Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Jack the Giant Slayer, The Last Exorcism Part II, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

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

by | March 1, 2013 | Comments


This week in theaters, we’ve got a fairy tale fantasy (Jack the Giant Slayer), a demonic possession (The Last Exorcism Part II), and on DVD we’ve got sparkly vampires (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2) and a surfing drama (Chasing Mavericks). Read on to find out what’s appropriate for family viewing.

In Theaters This Week:

Jack the Giant Slayer


What’s it about? After unintentionally opening a portal to another world, Jack (Nicholas Hoult) fights to defend the earth from a group of giants who are attempting to reclaim their former realm.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 for “for intense scenes of fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief language.” Despite the fairy tale-inspired premise, it’s probably too intense for little kids, though late middle schoolers are about the right age.

Is it any good? Critics say Jack the Giant Slayer is often more stylish than substantial, but it’s a briskly paced, occasionally thrilling take on a classic tale.

The Last Exorcism Part II


What’s it about? Following the events of the previous film, Nell Sweetzer (Ashley Bell) is found alive with no recollection of what became of her family. Soon, she’s once again possessed by a demonic spirit.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 for “for horror violence, terror and brief language.” It’s probably appropriate for teens around 15 or so.

Is it any good? We’d love to tell you, but it’s not being screened in advance for critics.

New On DVD:

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2


What’s it about? It’s the concluding chapter of a wildly popular franchise in which vampires and werewolves do battle for the affections of a stubborn teenage girl.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 for “sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity.” Several media reports indicate it came close to getting an R, so you might think twice about letting middle schoolers see it, but it’s probably fine for young teens

Is it any good? Critics say Breaking Dawn Part 2 is still melodramatic and poorly paced, but the performances are strong and the finale should satisfy Twihards.

Chasing Mavericks


What’s it about? Jay Moriarity (Jonny Weston) discovers that a legendary wave can be found close to his home. In order to learn to ride it, he teams up with Frosty (Gerard Butler), an experienced surfer who acts as both a coach and father figure for the wave-riding prodigy.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG for “for thematic elements and some perilous action.” There’s some mild violence, but it’s probably fine for 10-year-olds and up.

Is it any good? Critics say Chasing Mavericks‘ surfing scenes feel authentic, and Weston and Butler share an easy chemistry, but the film’s devotion to sports movie cliches and inspirational platitudes sap it of its power.

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