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Is Tenet Safe For Kids? Sure- No One Can Understand It So Kids Won’t Either

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When the whole world stopped this spring, that included movie theaters and big splashy summer releases. The most anticipated movie of the year, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, was put on hold until it was deemed safe to see in a theater again. Was is worth the wait? And importantly for parents: is Tenet safe for kids to see in the theaters? This parent movie review of Tenet will let you know what ages are ok to see Tenet and if it is kid-friendly. 

tenet safe for kids? parent movie review movie poster

About Tenet

John David Washington is the new Protagonist in Christopher Nolan’s original sci-fi action spectacle “Tenet.”

Armed with only one word—Tenet—and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real-time.

Not time travel. Inversion.

Runtime: 2 hours 30 minutes

Parent Movie Review For Tenet

First of all: if you are worried about spoilers… don’t be. 

This is a critic’s dream movie when it comes to that.

I honestly don’t think I could spoil what happens in this movie if I tried because it’s a bit convoluted and confusing and needs probably 3 solid viewings before we can all rave about its brilliance. 

Tenet feels like it has that “IT” that we expect from a Christopher Nolan film, but- it doesn’t completely satisfy the way many of his other films do. 

And there are some pretty big issues causing confusion for theatergoers. 

the protagonist Is Tenet kid friendly ok for kids?

Sound Issues With Tenet Makes This One Hard To Get In One Viewing

The plot involving time travel- or inversion, as its called- plays in for sure, but it was the sound quality that really works against the understanding and ultimate enjoyment of Tenet. 

As a 40-something woman who’s movie and TV watching has been supplemented with closed captions of late, I feared I was the problem. 

But a quick scan of Twitter after the show confirmed that, no, I don’t have to make that appointment for hearing aids just yet

Many were struggling with the sound quality of Tenet; it’s not just me.

tenet parent movie guide is tenet ok for kids?

And that’s a huge issue since dialogue provides a lot of contextual information as to what is actually going on. Without clarity of the explanation at a few key points, it would be easy to give up on this one. 

So your kids? Yeah, I can’t see many hanging in there if they are missing half the dialogue. 

The words are lost due to soft lines and masked characters- add in a lot of action, explosions, and booming musical soundtrack and this movie is a struggle. 

But Nolan plusses things with British accents, making an American audience work awfully hard to understand some of the most important details. 

rob pattison is tenet ok for kids

Robert Pattinson- Can We Just Talk About Him For A Minute?

The acting in this movie is fabulous.

There’s really not a weak turn in the entire crew and it will be fascinating to see what happens when award season rolls around. 

But the standout is Robert Pattinson as Neil, the confidant and sidekick of the Protagonist played flawlessly by John David Washington. 

Y’all: if you are only remembering him as Cedric Diggory or Edward Cullen, we gotta move past that and get on board with his entire body of work. This film gives us both athleticism and dry humor with perfectly delivered lines and punches. 

The Batman is in good hands, y’all. 

protagonist and neil in tenet appropriate for kids review

Does Tenet Have an End-Credit Scene?

Nope- it does not.

When the movie is over, head toward the exit to go, run and pee after this 2 1/2 hour roller coaster of a movie.  

Is Tenet Available For Video on Demand?

Tenet is ONLY coming to theaters at this time. 

If you want to watch it right now, you’re going to have to go back to the reopened movie theaters

Is Tenet Safe For Kids?

Since this is the big movie that’s been waiting for a big return to theaters, you’re probably wondering if you can take the whole family to the theater for this one. 

Is Tenet ok for kids?

We’ll break down what ages Tenet is safe to watch and determine just how kid-friendly this one is!

car scene in tenet ok for kids parent movie review

Violence in Tenet

It’s rated PG-13 and earned that rating primarily for the violence in the film. 

It’s an action film, it’s a time heist, it’s a wannabe Bond film with a twist (or 10). 

Guns, hand to hand fighting, bombs, blood, explosions- you see it all, along with death on screen. Domestic violence is also portrayed in Tenet. 

It is not nearly as violent or brutal as many PG-13 movies, so I do think you can do worse on this scale. 

is tenet ok for kids? kid friendly parent movie review

Is Tenet Safe For Kids: Language

There are some of those 4-letter words sprinkled throughout this movie, with at least one use of the F word. 

There is a graphic verbal description of the way someone might be tortured and killed that includes male genitalia. 

But I was honestly surprised there weren’t more uses considering the kind of film this is. 

Again: you can do much worse here. 

Sex and Nudity

Bathing suits were about as sexy as you get in this one. 

No overt nudity or sexual actions take place on the screen, though there are references to affairs made. 

What Ages Can Watch Tenet? Is It Kid-Friendly?

This is the big question: what ages can watch Tenet?

If your family is super conservative especially when it comes to action sequences, this movie isn’t going to be something your tweens and young teens should watch. 

From a content level, I think most 11-12 year-olds could handle what they’ll see in Tenet and not be scarred for life.

But from an attention/understanding/comprehension level?

Man, forget the kids. Unless you happen to have one that gets and can explain Inception to me, I don’t think they will get any enjoyment from this movie after the initial excitement of being in a theater again. 

This movie will love their attention pretty quickly, and at 2 1/2 hours long, that makes for a stretch of time with fidgety kiddos.  

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