A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It's difficult to know what to make of this hodgepodge; some characters make poor choices and suffer the consequences, but others are innocent victims ... still suffer the consequences.
Positive Role Models
No real role models; a young boy is victimized, a doctor makes poor choices, and a woman is a sociopath.
Violence & Scariness
Brief indications/visuals of a mother abusing her son. Reference to rape. Dead body. A young boy falls from a cliff; he goes into a coma. Seaweed-covered monster (it seems scary in some scenes and friendly in others). Boy talks about "digging a grave." Boy collects hamster droppings and mails them.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing and a non-graphic sex scene. A 9-year-old boy draws a picture of naked breasts. He talks about adults "sexing" each other. A woman removes her top with her back to the camera; partial breast briefly visible.
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A use of "f--king" and a use of "s--t." Also "you suck," "stupid," "oh my God," and "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation).
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters occasionally drink whiskey or other alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that even though The 9th Life of Louis Drax is about a 9-year-old boy, it's far from family-friendly. This fantasy has some strange, dark material, including images of child abuse and death, a reference to rape, and a young boy suffering a terrible fall (he goes into a coma afterward). There's also a seaweed-covered monster that's scary until its existence is explained. Expect some kissing and a non-graphic sex scene, although in another scene, a woman does remove her top, putting her breast partially in view. A boy also makes references to "sexing" and draws a picture of naked breasts. Language is infrequent but does include uses of "f--k" and "s--t." A secondary character is seen drinking whiskey. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Sometimes it can be good to think outside the box, but this strange, unsettling mishmash of dark fantasy, disturbing behavior, and child psychology is ultimately more dismaying than refreshing. Written by actor Max Minghella (based on a novel by Liz Jensen) and directed by the usually horror-focused Alexandre Aja, The 9th Life of Louis Drax moves confidently, as if it seems to know where it's going. But as pieces come into place, the picture becomes less and less satisfying.
The warm scenes with the avuncular Platt as a child psychologist seem to point toward something wonderful, while the seaweed monster hints at something frighteningly fantastic. But the movie keeps centering back on the weird, illogical choices of the doctor and the equally unsettling behavior of Natalie, who becomes less of a doting mother and more of a femme fatale. Finally, the end result, which could have been a sigh, is more of a "huh?"
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.