Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: The DUFF, McFarland USA and more on DVD

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

by | February 20, 2015 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:



Rating: PG-13, for crude and sexual material throughout, some language and teen partying.

This high school romantic comedy, which challenges the notions of cliques, hierarchies and labels, is based on Kody Keplinger’s YA novel of the same name. So the material may be familiar to many young viewers, but even if you or your kids haven’t read the book, you’ll all recognize the settings and social challenges. Mae Whitman stars as Bianca, a smart, funny high school senior who learns she’s the DUFF — or Designated Ugly Fat Friend — to her two gorgeous and leggy best pals. As she works to rehabilitate her image, she must navigate the school’s mean girl, the emo boy she has a crush on and her lifelong next-door neighbor and friend, who happens to be the school’s hunky football captain. There’s a lot of frank talk about kissing and sex, much of which exists in an embarrassing video of Bianca that goes viral. Bianca also imagines herself in hot-and-heavy makeout sessions in a couple of dream sequences. But the film’s message of self-acceptance is extremely worthwhile. OK for tweens and up.

McFarland, USA


Rating: PG, for thematic material, some violence and language.

This inspiring Disney film is based on the true story of an underdog, high school cross-country team composed of Latino farm workers’ kids in California’s Central Valley. These are students from struggling families who have toiled in the fields, and while they instinctively know how to run, they don’t know much about training or strategy. Kevin Costner plays their coach, who’s determined to put together a team and prove that his athletes are worthy of competing in a state championship. There are some mature moments and themes regarding socioeconomic disparity, as well as some fistfights, a knife fight and a possible suicide attempt. And yes, given the subject matter, the film itself follows a pretty predictable formula. But the underlying messages of teamwork, dedication and finding home and family are worthwhile. This is probably fine for most ages.

New On DVD:

The Theory of Everything


Rating: PG-13, for some thematic elements and suggestive material.

Eddie Redmayne delivers a powerful, transformative performance in this multiple Oscar nominee about renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. Admittedly, given the subject matter, it might be a tough sell for your kids. But if the older and more ambitious ones are interested — especially ones who are into science — there’s little here that would be inappropriate for them. Redmayne portrays Hawking from his early days at 1960s Cambridge, where he meets his wife, Jane (Felicity Jones), through his stunning diagnosis of motor-neuron disease and his intellectual triumph over the gradual physical deterioration that leaves him in a wheelchair, unable to speak. As his condition weakens, their marriage evolves, with each having an affair on the side with the other’s tacit approval. At one point, Hawking’s therapist leafs through a Penthouse magazine for his enjoyment. And there’s a bit of joking about the fact that Hawking was able to produce three children with his wife, despite suffering from a disease that renders him unable to move much. Suitable for older tweens and up.

Dumb and Dumber To


Rating: PG-13, for crude and sexual humor, partial nudity, language and some drug references.

Fart jokes and urine jokes. Jokes about genitalia — those of our idiotic heroes and an unsuspecting old lady in a nursing home. Jokes about people of various ethnicities, sexual orientations and physical disabilities. If it’s raunchy and (allegedly) shocking, it’s in here. After all, this is a Farrelly brothers movie — and a sequel to a hugely popular Farrelly brothers movie, at that. Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey return to the roles of Harry and Lloyd, respectively, which they played in 1994’s Dumb and Dumber. This time, they reunite for a road trip in hopes of tracking down the daughter Harry never knew he had, and hopefully finding a spare kidney along the way. They bumble and stumble from one ridiculous situation to the next and offend everyone they come across — all in the name of (alleged) satire. The crude physical comedy, which is the Farrellys’ raison d’etre, makes much more sense to me now that I have a 5-year-old son. Still, the material here is probably best suited for older tweens and up.

St. Vincent


Rating: PG-13, for thematic material including sexual content, alcohol and tobacco use, and for language.

