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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Though it takes a while to get everyone convinced and on board with what has to be done, it turns out that teamwork is essential for the characters to survive. Only when they stick together do they have the power to face the clown's attacks.
Positive Role Models
Though the characters are generally lovable and tend to show bravery when the moment truly counts, they're also deeply flawed, rather messed-up adults, and not exactly role models.
Violence & Scariness
Scary clown attacks, biting and chomping children with huge, oversized teeth. Many scary creatures attacking. Lots of blood. In a hate crime, bullies beat and kick a gay character, smashing his face (lots of blood) and throwing him over a bridge. An abusive husband slaps/punches his wife, hits her with belt; she hits back, smashing his head with a blunt object. Character dies via suicide; shown in bathtub with bloody wrists. Characters stabbed in the face and the chest. Decomposed bodies. Extracted and squished heart. Flashback to abusive father. A character uses a gun to "shoot" a younger version of himself in a scary fantasy sequence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Both opposite- and same-sex kissing; a woman kisses two men, the first after a mistaken assumption. Brief sex-related talk. Non-sexual nudity includes a man's back and butt as he gets into a bath and a giant, naked CGI woman attacking a character.
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Very strong, frequent language, with many uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "motherf----r," "a--hole," "p---y," "bitch," "hell," "d--k," "f--got," "prick," "vagina," "beaver," "you suck," "goddamn," "oh my God," and "Jesus Christ" (as exclamations).
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Products & Purchases
Mention of Facebook; Ford Mustang and Chevy Tahoe are featured.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters drink together socially; mild drunkenness. Cigarette smoking, including by a teen. Mention of characters being crackheads. Drug trip sequence in which a character is given hallucinogenic root and has a "vision."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that It Chapter Two is the follow-up to the hugely successful It (2017); both films are based on Stephen King's novel. This one -- which is more centered on adults than kids -- is very long and less scary than the first, but it's definitely entertaining, with great characters and true teamwork. Violence/horror is very strong, with a shocking hate crime (bullies beat up a gay couple), a man abusing his wife (she hits back), and a character dying via suicide, as well as large amounts of blood and terrifying monster attacks. Children are skewered by oversized teeth, characters are stabbed with knives, and a gun is used in a scary fantasy scene. Language is also heavy, with multiple uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more. Characters kiss, and there's some sex-related talk. Adult characters drink socially, and smoking (including by a teen) is shown. A brief "drug trip" sequence involves a hallucinogenic root. Bill Skarsgård returns as Pennywise; Isaiah Mustafa, James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, and Bill Hader co-star. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This nearly three-hour sequel has well-rounded, appealing characters and even some laughs, but it lacks the nerve-rattling scares and appealing simplicity of its 2017 predecessor. It Chapter Two stumbles a bit at the start; it doesn't draw clear lines connecting the younger actors and the older ones, and aside from the spot-on casting of Hader and Ransone and the fact that Chastain is the only woman, it takes a little time to get everyone straight. But then the long sequences of reuniting, balking at danger, and experiencing flashbacks and Pennywise attacks actually succeed at making our lovable Losers come together more like a family.
Teamwork is important here: Every time the group splits up, they grow weaker against Pennywise's scares. And even though Hader steals nearly every scene he's in (just as his younger counterpart, Finn Wolfhard, did in It), and his juvenile bickering with Ransone is hilarious, each member of the group becomes equally important. The horrors here seem more likely to cause shocked laughter than screams, perhaps because of the more complex adult targets, and It Chapter Two is viscerally a teeny bit less satisfying than its predecessor. But in the end, the characters win the day, and they most certainly turn into folks you'd want on your side when the clowns come creeping in the dark.
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.