Based on 7 reviews
Based on 17 reviews
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that M3GAN is a horror movie about a robot/doll (played by Amie Donald and voiced by Jenna Davis) who befriends a grieving young girl (Violet McGraw) before things go terribly wrong. It's well made, albeit violent, and focuses on human needs as well as artificial ones. Characters are killed, and there are discussions about death, loss, and grief. Someone's ear is ripped off, and characters are stabbed, strangled, shot with a nail gun, sprayed with a chemical sprayer, bitten by a dog, etc. A child survives a car crash with bloody cuts on her face. There's lots of fighting and a violent showdown. Language includes several uses of "s--t" and "Jesus Christ," plus minimal uses of "f--k," "bitch," "ass," etc. A few brands are mentioned, including Tinder, Tesla, iPad, SKYY vodka (which adults also drink, briefly).
Great for age 11+
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What's the Story?
In M3GAN, robotics engineer Gemma (Allison Williams) works for a toy company and is trying to build a sophisticated, realistic AI robot toy, with disappointing results. Gemma's sister and her husband are killed in a car accident, leaving Gemma in charge of her young niece, Cady (Violet McGraw). After her guardianship gets off to a rocky start, Gemma is inspired to finish her creation. M3GAN (played by Amie Donald and voiced by Jenna Davis) and Cady quickly become attached to each other, and, for a while this, friendship seems to be helping with Cady's grief. But before long, M3GAN starts developing disturbing tendencies, and violent "accidents" begin occurring.
Is It Any Good?
A combination of sly, funny self-awareness, a genuine sense of human grief and emotional connection, and an unsettlingly creepy-cool killer robot, this fun horror pic hits all the right buttons. With a story concocted by James Wan and Akela Cooper (Hell Fest, Malignant), M3GAN understands how horror movies are wired and gets pleasure in teasing viewers with these known elements while cheerfully sidestepping the story's flaws. The M3GAN character is in roughly the same vein as Chucky and the Terminator, but she's also their opposite. Her delicate frame, wide eyes, and girlish appearance make her attacks seem somehow more potent and surprising, and the movie uses them to the fullest capacity. The human characters are just as interesting as they grapple with loss in realistic, touching ways, going through rage, sadness, guilt, and more. (M3GAN's onscreen POV display, which shows her detected percentages of human emotions, is a huge kick.) This slick, neatly paced film keeps ramping things up until a smashing showdown, face-to-interface.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about M3GAN's violence. How did it make you feel? Was it exciting? Shocking? What did the movie show or not show to achieve this effect? Why is that important?
Is the movie scary? What's the appeal of horror movies? Why do people sometimes like to be scared?
How does the movie deal with death, grief, and loss? What is discussed? What else could have been discussed?
How is consumerism depicted here? Why does the toy company rush to put M3GAN on the market before she's ready, regardless of the consequences?
How is bullying behavior depicted? How is the person who perpetrates it dealt with? What are some better ways of handling those who bully others?
- In theaters: January 6, 2023
- Cast: Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, Amie Donald
- Director: Gerard Johnstone
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Horror
- Topics: Robots
- Run time: 102 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: violent content and terror, some strong language and a suggestive reference
- Last updated: January 6, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Child's Play (2019)
Gory killer doll/slasher reboot is unexpectedly fun.
Brilliant, emotional, mature sci-fi tale could be a classic.
Unoriginal but well-made "creepy doll" horror movie.
Terrific sci-fi action, but too violent for some.
Underwhelming robot sci-fi thriller is really violent.
For kids who love scares and robots
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