FIRST MAN – THE WRONG STUFF

America

SHORT TAKE:

Incredible acting can not save this tedious and pseudo-"reality TV show" style rewriting of history aimed at devaluing American exceptionalism, American accomplishments and American heroes.

WHO SHOULD GO:

No sexuality, a handful of mild profanitites (and one quite vulgar but understandable cuss word muttered off screen by someone feeling very ill) and a lot of visually disturbing images including prolonged scenes of extremely violent shaking and people trapped in a fire in an enclosed space. Were this an accurate inspiring portrayal of the space race I'd say it was worth it, but as it is there's really NO POINT.

LONG TAKE:

I was 10 years old when the first man – an AMERICAN – walked on the moon. I remember it being late in the day – 9:56 pm CST to be precise – where we were, so I had my P.J.s on. And when Neil Armstrong uttered those now amazing words for the first time: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," I SAW it on TV. Then everyone in the house – Mom, Dad, my brother and sister and her fiance all ran outside. I was barefoot, so my future brother-in-law swept me up and carried me outside with our group and we all just stood near Metairie Road, because nearer to our house the view of the sky was obstructed by trees – and we just looked and waved to Neil Armstrong. And we were not alone. People all over the WORLD cheered and cried and laughed and were simply amazed at the INCREDIBLE event that AMERICA had accomplished, putting the FIRST MAN – an AMERICAN man – on the moon.

America was the FIRST country, and to date the ONLY COUNTRY, to make an extraterrestrial manned landing, was AND IS the FIRST AND ONLY country to have a man step out ONTO  extraterrestrial property, and frankly is the FIRST and ONLY country in the world or in HISTORY to legitimately lay CLAIM to an extraterrestrial piece of land. In a fit of historic re-engineering to downplay the obvious American exceptionalism in such a feat, First Man pointedly neglected to show the planting of the American flag – a symbol as synonymous with our achievement as the image of the booted human footprint or Lieutenant Armstrong's step off the module.

Their excuse is that they think Armstrong didn't see himself as an American hero but that it was an accomplishment of the world…..NO! The world didn't pay for it. The world didn't chip in men or time or money or blood or industry or lives in plenty for our AMERICAN space program. No one but AMERICAN men died in our test planes and shots and explosions. The UN had nothing to do with it. And I don't really care what the filmmakers think Armstrong's opinion was. This was ENTIRELY an American adventure against which we were in competition with other countries. And even if I bought into the vacuous "world accomplishment" POV – which I do not – the fact is the flag was planted. Our AMERICAN flag was visible in places and photos where the director – Damien Chazelle – deliberately chose, in an act of sheer arrogance, to inauthentically, blatantly and unilaterally eliminate our AMERICAN flag from the picture. And yet they CLAIM to be historically accurate emphasizing its FALSE historicity with the documentary style footage. This is an affront to every man who died, to every widow who had to raise their children without one of the men who perished in a test plane or capsule, to every man, woman and child who devoted their prayers, tax money, sweat, enthusiasm and attention to this DISTINCTLY AMERICAN program.

Before I went to see First Man I had heard about this flagrant insult to the memories and sacrifices of our country. I had been concerned I would have to chide what I had been sure would be an otherwise excellent movie about the space program.

I needn't have been concerned.

SPOILERS

There are PLENTY of other egregious flaws with First Man. Insulting the planting of the American flag by ignoring it was just one of many.

To start, however, the acting was excellent. In Claire Foy I think we're seeing the making of a British Meryl Streep – a woman who can so artfully immerse herself in character that you don't recognize her from one performance to the next. She is a true actor – as defined by Alan Swann in My Favorite Year when he explains in comic desperation that he is "…not an actor, I'm a MOVIE STAR!" (For more examination of this point please see the first paragraph of my blog Operation Finale). Whether the Swedish Girl in the Spider's Web, the crazed American in Unsane, Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown or as Janet Armstrong, Foy nails it. There is a scene at the end, brilliantly performed, of almost complete silence, visually emphasizing Armstrong's inability to connect with anyone, where Gosling and Foy say more in subtle looks and gestures than most movies do in pages of script.

Unfortunately, while Ryan Gosling is excellent too – he expends his talent creating an extremely unpleasant person.

