Parents' Guide to

Scales: Mermaids Are Real

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Mermaid coming-of-age drama is forgettable but mild.

Movie PG 2017 92 minutes
Scales: Mermaids Are Real Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 12+

Wow, that was uncomfortable

The entire movie is about a 12-year-old girl going through a rite of passage while predatory adult men (known as the "hunters") violently pursue her and plan to do whatever it takes to get her healing blood for themselves. There's a scene at the end of the movie where the armed hunters have grabbed some mermaids. Two of these mermaids are a mother and her 11-year-old daughter. They are being forcibly held against their will and the hunters are taunting the mom and saying they're taking her child for her blood. Look, I'm a mom. I've watched plenty of second-rate movies with some plot holes. They don't bother me in the slightest. However, my kids and I signed up for silly mermaids on a Friday night and found a movie that, at best, has a creepy vibe and uncomfortable message. No thanks.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
age 8+

Awesome mermaid movie

I think this would be a good movie for anyone 8 and up, as long as they don't get scared easily. There are some hard moments that people can get scared by but there is a happy ending. It's not too lovey-dovey and there is a good message in it. There is kindness and compassion in it. Thank you for reading my review.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8):
Kids say (25):

Although it has a tween-friendly, easy-to-follow plot, this mermaid adventure also has some weak performances that make it difficult to invest in the story. Aside from Rohm, who has all too frequently been typecast as a burdened mom, and Morgan Fairchild, who's best known for her TV work in the '80s and early '90s, the cast isn't particularly memorable. Perry's delivery, along with that of several of the adult supporting characters, is stiff and overdone, making Scales seem less polished than a Nickelodeon or Disney TV movie.

If this and the Weiner Dog franchise are any indication, writer-director Kevan Peterson specializes in the kind of family fare that kids might enjoy but parents will want to skip. There's nothing particularly joyful or compelling about this mermaid story, and the low-budget magical aspects are corny and eye-rolling (is receiving a sparkly bikini top really the highlight of mermaid "perks"?). Scales includes a rather uninspired romance between Siren and Adam, who calls her "pretty" so often that it's almost creepy. Their friendship starts off sweet, with Siren keeping his bullies at bay, but the puppy love is unnecessary, considering they're just 11-12 and new acquaintances. While this movie could appeal to tweens who are interested in mermaid tales, there are far better films in the magical sea-creatures genre.

Movie Details

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