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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No matter how earnest or desperate Davey appears, it's impossible for him to get most adults to believe him when he expresses fear and asks for help. This plot element illustrates how important it is for adults (especially parents) to spend time with and listen to their chidlren.
Positive Role Models
Davey is a super hero. He's smart, brave, resourceful, honest, loyal, and effective. On the other hand, he takes big risks and places himself in great jeopardy. Davey's imaginary friend is also courageous and daring, but he pushes Davey into situations that are unsafe and scary. The parents are loving but negligent; their children are left unsupervised throughout. Authority figures make the kids feel powerless and force them to take matters into their own hands.
Violence & Scariness
Non-stop action sequences involving an 11-year-old boy. Lots of gunplay, including the young hero shooting and killing a villain. Davey is frequently in jeopardy. He is shot at, captured, and thrown into the trunk of a car that already holds the dead body of Davey's friend. He's stalked, chased, and threatened with a bomb and a large knife. Davey's pal, a little girl, is held hostage and threatened as well. A scientist is shot in the neck with a poisoned dart.
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A few strong words: "crap," "Jesus" (as an exclamation).
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Products & Purchases
Heavy tie-in with Atari video games -- the movie is based on an Atari game by the same name (which no longer exists). Other products seen or mentioned: Twinkies, Caravello watches, Southwest, Minute Maid.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A few peripheral characters are seen smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this film is almost non-stop action, with lots of gunplay, many on-camera killings, and car chases, with two heroic kids frequently placed in dangerous predicaments (careening in cars; stalked, captured, and held hostage; shot at and threatened with bombs). In one scene, a boy is tricked into killing a villain. It's all make-believe, comic book violence, but it might easily be confusing or disturbing to very young viewers. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
CLOAK & DAGGER is flawed, with gaping plot holes, unquestionably violent action sequences, and highly ineffectual adults. But kids (especially preteens who have a firm grasp on real versus make-believe violence) will find it appealing. Superheroes have been delighting audiences for generations; they embody all that's good, and they defeat all that's evil.
When the superhero is a normal 11-year-old boy, the audience can identify with him, and he's an even more appealing hero. Davey takes on a gang of evil spies, saves the country, avenges the death of his friend, and teaches his father a thing or two about parenting. For most kids, there's nothing better than that.
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.