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Parents' Guide to

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Visually impressive but dark Wizarding World adventure.

Movie PG-13 2022 142 minutes
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 24 parent reviews

age 12+

Worst movie ever!

Worst movie ever, the movie lost its credibility from fans all over the world. Jude Law's acting as Dumbledore superb and awesome. All the characters performed well, except Grindelwald. Much awaited expectations of the Fantastic Beasts fans were highly disappointed. I don't think no one would be waiting watch Fantastic Beasts 4, unless they bring back Johnny Depp. Warner bros has gone nuts. Warner bros gonna loose in the film industry. I think it's gone be there end if they don't bring back Johnny Deep. Fantastic Beats 1 and 2 are mojor hits and success cause of the acting of Johnny Depp as Grindelwald. The Warner Bros Pictures sure to go bankrupt very soon.
20 people found this helpful.
age 12+

Fine, but beware of graphic animal cruelty

I'm normally extremely laissez-faire about these sorts of things, but even I would've appreciated some content warnings. There are 2 fairly graphic animal cruelty scenes in the first half of the movie - one right at the very beginning, and one further in. The former involves a creature that has just given birth be killed using magic, dying slowly with flies gathering around its body, and having its baby be taken. The latter scene involves the baby's throat being slit using a knife. Multiple subsequent scenes then show blood and the baby's dead body, and the body being enchanted like a puppet which may come across as defiling the corpse to some. I found these scenes to be distressing as I wasn't prepared for them, and children especially may find them very upsetting. The movie is also thematically much darker than the others. I wouldn't consider it inappropriate for younger children, but they may struggle to understand it, as most plotlines are convoluted and confusing even for adults, and much of the plot centres around political drama. The VFX and performance by the actors are excellent, but it didn't quite make up for the disappointing storyline (which admittedly was much better in my opinion than the second FB movie). There are no issues with language, sex, drug use etc.

This title has:

Too much violence
19 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (24 ):
Kids say (31 ):

This likable third installment is an improvement over the overwrought and dour second film but continues to prove how difficult it is to recapture the magic of the original Harry Potter films. In Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, director David Yates and screenwriters Steve Kloves and J.K. Rowling have crafted a straightforward political drama that weaves in the importance of magical creatures even in international elections. Mikkelsen, who's always quite good at acting the villain, does a fine job of harnessing Grindelwald's intensity (though he tones down the charisma of Depp's performance), and Law captures the near-prescient wisdom of Professor Dumbledore. Their characters' conversations simmer believably with the anger and longing of former lovers (their adolescent coupledom is an important part of the story).

But Newt's story doesn't seem to move forward much, particularly because Tina (Katherine Waterston) is conspicuously missing from the proceedings, a glaring omission that isn't adequately explained in the script, given that she's a head Auror, her sister is in danger, and Grindelwald is threatening the entire magical and non-magical world. Another issue that may confuse longtime Potter fans is the prominence of the qilin, a rare magical creature that hitherto was unknown and unexplored in the wizarding stories or even Scamander's authoritative book. (Of course, those same Potterheads will probably be the first to forgive these continuity issues in order to keep faith that the magical universe will continue.) In the supporting cast, Williams stands out as an American witch who's an expert at Charms, and Miller is heartbreaking as Credence, who just wants to know his true story. The film, like all in the Wizarding World, has fabulous production design and costumes (by Academy Award winner Colleen Atwood), and it boasts another of James Newton Howard's evocative scores. At this point, there's a built-in audience for these films, but you have to wonder when it's time to wrap up and simply wait another decade for the inevitable remakes of the originals.

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