Split parents guide: This PG-13 movie may not be best for younger teens

Split starring James McAvoy is a PG-13 movie, but it's better suited for the older teens in the house. Here's a look at what to expect at the movie, now streaming on Netflix.
James McAvoy in Split - credit: Universal Pictures
James McAvoy in Split - credit: Universal Pictures /

When it comes to M. Night Shyamalan movies, Split is definitely one to add to the streaming queue. It’s part of the franchise that includes Glass and Unbreakable. And with Split and Glass now available on Netflix, you have a chance to see how Bruce Willis’s Unbreakable universe continued to grow.

In Split, James McAvoy takes on the role of Kevin, a man who has 23 distinct personalities. McAvoy excels in bringing these different personalities to life, and he makes the movie well worth watching.

After Kevin is compelled to kidnap three teenage girls, one of the women, Casey attempts to connect with several of Kevin's personalities. But what happens when the different personalities combine?

The Shyamalan flick has gained a devoted cult following across the years, and with it now climbing the Netflix Top 10 charts, chances are you might want to split reading this article and go watch it with your kids. Hold on a second, if so, because we're about to explain the rating... And why it might be one for the older teens, only.

Split movie parents guide: Explaining the PG-13 age rating

The movie itself is rated PG-13. This may be a little surprising as you go into some of the storytelling elements, so let's get into specifically why we think this skews a little older than the MPA suggests.

Sex & nudity: The movie doesn’t involve any sex, but there are mentions of one character having sex with underage girls. There’s no full-frontal nudity, but there are some scenes where the teenage girls are stripped to their underwear.

Violence & gore: This is where most of the recommendations for a 16+ rating come into play. There is a lot of violence shown throughout the movie. In fact, the movie is on the graphic side when it comes to one young girl being abused. There is also a quick image of a teenage girl’s intestines after a cannibal has eaten her. This movie doesn’t shy away from the way multiple characters act and react.

Language: Most of the language sticks to “hell,” “damn,” and other milder swear words. However, there are a couple of F-bombs and some uses of the S-word throughout. This depends on the situation the characters are in. One of the girls is cut off while saying “mother****r.”

Alcohol & drugs: There is a scene where there are people in a bar, so it makes sense that there is some drinking happening. There is also a scene of someone smoking. Other than that, the movie keeps the alcohol and drug use to a minimum, focusing on violence and language instead.

Overall verdict: Who is Split appropriate for?

While the movie has a PG-13 rating, I would recommend this for the older teens in the house, 16+. There are some intense and frightening scenes throughout the movie, especially as we get to the end and some of the darker personalities in Kevin come out.

This is certainly going to depend on the type of graphic content that your teenagers can handle, but I wouldn’t recommend this for kids under 13, even with adult supervision. The same applies to Glass if you want to follow on with that. These movies are scary and intense!

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