Parents' Guide to

Avatar: The Way of Water

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Long but dazzling return to Pandora has sci-fi violence.

Movie PG-13 2022 192 minutes
Avatar: The Way of Water Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 38 parent reviews

age 10+

More kid friendly than the 1st

This movie is much milder than the first in most ways. There is much less language than there was in the first, with the exception of one f word near the end. There is nudity (for anyone who wants to have their kids look away, it is near the beginning when the kids visit the lab. The scene moves to a tube holding an avatar. The avatar is completely naked, but the nudity only last 3-4 seconds. This is the only scene with nudity. The costumes in the rest of the movie are less revealing than those in the first.) There is violence, but again, less than there was in the first, with one exception. A man’s arm is severed, but the lead up to the moment is worse than the actual moment itself. (If you want your kiddos to hide their eyes, it is during a big fight scene with boats. A wire is wrapped around the boat and begins to cut into it. You’ll know when to have them look away.) Overall, if your kid was able to watch the first movie without any issues, they will be fine to watch this one. Personally, I enjoyed the movie. While it is long, it wraps you up into the story so much that you almost forget that you are watching a movie.
age 11+

Extraordinary and accomplished film.

The movie itself was a creative masterpiece. The animation and CGI left us breathless but my wife and I thought there was much too much swearing, cursing and sheer violence for anyone under 11. The movie is so beautiful, in terms of exploring bigotry and racism and hatred of others because of the way they look that it’s a shame it was so filled with curses and violence. I would say, particularly if you are a careful parent, to wait til your kids are a little older to enjoy the film.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (38 ):
Kids say (106 ):

James Cameron's crowd-pleasing sequel is a spectacular technical achievement that, while overlong, manages to dazzle the senses enough to prove that the director is still a visionary. Avatar: The Way of Water isn't a movie you see for its layered, complicated plot. The storyline is simple, and the dialogue is mostly expository or cliché, particularly when Quaritch talks. But it doesn't quite matter, because Cameron puts the movie's $350 million budget to remarkable use in all of the underwater sequences, the incredible creature effects, and the overall immersive return to Pandora. It's worth seeing on the biggest screen possible, in 3D if you can. Yes, the three-hour-plus runtime is long, but it's easy to get lost in the movie's memorable world-building. The motion-capture performances are fascinating to behold, and Winslet and Curtis are welcome additions to the cast. Of the young actors, Dalton stands out as Neytiri and Jake's troublemaking younger son, Lo'ak, who befriends an outcast tulkun (the sacred alien whales). Also worth noting is Jack Champion as Spider, the human boy raised among the Na'vi but whose mask marks him as different. His bond with Kiri, who's also a little bit different, seems headed toward romance, but it's too early to tell (not to mention complicated).

Lang's Quaritch is only slightly less unhinged in this installment than he was in the first film. But he's far from the only antagonist. The Na'vi face seemingly insurmountable odds as the humans' tech gets better and deadlier. The action sequences come mostly in the third act, but there are moments of pulse-pounding peril throughout that will make audiences clutch their seats (or their partners). There's even an extended ship-sinking sequence that's reminiscent of Titanic, right down to how people grip the railing and hold their breath as areas flood. While there's no Pandoran quartet playing classical music, composer Simon Franglen uses the late James Horner's original themes to create an evocative score as the Na'vi fight for their lives. With Avatar: The Way of Water, Cameron and cinematographer Russell Carpenter have created something monumental in scope, so much so that the movie's flaws don't prevent it from being stunning.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate