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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Tackles complicated, big-picture themes without easy answers, such as the value of life, what it means to be human, and what it means to be alive. Asks what it means if a being is artificial but feels alive.
Positive Role Models
Characters tend to be somewhat violent and destructive, with few consequences for their actions, but they sometimes show touching hints of understanding and compassion. Women are a big part of the story, and some are capable of taking action, though the main story is male-driven.
Violence & Scariness
Guns and shooting. Stabbing. Trickling blood and bloody wounds. Crashes and explosions. Brutal fight sequences. Martial arts fighting. Violence against women. Gun shot to head, with blood spatter. Applying "glue" to heal wound. A drink glass is smashed and crushed into a character's hand, blood dripping down. Character's back broken. Brief raging, shouting.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Several women (some human, some sculptures/holograms) are shown topless. Naked bottoms. Brief hints of full-frontal nudity. Male bodies lying on tables, pubic hair visible. Main character kisses two women at once (one is an intangible hologram, and the other is a prostitute); sex is implied but not shown. (The prostitute wakes up in his bed.) Prostitutes hang out; sex sounds and obscured sex vaguely seen through frosted window.
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A few uses of "f--k," including once written, plus "bulls--t" and "pr--k."
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Products & Purchases
Peugeot logo shown on car, Sony logo used more than once. Other brands seen, in reference to the original film (Atari, etc.).
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters frequently drink either clear alcohol (vodka?) or whisky, mainly in a social way. No drunkenness.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Blade Runner 2049 is the highly anticipated sequel to the 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner, set 30 years after the events of the original and again starring Harrison Ford (as well as Ryan Gosling). Violence is frequent and strong, with brutal fighting, guns and shooting, stabbing, crashes and explosions, and bloody wounds/blood spurts. Women (some human, some holograms/sculptures) are shown naked -- mainly breasts and bottoms -- and a man's pubic hair is shown. It's implied that the main character has sex with a prostitute, with his hologram girlfriend superimposed over her. Sex noises are heard in a red-light district, with vague sexual images glimpsed through frosted glass. Expect a few uses of "f--k"; characters also drink from time to time, but never to excess. The movie isn't without its flaws, and it certainly could have gone a bit deeper, but there's enough thoughtful, visually spellbinding stuff here to make it well worth seeing. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Coming 35 years after the iconic original, Denis Villeneuve's sequel is a little heavier on spellbinding visuals than emotions or profound themes, but it still provides worthy food for thought. Villeneuve's best films -- Enemy, Sicario, Arrival -- are masterful at placing characters in unfamiliar or alien spaces and drawing memorable ideas and feelings from that clash. While Blade Runner 2049 doesn't quite reach that level, it still has many strong sequences that ponder themes of what it means to be alive -- or even human.
Certainly movies like A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Her -- not to mention the original Blade Runner -- probed a little deeper, but this sequel has more than its share of amazing, provocative moments. The spaces and images frequently clash; the cityscape and giant holograms or sculptures that are created by humans feel so inhuman at the same time. Images of wood and water also contribute to more primal themes. Not to mention that it's great to see Ford again, and he finds new levels in his old character. The movie's extreme length wears a bit, as does a slight detour into sillier, more ordinary sci-fi storytelling. And Leto overacts in an unappealing way. But these flaws are few, and the overall trip is well worth taking.
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.