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

BBC America Superheroes Interview technology DirecTV NBC Cartoon Network Reality DC Comics AMC transformers crime thriller dramedy Lionsgate docudrama Rock Polls and Games 24 frames Mystery 2016 Drama A&E diversity Certified Fresh Showtime YA vampires Trailer TBS WGN Awards Spring TV MTV Countdown Reality Competition Extras biography Sundance Now Kids & Family 007 crime Fantasy medical drama Disney Channel Box Office harry potter El Rey FX Best and Worst Marathons BET Freeform Summer Nat Geo TCA 2017 SDCC See It Skip It Ghostbusters Infographic composers Food Network talk show HBO period drama serial killer Mary Tyler Moore Universal MSNBC CBS All Access 2017 RT History Syfy Christmas CBS binge Set visit Pop Adult Swim comiccon SundanceTV travel CW Seed Comic Book Pixar OWN TNT American Society of Cinematographers GIFs justice league Cosplay Super Bowl Animation ratings Esquire Ellie Kemper First Look adventure social media IFC Films Calendar TV Comedy Rom-Com Horror sitcom Star Trek what to watch Holidays discovery TLC boxoffice Oscars Sony Pictures Video Games Musicals dceu Election Writers Guild of America cinemax Rocky Hulu Grammys Starz ABC Valentine's Day Star Wars TV Land DC Universe Red Carpet The Arrangement ITV Opinion Fox News Warner Bros. USA Dark Horse Comics Winners Premiere Dates dc Podcast Paramount Network E! Music aliens TCA Teen Watching Series GoT Logo APB golden globes Mindy Kaling Nominations LGBTQ FXX based on movie TCM DC streaming service 45 Schedule thriller Sci-Fi Tumblr Action Creative Arts Emmys BBC Winter TV Photos police drama Paramount Martial Arts Netflix PBS historical drama Crackle USA Network Amazon Acorn TV Tomatazos Masterpiece Sundance Bravo ABC Family zombie Marvel psycho GLAAD Musical President singing competition Britbox 20th Century Fox Emmys Sneak Peek Lifetime History NYCC Toys TruTV Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TIFF E3 politics cooking Pirates Lucasfilm cults Nickelodeon Spike Disney PaleyFest Fall TV CNN VH1 Year in Review 2015 VICE IFC romance Character Guide crime drama The CW Trivia Thanksgiving FOX unscripted Biopics Western war sports Comedy Central science fiction Country 21st Century Fox supernatural CMT cats ESPN spy thriller political drama cops X-Men