Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this action-packed fantasy based on the first book in Philip Pullman's best-selling trilogy will feel threatening to young children. Animals and kids are in constant peril, and young kids will be upset by the threatened separation between the animals (daemons) and their humans. There are also many tense, violent scenes (chases; fierce, growling animals; shooting), as well as a fairly graphic battle between two enormous polar bears (one knocks the other's jaw off). And there's a major clash between children and adult troops that includes guns, arrows, swords, clubs, chains, hooks, and explosions. The main character is a 12-year-old girl who goes up against evil forces to save her friends. Although some religious groups have urged a boycott of the film based on its allegedly anti-Christian content, there is no specific language or imagery related to Christianity.
Nothing explicit, but the fear of children growing up and becoming rebellious during the transition from preteen to teen insinuates a concern with puberty and sexual awareness.
Weapons used in battle scenes include guns, arrows, swords, clubs, chains, hooks, and explosions. Lyra witnesses an attempt to poison her uncle; in a brief scene, children are frightened and grabbed by shadowy thugs. When Lyra escapes Mrs. Coulter, she's chased by several security men; confrontation between rebels and security guards (who have snarling Dobermans) is tense, but the guards back off. Warriors accompanied by snarling wolves shoot at and capture Lord Asriel, leaving him with bloodied face. Two mechanical bugs hunt and attack Lyra and Pan. In a fit of anger, Mrs. Coulter hits her monkey daemon, causing it pain. A violent severing of child and daemon in a laboratory causes visible pain and screams from both subjects. A very intense fight between two polar bears includes some graphic and disturbing violence (one bear whacks off the other's lower jaw, then drops him dead).
Minor language includes a few uses of "hell."
Deception abounds on all sides: Lyra is instructed to lie to Mrs. Coulter and spy on members of the Magesterium. But even as she uses ruses, the film celebrates her spirited nature and resistance to authority. Heroic figures are loyal and valiant; villains are dastardly, scheming, and dressed to alert you as to their evil intentions. Lyra's intentions are always good, even if the consequences of her actions aren't.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Polar bear Iorek Byrnison appears drunk and drinking.