Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and much more

We give you what you need to know about the family-friendliness of this week's new releases.

by | October 10, 2014 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


Rating: PG, for rude humor including some reckless behavior and language.

This family-friendly Disney comedy uses the popular Judith Viorst children’s book mainly as a springboard. It follows the misadventures of a family in which one of the kids, Alexander (Ed Oxenbould), is having an atrocious day. While blowing out a birthday candle, he wishes that his happy, thriving parents and siblings could understand his misery and inadvertently curses them in the process. Madcap hilarity ensues, including a wrecked minivan, a Peter Pan performance that’s tainted by too much cough syrup and a baby consuming an entire green marker. There’s nothing even vaguely offensive here. Even when the male-stripper group the Thunder From Down Under shows up — don’t ask — they do a clean version of their routine. A solid choice for the whole family — even parents, who will find it surprisingly tolerable thanks in part to the likable presence of Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner as Alexander’s parents.

St. Vincent

Rating: PG-13, for mature thematic material including sexual content, alcohol and tobacco use, and for language.

Bill Murray is back in reliable curmudgeon mode as Vincent, a misanthropic alcoholic living in a shabby Brooklyn home. He finds his comfortable, anti-social routine shattered when a single mom (Melissa McCarthy) and her shy, bullied son (Jaeden Lieberher) move in next door and Vincent ends up serving as de factor babysitter. Despite its ultimate feel-good themes, there’s some mature stuff here. Vincent has an ongoing relationship with a pregnant, Russian stripper (Naomi Watts) and he takes the kid to a dive bar and the racetrack. (Besides his drinking problem, he also has a gambling problem as well as a smoking problem.) There’s also a subplot involving an elderly woman who’s in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. And as the kid gains confidence, he punches out one of the classmates who had tormented him. This is probably suitable for sophisticated tweens and older.

One Chance


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

This inspiring film is based on the true story of Paul Potts, a portly cell-phone salesman from working-class Wales who became an unlikely superstar singing opera to win the first season of Britain’s Got Talent. It’s pure formula, but James Corden is so irresistibly charming as Potts that you may as well give in. There are a few sexual references that will probably go over a lot of younger viewers’ heads. It’s suggested that Potts loses his virginity on his wedding night, but all we see is a little bit of chaste kissing. Also, he gets bullied as a kid by the mean boys who scoff at his sophisticated musical tastes. This is a nice story, solidly and efficiently told, and fine for tweens and older.

New On DVD:

Million Dollar Arm


Rating: PG, for mild language and suggestive content.

Anyone who’s ever seen a feel-good Disney sports movie — which truly is its own genre by now — knows what they’re getting here. It’s an extremely wholesome film that’s fine for the whole family. Jon Hamm stars as agent J.B. Bernstein, who brings a couple of kids from India to the United States who’ve never played baseball in hopes of turning them into major-league pitchers. Nothing offensive or shocking happens here. The guys attend a lavish party where there’s poolside drinking with bikini-clad beauties, and one character who’d never tasted alcohol before ends up downing too much punch with messy consequences. (See? A teaching moment.) There’s also the suggestion that Hamm’s character spends the night with the woman who’s renting out his guesthouse, played by Lake Bell, but we don’t see anything beyond some innocent kissing.

Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow


Rating: PG-13, for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material.

When it came out in theaters, this Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller was called Edge of Tomorrow. Now it’s going by the poster tagline Live Die Repeat. Either way, this is an insanely violent PG-13 movie, but barely any blood results from the copious amounts of violence and death, so there you have it. Cruise’s character gets shot in the head over and over again, or monsters devour him, or a truck hits him. However it happens, he has to die repeatedly in order to reset his day and come back with more knowledge and slight tweaks to his actions each time. Think of it as a gruesome version of Groundhog Day. In the near future, creatures resembling giant, evil calamari have ravaged Earth. They’re fast-moving, spinning, climbing, flying — they’re totally frightening. Cruise, as a reluctant Army major, and Emily Blunt, as a famously fierce warrior, must work together to control time and stop the assault. Among the elements of the fight is a futuristic storming of the beach at Normandy featuring massive gunfire, exploding aircraft and general mayhem. Director Doug Liman’s film is extremely clever but definitely not suitable for anyone younger than their teens.

