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A well-meaning but uneven drama of death, lies, swearing.

“Summering” is a “Stand By Me” type drama about four 11-year-old girls who find a dead body the summer before they start college. While there’s far less violence, language, and suggestive humor than in this 1986 classic, it’s still a potentially disturbing storyline. The tweens make questionable decisions about a dead body, and there’s a heartbreaking moment when a girl unexpectedly raises a gun to pull on a lock. The main characters lie to their parents and break into a school after hours so they can continue to solve the mystery together. Expect occasional foul language, including “s—“, “Jesus”, “stupid”, “spit”, “weird”, “crazy”, and “nerd”. The girls visit a bar where the adults are drinking, and there is a mature subplot about one of them having a father who has disappeared/leaved the family. Families may want to talk about the film’s coming-of-age themes, as well as the importance of honest communication between parents and children. (85 mins)

Blood and gore in powerful fantasy opera/animated rock.

“Inu-Oh” is an animated film based on true events in 14th century Japanese history, but reimagined as a fantasy/rock opera. It wanders a bit, but once it gets going it’s dazzling, tackling themes like those in power trying to suppress the truth. The violence can be lively but it’s very graphic, with plenty of blood and gore. A character is cut in two (its body begins to separate); a child is blind; and there are swords/stab wounds, dying soldiers screaming and sinking in the water, blood spattering, bloody handprints, fighting, bullying, someone exploding, etc. There’s also some spooky stuff, like a woman giving birth to a supposed monster and, later, a man punching the adult “monster” (who is actually a boy with physical differences) in the face. Dancers do bump/push movements during performances. There are a few uses of “hell” and one use of “b——s”. (95 mins)

Tween superhero adventure has sci-fi weapons, violence.

“Secret Headquarters” is a family-friendly superhero movie about a middle schooler named Charlie (Walker Scobell). It’s a great choice for fans of movies like “Shazam!”, “Spy Kids” and “Ant-Man.” Charlie and his three best friends discover a secret basement under his divorced father’s (Owen Wilson) house and realize that Charlie’s father might be a world famous superhero known as the Guard. They get into trouble when the bunker is attacked by a team of corporate mercenaries. The kids use a lot of sci-fi gadgets and weapons, and the bad guys have guns. Expect mostly soft language (“idiots”, “fuck”, “piss”) and a combination of comedic and realistic violence. Most are aimed at teenage characters, who are held hostage, chased, and threatened with death. In a shocking scene, someone is shot and killed (no blood) for refusing to harm children. There’s a lot of jokes and physical comedy, as well as a few crushes/romances, one of which leads to a first kiss. Themes include courage, teamwork, perseverance and the importance of honesty between parents and children. (89 mins)

Available on Paramount Plus.

The college musical has bullying, positive messages.

“13: The Musical” is a coming-of-age tale about a boy who learns lessons about friendship and coming of age on the eve of his bar mitzvah celebration. Forced to change towns and schools, main character Evan (Eli Golden) quickly makes friends, but he also takes a close friend for granted. He and other children in his diverse eighth grade class learn to respect their peers, treat each other with kindness, and forgive themselves (and their parents) for their mistakes. A middle school student is bullied when kids throw straws at her and make fun of her climate activism in the school cafeteria. Thirteen-year-olds sneak into a slasher movie about an ax murderer called “The Bloodmaster.” (The violence isn’t shown, but the audience reaction is.) A main storyline involves two kids who’ve been texting all summer and are ready to go out and have their first kiss. There are jokes about circumcision and the “sexiest rabbi”. Soft language includes “suck”, “messed up”, “love god”, “dumb”, “geek”, “fool”, and “dissed”. (94 mins)

Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. Go to commonsense.org for age and education-based ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, and books.

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