Parental Guidance

How Family-Friendly are Southside With You and The Hollars?

by | August 26, 2016 | Comments

The biggest movies this week — Don’t Breathe and Mechanic: Resurrection — are both rated R, but there are still a couple of smaller films you could potentially take your kids to, including the story of Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date and a dysfunctional family comedy. Read on for details.


NEW IN THEATERS

 

Southside With You (2016) 92%

Rating: PG-13, for brief strong language, smoking, a violent image and a drug reference.

This walking-and-talking romance recreates the first date between Barack and Michelle Obama, back when they were in their mid-20s with dreams of changing the world. Parker Sawyers plays the future president when he was still just a charismatic law student, with Tika Sumpter co-starring as the future first lady, his superior at the Chicago law firm where he worked during the summer of 1989. The two spend the day together on the city’s South side – hence the title – visiting an art exhibit, attending a community meeting, seeing a movie (Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing) and finally sharing a climactic ice cream cone. There’s a bit of language. The young Obama smokes cigarettes pretty much non-stop and jokes about smoking too much pot in college. We also see a snippet of the riot scene in Do the Right Thing as the couple is watching it in a theater. But this is a really lovely, intimate, beautifully acted film. I’d say it’s fine for viewers around age 10 and older, especially if they have an interest in history or politics.


The Hollars (2016) 47%

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

It’s an entire subgenre unto itself: the indie comedy-drama about a guy in his 30s who goes back to his small town to deal with his wacky, dysfunctional family and learn some important life lessons. The Hollars hits all the notes you expect so frequently, it almost feels like a parody of this kind of Sundance standard. But no, John Krasinski actually means it as both director and star. Krasinski plays an aspiring graphic artist named John Hollar who gets a call that his mother (Margo Martindale) is ailing. Once he returns home, he reconnects with his father (Richard Jenkins), whose business is going bankrupt, as well as his divorced, ne’er-do-well brother (Sharlto Copley). John also has a pregnant girlfriend (Anna Kendrick), who eventually shows up, too, as well as a former girlfriend (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who’s now married to his mother’s nurse (Charlie Day). Madcap antics abound. There’s some heavier stuff, too, involving the mother’s illness, her need for surgery and whether she can survive. There’s a bit of surreptitious, anxiety-induced smoking. And there’s some scattered language, including the one F-bomb you’re allowed with a PG-13 movie, which Copley gets the pleasure of screaming. This is OK for viewers around 10 or 11 and older.


NEW ON DVD

 

Ratchet & Clank (2016) 21%

Rating: PG, for action and some rude humor.

Kids around ages 6 or 7 and older will be OK watching this animated family comedy. It’s based on the sci-fi video game of the same name about the adventures of a cat-like creature named Ratchet, who’s a mechanic, and Clank, his robot friend. The two team up with a group of Galactic Rangers to stop the villainous Chairman Drek (voiced by Paul Giamatti) from blowing up various planets for his own nefarious purposes. John Goodman, Rosario Dawson, Sylvester Stallone, and Bella Thorne are also among the starry voice cast. This movie is pretty harmless but it’s also not very good. The jokes are flat, the antics are noisy and the overall tone is annoyingly cheeky. As for whether it’s appropriate for your kids, though, there’s a bit of action violence but it’s never scary. There is some weaponry and we see a few explosions, but it’s cartoonish in every sense of the word. I brought my son (who was 6 ½ at the time) to a screening of the movie and nothing bothered him.


The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016) 19%

Rating: PG-13, for fantasy action violence and some sensuality.

Viewers around 9 or 10 and older should be fine with this sorta-prequel, sorta-sequel, sorta-spinoff to 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman. Visually lush but narratively messy, it’s essentially a really angry version of Frozen, starring Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt as wicked royal sisters dueling for power. Blunt’s character, Freya, discovers she can shoot ice from her fingertips in a fit of rage and exiles herself to the snowy mountains where she builds her own kingdom and forms her own army. She rounds up and trains child soldiers for battle and explicitly instructs them not to fall in love. But two of them (Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain) — her two brightest, actually — grow up and do just that. (There are two brief love scenes — one in a hot tub, another in the forest — which suggest they have sex, but you don’t see anything.) Winter’s War also is about a quest to recover that famous mirror and, like the original film, features various strange forest creatures and digitally rendered dwarfs. Much of the combat is rather intense, and there’s a horned, roaring goblin who might seriously frighten younger kids. The special effects are quite dazzling but they also result in images that might be too scary, especially during the climactic showdown between the two sisters.

Tag Cloud

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