Were I Neil Armstrong's descendants I would be thoroughly perturbed at the portrayal of the famous astronaut in First Man. It is also just poor script writing. We all know the outcome of the story: It took years, there were a number of Gemini shots which made sure we could safely get a man into space, dock with another vehicle and return him home alive. Then Apollo 1 blew up, Apollo 11 made it to the moon and there were a number of successful Apollos in between. In order for such a pervasively well known story to work you have to care about the characters. And the Neil Armstrong in First Man is not only unlikeable, he is unapproachable. Cold, distant, unfeeling, harsh, abrasive even to his best friends, his wife and his sons, the writer chalks his personality issues down to his inability to overcome the death of his toddler daughter by brain tumor. He flees the funeral of a fellow astronaut, to run away home, without a word to his wife, ignoring the fact she is in pain as well, and leaving her, humiliated, having to beg a ride from a friend. He shuns his friend's offers of counsel, as he stands staring into space in his backyard with: "Do you think I came out here because I wanted to talk? Do you think I left the funeral because I wanted to talk?" He not only refuses to answer his worried wife's inquiries when he returns home bloodied and burned after an almost fatal crash, but immediately runs away claiming to have "forgotten something at the office". Janet has to bully, berate and throw things to get him to say goodbye to his own children, for possibly the last time, before he goes to the Moon. He seems immune to the agony of his dead friend's widow. And the flashbacks of his dead daughter, which cripple him into apathy, become redundant in their predictability at crisis moments. I've seen serial killers, devoid of empathy, portrayed as more emotionally engaged than poor Ryan Gosling's Neil Armstrong. It is difficult to believe NASA would put someone so emotionally and psychologically damaged in charge of THE one and only first ever in all of human history –  moon landing.

The retro historians were out to trash an established American hero. Basically they portray Neil Armstrong as a body part reserved for proctologists. And even if this were true, the story of the First Man, who was landed on the moon by AMERICA, was NOT the place to put it. If you want a tell-all, soap opera bio pic of Neil Armstrong, then by all means, go ahead. But don't pretend this tortured portrait of an American hero is a reflection of the American Spirit or play fast and loose with history while claiming to be accurate. Don't make a psychologically crippled version of Neil Armstrong the center of a movie about the space race.

Either show Armstrong's whole life warts and all or put the uplifting endeavor that was and is the AMERICAN space program in the correct light. The only reason to have it "both" ways and put it ALL in a negative light is because you wish to undermine and treat with dismissiveness the AMERICAN moon walk in particular and AMERICA in general.

Nowhere in the entire movie is the joie de vivre, the enthusiasm, the sheer joy of exploration and discovery that was and is the American space program, not even in the more realistically portrayed Gus Grissom (Jason Clark) or  Buzz Aldrin (Corey Stoll). 
Where is the comraderie from The Right Stuff? Where is Ed Harris' John Glenn who exemplified that genial excitement or Dennis Quaid's  cocky and arrogant but infectiously confident Gordon Cooper in the movie about the lead up to the moon shot? Harris and Quaid's Glenn and Cooper, respectively, personified why charting the unknown was worth the trials and terrors and tears that it cost us.  

By contrast First Man makes it look like the space program was the unwanted chore of a beleaguered group of government bureaucrats with which we foolishly burdened the American taxpayer. Chazell even rudely shoehorned in "Whitey on the Moon," an anthem against the space program. Playing it along with scenes of racially inspired protest marches, the film makers tried to make it appear as though this bitter song was a reflection of the "popular" sentiment during the years leading up to the moon shot. This song, with all its resentment and anger, was neither a representation of the mood of the country concerning the space program NOR even published until AFTER the first landing on the moon took place. Its anachronistic insertion was amateurishly spliced in, as though from an entirely different movie and had no bearing on the outcome of the story.  

The obvious intent of First Man was to make it appear as though the American public was against the program, when, in fact, the approval for the space program was enthusiastically positive along all the —isms you can imagine because it was a unqiuely AMERICAN program of which every AMERICAN could be proud! In the end the entire WORLD was rooting for AMERICA and these three AMERICANS to get to the moon, land and return alive – which AMERICA accomplished FIRST.

Instead of the exciting, energizing program that created jobs, inspired innovations and injected new levels of patriotism across our country, First Man tried to portray the space program as a draining, painful, horror movie. The audience has to sit through interminably long, difficult to endure, near real-time length scenes in the capsule, including the  deafening roar from inside of the relatively primitive Gemini 1 and the monster-like screaming of the exploding rocket fuel and distressed metal as it strains to not come apart in Apollo 11. The director's choice of near home movie found-footage semi documentary-style makes the movie feel even more harsh and barren, especially as we walk often through dated, sparsely adorned versions of the military housing where these men and their families lived.

