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Alien ³ Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Not for kids 17 and under

Grim, nihilistic sequel in none-too-cheery series.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this monster movie is not for kids. There is a heavy atmosphere of doom and hostility, even without the ravenous, clawed monster on the prowl. Ellen Ripley is surrounded by unfriendly men, who are, in fact, dangerous convicts, described as murderers, rapists, and child molesters, just barely keeping their violence under control with work and monkish religion. Authority figures, when they finally show up, are untrustworthy and evil. The only solution shown in dealing with this situation and this society is suicide.

  • Families can talk about the setting: a prison-planet of life-sentence criminals who use prayer to stay docile and disciplined, so much so that no weapons are needed. But they are all men, living more like monks than convicts, and not to be trusted around women. Is this a real solution? The finale poses a real what-would-you-do question, when there probably isn't any comfortable answer. You could ask kids why people would find a grim tale like this entertaining? What are their favorite sci-fi movies and why?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Ripley is pushed to inhuman limits here by duress and peril, and while she behaves with courage and resourcefulness, her final decision is pretty horrific and unthinkable for many viewers. The men who surround her are described as hardcore convicts, keeping their lust and violence in check with prayer (and that's not exactly foolproof). One who seems sympathetic confesses to being a drug addict, who caused operating-table deaths while under the influence. The noble-hearted android Bishop (what's left of him) asks for and receives a mercy killing.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Carnage, as human characters are clawed bloody by the alien; fall into rotating fan blades; get torn apart, incinerated, or have little aliens burst out of them (some of these in combination!). One victim is a dog. An autopsy is performed on the dead little girl from the last movie that viewers came to care for -- what we hear is worse than what we see, but it's pretty grisly. A macabre, dismembered android is briefly brought back to life.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Ripley is scantily clad in a few scenes, and takes a shower (but nothing is shown). Inmates talk of their vows of celibacy, and a group of them try to gang-rape the lone woman. Another has consenting, non-explicit "fraternizing" with her.

  • language false5

    Language: "S--t," "f--k," and lots of it.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Social drinking, and one character declares himself an addict whose drug use caused casualties.