Parental Guidance

Three Amazing, Age-Appropriate Ape Adventure Alternatives to Rampage

by | April 13, 2018 | Comments

It stars a charismatic Dwayne Johnson, it’s based on an old video game, and it’s got explosions and CGI, so there’s a fair chance your kids will be interested in seeing Rampage this weekend. And as long as they’re at least somewhere in late elementary school, it should be fine. But for those of you who have younger children, or simply need a weekend in, Christy offers three primate-themed alternatives you can watch with the family.


Rampage (2018) 52%

Rating: PG-13, for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief language and crude gestures.

Giant, genetically enhanced animals thunder across the United States en route to destroying Chicago, and only Dwayne Johnson – with a lot of help from Naomie Harris – can stop them. Yes, Rampage is exactly the kind of ridiculous B-movie that you want it to be. But it’s also extremely violent and intense, and will likely be too scary for most kids. Johnson stars as a primatologist who must team up with Harris’ geneticist to prevent a super-powered gorilla, wolf, and alligator from creating massive amounts of carnage. Many people do die, though, in their futile attempts at containing these freakish creatures. There’s a ton of gunfire and explosions. Much of downtown Chicago does indeed get leveled, placing countless numbers of people in peril. And just the sight of these animals brawling and roaring ferociously at each other will probably be too much for young viewers to bear. They don’t call it Rampage for nothing. (Also, the albino gorilla, who’s Johnson’s buddy in happier times, has a running joke with his trainer in which he gives him the middle finger.) But for kids around 11 or 12 and older, this movie is good, stupid fun.


If Rampage sounds like it might be too much for the whole family to handle, here are some other movies featuring primates that everyone can enjoy:

King Kong (1933) 98%

Rating: Not rated

We’ve seen plenty of remakes and parodies. Just last year, we were treated to the high-tech spectacle of Kong: Skull Island. And of course, King Kong has fought other giant creatures in films like 1962’s delightfully cheesy King Kong vs. Godzilla. But this is the granddaddy of them all, and it still holds up 85 years later in terms of its emotional impact. A documentary filmmaker (Robert Armstrong) travels to the South Seas to track down a famed, 50-foot ape. Along for the journey is Fay Wray as the beauty who will be the leading lady in his latest film – and who becomes the object of the misunderstood King Kong’s brutish affections. Back in New York City, he goes so far as to escape his captivity to pursue her, famously grabbing her and climbing up to the top of the Empire State Building with her in his giant, furry paw. Director Merian Cooper’s monster movie remains one of the greatest and most revered of all time. It’s a marvel of miniatures and stop-motion animation, even down to the movement of Kong’s fur. It may look simple now to your kids – especially the brawl on Skull Island between Kong and a T. Rex – given how accustomed they are to more high-tech visual effects. But the classic scene atop the Empire State Building remains thrilling. Fine for viewers around 7 or 8 and older.

Watch now on: AmazonFandangoNOW, iTunes

Jane (2017) 98%

Rating: PG

A treasure trove of decades-old footage of a young Jane Goodall, when she was just beginning her journey as an advocate for chimpanzees specifically and the globe in general, comprises the bulk of this fascinating documentary. Director Brett Morgen gives us an intimate glimpse into the globetrotting, trailblazing primatologist, back when she was an inexperienced but inquisitive and intrepid 26-year-old. We see her gain the animals’ trust after many months of following and studying them in Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park, en route to becoming the expert she is today. There’s a bit of chimp-on-chimp violence here, not unlike what you’d see in any nature documentary. Some chimps also die, which is quite sad. And there’s a tiny bit of language, as well as Goodall’s matter-of-fact discussion of her divorce. But Jane is extremely worthwhile for its portrait of a dedicated, independent young woman who dared to travel to the other side of the world to pursue her dreams in a male-dominated field of study. She also narrates the film, based on her own writings, and provides new interviews for perspective. Great for viewers ages 7 or 8 and older.

Watch now on: AmazonFandangoNOWiTunes

Every Which Way But Loose (1978) 37%

Rating: PG

This isn’t exactly the highest-rated film on this list – or on the whole Tomatometer, for that matter — but I recall loving it as a kid, and I suspect your kids will love it, too. In its day, this Clint Eastwood action-comedy was critically trashed. What was Eastwood thinking? He made his name playing a tough guy. Why would he want to play around with an orangutan? But maybe that’s the point. Maybe Eastwood was looking for a change of pace after the gritty and violent spaghetti Westerns and Dirty Harry movies that made him a superstar. He does seem to be having a blast here. And over time, Every Which Way But Loose has gained a bit of a cult following. Eastwood stars as Philo Beddoe, a truck driver and bare-knuckle brawler who lives in a modest house with his constant companion, an impish orangutan named Clyde. But when he falls for a country singer (Sondra Locke, Eastwood’s former real-life love), his seemingly simple life gets turned upside down. This movie is really silly and playful, and Clyde is always good for a wacky reaction shot or some inappropriate antics. The two have a goofy chemistry together, which plays out through a wide variety of physical comedy. There’s quite a bit of fighting here and some shenanigans involving biker gangs and honky-tonks. But for the most part, this is fine for viewers around 8 or 9 and older. Plus, it could be your kids’ first Eastwood film.

Watch now on: AmazonFandangoNOWiTunes

Tag Cloud

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