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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Love can be painful (but also last beyond space and time); those who take advantage of others will pay for it eventually.
Positive Role Models
Ada is flawed and unsure of herself, but ultimately she stays true to the poor man she really loves, rather than agreeing to marry for money/position.
Violence & Scariness
Someone describes being in a small boat that's crushed by a large wave, resulting in many deaths. Ada is forced to undergo an exam to confirm she's still a virgin. When they're possessed by the restless spirits, living people have white eyes and appear as if in a trance, haunting the living.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. A couple makes love. Brief glimpse of a bare breast.
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"S--t," "f--k," "crap," "piss," and "hell" (all in subtitles).
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
People drink/party in a bar. Smoke.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Atlantics is a supernatural French/Senegalese drama that pits the rich against the poor, as impoverished African construction workers exact revenge on the real estate mogul who stiffed them. The movie's shift from realism to the paranormal isn't explicit, so following the plot may be tricky for some viewers. Language (in subititles) includes "s--t" and "f--k." Bar-set scenes show adults drinking; there's also smoking. A violent death at sea is described. People under the sway of restless spirits look creepy/scary. Main character Ada (Mama Sané) is forced to undergo an exam to confirm that she's still a virgin. There's kissing, a sex scene, and the brief glimpse of a bare breast. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
First-time Senegalese director Mati Diop uses her clear eye to present real problems faced by real women all over the world, and that aspect of her film is to be commended and supported. Diop is the first African female director to be in the Cannes Film Festival's important Competition section, and Atlantics was awarded the festival's coveted Grand Prix in 2019.
But the film's weaknesses go beyond its difficult-to-follow narrative. There's very little character development -- we have no idea why Ada and Souleiman love each other, apart from some convincing kissing. Nor is the slightest clue or insight provided into Souleiman's personality. Women break into a rich man's home demanding money they're owed. Who are they? Why is the money owed? Why are all their eyes milky? Are they zombies? If they're zombies, why do the police seem to be treating their arrival in a rich man's home as an ordinary crime? Close to the end of the film, we discover what's really going on, but it feels like that information is coming 40 minutes too late. And then the details of the condition/situation raise even more questions, none of which are given clear or satisfactory answers. Such fuzzy artiness is bound to have limited appeal for those who like specifics.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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.