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What parents should know about ‘Ready Player One’

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Tye Sheridan in a scene from "Ready Player One," a film by Steven Spielberg. (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

There have been times when I have had to make the difficult decision between reading a book or waiting until the movie comes out.

In my younger years, waiting for the movie to come out before I had to read the book was more of a survival strategy to get me through book reports in junior high. But now that I’m older, it is genuinely a difficult decision.

I really wanted to read the book “Ready Player One” before I saw the movie but ultimately I decided to abstain. The reason this time around was because about the same time I became aware of the book I also learned that Steven Spielberg would be directing the movie.

While it is almost universally true the book is better than the movie, I didn’t want to risk one ruining the other. I believe I made the right choice.

I genuinely enjoyed the movie and am glad I didn’t have the gnawing thought “the book did it better” ruining my experience of the movie.

I get to tell you from a parent’s perspective what to expect from the film. Here are my observations.

Violence

There is indeed violence and some intense threats of violence in this movie. With that said, this violence is mostly constrained to the animated sort you may be more accustomed to seeing in a video game.

There is some real-world violence throughout the film as fantasy spills over into reality — mostly the punching and kicking type of fighting you would expect from most action-based PG-13 films. The one scene in the film with any blood — and I should say it was a lot of blood — was an homage to the famous elevator doors scene from “The Shining.”

Language

There is some strong use of language from time to time throughout this film. All of the middle-shelf swear words were used and there’s at least one instance of the “f” word.

If you or your children are sensitive to language, then you may want to use a little caution. If language is not high on your worry list, then this won’t be much of a problem for you.

None of the language was used in graphically descriptive ways. Instead, it was mostly used as forms of exclamation.

Sexuality

This movie is not a sexually charged movie, although there is a budding romance between two teen characters. At one point, there is a mildly sexually suggestive dance scene, but it does not linger and is quickly forgotten as the action picks up.

Intensity

There is a lot of intensity and violent tension throughout this movie.

Everything in this film is based on timing and the threat of the main character being killed, which is what makes the movie interesting and keeps the story moving along. I point this out because I know some people may not necessarily have a problem with PG-13 content but do feel a little anxiety at mortal peril.

There is a lot happening and coming at you as an audience member. While it is what I think makes the movie enjoyable, some may not appreciate this element just like some people are roller-coaster people and others are not.

Conclusion

“Ready Player One” is clearly made for Gen Xers and ’90s kids.

If you have ever seen a Steven Spielberg movie based around kids you know what to expect. He invented this particular kid genre that so many of us love.

“Ready Player One” is a fun movie to watch that keeps you on the edge of your seat with a smile on your face, but it gets fast and intense at times.

Apart from the language, I would say most of this movie is suitable for anyone of a reasonable age. If you factor in the language component then it pretty solidly earns its PG-13 rating.

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