Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: The Hobbit, Annie, Night at the Museum, and More

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

by | December 19, 2014 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:



The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

59%

Rating: PG-13, for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.

It’s the last film in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy and it has the words “battle” and “armies” in the title, so naturally it has a ton of graphic violence and a high body count. But even before all the fighting begins between various orcs and dwarves and elves, the fearsome dragon Smaug (menacingly voiced once again by Benedict Cumberbatch) wreaks fiery havoc on the innocent citizens of Laketown. If your kids are old enough to have seen any of the previous J.R.R. Tolkien adaptations and have been OK with them — and they’re curious to know how this series ends and then leads up to The Lord of the Rings — they’ll probably be fine. But for younger and less mature viewers, this is pretty intense, and the mythology might be confusing, and it is extremely long at nearly two and a half hours.



Annie

28%

Rating: PG-13, for some mild language and rude humor.

This modern-day version of the enduring stage musical has been moved from the Great Depression to the present day, with the plucky orphan Annie (Quvenzhane Wallis) moving in with a billionaire cell-phone mogul (Jamie Foxx) and melting his heart… in song! The notion that material wealth equals happiness is definitely magnified in this adaptation, with Annie enjoying a helicopter ride around New York City and distributing free phones to her foster-kid friends. So that’s kind of a bummer. Cameron Diaz is rather shrill and inept as Miss Hannigan but she’s not as intimidating as she’s been in previous versions; she’s more pathetic than anything else. And Annie is briefly in peril when she goes off with a couple who pretend to be her parents, but she’s not hurt in any way. All in all, this movie is harmless. But it’s also terrible.



Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

47%

Rating: PG-13, for mild action, some rude humor and brief language.

The third and (theoretically) final film in the Night at the Museum trilogy finds security guard Larry (Ben Stiller) and the rest of the historical gang traipsing off to London to solve the mystery of their mobility. Everything here is pretty tame (and often lame). The giant, marauding dinosaur skeletons might seem briefly scary for very young kids. The tiny Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan characters are in danger when they get stuck in an air-conditioning vent, but it’s played more for slapstick humor than anything else. And there is the vague threat that these museum pieces might transform into their formerly stiff selves — including the impish Capuchin monkey — in a way that’s slightly sad, but resolves itself quickly. Decent for all ages.

New On DVD:



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

21%

Rating: PG-13, for sci-fi action violence.

This live-action reboot of the franchise featuring modified, crime-fighting, pizza-eating turtles is a Michael Bay production. So it’s essentially a Transformers movie, complete with shiny action sequences and destructive battles that place innocent bystanders in harm’s way. The turtles themselves may be cute and cool and wacky in other incarnations but here, the special effects make them odd-looking in an off-putting way. Still, they emerge from the sewers to defend New York City, as they must, with the help of Megan Fox as a fearless TV reporter. The enemy is a giant robot samurai named Shredder. He’s working with a wealthy, evil scientist (William Fichtner) who wants to rule the city by releasing a deadly toxin. Explosions, gunfire and general mayhem abound as a roaming group of marauders called the Foot Clan terrorize the city and take hostages. My son wasn’t quite 5 years old when I took him to see this, and he was a bit frightened of Shredder, but only briefly. “I really liked it,” he said. So there you go.



The Maze Runner

65%

Rating: PG, for thematic elements and intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, including some disturbing images.

Because there aren’t enough sci-fi thrillers based on young adult novels set in rigidly structured, dystopian futures, here is yet another. The tween and teen readers who are the targets for the James Dashner book will know what they’re getting into here. Still, this is a pretty violent and often harrowing PG-13 film. Dylan O’Brien stars as Thomas, a young man who finds himself in a pastoral square called the Glade. He has no idea who he is or how he got there, similar to the dozens of other teenage boys who arrived before him and have forged their own society. But Thomas soon grows curious about the dangerous maze that lies outside the giant concrete walls surrounding the Glade. Ravenous, speedy creatures await in those dark corridors, and we see them tear some of the characters apart. The big reveal which explains how all these kids ended up here and what they’re intended for is filled with gunfire and it grows deadly pretty quickly. This is not for the young or the squeamish.

Tag Cloud

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