Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) for Rent on DVD and Blu-ray, Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this is no PG movie — in all ways, it’s very similar to the previous two movies, which were rated PG-13. This film continues the series’ trend toward darker, more intense material. For young children, the death of a major beloved character could be extremely upsetting. Other characters are bloodied, kicked, and cursed in frightening ways, and a very scary scene involving scary, skeletal characters is sure to scare the pants off of little kids. There are also some big emotional upheavals and scary attacks. And there’s notably more sexuality — albeit playfully depicted — than in the past movies. Because the characters are now teens, much of the interaction between them and their friends centers on getting a boy or girlfriend, and there’s plenty of snogging (making out). While Harry and his friends continue as strong positive role models, other characters’ motives and plans become more ambiguous. And there are also a few scenes that include alcohol consumption — including one in which a professor serves his students.
Lots of flirting and “snogging” (kissing) among the Hogwarts students, both main characters and extras. Several discussions about attraction, romantic relationships, unrequited feelings, love potions, jealousy, and adolescent dating. Several kisses and instances of hand holding and longing gazes. Random couples are shown making out in the halls and at parties. Talk of getting together and/or breaking up threads through the whole movie.
As in the book, the sixth movie includes the death of a beloved major character. Voldemort himself isn’t shown in this installment (young Tom Riddle appears instead). Aside from the one murder (via killing curse), there are several injuries and close calls: a curse severely bloodies a character, a character is bruised and beaten, two characters are accidentally poisoned, a main character is seen having a life-threatening seizure, and Death Eaters set a house on fire and destroy buildings and structures both in the magical realm and in the Muggle world (as well as kidnap a Diagon Alley denizen). Harry and Dumbledore must also fend off the very frightening, skeleton-like creatures during a dangerous mission.
Mild insults/British slang like “daft,” “dimbo” (which means dumb bimbo), “idiot,” “bloody,” and the like. A couple of uses of phrases like “good God.”
Most of the messages are inspiring, since the protagonists are clearly “heroes” who accept help from others to overcome obstacles, learn the importance of being loyal to friends, and embody the idea that those who stand together for “good” can triumph over “evil,” even at great cost.
Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol
Harry and his underage pals (the legal drinking age in England is 18) drink butterbeer, mead, and what looks like wine at the Three Broomsticks pub and a couple of dinner parties (it’s unclear to those not versed in the books whether butterbeer is actually alcoholic). In one scene, as a celebration, a professor offers alcohol to Ron and Harry; the same professor serves drinks to several teens at a holiday party. Harry also takes a “luck” potion that alters his behavior in a way that seems slightly high, and Ron is thrown for a loop by a powerful love potion. Professor Slughorn and Hagrid get pretty deep into their cups in one scene.
Not an issue
Depends on your kid and your family
Not appropriate for kids of the age most likely to want to see it
Harry inadvertently discovers a mysterious book that sheds light on the sordid life of the evil Lord Voldemort. Preparing for inevitable battle, Harry and Dumbledore turn to Horace Slughorn for help in pinpointing the weakness in Voldemort’s forces.,