Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Magic in the Moonlight, And So It Goes, Plus Transcendence on DVD

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

by | July 24, 2014 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:

Magic in the Moonlight


Rating: PG-13, for a brief suggestive comment and smoking throughout.

Woody Allen’s annual offering is a fluffy comic trifle about spirits and sleight of hand amid the wealthy on the Cote d’Azur. Colin Firth stars as a world-renowned, arrogant illusionist who’s asked to unmask a pretty, young American psychic (Emma Stone) as a fake. Because the movie takes place amid the wealthy in Europe in the 1920s, every single character smokes constantly throughout. There are also séances where Stone’s character claims she’s conversing with the dead — which may freak children out — along with some brief risqué references. But for the most part, Allen’s typically hyper-verbal banter will go over younger kids’ heads and older ones will just be bored.

And So It Goes


Rating: PG-13, for some sexual references and drug elements.

Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton play widows in their 60s who live next door to each other in a Connecticut fourplex and bicker incessantly. Naturally, this means they will fall in love. He’s a real estate agent; she’s a lounge singer. Together, they’re forced to come together to take care of the 9-year-old granddaughter he never knew he had. Rob Reiner’s comedy features some drug references — Douglas’ character’s son is a recovering heroin addict, and Douglas himself must visit a couple of squalid homes where substance abuse clearly is taking place. Douglas and Keaton eventually share a flirtation which turns sexual; Reiner shows up the build-up and the aftermath but not the deed itself. It’s pretty harmless for the most part and has an undeniable message about the importance of family. But it’s also terrible, so if you’re looking for a great Reiner movie that everyone can watch, rent The Princess Bride instead.

New On DVD:



Rating: PG-13, for sci-fi action and violence, some bloody images, brief strong language and sensuality.

This thinky sci-fi thriller starring Johnny Depp is probably best for tweens and up only. It’s full of big ideas about the power of technology — both its potential and its abuse as an invasion of privacy — but the way it’s presented is pretty dull and often silly. But this is the directing debut of Christopher Nolan’s longtime cinematographer, Oscar-winner Wally Pfister, so at least it’s visually striking. Depp stars as an esteemed scientist who’s been experimenting with artificial intelligence with the help of his wife (Rebecca Hall). When a terrorist group targets him, he uploads his consciousness to the Internet to maintain his legacy. There are plenty of shootings and explosions here with quite a bit of blood, but a key part of the story focuses on medical advancements that let people regenerate and heal themselves — so they don’t stay injured for long. Still, it’s extremely violent and long at nearly two hours.