Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Rise of the Guardians, and Life of Pi

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

by | March 15, 2013 | Comments


This week in family films, we’ve got feuding magicians (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone), an all-star lineup of fantastical heroes (Rise of the Guardians), and an Oscar winner about a guy in a boat with a tiger (Life of Pi). Read on to find out what’s appropriate for family viewing.

In Theaters This Week:

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

What’s it about? Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi star as outlandish Vegas stage magicians whose popularity is threatened by big egos, personal animosity, and the rise of a hip street magician (Jim Carrey).

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 for “sexual content, dangerous stunts, a drug-related incident and language.” The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is a little raunchy in spots, though its violence is mostly slapsticky; 13-year-olds should be fine.

Is it any good? Critics say The Incredible Burt Wonderstone serves up some goofy laughs, but for such an outrageous conceit, it’s surprisingly safe and predictable.

New On DVD:

Rise of the Guardians

What’s it about? In this animated feature from DreamWorks, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Jack Frost, and other folkloric types team up to battle a nightmare-purveying baddie named Pitch.

Who’s it for? Rise of the Guardians is rated PG “for thematic elements and some mildly scary action.” Kindergarteners and above will probably be able to handle it, though the film does demystify its protagonists, which might be troubling to more sensitive children.

Is it any good? Critics say the little ones will probably like it just fine, and that their guardians will probably be mildly amused as well. It’s got some solid gags and terrific visuals.

Life of Pi

What’s it about? A guy survives a shipwreck only to end up in a lifeboat with a tiger.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG “for emotional thematic content throughout, and some scary action sequences and peril.” It will almost certainly bore little kids, but it should be fine for eighth graders up.

Is it any good? Critics say Life of Pi is visually masterful and philosophically intriguing; it’s the type of thing that could entrance thoughtful teenagers.

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