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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This film is intended to entertain, not educate.
This film promotes the importance of having faith in yourself and in those around you.
Positive Role Models
While coming to terms with moving to a new house and attending a new school, Michael goes out of his way to try and nurse Skellig back to health.
Violence & Scariness
At the beginning of the film, a boy stands at the edge of a cliff with a broken nose and then jumps. A boy finds a hunting rifle and runs around a forest carrying it. Two tween boys push and shove each other; one is shoved violently into a rocky wall. When his father sets a shed on fire that is occupied by a mysterious seemingly homeless man, Michael rescues the man, but visibly burns his hand.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some tween-boy taunting, as two of Michael's friends accuse him of having a girlfriend when they spy on him spending time with a neighbor girl.
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"S--t." "Piss off." Due to a fear of heights, Michael avoids diving off a high dive in gym class; his teacher makes fun of him, as do some other boys in the locker room. Two tween-boy friends of Michael taunt him when they spy on him spending time with a neighbor girl.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Michael steals bottles of beer from his parents' refrigerator in order to take them to Skellig, who greedily swallows from the bottles and declares ale to be the "nectar of the gods." After a difficult day, Michael's father drinks beer to excess. He acts intoxicated, and then decides to burn down the ramshackle shed in the back yard of the property he has just purchased. Later, when he believes that his son is stealing his beer, Michael's father tells Michael, "Alcohol is never the answer."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Skellig: The Owl Man is a 2009 made-for-TV adaptation of David Almond's award-winning novel. There are some emotionally intense hospital scenes, and the film freely discusses death, dying, and miscarriages within families. Scenes with cockroaches and scenes where the titular character eats live snails could be difficult for more sensitive viewers, or those watching during a meal. A coach is shown belittling a boy because he is afraid of heights and unable to climb up the high dive to jump into a swimming pool. Aside from this, there is some minor taunting between tween boys who are friends, and a violent pushing and shoving match between two friends near the film's climax. There is also some language ("s--t," "piss off"). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
SKELLIG: THE OWL MAN is a gripping mix of mysterious magical realism, emotionally intense family drama, and a tween boy coming-of-age story. What works is how it manages to balance all three of these elements while making full use of the possibilities in each story. The film doesn't sugarcoat old age, the difficulties kids have in moving to a new place, and the trials parents endure after experiencing a miscarriage. All this is presented in a way that is accessible and identifiable enough for parents and kids, and with the mystery of Skellig in the mix, the result is a powerful message on belief and hope.
While the movie's pace, and some of the graphic scenes of cockroaches and snails might be a bit much for younger viewers, for tween kids and parents, Skellig: The Owl Man is an engaging adaptation of the best-selling novel.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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