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

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