Sophisticated tweens and older will probably be OK with this rather mature comedy about a misanthropic alcoholic and the boy next door who becomes his inadvertent project. Bill Murray is back in reliable curmudgeon mode as Vincent, who smokes and drinks his way through his days in a shabby Brooklyn home. But his comfortable, anti-social routine is disrupted when a single mom (Melissa McCarthy) and her shy, bullied son (Jaeden Lieberher) move in next door and Vincent ends up functioning as de facto babysitter. Despite its ultimate feel-good themes, there’s some grown-up stuff here. Vincent has an ongoing fling with a pregnant, Russian stripper (Naomi Watts) and he takes the kid to a dive bar and the racetrack. There’s also a subplot involving an elderly woman who’s in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. And as the kid gains confidence, he punches out one of the classmates who had tormented him. So hey — there’s some uplift after all.

Tag Cloud

leaderboard Image Comics james bond critics sports Best and Worst historical drama PaleyFest Travel Channel Disney Channel aapi Oscar king arthur new york CBS All Access psycho Countdown Acorn TV Biopics IMDb TV LGBTQ Toys toy story hollywood target scene in color Freeform indie CMT free movies USA werewolf suspense Mindy Kaling Black History Month trailers Comedy Central sequels American Society of Cinematographers ABC Signature Disney Plus Fall TV ABC Family Tokyo Olympics Comic Book HBO Vudu Ovation Awards miniseries Apple TV Plus australia TIFF aliens Disney+ Disney Plus Turner Classic Movies travel Logo Britbox Turner golden globes rt labs mockumentary streaming video on demand Quiz San Diego Comic-Con TCA parents spanish ABC boxoffice gangster tv talk kaiju See It Skip It kids Grammys vs. HFPA Superheroe New York Comic Con political drama ITV rotten movies we love Musicals scene in color film series Teen films cancelled TV shows Fargo hidden camera IFC Films universal monsters Discovery Channel die hard Apple Funimation 21st Century Fox summer TV preview WarnerMedia Box Office romantic comedy dexter Showtime Exclusive Video hispanic supernatural robots Music vampires mcc Opinion Columbia Pictures marvel comics Mary Poppins Returns TCA Awards 2015 mission: impossible Western 2017 Baby Yoda discovery rt archives RT21 The Walt Disney Company Broadway talk show Wes Anderson finale Instagram Live 93rd Oscars movie composers rt labs critics edition Prime Video Universal Pictures reviews scene in color series Watching Series zombie History obituary Pacific Islander Cartoon Network Podcast Television Academy award winner police drama Action The Purge Elton John 24 frames Netflix Christmas movies Star Trek TV renewals superman Marvel A24 razzies Sci-Fi Super Bowl Dark Horse Comics Shondaland Paramount Network versus Sony Pictures Star Wars First Look football anthology YouTube Tarantino Thanksgiving teaser latino Fox Searchlight blaxploitation 45 The Witch cartoon wonder woman DirecTV Character Guide Horror Winter TV OneApp worst movies CBS 73rd Emmy Awards Apple TV+ Sony 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Comics on TV Pride Month dc Marvel Studios documentary action-comedy women period drama jamie lee curtis Rock Sundance Now theme song Family laika rotten biography live event 007 Arrowverse high school Shudder ESPN Holiday anime E3 book adaptation docuseries MCU Chernobyl WGN IFC social media VICE Certified Fresh Best Actress Pop TV heist movie game show Anna Paquin Red Carpet broadcast Geeked Week Winners medical drama Paramount Martial Arts Esquire The Arrangement Oscars japan Film Festival black comedy documentaries TV One zero dark thirty satire Holidays cooking children's TV ViacomCBS SXSW CNN screen actors guild sequel worst casting SundanceTV dark Disney A&E SDCC rom-coms festivals french HBO Go king kong Emmys Hear Us Out South by Southwest Film Festival PlayStation psychological