And slow! Oh my goodness! It was as though Stanley Kubrick became enamoured of The Blair Witch Project, and insisted on the acting techniques of HAL from 2001 to make a sequel to The Right Stuff.

First Man is yet another obvious attempt by the intelligentsia to target and try to downplay, trivialize and sully the achievements that highlight America's genuine and unique exceptionalism. They emphasize the space program's problems and failures without celebrating their successes and astonishing one-of-a-kind accomplishments.

And – guess what – when last we looked "…our flag was STILL there!"

Poland should be rightly proud of Madame Curie's discoveries. The world should be grateful to France for producing Louis Pastuer. The world admires and loves Mother Teresa, a native of Skopje (now Macedonia). Humanity is better for the beautiful music of Russia's Tchaikovsky. Japan's Kurosawa's movies are considered classics. All these countries love their native sons and daughters and take every opportunity to extol them to the world.

What is WRONG with some Americans?! The country of their birth, which has given them and the world so many blessings through the grace of God is unappreciated by many whose thriving is owed to the freedoms for ingenuity and success that America affords. Other countries seem to appreciate and respect our flag more than do some of her native peoples, and it is infuriating. If you do not appreciate the many many blessings of living in America and being an American then, as another blessing of living in America, you are free to go to some other country for which you have more respect. If you wish to make movies about American history then  I don't expect perfection or for it to be shown without mistakes, for no human endeavor can be done without them, but I do expect that it would be created with respect.

In short First Man is the LAST place you want to go for a good uplifting (pun intended) movie about the space race. Instead, just go watch The Right Stuff again!!

 

 

CHAPPAQUIDDICK – THOSE WHO DO NOT LEARN FROM HISTORY…..

SHORT TAKE:

Historic drama based upon the information in public knowledge surrounding the murder of Mary Jo Kopechne by Teddy Kennedy.

WHO SHOULD GO:

Only adults. The language is raw, the topics unsavory and the behavior of the main characters despiccable.

However, it is an expose of the disreputable goings on by the Kennedy pseudo-Mafia Clan during the 1960's so worth a look for the corruption, hypocricy and disgusting activities into which the Kennedys dove head first. Apparently the people involved took the aphorism to heart: If you can't be a good example, be a horrible warning.

LONG TAKE:

Before getting into Chappaquiddick…. figuratively as I have no intention of taking a swim, I thought I might make two points: the first is a reference to another movie and the second describes a thousand year old family dynamic.

In the 1987 drama Broadcast News, about TV journalism, Aaron played by Albert Brooks is concerned about the trustworthiness of William Hurt's character Tom. Knowing Jane, his best friend, played by Holly Hunter, is falling in love with Tom, Aaron gives Jane a warning. In an interview, Tom is filmed breaking down in tears while interviewing a young woman who had been the victim of a date rape. The young woman's recollection of the event cuts back and forth to Tom's emotional but dignified reaction. Knowing Jane would refuse to question Tom's sincerity, Aaron asks her to consider one simple fact: Tom only had one camera.

In 1199, John, son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, was coronated King of England. The youngest of five sons, John was never expected to rule. His oldest brother, William, died of a seizure at three. Henry III died of the flux (dysentery) on rebellious campaign against Henry II. Richard died on the Crusades. Geoffrey died in a tournament accident leaving one son, Arthur who was imprisoned and left to die. John, both spoiled as a prince and ignored as unimportant – called Lackland as it was never thought he would own land – was not trained to rule, but only shooed off to manage some lands in Ireland – which he did badly, and was arguably the most corrupt, debauched, incompetent, ill prepared and venal ruler England ever had. But, nonetheless, the crown was placed upon his head because, refusing to consider any but the immediate male descendant of Henry II, John was assumed to be the rightful heir – irrespective of his lack of character or training or fitness for the position.

Teddy Kennedy was the youngest of four brothers. It was never thought he would be a candidate for President. Joe, Jr. died in action during World War II. John and Robert were both assassinated. Teddy had five Sisters, but at that time, much like in King Henry's era, it would have been unthinkable to place a crown on a daughter's head when a male heir was available, no matter who that heir might be.

