Adult women objectify a young man who looks like he could be a teenager.
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Frequent use of words including "s--t," "ass," "a--hole," "bastard," "bitch," "crap," "dammit," "d--k," "dumbass," "goddamn," "hell," "idiot," "jackass," "pissed," "pr--k," "slut," and "son of a bitch." The word "motherf--" is said, cut off at the "f" sound.
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Products & Purchases
Much ado is made about a lavish estate, its English butler, and a luxury sports car all owned by a leader, but the plot doesn't endorse materialism.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Villains hang out at a bar drinking liquor all day and night.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Alpha Rift is a modern-day knight's tale with lots of swearing and disrespectful behavior from the young "heroes." It's meant to be funny, but it relies too much on a snarky character and his snide girlfriend cursing and putting everyone down, including their friend, their customers, and a domestic worker. Every time a curse word ("s--t," "goddamn," etc.) or insult ("d--kwad," "pr--k") is dropped, which is often, the meanness hangs in the air, carrying the potential to influence young viewers to pick up the lingo. While very unrealistic, the violence is still fairly shocking for a film seemingly aimed at a family audience: Guns are used at close range (no blood), baseball bats are brandished, characters are stabbed, and there's a whole lot of something that looks like a Taser. A pair of best friends is repeatedly pressured to become a romantic couple, with some characters implying that they should be sleeping together. Adult women are portrayed as lusting over a young man (he refers to them as the "sugarmamas" who keep his store afloat); they call a woman who asks him for help a "slut." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While many kids pretend to be knights wielding swords against imaginary dragons, the folks at Medieval Times tell a better story than this awful, offensive waste of time. Fantasy games often have complicated setups, and the one at the heart of this story is no exception: Through the ages, noblemen with four magical helmets have kept a supernatural evil contained inside the "alpha rift" (which looks kind of like a glowing green Nerf football). The dreadful script seems like something crafted by a couple of smart-alecky, foul-mouthed 15-year-olds. Nolan and his best friend, Gabby (Rachel Nielsen), are always the smartest ones in the room, and they let everyone around them know it. They constantly hurl insults and putdowns at literally every other character, and the movie seems to justify -- even celebrate -- their nasty quips. As Nolan trains to become a knight, there's no comeuppance or lesson learned in this area, no way to show that creating an atmosphere of incivility is the opposite of the Code of Chivalry associated with knights of yore.
The movie's action sequences are cheesy and brutal. It's kind of like how kids play, except a kid "stabbing" a friend with an imaginary sword in their room comes off very differently than watching a menacing villain plunge an ax into his minion on a screen. And no teenager is going to endure the movie's special effects, which would've been considered bad in 1982. Other than Lance Henrikson (why are you in this, buddy?), everything and everyone in the film is at their worst. And then the filmmakers have the audacity to end it in a way that sets up another movie. A sequel? Surely you joust.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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