Parental Guidance

How Family-Friendly Are Boo 2! A Madea Halloween and Wonderstruck?

by | October 20, 2017 | Comments

Geostorm, the biggest movie in theaters this week, wasn’t screened ahead of time for critics, so we can’t tell you much about whether it’s appropriate for your kids if you’re in the mood for a disaster flick. What we can tell you about is Tyler Perry’s latest Madea outing and the rare kid-friendly Todd Haynes movie, as well as one of the biggest hits of the summer on DVD. Read on for details.



Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (2017) 4%

Rating: PG-13, for sexual references, drug content, language and some horror images.

It’s a Madea movie – and a sequel to a Madea movie, at that – so if you’ve ever seen any of them over the years, you know exactly what you’re in store for here. Multimedia titan Tyler Perry once again dons the silvery wig, floral frock and oversized glasses to play his most beloved character, the thoroughly inappropriate Madea. This time, she and her geriatric posse must venture into the woods when rebellious Catholic schoolgirl Tiffany (Diamond White), the daughter of Madea’s nephew Brian (also Perry), attends a Halloween party at a haunted lake. There’s some traditional horror imagery — a creepy girl with stringy dark hair, a guy in a mask wielding a chainsaw – but practically no gore. What makes this movie unsuitable for young viewers is the racy sexual talk, the language, and the many drug references. Madea’s brother, Joe (Perry, again), speaks frequently and fondly about his time as a pimp. The characters all bicker with each other constantly, which features a lot of profanity (although, amusingly, it’s clear that many of the damns have been dubbed into darns). And the high school and college students at the party, all dressed in naughty costumes, talk about who is going to hook up with whom. It isn’t terribly scary or funny, but if your kids are strangely compelled to see it, I suppose this is OK for viewers around 13 and older.

Wonderstruck (2017) 68%

Rating: PG, for thematic elements and smoking.

This is the rare film from master director Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven, Carol) that’s actually suitable for kids. And it stars two young actors who are pretty great: Millicent Simmonds and Oakes Fegley. Wonderstruck hops back and forth over 50 years to trace their characters’ connection. In 1927, a deaf girl named Rose (Simmonds) ventures from her comfortable home in Hoboken, New Jersey, to New York City to track down the silent film star (Julianne Moore) with whom she’s obsessed. In 1977, a Minnesota kid named Ben (Fegley), who’s also hearing impaired, runs away to Manhattan in search of the father he’s never known. In both timelines, the city is bustling and full of danger. The ‘70s New York is especially evocative of the grime and grit of the pre-Disneyfied era. And overall, the film has a lingering melancholy of loneliness and lost parents. But it’s also about finding friendship in unexpected places, and both kids show an impressive amount of independence and bravery. I’d say this is fine for viewers around 9 or 10 and older.

New on DVD


Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) 92%

Rating: PG-13, for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments.

With a box-office haul of nearly $880 million worldwide, this latest incarnation of the Spider-Man legend was a huge hit with viewers of all ages this summer. And justifiably so – it’s a total blast, and the most kid-friendly, live-action version of the character yet. There’s a lightness and a playfulness here that are sometimes missing in comic book movies – especially the darker and more self-serious ones featuring Batman and Superman. But Tom Holland brings a boyish enthusiasm to the role that’s infectious, glimmers of which we saw during his brief appearance in last summer’s Captain America: Civil War. Spider-Man: Homecoming fits nicely into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it also stands comfortably on its own. It picks up right where Civil War leaves off, actually, with nerdy high schooler Peter Parker still reveling in the opportunity to hang with the big boys (and girls). But he also must keep his superhero identity a secret – including from his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) and best friend, Ned (scene-stealing newcomer Jacob Batalon) – even as he longs to continue fighting crime. There are some big battle scenes and action set pieces here, as there always are in this genre, including one spectacularly tense one aboard the Staten Island Ferry and another inside the Washington Monument. Innocent folks are frequently in peril, but Spider-Man always swings in to save the day. There’s also some language scattered throughout, some crass name-calling and light bullying. And there’s a quick (and hilarious) reference to porn, but younger viewers won’t get it.

