McClatchy-Tribune News Service
THE LEGO MOVIE
Rating: PG for mild action and rude humor
What it’s about: The Lego Universe is threatened by Lord Business, who wants us all to “always follow the instructions” when assembling our Legos.
The kid attractor factor: Based on the popular toy, inspired by the assorted movie parodies made using those plastic building blocks.
Good lessons / bad lessons: Using your imagination while you play is a lot more important than following assembly instructions.
Violence: Lego-on-Lego violence.
Language: “Darn you darned darn darn it!”
Sex: Flirting between toys.
Drugs: What? No. None.
Parents’ advisory: The subversive nature of the story and dialogue will amuse parents, the inventive ways the toys are thrown together will tickle younger kids — OK for all ages.
THE MONUMENTS MEN
Rating: PG-13 for some images of war violence and historical smoking
What it’s about: Museum directors and art historians join the Army and help track down art stolen by the Nazis during World War II.
The kid attractor factor: A war movie with Matt Damon, Bill Murray and other actors your parents’ age, over their heads in combat zones.
Good lessons / bad lessons: World War II was fought, at least in part, to save the heritage and art of Western civilization from the Nazis and the Communists.
Violence: Shootings, explosions, blood. This is WWII, after all.
Language: A few comically-placed profanities, some of them in French.
Sex: Mild flirtation.
Drugs: Cognac, wine and cigarettes. Lots of cigarettes.
Parents’ advisory: A reasonably entertaining history lesson, if you can drag the kids with you to see it — suitable for 13-and-up.
THAT AWKWARD MOMENT
Rating: R for sexual content and language throughout
What it’s about: Young New Yorkers hook up and think about coupling up as they grow up.
The kid attractor factor: Zac Efron, Imogen Poots, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan are the stars.
Good lessons / bad lessons: “Being there for someone, that’s all relationships are.”
Violence: A punch is thrown.
Language: Profanity, and lots of it.
Sex: Quite a bit, reasonably explicit, with graphic displays of sex toys.
Drugs: Mass quantities of alcohol are consumed.
Parents’ advisory: Entirely too sexual and alcohol-obsessed for anybody under 16, but if they’ve outgrown “High School Musical”...
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense fantasy action and violence throughout
What it’s about: Dr. Frankenstein’s monster lives to the present day, where he gets mixed up with demons and angelic gargoyles.
The kid attractor factor: A monster movie with lots of swordplay and monstrous effects.
Good lessons / bad lessons: “Each of us has a higher purpose.”
Violence: Lots and lots, but very little that’s bloody.
Language: Some profanity
Parents’ advisory: As tame as any PG-13 horror movie you’ve ever seen, OK for 10-and-up.
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence, sexual content and brief strong language
What it’s about: A seasoned cop takes a wannabe cop who is engaged to his sister on for a rough and tumble day of police work.
The kid attractor factor: Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, acting tough, talking tough and mixing it up.
Good lessons / bad lessons: Video games are great training for a gun fight.
Violence: Brawls, shootouts, a little blood here and there.
Language: The occasional f-bomb is dropped.
Sex: Discussed, flirted with, and there’s a trip to a strip club.
Parents’ advisory: A bit rough for a PG-13, but it is a comedy and the violence is often played for laughs, as troubling as that can be. OK for 13-and-up.
JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence and intense action, and brief strong language
What it’s about: An idealistic, college-educated Marine is recruited to the C.I.A. and investigates a shady Russian plot to send America into a depression.
The kid attractor factor: Chris (“Capt. Kirk”) Pine as a secret agent, with Keira Knightley as his lady friend and lots of spy games for them to partake in.
Good lessons / bad lessons: There are a lot of ways for those who hate us to bring us low.
Violence: Shootings, combat sequences, a bloody and gruesome brawl.
Language: Momentary blasts of profanity.
Drugs: Alcohol is consumed.
Parents’ advisory: Pretty tame, for a no-holds-barred spy thriller in the modern mold, OK for 12-and-up.
THE NUT JOB
Rating: PG for mild action and rude humor
What it’s about: Wild animals of the city try to rob a nut shop in order to have food enough for the winter.
The kid attractor factor: Sassy squirrels, scary rats, inept robbers and a silly pug dog — talking and planning a caper.
Good lessons / bad lessons: No squirrel is an island — we all need the help and cooperation of others, from time to time.
Violence: Broad, cartoon slapstick stuff.
Language: Every “nut” joke you can imagine.
