Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: The DUFF, McFarland USA and more on DVD

We give you what you need to know about the family-friendliness of this week's new releases.

by | February 20, 2015 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:



Rating: PG-13, for crude and sexual material throughout, some language and teen partying.

This high school romantic comedy, which challenges the notions of cliques, hierarchies and labels, is based on Kody Keplinger’s YA novel of the same name. So the material may be familiar to many young viewers, but even if you or your kids haven’t read the book, you’ll all recognize the settings and social challenges. Mae Whitman stars as Bianca, a smart, funny high school senior who learns she’s the DUFF — or Designated Ugly Fat Friend — to her two gorgeous and leggy best pals. As she works to rehabilitate her image, she must navigate the school’s mean girl, the emo boy she has a crush on and her lifelong next-door neighbor and friend, who happens to be the school’s hunky football captain. There’s a lot of frank talk about kissing and sex, much of which exists in an embarrassing video of Bianca that goes viral. Bianca also imagines herself in hot-and-heavy makeout sessions in a couple of dream sequences. But the film’s message of self-acceptance is extremely worthwhile. OK for tweens and up.

McFarland, USA


Rating: PG, for thematic material, some violence and language.

This inspiring Disney film is based on the true story of an underdog, high school cross-country team composed of Latino farm workers’ kids in California’s Central Valley. These are students from struggling families who have toiled in the fields, and while they instinctively know how to run, they don’t know much about training or strategy. Kevin Costner plays their coach, who’s determined to put together a team and prove that his athletes are worthy of competing in a state championship. There are some mature moments and themes regarding socioeconomic disparity, as well as some fistfights, a knife fight and a possible suicide attempt. And yes, given the subject matter, the film itself follows a pretty predictable formula. But the underlying messages of teamwork, dedication and finding home and family are worthwhile. This is probably fine for most ages.

New On DVD:

The Theory of Everything


Rating: PG-13, for some thematic elements and suggestive material.

Eddie Redmayne delivers a powerful, transformative performance in this multiple Oscar nominee about renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. Admittedly, given the subject matter, it might be a tough sell for your kids. But if the older and more ambitious ones are interested — especially ones who are into science — there’s little here that would be inappropriate for them. Redmayne portrays Hawking from his early days at 1960s Cambridge, where he meets his wife, Jane (Felicity Jones), through his stunning diagnosis of motor-neuron disease and his intellectual triumph over the gradual physical deterioration that leaves him in a wheelchair, unable to speak. As his condition weakens, their marriage evolves, with each having an affair on the side with the other’s tacit approval. At one point, Hawking’s therapist leafs through a Penthouse magazine for his enjoyment. And there’s a bit of joking about the fact that Hawking was able to produce three children with his wife, despite suffering from a disease that renders him unable to move much. Suitable for older tweens and up.

Dumb and Dumber To


Rating: PG-13, for crude and sexual humor, partial nudity, language and some drug references.

Fart jokes and urine jokes. Jokes about genitalia — those of our idiotic heroes and an unsuspecting old lady in a nursing home. Jokes about people of various ethnicities, sexual orientations and physical disabilities. If it’s raunchy and (allegedly) shocking, it’s in here. After all, this is a Farrelly brothers movie — and a sequel to a hugely popular Farrelly brothers movie, at that. Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey return to the roles of Harry and Lloyd, respectively, which they played in 1994’s Dumb and Dumber. This time, they reunite for a road trip in hopes of tracking down the daughter Harry never knew he had, and hopefully finding a spare kidney along the way. They bumble and stumble from one ridiculous situation to the next and offend everyone they come across — all in the name of (alleged) satire. The crude physical comedy, which is the Farrellys’ raison d’etre, makes much more sense to me now that I have a 5-year-old son. Still, the material here is probably best suited for older tweens and up.

St. Vincent


Rating: PG-13, for thematic material including sexual content, alcohol and tobacco use, and for language.

Sophisticated tweens and older will probably be OK with this rather mature comedy about a misanthropic alcoholic and the boy next door who becomes his inadvertent project. Bill Murray is back in reliable curmudgeon mode as Vincent, who smokes and drinks his way through his days in a shabby Brooklyn home. But his comfortable, anti-social routine is disrupted when a single mom (Melissa McCarthy) and her shy, bullied son (Jaeden Lieberher) move in next door and Vincent ends up functioning as de facto babysitter. Despite its ultimate feel-good themes, there’s some grown-up stuff here. Vincent has an ongoing fling with a pregnant, Russian stripper (Naomi Watts) and he takes the kid to a dive bar and the racetrack. There’s also a subplot involving an elderly woman who’s in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. And as the kid gains confidence, he punches out one of the classmates who had tormented him. So hey — there’s some uplift after all.

