What to watch with your kids: ‘Sweetwater’ and more

Heartfelt anime film explores love, loss and adventure.

Suzume” is a Japanese animated fantasy adventure film about Suzume (voice of Nanoka Hara in the Japanese original and Nichole Sakura in the English dub), a teenage girl who helps a mysterious young man named Sota (Hokuto Matsumura/Josh Keaton) prevent natural disasters from striking Japan. Expect fantasy violence, fairly intense action sequences and a little blood. There are multiple scenes of small earthquakes hitting Japan, and characters visit a scorched world that reflects the destructive aftermath of a tsunami that’s destroyed a small town. In multiple scenes, characters are placed in dangerous situations and get injured while trying to prevent natural disasters. Though Suzume and Sota’s relationship is a major theme of the movie, it’s very innocent. There are a few sexual references. One scene takes place in a Japanese hostess bar, and someone comments that a bar patron likes younger girls. A character is referred to as a “playboy.” Language includes “crap,” “idiot,” “p—ed” and “hell.” In one scene, adult characters are shown smoking and drinking at a bar; some patrons are drunk. (122 minutes)

Sports biopic is educational but clunky; smoking, language.

Sweetwater” is a biographical drama about Nathaniel “Sweetwater” Clifton. Sweetwater (played by Everett Osborne, a former college and international basketball player) was a Harlem Globetrotters member who in 1950 became the first Black player for the New York Knicks and one of the first to sign an NBA contract. The story includes several scenes in which racist White men sling slurs (including the n-word), threaten violence with a gun and actually hurt Sweetwater (as well as the White men responsible for his signing). There’s some drinking and smoking, too, and characters flirt. Although the movie is about Sweetwater, it also spends time focusing on the White New York Knicks coach and owner, as well as legendary Globetrotters manager Abe Saperstein (Kevin Pollak). The movie doesn’t delve too deeply into Sweetwater’s personal life, but it does share the story of an athlete who isn’t a household name, despite being a pioneer. Themes include courage, perseverance and teamwork. (114 minutes)

Bloody horror comedy starts well but winds up toothless.

Renfield” is a comedy/action/horror movie about the relationship between vampire Dracula (Nicolas Cage) and his “familiar,” Renfield (Nicholas Hoult). Violence is over the top and meant to be comical, with volcanic blood spurts, deaths/killings, limbs and flesh being ripped off, intestines spilling out, guns/shooting, martial arts fighting, and characters being punched, kicked, thrown, slammed, etc. There’s also creepy monster stuff. Language is very strong, with several uses of “f—,” “s—,” “a–hole,” “goddamn,” “son of a b—-,” etc. The villains are drug dealers, and several packages of cocaine are shown; one character snorts some. Dracula tenderly kisses two women’s hands, and there’s other mild, infrequent sex-related dialogue. The movie starts well, but a good idea and strong humor fade away in favor of fights and too-familiar storytelling. (93 minutes)

On a Wing and a Prayer (PG)

True faith-based tale has scares but little suspense.

On a Wing and a Prayer” is based on the true story of a Christian family from Louisiana whose pilot on a private jet died midflight, leaving the inexperienced father of the family (Dennis Quaid) to bravely fly the plane and land it safely. There are plenty of potentially stressful/tense scenes of the plane bouncing in the clouds, taking a nosedive and missing its landing, as well as talk of not surviving. The younger daughter has a medical emergency on the flight (and the family has also recently lost a member to a heart attack), but ultimately, you know that the family will be okay. There’s some sexual innuendo and kissing; language is limited to “suck” and “butt.” One character drinks too much. Messages stress the power of faith, and the characters pray for their safety. (102 minutes)

Available on Prime Video.

Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. Go to commonsense.org for age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites and books.

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