Parents’ advisory: A cartoon in the “Looney Toons” tradition — silly, slapstick-heavy and best suited for 10-and-under.
THE LEGEND OF HERCULES
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense combat action and violence, and for some sensuality
What it’s about: Hercules is exiled by his father the king, only to learn who his TRUE dad (Zeus) is and plan his return to Greece.
The kid attractor factor: A Greek demi-god discovers his supernatural side, starring a “Twilight” hunk.
Good lessons / bad lessons: “History is but a chronicle of war.”
Violence: Yes, and lots of it, but with minimal blood.
Language: Mythically clean.
Sex: A bit of skin, a few make-out sessions.
Drugs: Barely even a drop of wine.
Parents’ advisory: An obscure corner of Greek mythology and the Hercules story that will confuse the very young and Greek myth literalists — OK for 10-and-up.
Rating: R for strong bloody war violence and pervasive language
What it’s about: A Navy SEALs team on a mission that goes terribly wrong.
The kid attractor factor: Action and bloodshed and lots of it.
Good lessons / bad lessons: Soldiers fight not just for a country and a cause, but for each other.
Violence: Almost constant
Language: Soldiers swear.
Parents’ advisory: Extremely violent true story, OK for 13-and-up but most suitable for 16-and-up.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES
Rating: R for pervasive language, some violence, graphic nudity and some drug use
What it’s about: Teenagers in Los Angeles battle demonic possession and try to master their new video camera as they do.
The kid attractor factor: More “Paranormal” goings on with things that go bump in the night.
Good lessons / bad lessons: Your old Simon (Says) toy can double as a Ouija board, if there are demons about.
Violence: A bit, here and there, nothing that graphic.
Language: Teenagers swear, especially those running from a demon.
Sex: Full nudity in a non-sexual situation, teens “hooking up.”
Parents’ advisory: Jokey as it is, take the R-rating seriously. OK for mature 13 year olds, but intended for older teens — 16-and-up.
THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY
Rating: PG for some crude comments, language and action violence
What it’s about: A shy man who has always lived a more active fantasy life than a real one starts to act on those fantasies just as his job comes to an end.
The kid attractor factor: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig and lots of crazy risks, including swimming with sharks and climbing mountains.
Good lessons / bad lessons: “To see life, see the world.”
Violence: Moments of peril, played for laughs.
Language: A couple of off-color remarks.
Sex: Simple flirtation.
Drugs: Alcohol is used, to excess.
Parents’ advisory: A family friendly “seize life, live life” comedy, suitable for 8-and-up.
Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, and thematic elements)
What it’s about: Outcast samurai vow to avenge themselves on the ruler who caused the death of their master.
The kid attractor factor: Samurai swordplay, much of it by Keanu Reeves.
Good lessons / bad lessons: “When a crime goes unpunished, the world goes unbalanced.”
Violence: Lots and lots, with beheadings, stabbings and slashings. Not terribly bloody, for all that.
Language: Quite clean.
Sex: Forbidden love, a little kissing, a little lust.
Drugs: Potions and poisons only.
Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements including some unsettling images
What it’s about: P.L. Travers travels to Hollywood to oversee the filming of “Mary Poppins,” based on her book.
The kid attractor factor: Adults behaving rudely, and the testy process by which a movie of pure joy was concocted.
Good lessons / bad lessons: Happy stories are often written by very unhappy people as a way of coping.
Language: Quite tame.
Sex: Not a hint.
Drugs: Walt was never far from a lit cigarette, and one character is a drunk.
Parents’ advisory: This tale of the making of “Mary Poppins” into a movie will be over the heads of the very young, but is entirely suitable for 10-and-up, especially if they’ve seen “Mary Poppins.”
Rating: PG-13 for sports action violence, sexual content and language
What it’s about: Two retired fighters are lured back into the ring for remuneration and revenge.
The kid attractor factor: Old guys making old guy jokes, taking swings at each other. And Kevin Hart.
Good lessons / bad lessons: You’re never too old to redeem yourself and repair the past.
Violence: It’s about boxing. So, yeah.
Language: A bit of profanity, here and there.
Sex: Infidelity is discussed; a little back-seat-of-the-Escalade action.
Drugs: Alcohol is consumed.
Parents’ advisory: Bloody, boozy, with a big bout in the finale, too adult for anybody under 10.
