Parental Guidance

How Family-Friendly Is The Circle?

by | April 28, 2017 | Comments

The big movie this week stars a Harry Potter alum in a thriller about the dangers of social media and the internet, so if your tween wants to see it, you might want to know what you’re getting into. Read on for Christy’s breakdown of The Circle, as well as Damien Chazelle’s recent Oscar-winner, new on DVD.



The Circle (2017) 16%

Rating: PG-13, for a sexual situation, brief strong language and some thematic elements including drug use.

Have you heard? The Internet is evil! That’s basically the point of this cautionary tale, based on Dave Eggers’ bestseller, which covers much of the same ground as countless technological thrillers before it. Emma Watson stars as a wide-eyed new employee at a shiny social media behemoth known as The Circle. It’s sort of like Google on steroids, and it’s similarly situated smack in the middle of the Bay Area. Watson’s Mae is super excited to leave her small town and take an entry-level job there, and quickly succumbs to the corporate culture of sharing everything, all the time, as the company’s gregarious CEO (Tom Hanks) instructs. But when she agrees to take part in a live experiment that basically destroys all notions of personal privacy, bad things happen. There’s quite a bit of language throughout, including Hanks’ use of the one F-bomb you’re allowed in a PG-13 movie. Mae accidentally broadcasts an embarrassing sexual situation involving her mother (Glenne Headly) and her father (Bill Paxton), who suffers from multiple sclerosis. A character dies. And there’s just general tension as Mae gets closer to the truth about the company’s true intentions. The film from director James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now) is glossy but ultimately feels choppy. OK for tweens and older.



La La Land (2016) 92%

Rating: PG-13, for some language.

Ah, this little ditty. Perhaps you’ve heard it before. The winner of six Academy Awards including best director and best actress, it’s a great choice for kids around 7 and older – especially if they’re into musicals. But even if they insist they don’t like the genre (as my 7-year-old son did when I dragged him to a screening, although I don’t entirely believe him), they may still find themselves caught up in the colorful production numbers and infectious energy. Writer-director Damien Chazelle’s singing-and-dancing extravaganza is a joyous and meticulously crafted homage to the classic, Technicolor musicals of the past. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star as a couple of struggling artists living in modern-day Los Angeles; she’s an aspiring actress, he’s a jazz musician. Chazelle follows them as they fall in love with each other and feel the highs and lows of chasing their dreams. At just over two hours, it may be a little on the long side for very young viewers. There’s a bit of drinking and partying. Stone and Gosling’s characters live together but the fact that they’re having sex is merely implied. And there’s some language including the one F-bomb you get with a PG-13 rating. But La La Land also has valuable themes about being true to yourself and staying dedicated to your goals. It’s also just a complete blast to watch, and it was my favorite movie of 2016.

Tag Cloud

Creative Arts Emmys political drama Lionsgate Star Wars singing competition TCM Horror politics TBS Nominations crime drama biography dceu Certified Fresh Character Guide discovery Super Bowl Premiere Dates serial killer Cartoon Network Infographic FXX RT History Christmas Trailer Martial Arts NYCC Mary Tyler Moore Awards Sneak Peek Spike GoT Interview Photos 24 frames Cosplay Disney Extras Sundance Paramount aliens Polls and Games boxoffice Reality Competition MTV E! Ghostbusters USA dc golden globes Set visit USA Network Fox News what to watch BET Masterpiece Pop Winter TV 2017 Adult Swim TNT ABC Family Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Marvel Trivia docudrama APB Britbox Amazon Holidays composers CBS All Access Superheroes Opinion VH1 spy thriller Musicals IFC Ellie Kemper MSNBC BBC America Pixar 21st Century Fox cinemax Sci-Fi binge Box Office zombie TCA 2017 Disney Channel Lifetime American Society of Cinematographers Biopics TruTV comiccon Video Games Starz Best and Worst Country TV cops Freeform Paramount Network X-Men ABC Syfy Hulu romance Oscars Summer psycho Kids & Family justice league Fall TV sitcom Thanksgiving 2016 The Arrangement BBC crime Tumblr ratings Action Rom-Com History Western WGN Logo Animation Acorn TV ESPN Musical Spring TV PaleyFest El Rey period drama GIFs Schedule Esquire OWN The CW E3 police drama CBS TLC Bravo war harry potter Reality VICE 007 Teen Rocky Pirates Writers Guild of America medical drama Nickelodeon DirecTV Showtime A&E 45 Red Carpet TCA AMC DC Comics Year in Review Mystery President Nat Geo FX adventure GLAAD vampires Winners thriller historical drama social media crime thriller FOX dramedy PBS Sundance Now Comedy Central Marathons Mindy Kaling TV Land Universal technology SDCC Netflix Fantasy NBC Drama Comedy Countdown talk show CMT CNN HBO Valentine's Day Podcast SundanceTV Calendar Comic Book Election cooking TIFF supernatural Rock based on movie Music 2015 transformers travel cats YA Emmys Tomatazos science fiction Star Trek diversity Food Network LGBTQ See It Skip It Crackle Warner Bros. First Look Toys sports Grammys ITV Watching Series DC Universe Dark Horse Comics