Parental Guidance

How Family-Friendly Are Daddy's Home 2 and Murder on the Orient Express?

by | November 10, 2017 | Comments

Both of the big films out this week skirt that PG-13 line between more adult-oriented films and stuff aimed squarely at kids, so if you’re thinking of taking the family to the Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg comedy or Kenneth Branagh ensemble murder mystery, here’s what you’ll want to know.



Daddy's Home 2 (2017) 21%

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

It’s the sequel to the 2015 comedy Daddy’s Home, which I’m not sure anybody needed, but here it is anyway. Similar to last week’s A Bad Moms Christmas, in which the moms’ moms invaded, this time the dads’ dads show up to celebrate the holidays. Madcap hilarity ensues. Mel Gibson plays Mark Wahlberg’s randy father and John Lithgow plays Will Ferrell’s cuddly pop. There are mature gags involving flirtations with women, and Gibson’s character tells some off-color jokes that younger viewers won’t get. While there are several children in the supporting cast, they’re often the butt of jokes or recipients of terrible (and crass) advice, and a couple of the youngsters get drunk on eggnog. One character has a shoplifting habit. There’s also quite a bit of language scattered throughout. And several moments of slapsticky humor are actually quite violent. It’s not very good, but it’s probably OK for viewers around 11 or 12 and older.

Murder On The Orient Express (2017) 61%

Rating: PG-13, for violence and thematic elements.

Well there’s the word “murder” in the title, so clearly someone gets killed here. But even more fundamentally, director and star Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of the classic Agatha Christie mystery will probably be too grown-up for younger viewers, who might find it slow and hard to follow. Branagh leads an all-star cast (Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley, Penelope Cruz) as the world-famous detective Hercule Poirot. When a passenger on the Orient Express train is murdered, Poirot must solve the crime by investigating the handful of other people on board. There’s a lot of adult discussion of motive, as well as graphic description of the killing itself. There are also some physical altercations between several of the characters. Many characters smoke. And the subject matter in general is probably not suitable for viewers younger than 10 or 11.

New on DVD


Cars 3 (2017) 70%

Rating: G

Kids of all ages can enjoy this third film in the animated Cars franchise, and they probably have done so already. It’s totally harmless and not even remotely as complicated or challenging as the best of the Pixar universe. Cars 3 once again centers on Lightning McQueen (voiced as always by Owen Wilson), who’s now finding that, as a veteran racer, he’s not nearly as fast as his newer, more high-tech competitors. He works with a younger, female trainer named Cruz (Cristela Alonzo), who had long dreamed of racing herself. Basically, it’s about middle-age angst, which should be super fun for the kids in your family. Lightning suffers a couple of bad crashes, and he and Cruz find themselves in danger when they accidentally enter themselves in a demolition derby. But there’s nothing inappropriate here.

The Glass Castle (2017) 52%

Rating: PG-13, for mature thematic content involving family dysfunction, and for some language and smoking.

Mature tweens and older are the right audience for this drama, based on Jeannette Walls’ best-selling memoir about her horrific youth. Director and co-writer Destin Daniel Cretton Short Term 12 doesn’t shy away from showing us the squalor, poverty and hunger she and her siblings endured. The film flashes back and forth between Jeannette’s life as an up-and-coming New York journalist in 1989 (when Brie Larson plays her) and her uncertain childhood (when Ella Anderson plays her). The kids’ alcoholic father (Woody Harrelson) and flighty artist mother (Naomi Watts) wanted the family to live off the grid, which meant multiple moves from town to town, no school, and often no food. Jeannette frequently suffers physical and mental abuse. In one scene, she severely burns herself on the stove because her mother can’t be bothered to feed her; in another, she nearly drowns in a public pool when her father throws her into the deep end to teach her how to swim. All of these perils are in the name of making her (and the other kids) stronger, of giving them independence and character. But it’s harrowing to watch. The film also includes scenes of abandonment and neglect, as well as a moment when the father encourages teenage Jeannette to visit the apartment of an older man who tries to sexually assault her. Ultimately, The Glass Castle is about forgiveness and redemption, but it’s a long and painful haul to get there.

Tag Cloud

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