WALKING WITH DINOSAURS
Rating: PG for creature action and peril, and mild rude humor
What it’s about: Dinosaurs talk, joke, migrate, fight and die in the late Cretaceous period.
The kid attractor factor: Dinosaurs, doing what dinosaurs did, joking around about it as they do.
Good lessons / bad lessons: “Don’t die in vain.”
Violence: Yes, and characters die, the way real dinosaurs died.
Language: Dino poop and dino poop jokes.
Sex: Flirting, jokes about “head-butting season.”
Parents’ advisory: Packed with information about dinosaurs and dino behavior, kids old enough to read will get more out of it — suitable for 7-and-up.
TYLER PERRY’S A MADEA CHRISTMAS
Rating: PG-13 for sexual references, crude humor and language
What it’s about: Madea goes to Alabama where she heals a broken relationship or two, teaches children “The Nativitease Story” and sets a racist straight.
The kid attractor factor: Madea, one angry cussing black woman.
Good lessons / bad lessons: “A lie. The longer you let it live, the harder it is to kill.”
Violence: A punch is thrown, bullying.
Language: Mild Madea profanity.
Sex: Viagra jokes and the like.
Drugs: White lightning is displayed, not consumed.
Parents’ advisory: The least edgy Madea movie, this one is OK for ages 10-and-up.
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
Rating: PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.
What it’s about: A hobbit and his dwarf companions battle a dragon as they seek to rescue an ancient treasure.
The kid attractor factor: Hobbits. And Elves. With plenty of dwarfs and a wizard and dragon for good measure.
Good lessons / bad lessons: The smallest among us can turn out to be the toughest and most cunning.
Violence: Quite a lot of stabbings, throat slashings and decapitations.
Language: A teensy hit of Middle Earth profanity.
Sex: A joke about “what’s in my trousers.”
Parents’ advisory: The violence, fantastical and stylized, is a bit much, and it’s too long for the very young to sit through — OK for 10-and-up.
ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES
Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual content, drug use, language and comic violence.
What it’s about: Those 1970s blow-dried TV news dopes invent cable news and its obsession with celebrities and car chases in this ditzy sequel.
The kid attractor factor: Will Ferrell & Co., cutting up and cracking wise and pushing that PG-13 envelope.
Good lessons / bad lessons: News is supposed to be telling “people what they need to know,” not “giving them what they want to hear.”
Violence: Slapstick knees to the groin, etc.
Language: Salty ‘70s style swearing.
Sex: Discussed, grappled with comically.
Drugs: Joked about, used (to comic effect).
Parents’ advisory: Chances are, they’ve seen the video of the first film. Not exactly suitable for younger kids, but OK for 12-and-up.
Rating: PG for some action and mild rude humor
What it’s about: A princess tries to talk her troubled, enchanted sister into moving back home after an accident with ice.
The kid attractor factor: It’s a Disney princess cartoon musical.
Good lessons / bad lessons: “Nobody wants to be alone” and “Only an act of true love can melt a frozen heart.
Violence: Fantasy violence, injuries.
Language: Disney clean.
Sex: Flirtation, swooning.
Parents’ advisory: Adults may wish for more hummable tunes, but otherwise, suitable for all ages.
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some frightening images, thematic elements, a suggestive situation and language
What it’s about: Katniss and Peeta face the pressures of celebrity while the government worries so much about their growing influence that it wants them dead.
The kid attractor factor: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, great futuristic costumes, an action-packed third act.
Good lessons / bad lessons: “There’s always a flaw in ‘the system.’”
Violence: Summary executions, whippings, stabbings and lots of blood.
Language: Future folk still curse, occasionally.
Sex: Kissing, oddly chaste spend-the-night-together scenes.
Drugs: Drinks, libations.
Parents’ advisory: Like the first film, a very violent action picture that pushes the boundaries of PG-13. Suitable for 13-and-up.
Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content, some drug material, brief violence and language |
What it’s about: An irresponsible 40ish guy learns he’s been the sperm donor daddy to hundreds of kids, and decides to secretly involve himself in their lives.
The kid attractor factor: Vince Vaughn, Cobie Smulders and hijinks you don’t normally see in a broad, low comedy.
Good lessons / bad lessons: It’s never too late to grow up and become a decent parent.
Violence: A little slap around.
Language: More than a little profanity.
Sex: Mostly about its after-effects.
Drugs: Pot is grown, joked about.
Parents’ advisory: Might want to limit this one to kids old enough to know what “sperm donor” means — suitable for 13-and-up.
THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY
Rating: R for language, sexual content and brief nudity
What it’s about: Friends who once united for a wedding now gather for a reunion, 15 years later.
The kid attractor factor: Adults, flirting and feuding like they’re still in college.
Good lessons / bad lessons: “A setback is just a set-up for a comeback. “
Violence: A few brawls, one of them an epic, screeching cat fight.
Language: More than a little profanity.
Sex: Yes, modestly explicit.
Drugs: Marijuana, used recreationally and medicinally.
Parents’ advisory: Lots of good messages about friends looking out for one another through the years, in between the sex and pot use. Suitable for 15-and-up.
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
Rating: R for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, nudity and drug use
What it’s about: A rowdy Texas electrician gets AIDS and finds new purpose in life, finding foreign-approved drugs that might help him and those like him.
The kid attractor factor: Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, as you’ve never seen them before.
Good lessons / bad lessons: Irresponsible behavior has its consequences, and nothing focuses the mind like a fatal illness.
Language: Lots of profanity
Sex: Somewhat explicit
Drugs: Legal and illegal.
Parents’ advisory: A lighter, more entertaining rendition of a rough piece of history which older kids probably should learn about — OK for 16-and-up.
THOR: THE DARK WORLD
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content |
What it’s about: Thor must battle Dark Elves who plan to use a dark force to end the nine worlds as they converge.
The kid attractor factor: Big blond dude with the hammer, beating up other big dudes. And Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings.
Good lessons / bad lessons: Sometimes, a little treason is justified to ensure the greater good.
Violence: Lots and lots — bashings, throat slashings, stabbings and shootings.
Language: A healthy scattering of profanity, much of it from Kat Dennings.
Sex: Shirtless Thor and the ladies who admire that.
Parents’ advisory: Lighter-hearted than most comic book adaptations, suitable for 8-and-up.
ALL IS LOST
Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language
What it’s about: An old man sailing alone around the world is confronted with his mortality after his sailboat starts to sink.
The kid attractor factor: Peril at sea, problem solving when you’re the only one you can count on to save yourself.
Good lessons / bad lessons: As long as there is life, hope is never lost.
Violence: A bloody injury, the threat of drowning.
Language: One epic and justified swear word.
Sex: Not a hint.
Parents’ advisory: Young kids might find watching a movie with no dialogue a challenge, but this is certainly suitable for 10-and-up.
Rating: PG-13 for some violence, sci-fi action and thematic material.
What it’s about: A gifted boy is singled out for leadership in a future when the young and the video-game savvy are our best warriors and our greatest military leaders.
The kid attractor factor: Kids, mastering training games, battling each other and bug-eyed aliens.
Good lessons / bad lessons: The killer instinct comes easily; compassion and empathy you grow into.
Violence: Bullying, fistfights, blood, a death.
Language: Pretty tame.
Sex: Not even flirtation.
Parents’ advisory: Humorless, dark and brooding, this isn’t sci-fi for the very young. Suitable for 10-and-up, though.
Rating: PG for some action / peril and rude humor
What it’s about: Two turkeys travel back in time to change the menu at the first Thanksgiving.
The kid attractor factor: Animated turkeys, in 3-D, outsmarting colonists back then and Haz-Mat suited soldiers today.
Good lessons / bad lessons: “When you’re in a flock, you know you belong to something bigger.”
Violence: Nothing graphic, though the fate of turkeys during the holidays is revealed.
Language: Disney clean, even the “rude humor” bits.
Sex: Flirting turkeys, lots of discussion of the muscles in turkey butts.
Parents’ advisory: Tame enough for the whole family, suitable for all ages.
JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA
Rating: R for strong crude and sexual content throughout, language, some graphic nudity and brief drug use.
What it’s about: Johnny Knoxville, in old age makeup, and a kid drive across country staging bad parenting / dirty old man pranks on the unsuspecting.
The kid attractor factor: Johnny Knoxville’s big, crude and sometimes painful pratfalls.
Good lessons / bad lessons: People who “get involved” in other people’s parenting get punked.
Violence: Slapstick stuff, threats.
Language: Profanity, some of it from a small boy.
Sex: Genital jokes and genital sight gags, a male stripper review.
Drugs: Crack jokes, alcohol is consumed, allegedly by the kid.
Parents’ advisory: Seriously subversive and sophomoric, too crude for the very young — OK for 13-and-up.
Rating: R for bloody violence, disturbing images, language and some sexual content.