Tag Cloud

Stephen King Walt Disney Pictures quibi halloween tv green book toy story Opinion live event Sundance Now TCA aapi halloween VICE free movies ABC Family Kids & Family USA Network PlayStation Epix mockumentary Lionsgate rt labs Lifetime finale The Walking Dead IMDb TV rotten vampires documentaries posters japan worst movies ESPN Star Wars FXX Polls and Games unscripted Western MSNBC Emmys new york 2016 Cannes WGN El Rey Amazon Studios Infographic HBO Go Writers Guild of America Tarantino National Geographic Mudbound Turner sopranos hollywood Paramount Comics on TV BAFTA IFC Films nature Universal Pictures scene in color dreamworks cats 4/20 Best Actor james bond prank social media DirecTV Spike reviews psycho Focus Features AMC Sci-Fi adaptation olympics Sundance Christmas TBS streamig spider-verse Sony Tokyo Olympics sports Native Animation feel good facebook rotten movies we love cars monster movies Nat Geo NBA Elton John binge nbcuniversal movie OneApp The Witch Reality TLC TV Land cults hispanic Marvel Television Prime Video cops Trailer Fox News zero dark thirty docudrama comic books book adaptation Star Wars Celebration renewed TV shows YouTube Premium scene in color film series leaderboard target NYCC universal monsters Lifetime Christmas movies news Cartoon Network hidden camera CMT RT21 serial killer foreign cinemax 93rd Oscars cooking PBS VOD FX mob Black Mirror batman technology History Freeform SDCC Nominations golden globe awards The Walt Disney Company Avengers 99% scene in color series Fall TV YouTube Red HFPA indie art house sequel TCA Awards Reality Competition Disney Plus Country Baby Yoda ratings Election Mystery Calendar rt archives canceled TV shows DC Comics BET Awards king kong Funimation historical drama DC Universe TIFF CBS All Access kids streaming Travel Channel Sundance TV based on movie reboot Action heist movie Super Bowl summer TV crime thriller deadpool Premiere Dates stoner 20th Century Fox comiccon Marathons dramedy 007 kong laika BBC genre Starz dragons slashers CBS Tubi Set visit Sony Pictures adventure 72 Emmy Awards DGA Musical Mary Poppins Returns Holiday ABC Signature Amazon Extras cartoon elevated horror 45 Pride Month stop motion rt labs critics edition Wes Anderson YouTube Character Guide blaxploitation trophy fast and furious Winter TV adenture dark PaleyFest versus 94th Oscars screen actors guild Trophy Talk First Reviews Netflix Christmas movies spider-man international asian-american ABC canceled name the review classics docuseries comic know your critic cancelled television diversity Song of Ice and Fire Television Academy Crackle pirates of the caribbean target scene in color Rocky IFC godzilla MCU golden globes psychological thriller Captain marvel Tomatazos Box Office jamie lee curtis nfl new zealand best Pirates VH1 popular Paramount Pictures tv talk political drama dexter vs. theme song high school Interview Superheroe festival Drama Family Certified Fresh critic resources screenings 2015 Thanksgiving archives sitcom women Black History Month Peacock Best Director Neflix Logo OWN spy thriller South by Southwest Film Festival chucky A&E Syfy BBC One black comedy all-time 90s independent justice league Spring TV biopic USA See It Skip It rom-coms casting SundanceTV Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 1990s FX on Hulu YA 2019 HBO Max comic book movies Toys game of thrones Apple TV Plus American Society of Cinematographers Disney Channel Apple TV+ scary movies Watching Series what to watch Pop TV Exclusive Video spain football MGM saw Best Picture game show The Academy Creative Arts Emmys science fiction Crunchyroll debate 2018 Broadway romantic comedy Universal book legend richard e. Grant E! 71st Emmy Awards Grammys Chernobyl DC streaming service politics Podcast italian wonder woman BET razzies LGBT New York Comic Con worst Turner Classic Movies Academy Awards TCM Mary Tyler Moore mission: impossible Mindy Kaling Heroines marvel comics Winners Discovery Channel basketball comedies Shondaland black Comedy franchise Emmy Nominations Tags: Comedy discovery concert Schedule harry potter Music CW Seed cancelled TV series Instagram Live series Film Festival TV One documentary Amazon Prime a nightmare on elm street ghosts SXSW zombie CNN disaster Warner Bros. TCA Winter 2020 french Television Critics Association Disney streaming service mcc Film blockbusters comic book movie boxing police drama San Diego Comic-Con criterion Mary poppins breaking bad WarnerMedia The Purge Hallmark sag awards new star wars movies Nickelodeon Fantasy cancelled TV shows Ghostbusters telelvision 2020 composers summer preview Endgame television anthology doctor who broadcast action-comedy Valentine's Day Hollywood Foreign Press Association Tumblr Arrowverse Chilling Adventures of Sabrina south america Netflix toronto crime drama Rocketman ViacomCBS war Trivia scorecard jurassic park obi wan spanish crime GIFs Image Comics witnail E3 child's play Pop Holidays 2021 trailers king arthur superman Fox Searchlight obituary venice Brie Larson animated Esquire award winner Pet Sematary Oscar APB singing competition teaser dc strong female leads Countdown werewolf Cosplay supernatural Video Games Musicals true crime spinoff The Arrangement Acorn TV dogs slasher 73rd Emmy Awards directors Photos Showtime festivals children's TV talk show cancelled MTV Fargo films 79th Golden Globes Awards Adult Swim X-Men Vudu Anna Paquin suspense Ovation Food Network Legendary TV TCA 2017 Hear Us Out gangster transformers anime Rock medical drama christmas movies SXSW 2022 Awards spanish language Masterpiece Summer satire summer TV preview Geeked Week hispanic heritage month Apple streaming movies AMC Plus indiana jones Bravo romance Rom-Com ID Biopics Best and Worst TV movies 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Sneak Peek zombies Year in Review superhero Quiz Hallmark Christmas movies interviews ITV TNT Horror Women's History Month HBO space Teen The CW japanese Oscars 2017 remakes GLAAD thriller Comic-Con@Home 2021 natural history scary LGBTQ blockbuster sequels lord of the rings miniseries video on demand TruTV Spectrum Originals Superheroes aliens A24 21st Century Fox Lucasfilm TV renewals marvel cinematic universe australia Indigenous Binge Guide Classic Film fresh royal family Dark Horse Comics parents crossover comics Marvel Studios kaiju young adult Best Actress Amazon Prime Video President FOX 24 frames robots Pacific Islander joker Martial Arts Red Carpet twilight GoT biography NBC video critics boxoffice Disney BBC America Paramount Plus revenge movies die hard First Look Disney+ Disney Plus Shudder stand-up comedy mutant Ellie Kemper Pixar travel period drama Alien RT History emmy awards dceu Comic Book Hulu Marvel hist Star Trek Britbox latino Columbia Pictures Awards Tour live action Comedy Central Paramount Network