A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Some lessons on horse training.
Grief does eventually pass, and life goes on after the death of a loved one. Kids need their parents to be strong for them.
Positive Role Models
Ellie and her brothers have shown resilience after losing their mother and through their father's two years of grief. Sam is a positive role model for Ellie. Eric and Sophie watch out for the family and give Will good advice.
The main characters are a White family of ranchers and country singers. The longtime ranch hand's wife is Latina. The horse trainer is played by a Hawaiian actress. The characters attend the First Baptist Church.
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Violence & Scariness
A wife and mother died while riding her horse in a storm, and her family struggles with the loss two years later. The woman's daughter wants to ride her mother's horse, but the horse isn't tame and she throws the girl and another person off. Ellie engages some bullies and gets punched and then suspended from school. She chops off her hair in anger one day and pushes her brother over and threatens him playfully in one scene.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Flirtation and one kiss. A haircut scene turns a little sexy. A kid mentions "spin the bottle."
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Products & Purchases
Some brands are seen on trucks and clothes.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A teenager says her mother suggested another girl's father looked like he was drunk or on drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Moonrise is a faith-based movie about a family overcoming the grief of losing a loved one. The family's father is the most grief-stricken, even two years after his wife's death, and he's been unable to care properly for his three kids. The film has some sad scenes, plus one kiss when the father falls in love with a new woman. A kid mentions "spin the bottle." A horse throws people to the ground. A girl is suspended from school for engaging with bullies. A teenager says her mother suggested another girl's father looked like he was drunk or on drugs. Christian themes involve attending church, forgiving God for unfortunate events, and mention of heaven and "God's path." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Despite a bit of awkward acting and some clunky filming, this movie successfully tugs at the heartstrings with its story of a family overcoming grief. Teen Clurman and Balmores as the new love interest-slash-horse trainer both offer solid performances in Moonrise, and Ethan Hawke-lookalike Smith makes for an attractive leading man. The Christian themes in the film are relatively subtle. There are a few gawky moments involving some of the child actors, some unnecessary use of slow motion, cheesy close-ups of actors supposedly riding horses, and an awkward final kiss. Texas accents seem to come and go throughout, but Smith's tunes are soothing.
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.