Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Penguins of Madagascar, The Giver, and A Madea Christmas

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

by | November 25, 2014 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:



Penguins of Madagascar

73%

Rating: PG, for mild action and some rude humor.

The scene-stealing penguins from the Madagascar series get their own movie, which is sort of an origin story and sort of a spin-off. It explains how the foursome — Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private — became globetrotting super spies, and it follows them on an all-new adventure. John Malkovich provides the rich voice of the shape-shifting villain who’s their target: an angry octopus who’s pretending to be a mad scientist. He kidnaps penguins from zoos and aquariums around the world and plans to zap them with a serum that will turn them into monstrous versions of themselves. His hope is that they’ll seem less adorable and appealing to the masses, but what they become is more silly than frightening. The penguins find themselves in several perilous situations but always manage to escape. There’s a lot of playful spanking among the animals as well as some fart jokes and double entendres about flatulence, but it’s the kind of harmless, puerile humor that routinely cracks kids up. Nothing here is shocking or inappropriate. Fine for all ages, although a lot of the pop-culture references are purely for adults.

New On DVD:



The Giver

35%

Rating: PG-13, for mature thematic image and some sci-fi action/violence.

Mature tweens and older are probably the appropriate audience for this sci-fi drama/thriller — yet another based on a Young Adult novel set in a rigidly structured, post-war future. Brenton Thwaites stars as Jonas, the obligatory, plucky teen who dares to rise up and shake up the status quo. Jonas is chosen as the keeper of all memory in this sterile, black-and-white community; Jeff Bridges is the giver of the film’s title, who passes along the information he’s been storing. This includes color, music and love but also violence, war and hatred, with a series of harrowing images flashing through the young man’s mind as he receives them. Jonas and his girlfriend, Fiona (Odeya Rush), find themselves in danger when it becomes clear to the elders (led by Meryl Streep, of all people) that they’ve started thinking for themselves. There’s also a disturbing subplot involving the killing of infants who don’t meet the community’s precise standards.



Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas

20%

Rating: PG-13, for sexual references, crude humor and language.

Nearly a year after it arrived in theaters, this raunchy and racially tinged Christmas comedy is coming out on DVD. Think of it as a lump of cinematic coal in your stocking. But if you’re home flipping channels after a long day of shopping and it pops up, or if it happens to be on television at a holiday party, there’s nothing here that will permanently scar your children. It’s just sloppily made, as all Tyler Perry movies tend to be. This time, Perry climbs back into the sassy drag of his Madea persona, a crass and wacky old lady with no internal censor. Most of the stuff she babbles about will go over kids’ heads: references to lingerie, drugs andstrippers, for starters. Larry the Cable Guy shows up and amps up the vulgarity with some sexual innuendos — which, again, probably won’t register with young viewers. There’s also a massively contrived car crash and explosion that might have been slightly suspenseful in the hands of someone, you know, capable.

Tag Cloud

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