The movie suggests that Teddy Kennedy himself recognized that he was the spare, the "also ran", the leftover, the one who no one thought would be put in a position of power, but who had been instead, like John with Ireland, given the political position of Senator in Massachusetts as a token gift by his extraordinarily powerful family. Debauched, spoiled, incompetent, unprepared, one almost feels sorry for him being thrust into the position of having to run for the presidency, the position even he knew he was not qualified to hold, except that he flagrantly used his position to abuse others and ultimately to murder.

The night of Mary Jo Kopechne's death, Kennedy, by his own admission, and according to the movie, had been drinking and driving and ran off a bridge with Mary Jo in the car. According to his testimony, he does not remember how he got out of the car. But he did ultimately confess to walking away without notifying any authorities of the accident, leaving Mary Jo to suffocate in the overturned car without hope of rescue. Had he notified the authorities promptly, it is very likely she would have survived……That is assuming the story told in the movie is complete and accurate.

Make no mistake, the movie does not whitewash any of the behavior of Teddy, his legal staff and advisors, his father Joe, or his drunken friends and co-workers.

Teddy and his colleagues had spent the night drinking and carousing with those they nicknamed The Boiler Room Girls.

Supposedly working as secretaries and campaign assistants, it seems as though the Boiler Room Girls also had other duties to perform that night for these powerful and influential men, duties in which they quite voluntarily participated.

At some point following Mary Jo's death, Teddy, supposedly in a sudden attack of conscience, decides to confess his complicity in the incident despite available alibis willingly provided by others and anxiously swallowed by their fawning media. Of course, he also takes the opportunity to attempt to make himself the victim and affects an unneeded neck brace that even the media found ridiculous. Completely out of character, if this is to be believed on face value, the confession is at least a small point in Teddy's favor. A very very small point.

Given a suspended sentence, the only real penalty for him was the hit to his political career.

However, as his confession DID seem completely out of character, one must ponder if there was more to the story than even this expose movie tells. Does the movie come clean as to just one of the dirty secrets of the Kennedy Clan or is it but yet just a further complicit hiding of what really happened on the night Mary Jo Kopechne died?

The movie, in and of itself, is fascinating, well performed and well done. Shot with care to the details of ‘60's style, clothes, music, architecture, and attitudes – all carefully reconstructed, all harken back to a time that I remember as a child.

Jason Clarke, who cut his teeth in American television through a very rough show called Brotherhood, has used that platform to launch himself into bigger and better things, including the

Planet of the Apes franchise, White House Down, and the

Terminator movies. Australian by birth, Clarke's restrained and convincing Boston accent is reminsicent of his time as Tommy Caffee in Brotherhood.

Kate Mara, previously in Fantastic Four and The Martian, as the ill fated Ms. Kopechne, is sympathetic.

Bruce Dern, a Hollywood constant in everything from comedies like The Burbs to sci fis like

Silent Running to dramas like

The Hateful Eight, plays Papa Joe, the patriarch of the Kennedys who, despite being almost immoble from strokes, still controls the dynasty.

Ed Helms, mostly known for comedies like The Office and The Hangover, takes a serious turn as the adopted Kennedy who acts as both trusted confidante and inadequate conscience-keeper of Teddy.

Clancy Brown, all 6 foot 3-1/2 inches of him, plays yet another in a long line of sinister characters, as Robert McNamara, the former Secretary of Defense under JFK who spearheaded the cover up and managed the fall out from the exposure of the Chappaquiddick murder.

The events leading up to Miss Mary Jo Kopechne's death took place the same weekend as the Moon Landing. This was either incredibly coincidental, collateral damage from the celebrations going on in connection with the landing, or very well planned, depending upon which view you take of the story this movie tells – whether you believe it is accurate or just another cover up for the benefit of what political functionaries believe is a willing audience.

Chappaquiddick feels like a murder mystery but without the denouement of a Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot.

There are too many holes in the plot to be completely satisfying and one longs for a super detective to walk in, gather the suspects together and point unerringly at the guilty party or parties. But one question floats quite readily up to the surface of this cesspool.

