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Alabama Moon Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 11+

Low-key family adventure has some dark imagery.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this family adventure movie, based on a bestselling 2006 novel by Watt Key, features some intense scenes of violence, including the death of a parent, and a shot of a broken leg with protruding bone and some gore. A second character also dies. There are knives and guns on view (no shots fired), as well as some threats and fighting. The movie features some gateway language ("damn" and "hell") and some offscreen kissing between teens. The 11-year-old hero makes some mistakes, but eventually learns some good lessons: he learns to trust others rather than hiding away.

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. Was it necessary to show the father's gory broken leg? Was it necessary for two characters to die? How does the hero react to, or learn from, these events?
  • At what point does Moon start to realize that his father's lessons may have been a bit wrongheaded? What parts of his father's teachings come in handy?
  • How does Moon handle the bully, and what happens afterward? is the bully scary? How would this attempt work in real life?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The main character engages in some bad (and illegal) behavior, but there are consequences for his actions, and it's all in an attempt to undo his father's wrongheaded teachings: rather than living alone, hiding in the woods, it's more fulfilling to trust and love others.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: The main character, Moon, is resourceful and kindhearted. Despite being raised in the woods and taught to mistrust others, he's quick to sympathize and care about the people he meets. However, he is learning, and he makes several dangerous and unlawful mistakes along the way. The lawyer character (played by John Goodman) is also big-hearted and helpful toward a kid he doesn't even know.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: The movie begins with its most intense sequence: an 11-year-old boy buries the body of his dead father. In flashback, we see the father breaking his leg while crossing a fast-moving river. The broken, protruding bone and some gore are visible in one shot. A supporting character also dies (offscreen). Otherwise, the movie features knives and guns (no shots fired), plus threats and shouting, and some manhandling. There's also a brief fight between the boy hero and a slightly older bully. (The hero punches the bully in his crotch.)

  • sex false1

    Sex: In one scene, an older girl kisses the 11-year-old hero offscreen, and he emerges visibly shaken.

  • language false2

    Language: "Damn" and "hell" are heard at least twice each (from adults). Otherwise, we hear things like "crap," "shoot," and "shut up" from the kids.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: One boy apparently requires various "pills" and "medicine" each day, though it's not clear what these pills are or what they do.