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Parents' Guide to

The Witches

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Campy but creepy Dahl adaptation has lots of spooky stuff.

Movie PG 2022 106 minutes
The Witches Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 48 parent reviews

age 13+

NOT for children

This is WAY too scary for anyone under 13 years of age. I am in my 20’s and was freaked out by the witches. NOT family friendly. The witches have claws and terrifying large sharp teeth. There is a scene where her bones all break and extend. Quite frightening.
3 people found this helpful.
age 8+
My friend watched this movie and said it was good he is 8 so I think it is 8 and up
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (48 ):
Kids say (45 ):

This campy, creepy, fun Dahl adaptation will entertain fans of the author's quirkily dark tales about kids in peril who get away from terrible adults (in this case, kid-hating demons). Director Robert Zemeckis still knows how to put together a slick, family-friendly adventure full of elaborate makeup and visual effects, and The Witches doesn't disappoint. It's perfect for a Halloween movie night. Parents will particularly enjoy seeing Hathaway reunite with her Devil Wears Prada co-star Stanley Tucci, who plays the hotel's rule-following manager, Mr. Stringer. They both look like they're having a grand time, especially Hathaway, who chews the scenery as the over-the-top Grand High Witch.

Spencer and Bruno have a lovely rapport as a grandma who knows a thing or two about witches and her kind and brave orphaned grandson. Bruno keeps up with the Oscar-winning actress, and he manages to keep his character's emotional range even in voice form (spoiler alert: He's turned into a mouse). The soundtrack is fantastic, featuring a mix of Motown hits and contemporary tracks, including The Four Tops' "Reach Out I'll Be There," Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," the Isley Brothers' "It's Your Thing," and Samantha Jade's cover of "We Are Family." It's worth noting that although the movie is set in Jim Crow-era Alabama, it features a Black grandmother and grandson staying at a hotel that would surely have been segregated at the time. Fantasy movies have no reason not to be diverse, even when set in the past. With The Witches, Zemeckis has conjured old-school magic that should be a sweet, spooky treat for families.

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