Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos
By Jeffrey Anderson,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Heavy violence in convoluted but dazzling anime fantasy.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie's main theme seems to be one of banding together to triumph over the odds, as the villagers rise above their oppressors. Some characters choose questionable methods, but the main heroes always try to make sure everyone stays on the right path.
Positive Role Models
The hero brothers have something of a sad past, and they're forever looking to correct a mistake, but they're firmly on the path of the straight and narrow. They bravely use their abilities to help people, and they constantly question which path is the correct one.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of anime fighting, shooting, stabbing, blood, death, and dying. One character peels off his flesh (which turns out to have been stolen from someone else). Characters vomit blood in one scene. Some of the fights involve alchemy, in which certain elements are changed into other elements (air is turned into steel blades, etc.) Viewers see explosions and fire, as families are driven out of their homes. One small girl witnesses shootings.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A bad guy tears at a woman's clothes to get to a tattoo that's on the side of her waist. Minor flirting.
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In the non-dubbed version of the movie, English subtitles include the words "bastard," "crap," and "hell."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos is a fairly violent movie that follows an earlier Fullmetal Alchemist movie and the successful Japanese TV series. Expect heavy fantasy violence, including fighting, shooting, and stabbing -- plus gushing blood, death, and dying. A character also tears at a woman's clothes, though not for a sexual purpose. The movie is available in both Japanese and dubbed into English; subtitles in the Japanese version include words like "bastard," "hell," and "crap." Teen fans of this series will be excited, while others are likely to be a little confused by the movie's complicated plot and lack of character introduction.
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Where to Watch
Based on 1 parent review
FMA: The Sacred Star of Milos soars and impresses
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What's the Story?
The Elric brothers, Edward (voiced by Vic Mignogna in the English dubbed version) and Alphonse (Maxey Whitehead), are alchemist heroes, trapped in different bodies after an accident. After a mysterious prisoner breaks out of jail with only a short time left on his sentence, the brothers attempt to solve the puzzle. Their investigation leads them to a beautiful alchemist named Julia (Alexis Tipton), who lost her parents and her brother years earlier. Before long, they find themselves in a valley inhabited by the Milos, a repressed people struggling against exploitation. Julia hopes to lead the Milos in a revolution, and she's even prepared to use the deadly power of the Philosopher's Stone to do it.
Is It Any Good?
The movie is gorgeously animated and has many powerful images and ideas. Fullmetal Alchemist began as a popular manga series, then became a TV series in Japan, followed by 2005's Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa. FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST: THE SACRED STAR OF MILOS is the first title in the franchise to be released in U.S. theaters. That's probably exciting for fans, but less so for others, as the new movie does little to bring newcomers up to speed. For example, since Ed and Al's characters have already been established, they aren't very deeply developed here; most of the time is spent on the convoluted plot and supporting characters.
And the plot is really ridiculously complex -- though also sometimes simplistic, as when basic dramatic turns and arcs occur. Its big, outsized themes and end-of-the-world dramatics are fairly familiar to this type of anime. But what little we do get of Ed and Al is enough of a sampler to spur viewers on to find more in the series.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the movie's violence. Does the fact that it's animated lessen the impact of all the blood and killing?
Are Ed and Al positive role models? Would you be interested in seeing them in other stories?
What's the appeal of anime TV shows and movies? How are they different from other animated movies?
- In theaters: January 20, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: April 24, 2012
- Cast: Maaya Sakamoto, Rie Kugimiya, Romi Pak
- Director: Kazuya Murata
- Studio: Eleven Arts
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- Run time: 110 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 25, 2022
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