Tag Cloud

Film Festival spain richard e. Grant Sundance movie TCA 2017 Rock TV renewals Nominations Superheroe RT21 composers A&E Sneak Peek Dark Horse Comics Universal tv talk Music Schedule Hulu Sci-Fi travel Sundance TV Animation Freeform halloween TLC Holidays Shondaland television mutant X-Men Marathons binge werewolf TruTV dramedy Apple Showtime MCU joker disaster IFC biography Premiere Dates political drama The Witch Biopics See It Skip It Apple TV Plus unscripted justice league independent cancelled TV series Fall TV National Geographic SXSW Reality Winners Turner Classic Movies Binge Guide game of thrones spanish language cinemax Marvel Television 20th Century Fox BBC Extras Captain marvel TIFF Trivia sag awards Fox News Character Guide 24 frames Food Network Columbia Pictures casting Acorn TV Amazon E! HBO Max TV Pride Month directors Toys Disney Netflix Christmas movies YA rotten movies we love medical drama Polls and Games PaleyFest thriller Cosplay TNT Lucasfilm Nat Geo Brie Larson Shudder Turner hispanic Walt Disney Pictures Netflix singing competition BET Spring TV Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt FXX NYCC Box Office golden globes dogs book Awards Election Holiday Arrowverse social media dragons strong female leads Lionsgate name the review Marvel Studios video breaking bad USA Network LGBTQ Martial Arts Black Mirror Comic Book Winter TV APB romance south america CBS All Access First Look politics Rocketman Baby Yoda batman doctor who what to watch Oscars DGA aliens canceled TV shows Stephen King Pixar cancelled television DC Universe Nickelodeon Disney streaming service Writers Guild of America YouTube Red Crackle Sony Pictures Britbox boxoffice Mudbound Quiz mockumentary AMC movies Bravo History ITV festivals science fiction historical drama Musical green book Paramount Network comiccon Calendar Discovery Channel reboot CNN supernatural Disney Channel 21st Century Fox First Reviews dceu christmas movies DirecTV Kids & Family YouTube Premium Warner Bros. Set visit CMT Superheroes screenings Tarantino Tomatazos Comedy Central TV Land screen actors guild witnail ESPN Amazon Prime Video Masterpiece Comedy robots Certified Fresh indie Action VICE GoT harry potter cartoon Adult Swim Women's History Month Elton John space teaser Mindy Kaling Esquire Ovation American Society of Cinematographers Academy Awards talk show USA Paramount sports The Purge Ghostbusters NBC Epix documentary President blaxploitation vampires The Walking Dead ghosts zero dark thirty discovery MTV finale kids period drama crime drama canceled 45 Ellie Kemper Avengers Pop Lifetime HBO ABC Hallmark Christmas movies The CW 2020 spinoff CBS OWN Comics on TV cops PBS Opinion Rom-Com serial killer WGN MSNBC Star Trek Endgame award winner Creative Arts Emmys Hallmark police drama diversity Podcast based on movie Television Academy spy thriller YouTube hist Summer revenge cancelled TV shows psychological thriller FX miniseries cancelled Cartoon Network WarnerMedia Film Classic Film Photos Watching Series animated OneApp GIFs Syfy 007 crossover Interview cooking Anna Paquin cats Musicals Disney+ Disney Plus Grammys 2019 psycho TBS Peacock Fantasy Super Bowl 2018 Drama romantic comedy anthology DC Comics true crime blockbuster cars Lifetime Christmas movies Tubi Starz RT History dc adventure Country free movies VH1 ratings Rocky crime thriller Thanksgiving versus Chernobyl SundanceTV war zombie spider-man Trophy Talk foreign nature 2017 The Arrangement Emmy Nominations Marvel Amazon Studios E3 Christmas adaptation Red Carpet facebook toy story Spectrum Originals Countdown El Rey GLAAD Logo 2015 IFC Films Vudu San Diego Comic-Con 2016 Tumblr LGBT Amazon Prime jamie lee curtis children's TV FOX SDCC Valentine's Day Year in Review Trailer TCA renewed TV shows Emmys DC streaming service Sundance Now comics Horror slashers Pirates cults Family anime transformers game show Video Games Star Wars Song of Ice and Fire Western elevated horror BBC America stand-up comedy ABC Family 71st Emmy Awards Awards Tour latino series Mary poppins TCA Winter 2020 Disney Plus Heroines Pet Sematary A24 Apple TV+ crime New York Comic Con technology Reality Competition docudrama Best and Worst Mary Tyler Moore Infographic theme song sitcom Mystery streaming TCM Crunchyroll CW Seed Mary Poppins Returns Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Spike natural history sequel quibi Teen comic Cannes zombies