A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Themes of moral ambiguity and reckoning with one's past.
Positive Role Models
Vesenir calls himself a "churlish knave," and the Witchers in general are primarily motivated by money and the good times to be had in taverns while bragging of their exploits.
One of the Witchers is openly gay. Female lead characters reveal moments of strength and independence during conflict.
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Violence & Scariness
Some scenes include graphic violence, blood, gore. A tentacle impales a character through the head, emerging out of the mouth. Limbs cut off. Demonic imagery. Dead bodies. Head stomped during battle. Eyes dangling out of sockets. Decapitation by sword. Fighting with swords, punches, kicks. Kids who are training to become Witchers are treated poorly, left in mangers even during cold weather, with very little food, often beaten and verbally abused by their trainers. Stabbings. Demonic possession. A servant boy is bullied.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief male nudity (buttocks). Brief female nudity (breasts) during demonic possession (nonsexual). An openly gay Witcher makes reference to "limp pr--ked man whores." Talk of foreplay.
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Regular profanity usage. "F--k" used twice. Also: "s--t," "pr--k," "pissed," "arses," "hell."
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Products & Purchases
Based on a book series, the product is marketed in a variety of ways -- everything from role-playing games to clothing to action figures, among other things.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Pipe smoking. Wine drinking in a tavern. Witchers drink and brag of their exploits while in the tavern.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the book series-based The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is a 2021 animated fantasy in which a cocky monster slayer must learn to fight for reasons greater than money and glory. Expect blood and gore during many of the fighting scenes, including tentacles impaling heads, chopped-off limbs, decapitation by sword, eyeballs dangling out of sockets. We see dead bodies of humans and elves. Kids training to be Witchers are physically and verbally abused by their trainers, forced to sleep in mangers overnight during cold weather. Some profanity, including "f--k." Brief male and female nudity. One of the Witchers is openly gay, but also uses phrases like "limp pr--ked man-whore." Talk of foreplay. Pipe smoking and wine drinking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This movie is as much a character study as an introduction to a fantasy universe. The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf seems to exist as a way to tide the superfans of the Netflix show over until Season 2 begins, and to also introduce a new/old character into that world. In this movie, we get the backstory of Vesimir, who had trained the character Geralt on the show. The overarching themes of the movie are moral ambiguity and reckoning with one's past, and the story can be enjoyed on its own terms for those unfamiliar with this universe. Striking the right balance between providing both an in for newbies and something enjoyable for those already immersed in this world is no easy task, as so many similar attempts to do so in the assorted fantasy and superhero "universes" will attest.
It works as a character study, as we see Vesimir's development from being a "churlish knave" to someone whose inner life and past is so much more complicated than that devil-may-care persona he presents in the tavern over several goblets of wine. The violence, however, does come across as excessive at times, and doesn't really add anything to the story except gory images of eyes dangling from sockets and the like. It's not always easy to know (or care) the differences between your Mages and your Leshens and the assorted flora and fauna that populate this world. Still, it's a good entry point into this world if you haven't seen any episodes of the show, as it tells a story from that world without spoiling anything from the show.
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.