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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Curiosity and empathy toward others. Trying to look after others, despite your own challenges. Creating a better life for yourself and others. However, the main characters sometimes resort to violence and extortion to achieve these goals.
Positive Role Models
Mona attempts to stand up for people who cannot defend themselves. She is also motivated by self-survival, which leads to her acting selfishly on occasion. Officer Harold attempts to maintain law and order while protecting vulnerable people. Other characters are selfish and opportunistic, or have their judgment affected by their mental health struggles.
Ethnic and gender diversity among main cast. More than one language spoken. Main cast includes characters with documented mental health issues who suffer from trauma. One is constantly referred to as a "mental patient." Others are dismissed as "nut jobs."
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Violence & Scariness
Slapping, pushing, shoving, hair pulling. Violent scuffles. Character stabbed with small blade. Character suffers non-fatal shot. Bloody injuries. Self-inflicted injuries manipulated by supernatural forces. Character punched, slapped, and kicked by multiple aggressors. Heavy bruising and broken bones.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Character shown in underwear from the waist down. Kissing. Characters seen shirtless. Reference to intercourse, oral sex, and ejaculation. Character's bra visible through fishnet top. Strippers perform in underwear.
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Language is constant and includes "s--t," "f--k," "f---ing," "bitch," "ho," "ass," "t-tties," "c--t," "damn," "sh--ty," "d--khead," "hell," and "s--thole."
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Products & Purchases
A number of characters are heavily motivated by money, which causes some divides and conflicts. A character's car is expensively customized.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol, smoke cannabis, and cigarettes. Reference to drinking to excess. Characters shown drunk -- one vomits from intoxication. One character is a drug dealer and there is a discussion about dealing drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon is an atmospheric mystery-thriller with comedic and fantasy elements, very strong language, sexual references, and some bloody violence. Central character Mona (Jeon Jong-Seo) is a young girl with special powers, who escapes captivity from a mental health facility and tries to survive in New Orleans. She stands up for people who can't defend themselves, but is vulnerable and prone to violence. Like many of the characters she has strong survival instincts, but is occasionally selfish to try and achieve this goal. The exception is Officer Harold (Craig Robinson), who wants to track down Mona and protect her. The Violence is occasional and is often played for comic effect, although there are still some bloody injuries, none of which are fatal. In contrast, the language is constant and occasionally very strong, with several uses of "f--k" and a couple of "c--t." Sex is referenced rather than shown, but there are discussions about intercourse, oral sex, and ejaculation. Drinking and smoking feature intermittently, with one scene where characters drink to excess and some where characters smoke marijuana rather than cigarettes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour's movies are typically small on plot but big on atmosphere, and this fantasy mystery-thriller is no exception. Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon revolves around a female central character with special powers that help as much as they do hinder her life. Jeon Jong-seo stars in a breakout role as Mona, a troubled girl on the run who finds herself trying to survive in New Orleans. This is the setup for a series of interconnected set pieces, all brought to life with vivid lighting, a pumping soundtrack, and larger-than-life supporting players. This includes Ed Skrein's drawling drug dealer Fuzz, Kate Hudson's opportunistic stripper Bonnie, and Craig Robinson's befuddled beat cop Officer Harold.
Amirpour and Jong-seo do a good job of keeping Mona passive but watchable, rarely saying much but always ready to impose herself. The filmmaker's aesthetic -- built around plenty of lingering close-ups and music that swirls around the action -- might be too stylized for some. But this isn't a movie with any ambitions to provide deep character studies. Instead its deadpan fun is created by playing with genres and audience expectations, while taking care to look good along the way.
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.