Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Ant-Man, Mr. Holmes, and The Longest Ride

by | July 17, 2015 | Comments

NEW IN THEATERS

Ant-Man

83%

Rating: PG-13, for sci-fi action violence.

The latest Marvel Comics superhero extravaganza is actually a rather modest affair. That’s because Paul Rudd’s character becomes a tiny crime fighter — ant-sized, to be exact. Rudd’s Scott Lang was a criminal himself, but now is teaming up with the professor (Michael Douglas) who created this shrinking particle (and a snazzy suit to go with it) to protect the technology from falling into the wrong hands. It’s a much lighter and breezier movie than most we’ve seen recently from the Marvel Cinematic Universe — the fate of the world is not at stake, for example — but there are still several thrilling and intense moments, and a few scary ones. Ant-Man must battle a bad guy who also has the capacity to diminish in size. A few people and animals who become the unwitting subjects of the shrinking experiments wind up being zapped into blobs of goo. And a little girl finds herself in very real and intimate peril. There’s also some language, some physical fighting and a tiny bit of brief kissing. Fine for tweens and up.

Mr. Holmes

88%

Rating: PG, for thematic elements, some disturbing images and incidental smoking.

This is a different take on the legacy of Sherlock Holmes, focusing on his later years in his remote farmhouse by the sea. Director Bill Condon’s film finds the world-famous detective (Ian McKellen), at age 93, struggling to recall the details of the case that ended up being his last. He has just returned from post-World War II Japan with a plant whose healing powers he hopes will restore his mental acuity, but he continues to deteriorate. Also living in the house are Holmes’ housekeeper (Laura Linney) and her young son (Milo Parker). Holmes reflects upon this final investigation, which involved the makings of a murder plot. While in Japan, he visited the remnants of Hiroshima and witnessed the devastating impact the bomb had on the city’s survivors. And the boy, whose inquisitive nature makes him a keen companion for Holmes, finds himself in serious physical danger when he helps tend to the detective’s prized bees. There’s also just the scary nature of the creeping effects of dementia. It’s rated PG, though, so for the most part it’s fine for kids around age 8 and older.

NEW ON DVD

The Longest Ride

31%

Rating: PG-13, for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action.

Hunky Scott Eastwood — son of Clint, who eerily resembles his father in his young Rawhide days — stars as a professional bull rider living in North Carolina. This being a Nicholas Sparks adaptation, though, he also falls in love — with an art history major (Britt Robertson) who’s on her way to New York City for a gallery internship after graduation. Tweens and older are probably the suitable age for the romantic elements of this fantasy about beautiful but extremely different people whose love is probably doomed. They enjoy a little partial nudity before their artfully lighted, tastefully photographed shower sex. Eastwood’s character also suffers serious injuries from some ornery bulls, which are difficult to watch. A parallel plot involving flashbacks to a young couple during World War II features some violence during the battle scenes and some serious conversations about infertility. In the present day, there’s also some language and collegiate drunkenness.

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