Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Plus The Lone Ranger, One Direction: This is Us and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

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

by | December 20, 2013 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues


Rating: PG-13, for crude and sexual content, drug use, language and comic violence.

Where to begin…? Well, in this sequel to the 2004 cult comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Will Ferrell’s buffoonish newsman and his equally inept pals smoke crack on the air, cavort with women in awkwardly lustful ways and engage in an ever bigger all-out battle with rival TV news teams. Much thumping and thrashing and wielding of weird weapons ensue. There’s also a ton of risqué word play as well as a shark that may not be a kid’s playmate after all. It’s an incredibly silly comedy — scattered and slapped together even by the loose standards of this genre — but for older kids with a taste for slapstick, it should be fine.

New On DVD:

The Lone Ranger


Rating: PG-13, for sequences of intense action and violence, and some suggestive material.

A bloated, overlong and awkward blend of action, humor, romance mysticism and history lesson, connected by massive, effects-laden set pieces. This is a Lone Ranger origin story from Tonto’s perspective, brought to you by the key people behind the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, which are not exactly known for their subtlety: producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski and star Johnny Depp. Kids might actually feel overwhelmed and/or bored by the running time of 2 ½ hours as well as the enormity and confusion at play here. As for what might be inappropriate for young viewers: a ton of Western-style gunplay, a cannibal carving out a guy’s heart and eating it and a brothel sequence. Also: a sight gag involving horse poop. ‘Cause that’s hilarious.

One Direction: This is Us


Rating: PG, for mild language.

I’m actually not even sure why this movie deserves a PG rating. An extended infomercial for the British boy-band juggernaut, it’s exceedingly wholesome and harmless. Director Morgan Spurlock follows the fivesome around on their world tour but completely sanitizes their antics: no groupies, no partying, no infighting, not even a sneaked cigarette. On stage and behind the scenes, Harry, Zayn, Niall, Liam and Louis are as bland and boring as can be – and with the exception of Harry, who’s trying very hard to channel a young Mick Jagger, they’re essentially interchangeable. Suitable for fans of all ages, and tolerable for adults who may be stuck in the living room watching it along with them.

Percy Jackon: Sea of Monsters


Rating: PG, for fantasy action violence, some scary images and mild language.

This poor-man’s Harry Potter carries a PG rating but it contains some images and action sequences that could be seriously scary for younger kids. The sequel to 2010’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief opens with monsters killing a young girl. A massive robot bull storms the forest community that Poseidon’s son, Percy (Logan Lerman), and his pals call home, trying to trample, gore and shoot fire at anyone and everyone. Among the other adventures, Percy and his friends must take on a frightening Cyclops as well as the enormous, child-eating Titan Kronos. The theater where I saw it was full of families, though, so maybe this is OK for kids around 7 or 8 and up.

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