Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says OK for kids 13+
Lush book adaptation mixes romance, fantasy, some violence.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Beautiful Creatures is based on the best-selling paranormal romance by Kami Garcia and Maragaret Stohl. Teens and mature tweens, especially fans of the four-part book series, will be eager to see the tale brought to life on the big screen. The movie has even more romance (including kissing, making out, and seduction) than in the book, with the central couple moving out of "friends" mode faster here than they did in the original story. Language includes "s--t" and "ass," and there's gun and magical violence that kills one beloved character and injures a bunch of mean teens. Discussion fodder includes some messages about the dangers of being close minded.
- Families can talk about Beautiful Creatures' message. What is it saying about being open to differences? About censorship?
- How does the Beautiful Creatures story contrast to Twilight? Are there any similarities beyond the forbidden young love?
- Is Ethan and Lena's romance a positive relationship role model for teens? How do each of them make sacrifices for the other's well being? Is it believable for a 15- and 16-year-old to have such an intense connection?
- Fans of the books: What changes made sense for the page-to-screen transformation? What parts do you miss?
The good stuff
Positive messages: The movie, like the book, questions the narrow mindedness of anyone who thinks it's right to ban books or outcast strangers just for being different, stresses the importance of making a choice versus doing what you're told, and encourages looking beyond superficial differences for friendships/relationships. Another take away is the idea that it's not really possible to be all good or all bad; most people are a (more realistic) mix of both.
Positive role models: Although they have an intense bond, Lena and Ethan's relationship starts off slower and friendlier than in other teen romances. What's more, Lena's decision to make a personal sacrifice to secure Ethan's safety is selfless and kind. Already more open-minded than his peers, Ethan loves that Lena is different than every other girl in his small town. He's really supportive of her and believes in her true nature, in spite of his friends and both of their families.
What to watch for
Violence: Lena's uncontrollable powers lead her to shatter a set of windows, mildly injuring several of her "mean girl" classmates. In a flashback, a woman resurrects a man from the dead, only to kill him. Under a spell, a young man shoots someone with a rifle, and a magical battle leads to a character's destruction. One beloved character dies. A siren can make men do whatever she wants -- including put themselves in danger. Ethan, usually the only mortal witness to the magic, passes out a couple of times.
Sexy stuff: More kissing in the movie than in the book. Several passionate kisses -- one that literally starts a fire -- and one shot of a brief make-out scene in a bedroom (clothes stay on). One character -- a siren -- wears provocative/tight clothes and can seduce any man to do as she bids. She also has a couple of heated make-out sessions with a guy. A couple of veiled jokes that reference oral sex and the ability to make things grow.
Language: Language includes a few variations on the word "s--t" ("chickens--t," "bulls--t") and "ass" ("suckass," "kickass," "badass," etc.), as well as pointed uses of the word "bitch," plus words/insults like "damn," "hell," "goddamn," "oh my God," and "shut up."
Consumerism: Mercedes, Ford, Canada Dry ginger ale, and Google are seen, but, except for Google, the brands aren't part of the story.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink at a dinner.