If career politicians and their family and friends in places like Massachusetts or Arkansas, who feel they are routinely entitled, by birthright and political position, to exoneration from crimes like rape, murder, insider trading, selling access to the White House, opening our borders to foreign national criminals and terrorists, and incompetence bordering on treason by allowing an Ambassador to be slaughtered while ignoring pleas for help – then what ELSE are they lying about in order to further their careers?!? And shouldn't they go to jail as the rest of us peasants would? Will we, as voters, learn from history or be doomed to repeat it over and over and over again?

But MAYBE, perhaps, just possibly, it did all occur as the movie lays out. Pretty pitiful apology for a woman who was so unceremoniously dispatched and discarded by a powerful member of a political party which defines itself as protector of the little people. Extraordinarily meager payback for a young woman who was literally forgotten to death. Or is there a worse crime for which Teddy was guilty, for which the conviction of manslaughter was a slap on the wrist in comparison?

Let me leave you with a couple of final thoughts.

If you are still puzzling over the import of the single camera in Broadcast News, consider this: If Tom only had one camera, there is no way he could have cut back and forth between himself and the young lady. Therefore, Tom's quiet moving tears had to have been done at a later time and edited in. In short, they were faked after the fact. And despite Tom’s protestations that he really DID cry at the time but had to "recreate" them for the video, Jane was devastated and their relationship was over. If he was willing to lie to her about that to advance his career, then what else was he faking to proceed up the ladder?

Similarly, there is a question begging to be asked which is imperatively relevant to Chappaquiddick.

Mary Jo could not get out of the car. Evidence suggests she suffocated and did not drown. Is it possible that Mary Jo was already dead, already suffocated, when the car hit the water and Teddy was never in it when it was pushed or driven into the water? There was no way to definitively determine that immediately ex post facto because there was also no autopsy, despite the unusual and mysterious circumstances of her death, before a hastily organized and executed embalming and funeral.

But, admittedly, all that is speculation and circumstantial evidence.

So that is not the question I want to leave you to ponder.

But DO consider THIS: Just as Aaron had to point out Tom’s perfidity by asking Jane to reflect on one simple fact, I leave you with a riddle.

The divers had to pry open the car to get at Mary Jo’s body. There was no open window, no propped open door, no broken windshield. The car was flipped over on its hood and sealed up tighter than a drum when it was found.

So how did Teddy get out?

WINCHESTER – VERY SCARY MOVIE WITH A SURPRISINGLY THOUGHTFUL THEME

SHORT TAKE:

Extremely effective ghost story about the real life Winchester House, well told with a class cast and a pleasantly unexpected underlying thesis.

LONG TAKE:

SOME SPOILERS!

I truly believe that God puts people in your life that you need when you need them. It can be as small as a smile from a stranger when you are feeling blue or directions from a police officer when you are lost in a bad neighborhood or as significant as a chance encounter with someone who will become your lifelong friend.

In my case it was two obnoxious fellow moviegoers during Winchester. You see, it so happened that the night that worked best for my schedule for one of the scariest movies I have seen in a while, was the one night when NO one, because of either opportunity or preference, could go with me.

Winchester’s story is based upon the real house in San Jose which was built and rebuilt during a 38 year construction marathon by the heiress to 50% of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company fortune. Sarah Winchester inherited the today equivalent of a half billion dollars with a continuous income of $25,000 per day. She put this vast wealth to use in moving from New Haven, Connecticut to San Jose, California where she purchased and remodeled an unfinished farm house into a seven story mansion with 161 rooms, 2 ballrooms, 47 fireplaces, three cutting edge elevators and rare indoor conveniences for the era like forced air heating and indoor plumbing. An innovative floating foundation preserved the house from collapse after the devastating 1906 earthquake. In addition to these far thinking aspects to the house, and working without an architect, Sarah Winchester designed the home to     very peculiar specifications, sporting staircases which go nowhere    , rooms with windows which open into other rooms or  into the floor, labrynthian hallways which double back on themselves, a door which open to the outside from the third floor (think Roger Rabbit),  spiderweb motiffs,   groups of 13 items wherever possible and other bizarre features which seem to make no sense. Discount Hogwarts without benefit of movement in the staircases or animated portraits.

However, there are house ghosts.

