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

63%

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

37%

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

45%

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

96%

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

81%

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

31%

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

74%

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

52%

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

51%

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

kaiju criterion romantic comedy elevated horror a nightmare on elm street Columbia Pictures Star Trek E! ITV revenge Masterpiece USA Network king arthur cats Holidays spanish language MSNBC TruTV APB Video Games streamig natural history Alien NBA History asian-american Academy Awards 20th Century Fox hidden camera New York Comic Con fresh Oscar TCA sitcom Countdown diversity Mindy Kaling 1990s trailers Mary Tyler Moore black comedy Tags: Comedy dexter Best Actress Warner Bros. RT History Hulu rotten Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Broadway ABC Signature Drama japan YA comic book movies doctor who laika jurassic park teaser critics hispanic Marvel Studios based on movie golden globe awards Funimation adaptation hispanic heritage month aapi PaleyFest Crackle live event Ghostbusters 93rd Oscars TV movies scary movies feel good Watching Series new zealand Esquire SDCC historical drama adenture disaster The CW Box Office sports Sundance Now new star wars movies indiana jones popular witnail halloween MCU The Witch mockumentary rotten movies we love comiccon talk show Shondaland gangster strong female leads Paramount Plus Turner The Arrangement cancelled television Musical halloween tv Hallmark Christmas movies composers robots heist movie young adult CNN 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Best Actor FX Binge Guide Television Critics Association biography serial killer marvel comics canceled TV shows E3 Podcast facebook die hard football Infographic ratings scene in color film series spanish 73rd Emmy Awards The Walking Dead Grammys psychological thriller Western slasher Shudder action-comedy Adult Swim true crime Sundance TV Mary poppins Apple TV Plus reviews spy thriller Vudu saw nature christmas movies Prime Video stoner crime drama Winners Disney toronto AMC Turner Classic Movies Amazon Prime crime thriller james bond interviews Biopics Endgame Native boxing Christmas black telelvision universal monsters Peacock independent Valentine's Day free movies thriller cancelled TV series Tarantino IFC Films renewed TV shows women RT21 parents olympics Mudbound Martial Arts Paramount Network canceled Rocky screenings GIFs rt archives classics psycho ID razzies TV One Nickelodeon 24 frames The Purge war CBS All Access godzilla TCA Awards HBO Go mission: impossible TV Land Emmys cops Year in Review Bravo royal family Comics on TV Women's History Month vampires Paramount dark GoT Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt IFC transformers SXSW Nominations marvel cinematic universe 2016 Comic-Con@Home 2021 Teen DC streaming service rt labs critics edition cartoon festival cancelled Ovation Superheroes aliens Hear Us Out Cosplay theme song South by Southwest Film Festival dceu children's TV new york TBS werewolf Amazon Prime Video joker zero dark thirty Best and Worst CBS MTV spider-man jamie lee curtis hist CW Seed target scene in color Disney Plus Paramount Pictures high school indie Polls and Games Fox News Thanksgiving DirecTV Election Writers Guild of America Premiere Dates spider-verse Superheroe SundanceTV Reality Sci-Fi science fiction green book Awards Tour TCM dc broadcast mob American Society of Cinematographers lord of the rings Trophy Talk what to watch VOD zombies Star Wars Winter TV finale National Geographic Pirates social media Sundance 007 Freeform rt labs Music rom-coms cinemax sag awards Britbox YouTube Red dragons superman Baby Yoda Action political drama screen actors guild stop motion 21st Century Fox Avengers singing competition venice Summer 71st Emmy Awards The Walt Disney Company Character Guide Spectrum Originals ghosts Arrowverse directors reboot Disney+ Disney Plus posters Black Mirror Netflix Tubi cars summer TV Kids & Family french king kong basketball period drama Sony Pictures Amazon Comedy Central japanese police drama video on demand cancelled TV shows target medical drama Set visit technology Walt Disney Pictures Wes Anderson El Rey worst movies sequel Showtime CMT 72 Emmy Awards news nbcuniversal 79th Golden Globes Awards Focus Features Discovery Channel LGBTQ comic book movie Universal remakes Indigenous Rock Lucasfilm boxoffice comic books Fantasy genre Star Wars Celebration festivals Lifetime Christmas movies trophy art house spinoff LGBT Pride Month Television Academy prank NBC scary cooking Apple Starz docuseries Stephen King PlayStation ViacomCBS VICE Neflix Certified Fresh stand-up comedy quibi Awards Hallmark vs. worst DC Comics Elton John scene in color series Black History Month Logo dogs monster movies Photos TIFF WarnerMedia HFPA BBC America MGM 45 Creative Arts Emmys movie Marvel Television DGA Netflix Christmas movies justice league TCA Winter 2020 SXSW 2022 90s all-time Comic Book 2021 HBO Max Travel Channel Musicals YouTube Premium kong Song of Ice and Fire Sony pirates of the caribbean The Academy blaxploitation Epix Crunchyroll FOX obi wan Opinion Toys X-Men Quiz nfl Captain marvel dramedy Country batman First Look Hollywood Foreign Press Association debate south america Cartoon Network BAFTA Best Director series TV renewals Ellie Kemper BET Awards Lionsgate streaming summer TV preview fast and furious politics Anna Paquin travel Heroines Pixar TCA 2017 TNT adventure 99% unscripted latino VH1 Interview ABC Family AMC Plus versus Dark Horse Comics supernatural FX on Hulu anthology Syfy live action slashers superhero obituary Mystery Spring TV romance docudrama Comedy sopranos Extras comedies harry potter President zombie Classic Film franchise comic Disney Channel toy story sequels Calendar archives spain Brie Larson tv talk casting italian Animation golden globes miniseries crime Pacific Islander BBC One Exclusive Video Nat Geo concert space Oscars blockbusters best Red Carpet game of thrones Mary Poppins Returns Disney streaming service discovery Trivia dreamworks 94th Oscars know your critic cults comics legend biopic chucky 2017 4/20 PBS Cannes YouTube Trailer award winner Schedule documentary Legendary Acorn TV anime Reality Competition 2020 Pet Sematary binge Fox Searchlight mutant DC Universe richard e. Grant Marathons Food Network OneApp scene in color A&E 2015 animated deadpool A24 Horror Apple TV+ TLC blockbuster 2019 Film Festival Super Bowl child's play name the review mcc Pop book Chernobyl Family Rom-Com Fall TV twilight TV Universal Pictures Best Picture NYCC Holiday See It Skip It foreign First Reviews OWN streaming movies kids WGN Spike BET Emmy Nominations Rocketman television crossover suspense satire films emmy awards San Diego Comic-Con documentaries USA Instagram Live video Tumblr hollywood australia book adaptation critic resources ABC ESPN international leaderboard Marvel Tokyo Olympics Geeked Week game show Film 2018 HBO Tomatazos Pop TV summer preview IMDb TV Amazon Studios Lifetime BBC Image Comics GLAAD FXX Fargo breaking bad scorecard movies wonder woman Sneak Peek