Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Promised Land, The Impossible, and Looper

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

by | January 3, 2013 | Comments


With the holiday season officially behind us, we’re relatively short on family-friendly viewing this week. In wide release is the eco-drama Promised Land starring Matt Damon and the family disaster thriller The Impossible starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. And on DVD, we’ve got twisty time travel with Looper, starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Read on to find out what’s appropriate for the whole family.

In Theaters This Week:

Promised Land


What’s it about? Corporate salesman Steve Butler (Matt Damon) is dispatched to an economically depressed town to secure drilling rights for an energy company. However, he meets resistance from a grassroots effort by local residents.

Who’s it for? It’s rated R for “for language.” Though there’s nothing in the film that teens probably haven’t heard before, it’s likely they may be bored by this issue-driven drama.

Is it any good? Critics say Promised Land contains strong performances, but it’s tonally uneven and overly earnest.

The Impossible


What’s it about? Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor star as parents on vacation in Thailand with their three children when a brutal tsunami hits and forces them to fight for their lives.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 for “intense realistic disaster sequences, including disturbing injury images and brief nudity.” In addition to its portrayal of a family in danger, it has a few scenes of graphic gore, so it’s probably not safe for kids below high school age.

Is it any good? Critics say The Impossible is a powerful, inspiring tale of survival, and it’s Certified Fresh to boot.

New On DVD:



What’s it about? It’s 2044, and control of time-travel technology is in the hands of the mob; when they want somebody rubbed out, they send them back 30 years for an assassin to kill. But when one such “looper” (Joseph Gordon-Levitt ) is tasked with killing a future version of himself (Bruce Willis), he finds himself on the run from perhaps fate itself.

Who’s it for? It’s rated R for “for strong violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and drug content.” Looper also features a home invasion and a child in constant danger, so it’s too much for kids, but thoughtful older teens will find much to savor here.

Is it any good? Critics say Rian Johnson’s Certified Fresh third feature pulls off that rarest of trifectas — it’s at once a provocative head trip, a tense thriller, and an intriguing character study.

Tag Cloud

social media Marathons ESPN CBS All Access TLC PaleyFest police drama Animation period drama serial killer BET VH1 007 SDCC Christmas Trivia CBS Disney Channel Grammys zombie Showtime romance Crackle WGN Box Office 24 frames Red Carpet war OWN Character Guide based on movie El Rey Reality TV Land Pop Starz talk show Dark Horse Comics Podcast Toys Masterpiece FX Reality Competition Year in Review Musical GIFs Ghostbusters Amazon GLAAD Ellie Kemper NYCC Martial Arts Opinion RT History ABC 21st Century Fox Certified Fresh Calendar Lionsgate what to watch Hulu Superheroes 2017 The Arrangement medical drama Action TIFF Fall TV President Musicals The CW transformers adventure Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Best and Worst dceu Lifetime binge Trailer Summer APB Comic Book 2015 dc Video Games Paramount Marvel Country X-Men BBC Extras American Society of Cinematographers LGBTQ Awards sitcom Nickelodeon USA Network Schedule TCA 2017 science fiction thriller CNN supernatural FXX Universal TBS Polls and Games Teen MSNBC crime thriller Biopics Comedy Central Adult Swim Winners ABC Family Set visit Election CMT Cartoon Network TCM Rock DirecTV E3 MTV Photos Spring TV History Rom-Com First Look justice league Bravo Warner Bros. Super Bowl Sneak Peek AMC YA Writers Guild of America Tumblr TV Netflix cinemax Esquire technology Food Network cops Infographic vampires Syfy Sundance SundanceTV Oscars Thanksgiving Interview DC Comics ITV See It Skip It Mystery discovery Tomatazos crime drama Cosplay comiccon Nominations Sci-Fi cooking sports travel Horror Winter TV Star Trek harry potter TCA psycho TNT Watching Series cats Emmys BBC America HBO Western Valentine's Day Comedy Mindy Kaling Music Disney politics Fox News dramedy DC Universe Fantasy Premiere Dates Pirates crime historical drama E! Mary Tyler Moore Holidays USA IFC diversity political drama Freeform NBC Rocky Drama docudrama TruTV boxoffice composers 45 aliens Logo spy thriller Countdown singing competition Star Wars VICE Kids & Family biography A&E PBS Nat Geo 2016 FOX GoT