What it’s about: The bullied daughter of a religious fanatic gets even at prom.
The kid attractor factor: It’s a high school revenge fantasy starring Chloe Grace Moretz.
Good lessons / bad lessons: Mend your bullying ways before it’s too late.
Violence: Yes, and quite bloody.
Language: Teenagers and teachers curse.
Drugs: Alcohol is discussed.
Parents’ advisory: Decidedly anti-bullying, it’s still the violent “Carrie” you remember from the ‘70s. OK for 15-and-up.
Rating: R for violence and language throughout
What it’s about: A security consultant and his new prison buddy try to figure out a way to escape from a new escape-proof prison.
The kid attractor factor: Action, and lots of it, starring guys old enough to be your grandfather.
Good lessons / bad lessons: “Always have a Plan B.”
Violence: Stabbings, shootings, neck-snappings.
Language: In prison, there is profanity.
Sex: Not in this prison.
Parents’ advisory: Too violent for young children, but far more responsible than your average “Expendables” or “Last Man Standing.” OK for 13-and-up.
THE FIFTH ESTATE
Rating: R for language and some violence
What it’s about: A young computer hacker is enlisted to join Julian Assange’s crusade to end government and big business secrecy on the Internet.
The kid attractor factor: Hacker intrigues, online crisis management, and Benedict Cumberbatch
Good lessons / bad lessons: “Give a man a mask and he will tell you the truth.”
Violence: More implied than overt.
Sex: Nothing graphic, but famous online freedom of speech crusaders do hook up, occasionally.
Drugs: Alcohol is consumed at parties.
Parents’ advisory: If they’re old enough to recognize the international anarchist’s symbol, they should understand this. Suitable for 15-and-up.
ROMEO AND JULIET
Rating: PG-13 for some violence and thematic elements
What it’s about: The greatest star-crossed romance of them all.
The kid attractor factor: Young people, played by Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth, getting all hot and bothered.
Good lessons / bad lessons: To paraphrase Andy Griffith, unless you want the expense of a double funeral, spring for a cheap wedding when young love rears its head.
Violence: Bloody sword fights, brawls and poisonings.
Language: Shakespearean put downs
Sex: Suggested, not nearly as hot and bothered as you’d expect.
Drugs: Wine, poisons
Parents’ advisory: A bit younger and a tad more violent than most adaptations, suitable for 13-and-up.
Rating: PG-13 for sustained intense sequences of menace, some violence with bloody images, and for substance use
What it’s about: A cargo ship’s captain and crew battles hijackers off the Somali coast.
The kid attractor factor: A true story action picture about crazed young men with guns and the unarmed merchant sailors who try to outsmart them.
Good lessons / bad lessons: Solving problems with violence only begets more violence.
Violence: Shootings, a stabbing, blood.
Language. Only in the subtitles.
Sex: Not a hint.
Drugs: Cigarettes and the Somali narcotic leaf “khat” are consumed.
Parents’ advisory: A bit long and too violent for younger viewers, suitable for 12-and-up.
Rating: PG-13 for intense perilous sequences, some disturbing images and brief strong language
What it’s about: An accident during a spacewalk strands two astronauts in orbit.
The kid attractor factor: Science fiction that isn’t far beyond the realm of the possible, the realistic terrors of space.
Good lessons / bad lessons: Don’t give up, because “There’s always something you can do.”
Violence: Deaths, corpses in zero gravity
Language: People under duress curse. On Earth or in space.
Sex: None, though Sandra Bullock has a “suit up” moment.
Parents’ advisory: Entirely too intense for younger children, entirely suitable for 10-and-up.
Rating: R for sexual content, nudity, language, some disturbing images and brief drug use
What it’s about: Formula One racing rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda battle on and off the track in the swinging ‘70s.
The kid attractor factor: Fast cars, one of them driven by Thor (Chris Hemsworth).
Good lessons / bad lessons: “A wise man gets more from his enemies than a fool from his friends.”
Violence: High speed crashes, grisly after-effects.
Language: Some profanity.
Sex: Olivia Wilde plays James Hunt’s girlfriend, so guess.
Drugs: It was the ‘70s, so yes.
Parents’ advisory: If they’re old enough to be into cars and the opposite sex, they might enjoy this period piece. Suitable for 13-and-up.
CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2
Rating: PG for mild rude humor
What it’s about: The weather machine starts turning out living, feeding dinner course critters in this sequel.
