After a mysterious and terrifying incident at her reservation, Native American teenager Danielle ‘Dani’ Moonstar (Blu Hunt) awakes to find herself at a hospital run by Dr Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga). Dr Reyes tells Dani that her village was hit by a tornado and she’s the only survivor. Dr Reyes also explains that Dani survived because she’s a mutant with incredible powers that she has yet to identify and learn to control.
There are four more ‘new mutants’ at the hospital with Dani. Each has suffered trauma and caused some sort of mayhem when their mutant powers first appeared. Rahne (Maisie Williams) can transform into a wolf; Illyana (Anya Taylor-Joy) has teleportation and sorcery powers; Roberto (Henry Saga) can manipulate solar energy; and Samuel (Charlie Heaton) has the power and speed of a cannonball.
Not long after Dani’s arrival, the new mutants start to experience horrifying visions, in which they see their darkest secrets and worst nightmares. There’s growing suspicion among the new mutants that Dr Reyes isn’t telling them the truth. They fear they’re being held captive not for their own good and to be trained as X-Men, but to fulfil some mysterious, dark purpose.
X-Men series; horror; fantasy; science fiction; action; superheroes; teenage angst
The New Mutants has a lot of depicted and implied violence. For example:
- A mysterious, demon-like creature violently destroys Dani’s village. It seems to kill everyone but her.
- Illyana attacks Dani with her sword many times. They violently fight each other.
- Rahne reveals that she mauled and killed the reverend who branded her as a witch.
- The reverend returns in a horrifying vision, attacks Rahne, and burns her neck with a branding iron.
- Samuel reflects on accidentally killing his father and his mining team when he lost control over his mutant powers.
- Illyana brags that she killed 18 men.
- It’s implied that Illyana was sexually abused by mysterious men wearing masks, referred to as the ‘Smile Men’.
- The ‘Smile Men’ return in a vision, attack Illyana and the other mutants, and eventually get killed in various ways.
- Roberto relives the horrifying moments when he accidentally scorched his girlfriend to death. In the vision the burning corpse attacks him.
- Dr Reyes is about to euthanise Dani. Rahne stops Dr Reyes just in time.
- Rahne mauls Dr Reyes, causing severe slashing injuries to her face and body.
- Dr Reyes captures all the new mutants in impenetrable energy fields and wants to crush or suffocate Dani.
- Demon Bear – a giant demon-like bear – kills Dr Reyes and attacks the other mutants who use their mutant powers to fight him.
The New Mutants has some sexual references. For example:
- The new mutants play ‘Truth or dare’ and ask Roberto how many girls he has been with. Illyana later teases him by calling him a virgin.
- It’s implied that Illyana was sexually abused.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
The New Mutants shows some use of substances. For example, in a party scene, the new mutants consume beverages, but it isn’t clear whether the drinks are alcoholic.
Nudity and sexual activity
The New Mutants has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Rahne confesses that she masturbates.
- Roberto and Illyana kiss passionately.
- Dani and Rahne kiss romantically on several occasions.
- Dani and Rahne are in a communal shower room. They seem to be naked, but only their bare, upper backs can be seen.
- In one scene Roberto is naked, but he’s covering his middle.
The New Mutants has some coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
The New Mutants is a teenage, fantasy, horror, action movie. It’s also the 13th and supposedly final instalment of the X-Men series. Aimed at a teenage audience, the story follows five young mutants who are haunted by traumatic events from their past. The movie aims to engage its audience with a mix of horror, action, psycho-thriller and romantic themes.
The movie’s atmosphere is dark, and its frequent violence, horror themes, sad themes (death of parent), disturbing and scary scenes and characters, coarse language and sexual references make it unsuitable for children under 13 years. We also recommend parental guidance for children aged 13-14 years and for any sensitive viewers who might be distressed by any of the movie’s themes.
The main messages from this movie are that you can’t escape your inner demons and fears until you face them, and that you’re stronger if you face them united with your friends.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include compassion, friendship, teamwork, and the courage to confront your fear and your demons.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like the consequences of using people for your own selfish or misguided purposes.