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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Maggie -- which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger -- is a zombie drama with an unusual (and touching) view of life and death. Adventurous teens may appreciate the movie's attempts at something different, but more traditional, die-hard zombie fans may find it slow and boring. Expect brief but very disturbing zombie violence/scares, including infected skin and creepy-crawlies, as well as dripping blood. A character breaks a finger and then chops it off. Zombies (including a child zombie) are killed, and a rifle is shown. There's some fighting, and suicide is an issue. Teens kiss in one scene, and there's a brief reference to teens getting into their dad's beer. Language is mild; just "crap" and "ass."
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In MAGGIE, there's a zombie outbreak, and martial law has been enabled. Devoted dad Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger) spends two weeks looking for his runaway daughter, Maggie (Abigail Breslin); he finds her in a hospital, bitten and infected with the zombie virus. Though Wade is obligated to take her to "quarantine," said to be a horrific place, instead he takes her home. As she grows sicker, and lethal symptoms start manifesting themselves, she begins the process of saying goodbye to her friends and loved ones. Wade, on the other hand, begins to contemplate the inevitable: When Maggie eventually becomes a deadly, flesh-eating zombie, he'll be responsible for dispatching her.
Is it any good?
Henry Hobson, a title designer and a director of the Oscar telecast, makes his feature directorial debut with this highly unusual, unexpectedly moving zombie film. He blankets the movie in ominous gray, creating a deadly quiet from which life attempts to spring forth, like the patch of daisies that Wade shows to Maggie. Hobson gives his characters the opportunity to truly contemplate life and death, with time to think and time to be afraid, as well as time to enjoy whatever's left.
Schwarzenegger was once cast opposite Danny DeVito for comic effect, but here, opposite the former Little Miss Sunshine, he forms a truly touching chemistry with his co-star; the result is the subtlest performance the Terminator actor has ever given. Some of the movie's conceits, like the mysterious "quarantine" center, threaten the film's delicate fabric, but ultimately, Maggie is a surprising zombie movie in which life and death actually mean something.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Maggie's violence. How much is shown and not shown? Is it designed to make you scream or to disturb you? What's the difference?
What's the appeal of zombie movies? Are they scary? What do they have to say about our society?
How would you describe the movie's father-daughter relationship? Does it feel realistic?
- In theaters: May 8, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: July 7, 2015
- Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Joely Richardson, Abigail Breslin
- Director: Henry Hobson
- Studio: Roadside Attractions
- Genre: Horror
- Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 95 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: disturbing thematic material including bloody images, and some language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.