Tag Cloud

pirates of the caribbean science fiction spanish YouTube Red Crackle Grammys Cosplay Superheroes Paramount Network DC Universe hollywood worst movies First Look franchise TCM Acorn TV james bond CBS All Access Polls and Games MTV disaster 21st Century Fox Baby Yoda Chilling Adventures of Sabrina stop motion Lionsgate french A&E Hollywood Foreign Press Association festival Esquire book adaptation Year in Review new star wars movies 45 Nat Geo cinemax know your critic Netflix harry potter USA Network Marvel 2019 Television Academy hispanic heritage month Elton John Tarantino streaming Mary poppins Certified Fresh jamie lee curtis CNN south america ABC Signature chucky Podcast animated historical drama hist posters dreamworks critic resources prank venice debate 79th Golden Globes Awards children's TV Cannes 20th Century Fox TCA 2017 Holiday Mystery news comiccon movie AMC Plus History AMC Musical mob video on demand NBC tv talk Song of Ice and Fire Freeform young adult independent documentaries child's play universal monsters CMT TNT Video Games classics Neflix hispanic politics crime Family Nominations Lifetime Christmas movies razzies nature cats spanish language Academy Awards 007 Rocketman Oscars 99% slashers 24 frames Apple TV+ Watching Series Cartoon Network HBO Go Horror Avengers suspense Lucasfilm police drama Amazon Prime Reality Competition marvel cinematic universe VH1 space Martial Arts scary movies Musicals ghosts PlayStation biopic mcc what to watch heist movie remakes adventure zero dark thirty series BBC Marvel Television Quiz crossover sopranos Universal video ITV basketball die hard 2021 best Hallmark Christmas movies telelvision talk show miniseries X-Men satire adaptation Comedy live event YouTube period drama monster movies Sci-Fi HBO Max technology Teen Mindy Kaling Western political drama dc Sundance Warner Bros. Instagram Live aliens PBS Dark Horse Comics singing competition Trailer facebook GoT WarnerMedia Peacock women 2020 Awards Tour Fantasy Sony Pictures RT History Disney Channel new york mockumentary FX Bravo Amazon casting Comics on TV Disney streaming service Star Wars 90s Hear Us Out LGBTQ Music American Society of Cinematographers a nightmare on elm street psychological thriller ABC Family travel FXX Sundance TV name the review Shondaland Crunchyroll Hulu target screenings deadpool revenge Turner RT21 cops japanese Sneak Peek lord of the rings book DC Comics blockbuster Wes Anderson 93rd Oscars archives justice league versus TLC theme song Shudder National Geographic Epix nbcuniversal serial killer reboot richard e. Grant nfl Captain marvel new zealand canceled TV shows Drama Action cooking laika aapi Funimation Pop 2015 BBC One Sundance Now war 2018 joker NBA TV movies Film Festival genre batman DGA indie legend APB royal family IFC art house Character Guide BET Awards thriller boxoffice ratings The CW Endgame Nickelodeon comic book movie golden globe awards Disney+ Disney Plus TV One anthology Alien cars godzilla TruTV 2017 jurassic park 72 Emmy Awards renewed TV shows mission: impossible YouTube Premium Hallmark BBC America Masterpiece USA Fox News Marathons Kids & Family The Walt Disney Company canceled superman Fox Searchlight Amazon Prime Video Lifetime criterion Countdown discovery halloween japan scary Comedy Central biography Spectrum Originals cancelled TV series Discovery Channel trophy crime thriller quibi anime Fargo crime drama comic dark Walt Disney Pictures TV romance unscripted Universal Pictures trailers cancelled television saw comic book movies spider-verse Rock Election supernatural spain ESPN australia dceu kids Rom-Com ViacomCBS TCA Brie Larson popular Heroines robots free movies teaser scene in color Country VOD black comedy Mary Poppins Returns Premiere Dates indiana jones Valentine's Day WGN documentary Amazon Studios MSNBC TIFF DC streaming service rom-coms television 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards FX on Hulu HBO Box Office Christmas comics stand-up comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Spike social media composers docudrama superhero Super Bowl TCA Awards international cartoon OneApp President comic books LGBT transformers Marvel Studios Opinion sequels IFC Films Pirates Broadway dogs Columbia Pictures Comic-Con@Home 2021 PaleyFest Arrowverse Disney Plus Syfy ID Chernobyl feel good sag awards toronto E3 Pacific Islander werewolf dramedy Trivia DirecTV Reality rotten Mudbound The Walking Dead Fall TV Travel Channel fast and furious The Purge boxing festivals The Academy diversity rt archives Star Trek Animation wonder woman cancelled TV shows Adult Swim Apple Trophy Talk IMDb TV Winners worst toy story concert doctor who Best and Worst action-comedy football rt labs Photos leaderboard reviews Film kaiju 4/20 mutant rt labs critics edition The Arrangement hidden camera Women's History Month slasher 1990s blockbusters game of thrones finale A24 elevated horror ABC psycho Anna Paquin Mary Tyler Moore Pride Month high school twilight CW Seed Awards Emmys Exclusive Video GLAAD binge HFPA TV Land Vudu Biopics Winter TV Infographic Pop TV Britbox TBS Pixar golden globes TCA Winter 2020 Logo obituary VICE YA zombies rotten movies we love stoner comedies Extras kong The Witch christmas movies award winner natural history Writers Guild of America Ovation king kong Superheroe SXSW sitcom Paramount Plus NYCC all-time true crime spider-man Interview Tumblr green book cults Tubi Calendar vampires live action Tags: Comedy parents strong female leads marvel comics OWN Spring TV medical drama Set visit Tokyo Olympics emmy awards Ellie Kemper docuseries BET FOX game show Classic Film latino zombie SundanceTV movies Toys El Rey dragons 71st Emmy Awards Pet Sematary Food Network king arthur Holidays Stephen King adenture Paramount olympics Comic Book San Diego Comic-Con breaking bad Tomatazos Netflix Christmas movies Starz fresh sequel See It Skip It Summer streaming movies spinoff 2016 Emmy Nominations Television Critics Association films BAFTA TV renewals italian screen actors guild Black History Month SDCC cancelled vs. Red Carpet Creative Arts Emmys black Disney romantic comedy Thanksgiving First Reviews Ghostbusters Legendary blaxploitation foreign 73rd Emmy Awards GIFs asian-american New York Comic Con Rocky E! MCU based on movie dexter witnail scorecard halloween tv Black Mirror sports spy thriller Prime Video Schedule CBS Image Comics Apple TV Plus Binge Guide critics gangster Showtime directors Turner Classic Movies