A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No specific/direct educational content, but kids will learn plenty of positive messages.
The movie centers on a strong family and includes positive messages about self-confidence, respect, and family bonds. Alex learns some important lessons about the risks of behaving rashly and disrespectfully.
Positive Role Models
The Russo parents are a loving couple who strive for family unity among their kids. Teenage Alex argues with her mom, picks on her brother, and defies her parents by leaving the house to go to a party she’s forbidden to attend, but she must own up to her rebellious behavior when her actionsthreaten her family’s very existence.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some mild flirting among teens and adults; a married couple shares a brief kiss.
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One use of "dang it" is as iffy as it gets.
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Products & Purchases
No advertising per se, but the movie is tied into one of Disney's popular brands.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie offers more of the tween-friendly content that families have come to expect from Wizards of Waverly Place. Teenage Alex gives her parents and siblings fits with her rebellious -- and often disrespectful – behavior (she talks back, sneaks out of the house, etc.), but she learns important lessons about family ties and self-confidence when she's forced to team up with her brother to save her family. There's no cause for concern in giving tweens the go-ahead on this feel-good movie. 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 entertaining movie casts a little magic of its own, weaving strong positive lessons into a neatly crafted story that will charm tween viewers. Even if they're not already familiar with the characters from the series, they won't have any problem jumping right into the plot. Girls especially may find that Alex's familial woes resonate with some of their own struggles for independence.
Parents don't have to worry about the example that the rebellious teen sets for their own kids, since Alex eventually is forced to come to terms with her unpleasant behavior when she faces the possibility of life without her family. What's more, she learns important lessons in responsibility and self-confidence and improves her relationship with her brother after she sees things from his point of view. This upbeat, kid-friendly movie is a great choice for families of tweens and might even help get the ball rolling on discussions about topics like rules and respect.
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.