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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Mixed messages about discrimination: The main characters believe that "the only good witch is a dead witch," but they eventually learn that there are good witches in the world as well and that such blanket statements are useless. At the same time, however, there's a closing message about how revenge "feels good."
Positive Role Models
Hansel and Gretel are siblings who seem to work well together, and they're impressively skilled and courageous. But they also live a violent, sad, and guarded existence and often aren't very trusting of others.
Violence & Scariness
Constant outrageous, bloody fantasy violence and almost wall-to-wall fighting and chasing. Very powerful guns and other weapons are used. Bad guys are shot, stabbed, and beheaded. Heads are smashed. A man's stomach explodes. A witch is burned at the stake, and a man is hanged. Gretel is violently beaten up in a fight, and many female witches are viciously battered. Children are in peril. There's some scary, horrific witch-related imagery. Many minor characters are killed, in addition to one major supporting character.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A pretty witch coaxes a wounded, shirtless Hansel into a pond by taking off her clothes. Her bottom is shown, as well as one naked breast. While in the water, they kiss. Meanwhile, a helpful young man mops the brow of an unconscious Gretel and succumbs to the urge to mop her cleavage a little bit. (She wakes and slaps his hand away.) Some kissing in a flashback.
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"F--k" and "s--t" are each used a few times. Other words include "hell," "damn," "ass," and "oh my God."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Hansel drinks too much at a pub and is later shown passed out and groaning on the floor. A character is shown smoking a pipe. Hansel is shown to have "sugar sickness" (diabetes) and takes his insulin shot during two instances.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is a very violent, bloody, action/horror/fantasy movie about what might have happened if the children from the famous fairy tale continued to kill witches and grew up to make a living at it. Despite its origins, this definitely isn't a fairy tale for children. It's full of outrageous violence, with women beaten up in battle, children in peril, lots of blood, minor characters killed in various ways, weapons, and more. There's some brief female nudity (a naked bottom and breast) and some minor, playful innuendo. Language includes a handful of uses of "f--k" and "s--t." And there's a scene in which the hero drinks too much and is shown suffering the consequences. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Directed by Norwegian filmmaker Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow), this film is very lean and speedy, focusing mainly on fighting, chasing, and the spraying and splattering of blood. It also comes with a very cool selection of costume and set designs that help set the mood. Its primary goal seems to be to entertain as quickly as possible and get the audience back out the door before the story gets old.
This economical approach is admirable in many ways, but it also raises some questions. Why couldn't we see more of the siblings' relationship? If they spent so much of their lives together in intense situations, how would they relate to each other? Other themes and characters could have used a little more depth as well, but the drawback is that these things certainly would have slowed down the movie overall. It might have made for a boring movie, and as it stands, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is anything but 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.