Common Sense Media’s weekly recommendations

Austin Butler, left, and Tom Hanks in “Elvis.” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Elvis (PG-13)

Age 13+

Snazzy music biopic doesn’t go deep enough; drugs, tuxedo.

“Elvis” is writer-director Baz Luhrmann’s visually stylish musical biopic about the King of rock-and-roll. As told through the perspective of Elvis’s longtime manager, Col. Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), it spends a lot of time on Presley’s (Austin Butler) launch into superstardom, the business side of his time in the spotlight and his Vegas residency in his later years. Much of the rest of his life is breezed through, including his marriage to Priscilla (Olivia DeJonge) and his time in Hollywood. Teens may be surprised to learn that authorities found Elvis’s dance moves obscene; the movie also shows the racist attitudes of the 1950s and 1960s. Vices of all kinds — drinking, smoking, spending, gambling and drug use — bring different characters suffering and misfortune. Sex is suggested with shots of passionate kissing and lingerie-clad women in bed, and Priscilla walks around in a short nightie, revealing her butt cheeks. Elvis owns several guns and wields one while in an altered state; there’s also a riot at a concert, some medical emergencies, mourning and footage of historical assassinations. Language includes “goddamn,” “hell,” “s—” and one instance of “f—.” (159 minutes)

In theaters.

Ral Agada, left, and Uche Agada in “Rise.” (DisneyPlus)
rise (PG)


Age 10+

True story about overcoming odds has positive messages.

“Rise” is a fact-based Disney drama about an immigrant family from Nigeria that lives in very difficult, impoverished circumstances in Greece until their sons rise to become professional basketball players in the US Along the way, the family endures the stress of police raids and the constant threat of deportation. They experience racism in the form of taunts (“blackie”) and protests that look like they could turn violent. Through it all, they persevere and teach their children positive values ​​of putting family above self, working hard to earn success and having faith to get through hard times. (113 minutes)

Available on Disney Plus.

Holden Hagelberger, left, and Sammy Dell in “Trevor: The Musical.” (Disney/Joan Marcus)
Trevor: The Musical (Unrated)


Age 13+

Teen sexuality, slurs, suicide in filmed musical stage.

“Trevor: The Musical” is the filmed version of the same-named off-Broadway musical. It’s based on a short film that inspired the nonprofit organization the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention resource for LGBTQ+ youth. In the play, a middle-schooler (Holden Hagelberger) grapples with his sexuality and is bullied, teased and ostracized by his classmates, leading to attempted suicide. The boy also attempts at-home electroshock therapy in hopes of changing his brain and making himself “normal,” and his parents try to address his sexuality with the help of a priest. Name-calling and teasing includes terms like “wussy,” “fairy,” “freak,” “dumb” and “stupid,” as well as the slur “f—–.” There’s kissing and sexual innuendo, including about masturbation. A boy looks at his semen from him under a microscope. The story’s message is about embracing and supporting yourself and others. (114 minutes)

Available on Disney Plus.

From left, Susanna Skaggs, Anjelika Washington and Valentina Lodovini in “Love & Gelato.” (Maila Iacovelli/Netflix)
Love & Gelato (TV-14)


Age 13+

Book-based coming-of-age tale has grief, swearing.

“Love & Gelato” is a romantic coming-of-age dramedy based on Jenna Evans Welch’s best-selling YA novel. Raised by a single mother who’s recently died, a grieving and fearful high school graduate (Susanna Skaggs) travels to Italy before college. There she meets her mom’s best friends, learns her father’s identity from her, finds romance and grows out of her fears from her. Language includes one “f—” and a peppering of other words like “s—,” “p—k,” “penis,” “a–,” “hell,” “damn,” “ b——, “b—-,” “suck,” “screw,” “dork,” “dyke,” “slut” and more. Teens kiss and drink wine. (112 minutes)

Available on Netflix.

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