Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Not many overtly positive messages, but it does explore moral ambiguity of certain kinds of research, as well as importance of truth-telling within families and sticking together in difficult circumstances.
Positive Role Models
Guy and Prisca try to protect their kids and calm people when they can. Patricia and Jarin try to gather everyone, ask them to voice their feelings, work together. As a nurse, Jarin helps take care of everyone as they get sick and exhibit symptoms. Trent and Maddox are devoted siblings. Main cast is moderately racially/ethnically diverse, including an interracial couple (Black and Asian), a Black musician, two White families, a couple of BIPOC supporting characters. Everyone is heterosexual. Several characters have different chronic illnesses or invisible disabilities. A man seems to have early onset dementia but turns out to be schizophrenic and behaves in a way that's drawn from stereotypes about mental illness (he's homicidal).
Violence & Scariness
High body count: Characters succumb to everything from water (drowning) to one another (one person is stabbed to death, one is slashed but survives, another dies from blood poisoning). People have epileptic seizures, have emergency surgery, experience a host of other terrible things. Several dead bodies are shown; they decompose to bones and ash incredibly quickly.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief shot of a woman's bare back and butt as she undresses to swim in the nude. A woman flirts with a server. A married couple embraces and kisses. Teens hold each other; they have sex off camera and a teen girl gets pregnant.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Occasional "damn," "goddamn," and one use of "f--king."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults get special cocktails when they arrive at the resort.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that writer-director M. Night Shyamalan's Old is a thriller that explores what happens when vacationing strangers are stranded on a beautiful beach that ages them at a remarkable rate. Like all of Shyamalan's movies, there are plot twists and turns, as well as a sustained sense of peril throughout. There's a considerably high body count, with several disturbing scenes of dead bodies/characters getting sick, a surprise pregnancy and birth, emergency surgery, and the implications of children growing into young adults in a matter of hours. Various characters have chronic illnesses that manifest themselves in frightening ways. While the only sex in the movie takes place off camera, there's kissing and a scene of a woman stripping to swim in the nude (her bare back and butt are visible). Language is fairly tame except for a few uses of "damn," "goddamn," and one "f--king." Adults get special cocktails. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Shyamalan's thriller has a strong cast and an initially riveting concept, but it's uneven, and most of the best parts are revealed in the trailer. The performances are serviceable -- particularly Wolff, who's become an expert at the emotional range necessary for creepy horror/psychological thrillers. McKenzie is also notably good at portraying someone who's aged too quickly and is having trouble processing all of her complicated feelings. The adults range in effectiveness, with the striking Pierre (who's excellent in The Underground Railroad) having little to do as the confused and quiet rapper, Sewell chewing up the scenery as an arrogant surgeon, and Bernal and Krieps trying to telegraph how a marriage on the rocks would react when faced with an unthinkable crisis. Stand-outs include Leung and Amuka-Bird, who play the story's sole likable and stable couple.
As in all of his films, Shyamalan also cast himself in a notable, more-than-cameo role, and, while it was predictable, he should have given himself an even smaller part. The twists here, once the titular premise is revealed, are underwhelming (and one is as obvious as Chekhov's gun). There's no gasp-worthy Sixth Sense or The Others moment, which is fine, but the "aha!" doesn't even matter much, because audiences may no longer be invested in the outcome. The best, freakiest parts of the movie rely mostly on the kids' accelerated growth, along with the physiological abnormalities that different characters face while aging a lot in one day (not a spoiler; it's right there in the title). Old ranks somewhere in the bottom half of Shyamalan's filmography, but even so it's worth a look -- if only to see the kids fast-forward into teens.
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.