Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Jack Reacher, The Guilt Trip, and Monsters, Inc. 3D

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

by | December 20, 2012 | Comments


Since it’s the holiday season, there’s a good chance you’ll be watching movies with family members young and old. Fortunately, you’ve got plenty to choose from, including an action thriller (Jack Reacher), a road-trip comedy (The Guilt Trip), an animated classic (Monsters, Inc. 3D), and loads of new DVDs. Read on to find out what’s appropriate for the whole family.

In Theaters This Week:

Jack Reacher


What’s it about? Tom Cruise stars as the title character, a former Army M.P. who is called upon to investigate a mass shooting and uncovers a web of intrigue.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 for “for violence, language and some drug material.” Given that it’s a story about a sniper, Jack Reacher might be a tough sell to some parents after the recent shooting in Newtown, but it’s probably safe for teens.

Is it any good? Critics say that while Jack Reacher doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it’s an above-average crime thriller with a charismatic performance from Cruise.

The Guilt Trip


What’s it about? Seth Rogen stars as an inventor who plans to drive cross-country to pitch his newest product. He invites his overbearing mom (Barbra Streisand) along in an attempt to fix her up with an old boyfriend in San Francisco.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 for “language and some risqué material.” It’s probably safe for teens.

Is it any good? Critics say The Guilt Trip is undeniably sweet, and the leads are in fine form, but there are absolutely no surprises to be found in the script.

Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D


What’s it about? Everyone’s favorite acrobatic Canadians bring their patented brand of entertainment to the big screen with help from producer James Cameron and director Andrew Adamson.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG for “some dramatic images and mild sensuality.” Put it another way: this ain’t Zumanity.

Is it any good? Critics say Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away barely contains a plot, but its images are so eye-popping that you probably won’t care.

Monsters, Inc. 3D


What’s it about? Sully (John Goodman), who’s furry and blue, and Mike (Billy Crystal), who’s a giant eyeball in a green body, are exiled from the land of monsters to the real world after a little girl proves impervious to their ability to frighten.

Who’s it for? It’s rated G. It practically defines the term “family entertainment.”

Is it any good? With great characters, a superb voice cast, and an endearing story, Monsters, Inc. is a Pixar classic.

New On DVD:

Pitch Perfect


What’s it about? Anna Kendrick stars as a new kid on campus who goes looking for a new clique and finds one in the form of the school’s a cappella ensemble. Can our heroine’s hip taste in tunes shake up the group’s staid arrangements — and make it a contender at the big singing competition?

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 for “sexual material, language, and drug references,” though it’s almost certainly safe for young teens.

Is it any good? Despite the deluge of all-singing, all-dancing movies and TV shows, Pitch Perfect is probably worth your time. The cast is excellent, the songs are good, and it’s Certified Fresh.

Total Recall


What’s it about? Suffering from disturbing dreams, Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) decides to visit Rekall, a company that implants memories of an exciting vacation. When the procedure goes awry, however, Quaid becomes the target of a manhunt.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 for “intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, some sexual content, brief nudity, and language.” We can safely say the original contains way more stuff that’s inappropriate for teens.

Is it any good? Critics say it’s visually impressive, but it swaps out the existential anxiety and eccentric panache of Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 film for an overabundance of action set-pieces.

Premium Rush


What’s it about? Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a New York City bike messenger who picks up a package for delivery. What seems like a routine job is immediately complicated when a crooked cop (Michael Shannon) starts following Wilee, desperate to get his hands on the parcel at all costs.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 for “for some violence, intense action sequences and language.” It’s safe for teens.

Is it any good? Critics say the Certified Fresh Premium Rush doesn’t always adhere to the rules of common sense, but it’s so fast-paced and exciting that you probably won’t care, and Shannon makes for a frightening antagonist.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days


What’s it about? In this third installment of the kid franchise, Zachary Gordon stars yet again as Greg Heffley, who finds himself bereft of summer plans. To stave off boredom, our hero pretends to have a job at a country club and embarks on an ill-fated camping trip.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG for “some rude humor.” Middle schoolers will not be traumatized.

Is it any good? Critics say Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is warm and reasonably amusing, but it feels more like a sitcom than a feature film.

Trouble with the Curve


What’s it about? Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) is an aging baseball scout who’s losing both his sight and his preternatural gift for judging talent. Gus’ daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) joins him on a road trip to scout a top prospect, mending their frayed relationship in the process.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 for “for language, sexual references, some thematic material and smoking.” It’s safe for teens, but it’s not a typical sports-action-oriented baseball movie.

Is it any good? Critics say Trouble With the Curve may not be a home run, but it’s a solid single: it’s warm, well-acted, and really, really predictable.

Tag Cloud

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