I just found the perfect fantasy movie on Netflix to watch with my mom — and it’s exactly what we wanted for Mother’s Day

Millie Bobby Brown in Damsel movie on Netflix
(Image credit: Netflix)

There’s nothing better than grabbing some candy, pouring a glass of wine, and watching a fun movie with your mom on Mother’s Day. It’s a special occasion that should be full of entertaining treats, and one of those treats can include an engaging movie, whether it be romance, comedy, or adventure. Since I got my love of horror from my mom, it’s no surprise that we went down the darker route when scrolling through one of the best streaming services: Netflix

That's how we stumbled upon “Damsel,” a dark fantasy movie that is easy enough to watch but still packs a punch when it comes to the disastrous and gloomy elements. Millie Bobby Brown stars as the titular character Princess Elodie alongside Nick Robinson as Prince Henry and Shohreh Aghdashloo, who voices the incredibly fascinating dragon. 

You might be thinking: “What a random choice for a Mother’s Day movie.” And I can agree on some level, but there isn’t a wrong movie to watch on this special day with your mom. Even if you end up watching “Saw” or a TV show like “Baby Reindeer,” it should be something you and your mom want to experience together. And this year, mine so happens to be “Damsel.” 

If you’re struggling to find a good movie to watch on Mother’s Day, maybe I can give you some inspiration. 

Female empowerment and…a really cool dragon

My mom chose “Damsel” for a specific reason, and that’s down to the female empowerment presented throughout the movie. Brown does an excellent job of being a strong, determined woman who is the hero of her own story. The opening line even says: “There are many stories of chivalry where the heroic knight saves the damsel in distress. This is not one of them.”

“Damsel” follows a young woman named Elodie as she travels to Aurea to marry Prince Henry. This arranged marriage is to help the impoverished people back home. However, it turns out to be a trap when Prince Henry throws Elodie into a cave, ready to be the next meal for a fire-breathing dragon. 

Elodie isn’t just some princess who needs saving though. As seen throughout her dark adventure in the caves, she uses her wits and will to survive, with Brown’s performance making it even more thrilling.

Female empowerment is a huge theme in “Damsel,” but it’s not the only thing that caught my mom’s attention. The dragon’s eerie nature and unsettling voice made the movie even better as it stalked Elodie through the caves. It’s safe to say my mom and I will be on the edge of our seats for a second time.

Sometimes easy watching is better

Millie Bobby Brown wields a sword in Damsel, a new movie coming to Netflix in 2023

(Image credit: Netflix)

There’s nothing wrong with watching an easy movie. Sometimes it feels good to just sit back and enjoy a movie that doesn’t take much to digest and pay attention to. Brown’s performance is also incredibly captivating, from reacting to her injuries to fighting a gigantic dragon that takes up most of the screen.

However, upon its release, “Damsel” didn’t receive much praise from critics. The score currently stands at 56% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an audience rating of 60%. While this seems quite low for a Netflix original, it doesn’t determine how good the movie actually is since reviews are based on opinion.

Sara Michelle Fetters from Movie Freak describes our thoughts perfectly: “I’ve admittedly watched Damsel twice, so it’s obvious that, flaws and all, the movie put a big enough smile on my face that I had no problem sitting down for an almost immediate second look.”

RogerEbert’s Nell Minow said: “Even on the smaller screen, though, the fresh, female-led take on the traditional tale, including a bit of a sisterhood-is-powerful twist near the end, makes it worth a watch.” 

I can agree that the digital effects aren’t the best when it comes to action-adventure movies, but that doesn’t stop it from being a fun watch. Emily Zemler from the Observer states: “If you can get past the clunky computer-generated environments you may be moderately entertained by this story of a girl trying to survive the elements and the threat of a hungry dragon.”  

Regardless, “Damsel” is a dark fantasy movie my mom and I will be watching on Mother’s Day. The narrative isn’t complex, Brown’s character represents female empowerment, and the dragon is just really cool. 

You can stream Damsel on Netflix

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Alix Blackburn
Staff Writer, Streaming

Alix is a Streaming Writer at Tom’s Guide, which basically means watching the best movies and TV shows and then writing about them. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer for Screen Rant and Bough Digital, both of which sparked her interest in the entertainment industry. When she’s not writing about the latest movies and TV shows, she’s either playing horror video games on her PC or working on her first novel.