Family movie night? There's an app for that
Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie's themes include the conflict between sacrificing the few for the many and understanding that humanity is responsible for unthinkable violence but also great beauty, art, and curiosity. When you love something, you protect it. The story encourages teamwork, empathy, compassion, and unconditional love. The Eternals love and respect one another, even when they disagree.
Positive Role Models
Central characters willingly put themselves in dangerous situations to save humanity/defeat villains. Gilgamesh selflessly cares for Thena, who is brave, fierce, and loyal. Sersi is compassionate and empathetic. Sprite is clever and quick-witted. Ikaris is devoted and faithful to his cause. Druig prioritizes peace. Kingo is entertaining and ambitious. Makkari is courageous and well-read. Dane is loyal to Sersi. A few characters are willing to do something immoral in order to stay faithful to their mission/do what they think is right in the end.
The ensemble is racially and ethnically diverse; Asian, Latinx, Black, White, and deaf actors are authentically represented (their characters are aliens). Characters use sign language to communicate. Phastos is the first openly gay hero in the MCU.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
The Eternals use their superpowers and superweapons to defeat scary, aggressive monsters known as Deviants (one of which eats a parent in front of a child in the movie's opening scene); some goopy gore when they're killed. Characters are injured but usually healed (or can heal themselves). Human bystanders are killed by the fighting between Eternals and Deviants. Gun and knife use. The Eternals witness soldiers committing genocide during the Aztec Empire. The bombing of Hiroshima is shown, along with its afermath. Global earthquake, volcano eruption. Spoiler alert: Main characters die/are killed, and Earth is threatened with total destruction.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Adults exchange lingering looks, kisses, and embraces. There's one love scene that shows bare shoulders/backs and passionate kissing; sex is clearly implied. A married couple kisses farewell. Another couple never kisses but flirts and hugs. An Eternal who's perpetually young complains about not being old enough to experience love (and has an overt crush on an older team member). One relationship is loving and affectionate (the two characters have lived together for centuries) but not overtly romantic.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Language includes "s--t," "hell," "ass," "oh God," "sucks," "mental." Middle-finger gesture.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
On camera: iPhone, Star Wars book, Ikea; off-camera, Marvel has a ton of tie-ins for all its movies.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink beer at a party and liquor on a plane. Gilgamesh offers other characters mead, ale, and homemade liquor fermented with spit. A character in a post-credits scene seems drunk. Joke about being drunk.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Eternals is an epic-scale Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) adventure directed by Oscar-winning writer-director Chloé Zhao. It focuses on a team of ancient aliens who emerge after the events of Avengers: Endgame to battle the monstrous Deviants they thought they had defeated long ago. With a cast that includes Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, and more, this is one of the MCU's most diverse outings; it features the franchise's first deaf character and first openly gay hero. It's also arguably the MCU's most mature and character-driven film to date. It has themes of sacrifice, unconditional love, and teamwork, but also far more romance than usual -- including the MCU's first on-screen love scene (naked shoulders and all) -- and very scary creatures, one of whom eats a parent in front of his child in the movie's opening scene. While there are lots of talking scenes, action violence is also frequent and often devastating, both in a large-scale way (genocide, natural disasters, destruction) and an intimate one (betrayal, loss, grief). Weapons are used, and spoiler alert! main characters die/are killed. Language includes occasional but not frequent use of "s--t" "ass," "hell," etc., and characters drink socially. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Oscar-winning filmmaker Chloé Zhao is a gifted director, but this crowded, overly expository Marvel entry doesn't quite come together, despite impressive visuals and an excellent, diverse cast. The MCU has never shied away from big ensembles, particularly in the Avengers movies or Guardians of the Galaxy, but it's difficult to feel invested in all 10 of the Eternals' character arcs when the screenplay centers on empathetic Sersi, who was once married to Ikaris but was at some point abandoned and, centuries later, is now with a new beau, human teacher Dane (Kit Harington). She and the inexpicably younger-than-everyone else Sprite (who's forever an adolescent, while the rest of the Eternals are adults) are sisterly, and the movie positions them -- and the Superman-meets-Captain America-like Ikaris -- as the "main" Eternals. The movie's plot is fairly straightforward, so the real tension is in the relationship dynamics, since each Eternal has a different level of faith in their original mission. The most fun in this overwhelmingly serious film is when the movie reintroduces Kingo, who has played four generations of Bollywood superstars in India. Nanjani brings welcome comic relief to a surprisingly somber story. Harington's Dane is also entertaining, especially after he discovers the truth about his girlfriend's past (accepting it with a calm that makes sense, considering this is a universe that survived Thanos' Snap).
It's difficult to discuss the cast without mentioning something obvious for anyone who watched or is familiar with HBO's hit series Game of Thrones: In Eternals, the one-time Stark brothers (Madden and Harington) reunite on screen and are both in love with the same woman, who is named Sersi (yes, it sounds exactly like Cersei). Watching the men who played the King in the North and Jon Snow say "I love you, Sersi" is just trippy enough to take viewers out of the moment. A casting director (or Zhao herself) was either clever or misguided with that coincidence. Audiences might also wind up with unanswered questions about the nature of some of the other characters' relationships. The only Eternal who has a fulfilling traditional life in the present is Phastos, Marvel's first openly gay hero, whose husband and son are another highlight of the occasionally rambling drama. There are definitely rousing action and set-piece battle sequences, but this is a film primarily about relationships that doesn't quite hit the mark, despite all of the attractive, talented actors making heartfelt speeches to one another.
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.