The Witches

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
The Witches Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Some kids will love it, some may find disturbing.
  • PG
  • 1990
  • 91 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 23 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Be brave.

Positive Role Models

Luke is exceptionally brave.


Scary witches, children in peril, including baby in carriage pushed down a hill (and rescued), Luke's parents are killed in an (offscreen) accident, which does not seem to bother him too much.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this story has a genuinely twisted flavor that some children will love and others will find disturbing. Luke is exceptionally brave and enjoys being a mouse (in the movie, he is changed back, but in the book, he stays a mouse). Children may be upset not only by the witches, but also by the death (offscreen) of Luke's parents and his seeming indifference to it.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLotty6 September 14, 2021

Not to scary but still a little intense

The movie had some violent moments but it wasn’t that bad even tho the movie is for kids it’s a little scary violence 3%5 Luke’s parents die in a car crash but... Continue reading
Adult Written byNadk November 22, 2020

Kids movie but too the costumes are too much

In general, its kids movie but the witches appearance is even scary for me. Too scary, wrinkled face, itchy inflamed scalp and so on.
Also, since its 90s movie... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old February 4, 2012

Rear Nudity, and Violence involved

This movie's a bit disturbing. At the end, Luke is floating in mid-air, naked. And yes, you can see him entirely naked. The grand-high witch pushes a baby... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byKendrahXoxo February 2, 2014

Scary, even for a teen!

There are many sequences in the movie where the witches do disturbing things. This movie is very much like the book, but I find that is was slightly more gory i... Continue reading

What's the story?

Luke hears about witches from his grandmother (Mai Zetterling). She says they have to wear gloves to hide their claw-like hands and shoes that fit their square feet without toes, and that they are bald and scratch under their wigs. They have a purple gleam in their eyes. They are evil and they steal children, who are never seen again. Luke's parents are killed, and his grandmother takes him to England. When she is diagnosed with mild diabetes, the doctor advises a vacation, so they go to Cornwall. As it happens, a convention of all the witches in England is staying in the same hotel, posing as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Their leader is slinky, black-clad Eva Ernst (Anjelica Huston). Luke overhears her telling the witches to wipe out all the children in England by turning them into mice, and he watches as she demonstrates by giving a potion to a greedy child named Bruno, transforming him into a mouse. The witches find Luke, and after a chase, capture him and turn him into a mouse. With the help of his grandmother, he steals some of the potion, and puts it into the soup to be served to the witches, who are all turned to mice, except for Eva's assistant. Luke manages to get Eva's trunkful of money, along with her notebook listing the addresses of all the witches in America, and he and his grandmother plan to go after them.

Is it any good?

This story has a genuinely twisted flavor that some children will love and others will find disturbing. Children may be upset not only by the witches, but by the death (offscreen) of Luke's parents, and by his seeming indifference to it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the notion of witches. Are you fascinated or disturbed by the idea of these strange women with magical powers?

  • Why do you think most witches are portrayed as evil?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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