Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Rio 2, Draft Day, Plus The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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

by | April 11, 2014 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:

Rio 2

48%

Rating: G.

Rio 2 is the sequel to Rio, hence the name. And like that 2011 animated hit, it soars in the musical segments but stays earthbound when it comes to actual story. This time, nervous Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) and confident Jewel (Anne Hathaway) have given birth to three baby blue macaws, and they’re all living a life of domesticated bliss in the city. But when they discover there are other rare birds of their kind still out there in the Amazon, they make the trek to find them – with several people and creatures on their tails who have varying dastardly intentions. The evil cockatoo Nigel (Jemaine Clement) can’t fly this time so he’s more of a preening diva than a true villain. There’s also a half-baked subplot about illegal forestry that’ll be sure to get the kids excited. But the colors are wondrous and the production numbers are a delight. Everything in here is suitable for the whole family.

Draft Day

60%

Rating: PG-13, for brief strong language and sexual references.

Kevin Costner stars as the general manager of the beleaguered Cleveland Browns, who must navigate athletes, agents, team executives, competitors, the media and even his own mother during one of the most important dates on the NFL calendar: draft day. Given this testosterone-infused environment, it’s no surprise that there’s some rough talk and profanity. Costner gets to utter the one well-chosen F-bomb you get with a PG-13 rating. There’s also a slightly mature subplot involving Costner’s relationship with a fellow executive, played by Jennifer Garner. But kids and pre-teens should probably stay away from this — not because of anything inappropriate, but because they’ll be bored. Director Ivan Reitman’s film focuses on the nitty-gritty of NFL machinations: the phone calls, manipulation and trading that go on between teams. But teens and up, especially those who are into football (or fantasy football), will probably enjoy it.

New On DVD:

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

74%

Rating: PG-13, for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.

If the giant talking spiders or ugly orcs don’t get you, the ferocious, fire-breathing dragon Smaug will. In between there are piercing arrows, ominous shadows, stabbings and beheadings. (And just think: If you have a 3-D TV at home, some of those severed heads will come flying right at you.) Yes, the source material – J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, contains this kind of fantasy action, but director Peter Jackson’s second film in his treatment of the book is just extraordinarily violent. Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and his dwarf pals enjoy many lively adventures on their way to Lonely Mountain, but once they get there they must contend with Smaug himself. Benedict Cumberbatch voices him, so you know he’s going to be deeply chilling. Given the graphic nature of this movie and the extended running time, this really is just for the most mature tweens and up.

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