A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Morgan is a sci-fi/action thriller about a young lab-created girl who may have a deadly streak. There's lots of strong, bloody violence, with brutal fighting and killing, plus occasional shooting. There's also suicide, an injured deer (the deer's neck is suddenly snapped to put it out of its misery), stabbing, kicking, and biting (following by the biter spitting out a chunk of flesh). Language is infrequent but includes a couple of uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "goddamn." People talk about a couple that's "going at it pretty good" and making lots of noise during sex. And there's occasional social drinking (wine and whisky). The movie has a vague cautionary aspect -- i.e., don't trust artificial beings -- but nothing deeper. It's similar in many ways to Ex Machina, but with a great deal less to discuss.
- Parents say
- Kids say
PG-13 would have sat fine with me, but definitely not R. It was very bland as far as mature subject matte... Continue reading
What's the story?
In MORGAN, Lee Weathers (Kate Mara) from "corporate" arrives at a remote scientific compound after an accident, apparently to determine the validity of the research going on at the site. The research subject, Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy), was created and raised in a lab; now she's growing fast and seems to have gained some powerful abilities. Despite sympathy from doctors and researchers like Amy (Rose Leslie), Morgan has already injured Kathy (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Psychologist Dr. Alan Shapiro (Paul Giamatti) doesn't fare so well, either. And unfortunately, Shapiro sets off a chain of events that leads to Morgan's escape, with Lee responsible for going after her.
Is it any good?
Despite a great cast and similarities to Ex Machina, this sci-fi movie doesn't really have much to say outside of a vague cautionary message. And it doesn't offer much in the way of thrills aside from the many killings. It's the directorial debut of Ridley Scott's son, Luke Scott, who also shot second-unit footage for his father's epic dud Exodus: Gods and Kings. While Morgan does have a few momentarily interesting visual ideas -- including the reflective glass cage in which Morgan lives, as well as the woods surrounding the compound -- Scott can't manage to tie these into the story or its themes (not to mention that these same visual ideas were used to much better effect in Ex Machina).
Then, when it all comes inevitably down to a chase/fight scenario, Scott chooses choppy editing and fast, whipping camera work, making it more disorienting than exciting. What's most perplexing is how such a phenomenal cast, including Leigh, Giamatti, Brian Cox, Michelle Yeoh, Toby Jones, and Mara, came on board for a script that feels so unfinished.
Talk to your kids about ...
Is Morgan a sympathetic character? Did you identify with her? Care about her feelings? What does the movie have to say about artificial beings in general?
- In theaters: September 2, 2016
- On DVD or streaming: December 13, 2016
- Cast: Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rose Leslie
- Director: Luke Scott
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Run time: 92 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: brutal violence, and some language
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
For kids who love sci-fi and thrills
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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.
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