for some violence and thematic elements
Drama | Romance
Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Damian Lewis
Release Date/In Theaters
This family movie review bets that you already know the plot to this one. This version of Romeo and Juliet makes you wonder how many times they can remake the old Shakespearean classic. You know the plot; two lovers from warring families find each other and feel that it is their destiny to be together. See, we knew you knew it. So what does this version have to offer that ones before it did not?
For one, this version is updated in terms of the teen relationship. What this means is that they updated the film to modern standards of teen sexuality, nudity, and some modern teen expletives of which their parents would not approve. It contains some violence and the theme of the plot is questionable, depending on your individual family viewpoints.
The story begins with the original and familiar story set in the Middle Ages. This Italian Renaissance fantasy begins as the couple meets at a masked ball. They kiss and then run away together. They must hide in a city where they are hunted by both families. When they are finally alone, they are free to explore their passions in sexy bedroom scenes that may make the adults in the audience blush. The young teens do a sexy bedroom scene that almost crosses the line to and R, but remains technically just covered enough to keep it a PG-13. These scenes were passionate enough that they did not have to cross the legal line into an R to make them inappropriate for younger audiences.
Of course, every family is free to make their own choice as to what is considered age appropriate material. However, by most standards, the teens in the bedroom are doing things that most would prefer they wait until adulthood. From a historical perspective, this was perfectly acceptable, save for the fact that their families were at war. They were of marrying age according to standards of that time period, but by modern standards, they were much too young for those antics. You will have to be the judge of whether you wish to abide by the historical or modern rendition of what is appropriate at what age.
This romance did a wonderful job of capturing the flavor of the time period. The costuming was superb and accurate. The action and fight scenes were excellently done too. There are many high points about the movie, but it is only fair for this family movie review to tell you everything that you need to make the decision of whether to allow your teens to see this movie or not. It is definitely not for the young ones in the family who do not yet know about the birds and the bees. As for older children, the decision is for you and your family to decide. It is a well-done version of this classic tale, but it is far from the gentle Disney version of long ago.
Read more family movie reviews by Parental Guide.