Cady (Violet McGraw) is a 10-year-old girl whose parents have both been killed in a terrible car crash. She goes to live with her aunt, Jemma (Allison Williams), who is a technical toy maker. Jemma is under a lot of pressure at work to come up with a new invention as her boss, David (Ronny Chieng), isn’t interested in the artificial intelligence doll she has created. Jemma struggles with having to cope with a grieving child, while balancing her work commitments. She therefore introduces her AI doll, M3GAN (Amie Donald and voice of Jenna Davis), to Cady to help her cope with her difficulties.
Cady becomes emotionally attached to M3GAN, whose main purpose is to take care of Cady and keep her safe. M3GAN, however, takes this to extreme lengths when Cady is at all threatened by others. M3GAN takes on a life of her own and becomes a killing machine, eliminating all who cross her path. It is up to Jemma to find a way to shut M3GAN down, which becomes increasingly more difficult.
Horror; artificial intelligence; robots
M3GAN has a lot of violence. For example:
- The car Cady is in, with her parents, comes to a halt in a snowstorm when it is hit suddenly by a truck.
- David is an angry man who yells at his employees and throws things about.
- While playing, Cady shoots a toy arrow at M3GAN and says, ‘You’re dead’.
- M3GAN puts her hand through a hole in the fence and the neighbour’s dog, Dewey, suddenly grabs her arm. The dog pulls her through the fence and tosses her about, biting at her neck. Cady screams and tries to rescue M3GAN, and the dog bites her arm as well.
- M3GAN lures Dewey out by using his owner’s voice and kills him.
- A particularly dark scene happens at a camp when a boy called Branden teases and hurts Cady. M3GAN appears out of nowhere, Brendan hits her on the face, picks her up and carries her off. He throws her to the ground, takes her shoes off and slaps her face. M3GAN grabs his ears and stretches them so hard that she pulls them off. She suddenly stands up and chases Brendan on all fours. He runs out onto a road in front of a car and is killed.
- M3GAN attacks Jemma’s neighbour with a water gun and a nail gun, and pours petrol all over her.
- Cady and Jemma fight. Cady throws a chair at the window and hits Jemma across the face.
- One of Jemma’s co-workers tries to stop M3GAN, who then ties wire around his neck. He’s choking to death but manages to free himself. The lab explodes.
- M3GAN attacks another character with a sword. She kills two men with it.
- The final scene is particularly gory when M3GAN comes to attack Jemma. Jemma uses a chainsaw to cut through M3GAN’s head. Cady gets involved and the fight continues with characters grabbing each other by the throat. One gets hung upside down and thrown into a corner. Jemma rips off M3GAN’s face and smashes her head with a canister.
There are no sexual references in M3GAN.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
M3GAN has some substance use. For example, drinking in the office.
Nudity and sexual activity
There’s no nudity and sexual activity in M3GAN.
M3GAN has some product placement. For example iPad products are displayed or used in this movie.
M3GAN has some coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
M3GAN is a horror, sci-fi movie that shows what could happen if we let Artificial Intelligence take over. The film is very violent and scary and it is therefore not suitable for children aged under 15 years and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 15 years.
The main message from M3GAN is that electronic devices and toys cannot replace human interaction.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include positive relationships. For example, Jemma tries to be a good aunt but she has had no experience of child raising. She eventually realises that Cady needs to connect with her rather than an electronic doll.
M3GAN could give you the chance to talk with your children about loss and grief. Children who’ve lost their parents might be particularly upset by this movie. You could also talk about the real-life consequences of delegating the care of children to electronic devices.