Boy Swallows Universe 2024 Parents Guide

The 2024 Netflix seriesBoy Swallows Universe 2024” is a coming-of-age limited series based on Trent Dalton’s semi-autobiographical novel. Written by John Collee, the storyline follows Eli Bell, a working-class youth navigating Brisbane’s underworld to rescue his mother from peril.

Movie NameBoy Swallows Universe
GenreCrime, Drama, Mystery
DirectorBharat Nalluri, Jocelyn Moorhouse, and Kim Mordaunt.
Released dateJanuary 11, 2024

Boy Swallows Universe Movie Plot Summary

In the vibrant and tumultuous backdrop of 1980s Brisbane, Eli Bell, a remarkably perceptive young boy, finds himself entangled in a complex web of family dynamics and urban chaos. His journey takes an unexpected turn when his once tight-knit family is torn apart by the menacing influence of a drug lord.

Against the gritty landscape of Brisbane in 1985, Eli grapples with a multitude of challenges. His father, lost and seemingly irretrievable, is a spectral figure in his memory. His younger brother, selectively mute, becomes a poignant symbol of the family’s shattered communication. Meanwhile, his mother is ensnared in the clutches of addiction, entwined with a stepfather dealing in heroin, and under the watchful eye of a notorious criminal acting as an unconventional babysitter.

As Eli attempts to navigate the complexities of adolescence, his pursuit of understanding the essence of being a good man becomes a compelling odyssey. Fate, however, has other plans, thrusting him into the treacherous orbit of Tytus Broz, a legendary drug dealer in Brisbane. Now, Eli’s life takes a profound turn, forcing him to confront the challenges that threaten to define his destiny.

The narrative deepens as Eli embarks on a mission that demands extraordinary courage and resilience. He discovers the existence of a father he barely remembers and confronts the harsh realities of his family’s disintegration. A daring rescue mission on Christmas Day takes him behind the walls of Boggo Road Gaol, pushing the boundaries of his determination to reunite his fractured family.

In the heart of this gripping tale, Eli confronts the very criminals who orchestrated the upheaval of his world. The tangled threads of love, redemption, and retribution weave together as Eli grapples with the consequences of his choices.

Amidst the chaos, Eli also finds solace and inspiration in an unexpected place—the girl of his dreams. Love blossoms amidst the turmoil, adding a poignant layer to Eli’s journey of self-discovery.

Set against the gritty urban landscape of 1980s Brisbane, this tale of resilience, love, and redemption explores the intricate connections that bind a fractured family and the unforeseen paths one must tread to emerge from the shadows of adversity.

Boy Swallows Universe 2024 Parents Guide

Why is Boy Swallows Universe rated TV-MA?

Boy Swallows Universe is rated TV-MA due to its inclusion of moderate language, intense criminal scenes, realistic depictions of drug-related issues, mild sexual content, mature themes, and intense/frightening scenes, making it unsuitable for younger audiences.

  1. Language: Moderate language is used throughout the film, with occasional instances of strong language. Characters express themselves with realistic dialogue, including some instances of swearing.
  2. Violence: The movie contains intense scenes involving criminal activities. There are depictions of drug dealing and distribution, with associated dangers and conflicts. Additionally, a daring rescue mission on Christmas Day involves physical confrontations, adding an element of violence to the narrative.
  3. Substance Abuse: The film frequently depicts drug use, particularly involving heroin. Characters struggle with addiction, and the consequences of substance abuse are portrayed realistically. The stepfather’s involvement in heroin distribution adds a layer of complexity to the family’s challenges.
  4. Sexual Content: While the movie contains a romantic subplot, the sexual content is mild. There are some kissing scenes and romantic tension between the characters. The focus remains on the emotional connections rather than explicit sexual content.
  5. Mature Themes: The film delves into mature themes, exploring the breakdown of the family unit, redemption, and the consequences of engaging in criminal activities. It offers a nuanced portrayal of the characters grappling with complex issues, providing a thought-provoking narrative.
  6. Frightening/Intense Scenes: Several intense scenes contribute to the overall atmosphere of the film. A daring rescue mission takes place in a prison setting, exposing characters to heightened danger. Confrontations with criminals and moments of emotional turmoil add to the intensity, creating a gripping and emotionally charged viewing experience.

Note: This movie is not recommended for younger audiences, as it contains mature themes, realistic depictions of drug-related issues, and intense scenes that may be unsettling for some viewers. Parental discretion is advised

The cast of Boy Swallows Universe Film

  • Travis Fimmel as Lyle Orlik
  • Simon Baker as Robert Bell
  • Phoebe Tonkin as Frances Bell
  • Felix Cameron as Eli Bell
  • Zac Burgess as Eli Bell
  • Lee Tiger Halley as Gus Bell
  • Bryan Brown as Slim Halliday
  • Anthony LaPaglia as Tytus Broz
  • Sophie Wilde as Caitlyn Spies
  • Christopher James Baker as Ivan Kroll
  • HaiHa Le as Bich Dang
  • Isaac Strutt-Stevens as Christopher
  • Deborah Mailman as Poppy Birkbeck
  • Ben O’Toole as Teddy
  • Emily Eskell as PC Daley
  • Zachary Wan as Darren Dang
  • Millie Donaldson as Shelly Huffman (17 years old)
  • Eloise Rothfield as Shelly Huffman (13 years old)
  • Matthew Knight as Prison guard, Boggo Road Jail
  • Drew Matthews as Titch


Boy Swallows Universe is a crime, drama, and mystery limited series based on Trent Dalton’s semi-autobiographical novel. The story follows Eli Bell, a working-class youth in 1980s Brisbane, navigating the underworld to rescue his mother from a drug lord. Directed by Bharat Nalluri, Jocelyn Moorhouse, and Kim Mordaunt, the series consists of eight episodes and was released on January 11, 2024.

Key Points:

  1. Genre and Rating: Crime, drama, and mystery with a TV-MA rating.
  2. Plot Summary: Eli Bell, in 1985 Brisbane, faces family disintegration due to a drug lord’s influence. His journey involves a daring rescue mission, confronting criminals, and discovering unexpected love.
  3. Parents Guide: Moderate language, intense criminal scenes, drug use depiction, mild sexual content, mature themes, and intense/frightening scenes. Not recommended for younger audiences.
  4. Cast: Includes Travis Fimmel, Simon Baker, Phoebe Tonkin, Felix Cameron, Zac Burgess, Lee Tiger Halley, Bryan Brown, Anthony LaPaglia, Sophie Wilde, and others.
  5. Released: January 11, 2024, exclusively on Netflix.
  6. Setting: 1980s Brisbane, offering a gritty urban backdrop.