Parents' Guide to

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Intense, over-full sequel has lots of wizarding violence.

Movie PG-13 2018 134 minutes
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 54 parent reviews

age 12+

Shut up and take my money!

Johnny Depp continues to portray people we want to watch but never want to be. The bonds of an intimate relationship and all of its complexities is portrayed well. Not overt but not hidden either, in this case I think that less is more and it does the film well to have Law and Depp dance intimately while we watch. Depp deftly portrays an egomaniac with an agenda that speaks to many people, humanizing a leader and getting him out of that “pure evil” boring genre. Seeing Flamel felt like meeting an old friend and I suspect the rest of the series will feel simimlar. The star in my mind of course is Nagini, which in hindsight should have been obvious, still the Crimes of Grindewald excited the 12 year old in me that is still waiting for an owl to drop off my acceptance letter.
age 13+

Just Fine Sequel

This movie was definitely more in line with the spirit of where the series is heading-the first Fantastic Beasts was a little fluffy. I liked the tone, I liked the pacing and the backstories. I liked the expositions of new characters. I am super interested to learn more about how Nagini's story will her to being the right hand man of Voldemort. I felt like a couple lines were forced, such as "Grindelwald doesn't value that which is simple." I get that it was a recall to what Dumbledore says about Voldemort to Harry, but I felt like there was no motivation for that line since Newt would've had no reason to say this based on Newt's experiences with Grindelwald. There were some interesting things that could potentially set up some plot holes in the Potterverse. And I would say that I am not worried at all, but Cursed Child made plenty of mistakes in terms of plot direction that cheapened or poked holes in the Potterverse. I actually like Grindelwald movie version more than Voldemort movie version (book version is a different story), he seems more sophisticated and his motives more reasonable. Overall, I liked the tone. And felt encouraged by this installment. It seems to be following the Potter series in that it improves with each installment. I just really hope she does not poke holes in timelines, or plot points.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (54):
Kids say (81):

The production values are amazing in this latest Potterverse adventure, but there are so many convoluted subplots and new characters that some wizarding favorites (creature and human) are underused. Redmayne continues to prove that he was born for this role, but Waterston's part is greatly reduced, forcing her mostly into the background until the second half. Zoe Kravitz and Callum Turner officially join the cast as Leta Lestrange, Newt's adolescent crush, and Theseus Scamander, Newt's Auror brother, respectively. But neither character feels fully developed, despite a couple of sweet flashbacks to Scamander's Hogwarts days (yes, Lestranges have apparently always been Slytherins). Nagini (Claudia Kim) is more of a sympathetic character than fans might have imagined. As is Credence, who -- as played by the gifted Miller -- is understandably hurt and desperate. And Law does his best to embody all that Potterheads know to be true about Albus Dumbledore: He's wise and generous but also withholding and somewhat tortured about his past.

The movie's visuals are spectacular, and the action is thrilling -- a couple of moments are even a bit jump-worthy -- but this installment lacks some of the charm and discovery of its predecessor. Paris is a beautiful setting, but audiences will learn little about French magical ways (there's not even a mention of Beauxbatons). What they do learn is that J.K. Rowling's universe is so deep that even ardent fans may need a refresher on the threads that connect this interwar period with the details of the original Harry Potter stories. Middle installments are often difficult; here's hoping the next Fantastic Beasts films have more relationship building and character development (not to mention creatures beyond the admittedly adorable nifflers) to invest in before the inevitable climactic battle between Grindelwald and Dumbledore.

Movie Details

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