The kid attractor factor: It’s a 3-D animated sequel to the surprise hit of a couple of years back.
Good lessons / bad lessons: “A bully turned friend will be friend to the end.”
Violence: Slapstick, cartoonish, involving omnivorous foodstuffs and robot-suited “Sentinels of Safety.”
Language: “Oh, crab-balls,” fart jokes and the like.
Parents’ advisory: Suitable for all ages.
Rating: PG-13 for sexual content and some language
What it’s about: A young woman revisits her ex-boyfriends to see which one has the most promise as a potential date / mate for her sister’s wedding.
The kid attractor factor: Airline travel jokes, romantic mishaps, Paula Patton and assorted good-looking men as her suitors.
Good lessons / bad lessons: You don’t need a mate to be complete, and you can’t hurry love.
Violence: The threat of a slap-fight, here and there.
Language: Some mild profanity
Sex: Hinted at, with infidelity tossed into the mix.
Drugs: Alcohol is consumed in romantic settings.
Parents’ advisory: More retro than risque in its attitudes towards marriage, romance and finding a suitable mate, suitable for 13-and-older.
BATTLE OF THE YEAR
Rating: PG-13 for language and some rude behavior
What it’s about: A team of B-Boys (break dancers) is assembled to battle the world’s best and coached by a guy who no longer dances.
The kid attractor factor: Dancing hotties of the male (and one female) persuasion.
Good lessons / bad lessons: “Change how you think, change your life.”
Language. B-Boy profanity
Sex: No, though the consequences of having babies too young comes up.
Parents’ advisory: Clean enough for teens and tweens, suitable for 12-and-up.
Rating: R for violence, language and brief sexuality
What it’s about: A mob family in the witness protection program wreaks havoc in a small French town.
The kid attractor factor: Funny / violent mobsters and mob teens, including that hot blonde from “Glee!” (Dianna Agron).
Good lessons / bad lessons: “Asking politely with a gun in your hand is better than asking politely with nothing.”
Violence: Graphic, sometimes grisly, excessive.
Language: Lots of mob-friendly profanity.
Sex: Yes, fairly explicit, too.
Drugs: Yes, prescription drug abuse is implied, with booze and cigarettes too.
Parents’ advisory: Incredibly violent, with mortal violence played for laughs. Take the R rating seriously, suitable for 16-and-up.
Rating: R for strong violence, language and some sexual content/nudity
What it’s about: Everybody’s favorite night-blind spree killer of the future returns to the planet where it all began.
The kid attractor factor: Vin Diesel, narrating, killing, befriending a digital alien dog.
Good lessons/bad lessons: It’s never too late to revive a sci-fi franchise that made you rich.
Violence: Plentiful, graphic.
Language: Some profanity.
Sex: Nudity, flirtation.
Parents’ advisory: The tone is a bit juvenile, especially the sexual stuff, but the violence is quite gory. OK for 15-and-up.
THE WORLD’S END
Rating: R for pervasive language including sexual references.
What it’s about: A group of former friends in their 40s re-unite to recreate an epic “crawl” through the pubs of the small British town where they grew up. But something’s changed.
The kid attractor factor: It’s a science fiction-action comedy featuring the lads who made the zombie romp “Shaun of the Dead.”
Good lessons / bad lessons: Our bad decisions, temperamental testiness and abuse of alcohol are what make us human. Or at least British.
Violence: Sci-fi action, peril, deaths — mostly played for laughs.
Language: Blistering blasts of blotto Brit profanity
Drugs: Pot is purchased, alcohol is consumed — pretty much constantly.
Parents’ advisory: The mass consumption of beer should give any parent pause. Take the R-rating and the “suitable for 17-and-up” warning seriously.
Drugs: Martinis are downed, olives are devoured
Parents’ advisory: You may have to take the car keys away from older teens after this one, but still suitable for 10-and-up.
“THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES”
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action, and some suggestive content
What it’s about: A teenager learns her genetic destiny — as a descendant of a family that defends the world from demons.
The kid attractor factor: Lily Collins starring in the first of Cassandra Clare’s fantasy novels to hit the screen.
Good lessons/bad lessons: “To love is to destroy.”
Violence: Quite a lot of it, some of it bloody.
Language: A teensy bit of profanity.
Sex: Flirting, jokes about character’s homosexual or bisexual tendencies.
Drugs: Alcohol is sipped.
Parents’ advisory: If they’re old enough for the books, they’re old enough for the movie. OK for 12-and-up.