Story

This is the second movie in the Fantastic Beasts series, a prequel to the Harry Potter stories. In this instalment we’re introduced to a dark and powerful wizard, Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). Grindelwald has engineered an escape from prison and takes up residence in Paris, where he hopes to find the young wizard Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller). Credence comes from a long and pure-blood line of wizards, and Grindelwald believes Credence is the only one who can help him defeat Grindelwald’s rival, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law).

Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) is a young wizard with a passion for magical creatures and beasts. Back in London, he’s appealing to the British Ministry of Magic to lift his international travel ban. The Ministry agrees, but only if Scamander agrees to work with them to find Credence before Grindelwald does. Scamander doesn’t want to take sides and declines their offer. But when Professor Dumbledore asks him to go, he can’t resist the chance to travel to Paris.

As Grindelwald gathers his supporters with the promise of freedom for all wizards, the hunt for Credence intensifies. Credence has escaped from a circus show in Paris with his friend, the woman-serpent Nagini (Claudia Kim). Together they’re trying to discover more about Credence’s heritage and find his birth mother. Scamander arrives in Paris and reunites with his friend and romantic interest, Tina (Katherine Waterston), who’s also searching for Credence.

Themes

Destructive forces; supernatural creatures and magic; brotherhood; family heritage

Violence

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has some violence. For example:

  • The wizard Grindelwald picks up his pet (a cute lizard-like creature) and says, ‘So needy!’ Then he tosses it out of a flying aircraft.
  • Grindelwald pushes someone out of a flying aircraft to their death.
  • When Grindelwald and his gang come across a muggle baby alone in a room in a house, they approach the baby with menacing looks in their eyes. As the door closes, there’s a flash of magic and it’s implied that they’ve killed the baby.
  • There are large-scale action scenes of destruction, in which the evil blue fires of Grindelwald battle the combined powers of others.
  • Grindelwald uses his magic to create a ring of fire that engulfs people. Some can pass through, but others are burned to death.

Sexual references

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has some mild sexual and romantic references. For example:

  • Bunty, Newt Scamander’s assistant, appears to have a crush on Newt. She asks him whether he would ‘perhaps’ like to take off his shirt to go into the water.
  • Queenie has placed a love enchantment on Kowalski to make him marry her.
  • Scamander is in love with Tina Goldstein and follows her to Paris, planning to let her know how he feels.
  • A woman is held captive in a cage at a circus. The ringmaster introduces her by saying, ‘Look at her, so beautiful, so desirable’.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald shows adults drinking beer.

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

None of concern

Ideas to discuss with your children

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a beautifully made and visually exciting movie that combines magical, supernatural elements with fast-paced action.

Because of its dark themes and violence, this movie isn’t recommended for children under 12 years. Also, we recommend parental guidance for children aged 12-13 years. This movie will appeal to adults as well as teenagers.

The main message from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is that your family history, heritage and sibling relationships are meaningful and significant.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include:

  • kindness to animals
  • friendship
  • strong sibling relationships.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like whether you can justify:

  • using violence to achieve goals
  • fighting for freedom at the expense of others.