The premise strives to explain the reason for the unique construction – that Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren) built rooms to replicate those in which the "victims" of the Winchester rifle died, attract them to their room, then help them move on. She acts as sort of an afterlife psychotherapist – thnk the little lady in Poltergeist. After which, Sarah tears down the room and builds anew with a new tenant in mind. In this way she hopes to appease the angry dead and protect her niece and great-nephew Henry from their wrath.  Into this odd scenario comes Eric Price, a traumatized and opium addicted LIVING human psychotherapist (Jason "War for the Planet of the Apes" Clarke), a doctor who is unable to heal himself, hired by the Board of the Winchester Company to prove Sarah Winchester unfit to control her half of the Winchester stock. Although a wackier plot would be hard to find, the inimitable Dame Helen Mirren sells it with gusto and the director/scriptwriters, twin brothers Michael and Peter Spierig, do a good job of creating convincing back stories and atmosphere which make this all fit.

At this point I'm going to make a shameless fangirl plug for Dame Helen.

I have been following her career since I first saw her as Morgana in Excalibur and have loved everything I have seen her in since. (Please note the knight Mirren is holding hands with is an equally young Liam Neeson.) Some beautiful young women, if they are lucky, become handsome older women. Dame Helen stayed, simply, beautiful. I have seen her in really great movies and some truly tatty ones, but she always brings style, grace and skill to every transfigurative role she chooses.  (2010) (Fate of the Furious)(Gosford Park(Hitchcock) (The Madness of King George(National Treasure 2(The Queen(Raising Helen(Red) (as Prospera, in a female version of The Tempest

She is even teaching a Master Class in acting which is publically available online. AND a friend of mine once sought her out early in her career for an interview for the paper at which he was working. While refused, the refusal was in person…so he did get to meet her….. so that gives me only two degrees of separation, RIGHT????

One of the things I especially liked about the movie, Winchester, was the way the writers-Spierig kept us up in the air as to what is really going on. Is Eric having opium and withdrawal induce hallucinations or is he really in commune with the dead? Is Sarah just a batty old lady or is she really constructing half-way homes for the unquiet deceased? Is the boy truly possessed by an angry ghost or is he traumatized from having seen his abusive alcoholic father die? Was the mansion damaged by the fury of a thwarted poltergeist or did the 1906 earthquake wreck the havoc?

  The Winchester Mansion does exist and it really was severely damaged in 1906 – rending it from its pinnacle of seven stories down to its current four. Construction stopped the day Sarah Winchester died in 1922, afterwhich it was leased in 1923 and eventually purchased from her niece and heir by John and Mayme Brown, who opened it to public display. Dubbed the Winchester Mystery House by Harry Houdini during a tour in 1924, it is still an attraction to this day.

With set designs featuring beautifully period detail, effectively claustrophobic sets, and enough jump scares to unnerve even Beetlejuice, this movie is quite effective for the task to which it applied itself – namely scaring the living snot out of anyone who sees it.

But at the heart of the movie I found another far gentler theme. That God will send you those you need at just the right time. Without giving away too much, Eric, despite his addiction, self doubt and brokenness, heros up for Sarah’s family. And Sarah, despite her looniness, extreme eccentricities and decidedly peculiar guests, is just the friend Eric needs at this bottomed out moment of his life. In many ways, both save each other from fates arguably worse than death.

And this is when I realized….

You see, when I say I went to the movie by myself, I mean not only did I go with no one, but that the theater I was in was completely empty but for me. Row upon row of vacant seats greeted me and sat staring at my back while I endured half a dozen previews fitting for the main attraction, about demonic possession and murderous games. I was tempted to watch the intro credits with laced fingers. So when two people who failed to understand they were not watching the movie in their living room sat nearby, proceeded to make occasionally loud comments to each other, and texted throughout the movie, neglecting to even turn off the slight pinging sound announcing an incoming response, I was actually quite grateful. Every now and again one NEEDS to have their suspension of disbelief interrupted.

And if the oblivious persons in question just happen to read this blog – thank you – BUT – while your intrusiveness was quite helpful in this one instance……..for the next movie – keep it down and at least turn off the danged chime!!!

WARNINGS:

There is a lot of violence and, as I have mentioned, jump scares. Though no bad language, there is use of opiates and the presence of prostitutes though no nakedness or activities. So, obviously, I do not recommend this for young teens.

I also recommend AGAINST the movie for anyone theologically unformed or immature. On the one hand, there are no seances and an atheist does come to understand there is an afterlife. On the other, there is no mention of or appeal to God. But there is a lot of vague talk about spirituality and the ability, without reference to Divine assistance, to command and control unclean spirits, which could be very misleading, disquieting, and even dangerously influential to the vulnerable in mind or soul.