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.
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Themes of self-discovery and fighting your personal demons.
Positive Role Models
Super-powered characters have flaws but also represent diversity across race, gender, sexuality, economic status (e.g., lead character is a Cherokee lesbian). Women demonstrate notable defensive strength.
Violence & Scariness
Stories of kids killing people; some of them are remorseful, but not all. Children are shown in peril and being tortured. Fantasy violence includes attacks from giant creatures, monsters, and a priest. Some blood. Visual metaphorical implication that a child was a victim of sexual violence. Thwarted suicide attempt. One character hits himself several times. Scary imagery of a skeleton on fire.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two teen romances. Same-sex and opposite-sex kissing. Teen boy frequently shown without his shirt on, including when he strips to swim with a girl (she's wearing a swimsuit). Girls are shown showering: bare backs, shoulders. A boy teases that a girl is "a nympho, hopefully."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Language includes "a--hole," "bulls--t," "bitch," and "s--t." A bully provokes with racist language.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Part of the X-Men franchise.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
An adult is unknowingly given a sleeping pill.
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 The New Mutants was originally intended to be a spin-off of the X-Men franchise but is now serving as its final installment. It's directed at teens, with actors they know from shows like Game of Thrones and Stranger Things (and the same director as The Fault in Our Stars). But it's as much a horror film as it is a superhero action fantasy: Expect lots of violence, some of it bloody. The teen mutants' situations are extremely dark, including a religious leader branding a girl and the strong implication of child rape. Terrifying animals and monsters attack relentlessly, children are tortured, and the mutants attack each other. All of the mutants are being held in a remote hospital because they've killed at least one person; only a few show remorse. Teens joke about sex, and two romances develop, each resulting in a kiss. The kids curse ("bitch," "s--t"), but not excessively. The message is tailor-made for a generation that's grappling with anxiety and depression, and it's repeated over and over: Don't let fear ruin your life, you can conquer your demons. The X-Men have always led the way when it comes to superhero diversity, and this film takes it a step further: The ensemble is more inclusive in terms of gender, sexuality, economic status, and ethnicity than ever before. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
If 20th Century Fox's X-Men: Dark Phoenix was a shrug, this abandoned spin-off is a whimper. For moviegoers who don't read the comics, there's little here to do with the Fox X-Men cinematic universe as we've come to know it. Trying to introduce so many new characters in such a bleak environment doesn't give viewers any reason to become invested. Which is not to say that each character's backstory isn't explored -- in fact, they're hammered home. For instance, when we meet Roberto, we're told his family is rich; after that, every time he speaks, he includes a reference to his family's wealth. And Rahne is a devout Catholic, and almost every moment connects to the church. The characters are as flat as the comic book page they were drawn on. They're also killers, and no one other than Roberto really seems to be troubled by that.
A deeper dive into the teens' psychology (beyond exposition) would have transformed this into a more intriguing film. While everything seems to come from the Captain Obvious School of Screenwriting, the mutants' personal emotional struggles are left vague. The most clear-cut case is that of bully Illyana, who sometimes communicates through a dragon puppet and still draws with crayons -- it's pretty obvious (to adults) the horrors that she's been dealing with, but more explanation would be enlightening. And, frankly, it's a missed opportunity to spark empathy and understanding in teen viewers. On the other hand, you absolutely can't miss the movie's message. It's an allegory within an allegory, and the takeaway is stated at the beginning, the end, and a couple of times in the middle: Living in fear leads to tragedy, but you're bigger than your demons and the environment that tries to define you. The New Mutants is a bold idea with groundbreaking elements -- LGBTQ+ superheroes in a movie put out by Disney! -- but its potential greatness is muted by a lack of solid direction, an amateur script, and, if rumors are accurate, quite a bit of behind-the-scenes meddling. Instead of reinventing the superhero movie as a horror film, it fails in both categories.
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.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Best Superhero Movies for Kids
Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Movies and TV Shows in Order
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.See how we rate