thriller 99% Best Actor Year in Review joker marvel cinematic universe DC Comics trophy summer TV scary movies remakes MGM Valentine's Day Sundance TV pirates of the caribbean monster movies Christmas FXX BET ID Brie Larson AMC USA Network chucky olympics NBA kong Alien Amazon Prime halloween tv Spike Stephen King black Pet Sematary genre deadpool space debate game of thrones a nightmare on elm street Mudbound batman Fantasy Disney streaming service spider-verse Amazon Studios sag awards 2020 72 Emmy Awards Rocketman japanese feel good Sneak Peek reboot cops TLC Crackle Animation Trivia scary target south america emmy awards witnail comics romance stop motion Lionsgate TCA Winter 2020 Musical CW Seed serial killer Country mob First Reviews what to watch Walt Disney Pictures Superheroes golden globe awards harry potter hispanic heritage month festival Pixar stand-up comedy Kids & Family concert Trailer Marvel Television classics biopic Rocky royal family fresh diversity comic book movie Pop Syfy DC streaming service superhero revenge LGBT adaptation quibi Reality Women's History Month nfl venice facebook Nat Geo Television Critics Association slasher book Drama binge Tags: Comedy docudrama GoT Endgame justice league Legendary disaster Ellie Kemper richard e. Grant dceu Mary Tyler Moore Infographic dramedy series sitcom international 2019 Hallmark Christmas movies new star wars movies 94th Oscars boxing science fiction Photos thriller screenings spy thriller best Lucasfilm sopranos ghosts indiana jones BET Awards Ghostbusters Indigenous adventure 1990s Netflix comic book movies singing competition crime thriller TV movies criterion Best Director prank cars Writers Guild of America HBO Max green book spider-man Fox News slashers X-Men Masterpiece 71st Emmy Awards spain cults scorecard Hulu Avengers Polls and Games RT History dreamworks interviews war Interview spanish language APB basketball toronto cats Paramount Pictures 4/20 unscripted Awards Tour Heroines technology directors Mary poppins OWN blockbuster Video Games crossover PBS Paramount Plus hist Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt twilight VH1 Mystery 20th Century Fox The Walking Dead Crunchyroll NYCC YouTube Premium Focus Features franchise GIFs doctor who zombies Hollywood Foreign Press Association stoner archives canceled Amazon Prime Video cancelled television godzilla dogs nature Peacock Best Picture legend comic books Marathons crime scene in color El Rey 2021 obi wan Food Network posters Comic-Con@Home 2021 President Creative Arts Emmys know your critic The CW strong female leads Lifetime Christmas movies Tumblr TCA 2017 Summer Sundance live action GLAAD blockbusters Film asian-american video TruTV MTV spinoff BBC America elevated horror saw AMC Plus Tubi Spring TV Cosplay 79th Golden Globes Awards popular young adult Chilling Adventures of Sabrina child's play DC Universe BBC One transformers Rom-Com Bravo YA adenture renewed TV shows ratings italian E! TV lord of the rings television Premiere Dates true crime Binge Guide summer preview Spectrum Originals FX on Hulu Classic Film breaking bad Schedule Song of Ice and Fire Trophy Talk natural history FOX comedies based on movie foreign NBC Tomatazos comic Hallmark independent Comedy Pirates TBS Reality Competition comiccon Black Mirror Election Starz Captain marvel National Geographic telelvision jurassic park fast and furious Epix nbcuniversal critic resources dragons Set visit all-time 2018 mutant movies BBC 90s politics SXSW 2022 news art house canceled TV shows Universal Nickelodeon Neflix VOD DGA streaming movies 2016 Emmy Nominations MSNBC Cannes The Academy Calendar Nominations Native Lifetime BAFTA Academy Awards christmas movies halloween cinemax Warner Bros. Star Wars Celebration crime drama YouTube Red TNT name the review animated streamig new zealand TV Land Extras cancelled Amazon Adult Swim FX TCM cancelled TV series