Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Man of Steel, Oz the Great and Powerful, and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

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

by | June 13, 2013 | Comments


It’s a big week for family movies: we’ve got a legendary superhero (Man of Steel), a famous wizard (Oz the Great and Powerful), and some fairy tale heroes (Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters). Read on to find out what’s appropriate for the whole family.

In Theaters This Week:

Man of Steel


What’s it about? A child from the planet Krypton is sent to Earth, where he’s raised by the Kent family. He learns to utilize his incredible abilities for good, and becomes Superman in the process, but eventually, the nefarious General Zod goes looking for him.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG for “intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language.” It’s definitely on the 13 side of PG-13; this incarnation of Superman is a bit darker and more violent than what you’re used to.

Is it any good? Critics say Man of Steel does a respectable job of reinvigorating the most iconic of superheroes, but its action sequences are far stronger than its attention to character development.

New On DVD:

Oz the Great and Powerful


What’s it about? James Franco stars as a roguish carnival magician who finds himself transported to a magical world. There, he meets a trio of witches and is treated like a king. Can our hero summon the courage and smarts to bring peace to the land of Oz?

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG for “sequences of action and scary images, and brief mild language.” Oz is certainly too intense for younger viewers; the film includes hoards of bloodthirsty baboons, people turning into witches, and a spooky graveyard scene, among other things.

Is it any good? Critics say Oz the Great and Powerful is often entertaining and always fun to look at, but its plot is relatively bland and surprisingly short on magic.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters


What’s it about? Years after escaping from the gingerbread house, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) are a sibling vigilante squad, ridding the German countryside of witches with the same relish displayed by Charles Bronson in Death Wish.

Who’s it for? It’s rated R “for strong fantasy horror violence and gore, brief sexuality/nudity and language.” Don’t be fooled by the fairy tale title — we’re pretty far from Mother Goose territory here.

Is it any good? Critics say Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is alternately bloody and silly, and fails as both a fantasy adventure and as a parody of same.

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