Parental Guidance

How Family-Friendly are Going in Style and Smurfs: The Lost Village?

by | April 7, 2017 | Comments

This week, Zach Braff’s remake of Going in Style opens side-by-side with the latest Smurfs movie — and clearly, your 6-year-old is going to be more interested in a heist movie starring a trio of octogenarians than an animated feature about friendly Belgian gremlins. With that in mind, Christy Lemire offers a parent’s perspective on both of them, along with a new movie on DVD you should probably avoid, but isn’t terribly offensive for your kids if you happen to have horrible taste in movies and decide to watch it anyway.



Going in Style (2017) 46%

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

Director Zach Braff has remade the 1979 comedy of the same name starring George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg as elderly, lifelong friends who rob a bank. This time, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Arkin play elderly, lifelong friends who rob a bank – but instead of doing it for kicks, as was the case in the original, they do it out of revenge. There’s quite a bit of language throughout, as well as gunfire – some real, some blanks. Arkin’s character engages in some hot and heavy frolicking with Ann-Margret’s character, a pretty, flirty grocery store clerk. Part of the scheme involves a medical marijuana dealer, which leads to these old-timers getting high and having the munchies. And of course, at the center of all these antics is a massive, federal crime. Going in Style offers some decent laughs here and there, and the three stars are such pros and have such lovely chemistry with each other, they’re enjoyable to watch – even if the movie itself is forgettable. I’d say this is fine for viewers around 10 or 11 and older.

Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017) 37%

Rating: PG, for some mild action and rude humor.

The Smurfs are back, this time in an all-new animated adventure. Smurfette (voiced by Demi Lovato) wonders what her purpose is in life while every other Smurf’s abilities are clear from their names alone: Brainy, Hefty, Jokey, etc. When she and her friends learn there’s another whole village of Smurfs, they set off to find them – and to warn them that Gargamel (Rainn Wilson) is after them to drain them of their power. This is a vibrant and lively film with a valuable central message about female identity and empowerment. It’s also about strong women supporting each other, as Smurfette finds and connects with a tribe of female Smurfs (voiced by Julia Roberts, Ellie Kemper and Michelle Rodriguez, among others). The humor is mostly light and playful and often extremely slapsticky. Kids will enjoy the cute and clever creatures. Gargamel flies into full-on, villainous rampages a couple of times, accompanied by dramatic music and lighting, which might seem slightly scary for extremely young kids. But mostly he’s a buffoon whose bumbling schemes are played for laughs. This is better than it looks (and the Tomatometer might suggest). If you’re looking for a movie the whole family can watch, this will be fine.



The Book Of Love (2017) 0%

Rating: PG-13, for thematic content, language and drug material.

Viewers around 12 or 13 and older will be OK watching this ridiculous and contrived comedy, but surely there must be something better out there for you all to rent. Jason Sudeikis stars as an uptight architect who works through the loss of his pregnant wife (Jessica Biel) in a car accident by befriending an orphaned teen and helping her build a raft to sail across the Atlantic Ocean. Biel appears mostly in flashbacks as a quirky, colorful figure, while Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones is the feisty ragamuffin who helps him grieve, or see the good in the world again, or something. Director and co-writer Bill Purple deals with some heavy themes with his first feature: death and remorse, abuse and abject poverty. We see the crash that kills Biel’s character from a couple different angles; later, we see Williams’ character receiving cruel treatment from the uncle who’s grudgingly agreed to be her guardian. There’s also a lot of language and a couple of scenes in which Sudeikis’ character either smokes or eats marijuana in a stew. Who knew you could do that?

Tag Cloud

Horror serial killer OWN Logo Valentine's Day ITV Comedy Central Hulu Syfy TIFF Toys TNT Winter TV Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Certified Fresh Tomatazos Nat Geo Mystery Summer Food Network Adult Swim historical drama CMT APB Rocky Year in Review A&E E3 LGBTQ cinemax Animation Kids & Family Thanksgiving Universal sitcom Infographic Amazon President SundanceTV Emmys Opinion Countdown Fox News Rom-Com Pirates Martial Arts Musicals DC Comics Set visit Dark Horse Comics thriller cooking Watching Series HBO TV El Rey social media Starz Oscars BBC CBS MSNBC Teen The CW Action Writers Guild of America The Arrangement Video Games Sci-Fi Calendar TCM TV Land Cartoon Network Premiere Dates Netflix Esquire Lionsgate First Look based on movie transformers vampires cops Sneak Peek politics Winners CBS All Access Music supernatural Marvel Grammys Star Wars FX Musical GoT BBC America Freeform crime Box Office Schedule technology psycho Mindy Kaling PaleyFest singing competition crime thriller war TBS Super Bowl Comedy DirecTV discovery SDCC Disney Red Carpet TLC Mary Tyler Moore science fiction Marathons diversity zombie Lifetime Trivia 2015 Star Trek TruTV boxoffice 2016 ABC Trailer TCA 2017 ABC Family History E! 2017 Holidays political drama 24 frames NBC cats Ellie Kemper comiccon Extras Ghostbusters Sundance MTV Disney Channel BET CNN VICE IFC dramedy USA Comic Book Biopics Election Polls and Games NYCC WGN 007 crime drama police drama docudrama Best and Worst sports X-Men Podcast composers aliens Fantasy Bravo Tumblr Showtime AMC Fall TV Country ESPN period drama Crackle Nickelodeon YA Drama Masterpiece FXX Awards American Society of Cinematographers Rock FOX PBS GLAAD Nominations RT History GIFs adventure travel Pop biography Interview Spring TV Reality harry potter Character Guide Reality Competition TCA VH1 Photos Cosplay Superheroes