Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Bears, Transcendence, Plus The Nut Job and more

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

by | April 18, 2014 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:




Rating: G.

The latest family-friendly documentary from Disney’s Disneynature label, following Earth, Oceans, African Cats and Chimpanzees, is mainly an adorably cuddly adventure. It follows a mama bear named Sky and her two cubs, Scout and Amber, as they dig out from their snowy cave in the Alaskan wilderness and head down the mountain in search of food. Perils do await them, though, from larger and hungrier bears and wolves to rising water and the threat of starvation. (If you and your family have seen African Cats, with its bloody zebra mauling, nothing nearly so gory happens here.) There are a couple of tense moments but John C. Reilly’s amiable narration lets you know everything will be all right. And the film is beautiful, intimately shot, so it’s at least worthwhile from a visual perspective. Fine for all ages.



Rating: PG-13, for sci-fi action and violence, some bloody images, brief strong language and sensuality.

Christopher Nolan’s longtime cinematographer, Oscar-winner Wally Pfister, makes his directing debut with this thinky sci-fi thriller. It’s full of big ideas about the frightening power of technology — both its potential and its threat to our privacy — but the execution is rather dull and sometimes silly. Johnny Depp stars as a brilliant scientist who’s been experimenting with artificial intelligence alongside his wife (Rebecca Hall). When a terrorist group guns him down, he uploads himself to the Internet to keep his legacy alive. There are lots of shootings and explosions here with quite a bit of blood, but part of the story hinges on medical advancements that allow people to regenerate and heal themselves – so they don’t stay injured for long. The violence, subject matter and nearly two-hour running time make this suitable for tweens and up only.

New On DVD:

The Nut Job


Rating: PG, for mild action and rude humor.

A mostly innocuous but thoroughly unpleasant animated comedy full of unlikable characters. Will Arnett provides the voice of Surly, a squirrel who’s just trying to get a nut – and he’s unwilling to share with the rest of the furry woodland creatures in the park. Trouble is, there’s a food shortage as winter approaches, so Surly must choose between remaining selfish or being a team player. Fart jokes abound here – and many of them take place underground just to make them extra gross. Some of the rodents also wind up in danger on a raging river. Surly and his pals run into some mobster types, but they’re too cartoonish (in every way) to be threatening. And a raccoon voiced by Liam Neeson might just be more devious than he initially seems.

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty


Rating: PG, for some crude comments, language and action violence.

Ben Stiller directs and stars as the title character in this big-budget version of the classic James Thurber story. The milquetoast Mitty enjoys a vivid fantasy world which becomes reality when he’s forced to embark on a globetrotting adventure. The special effects are pretty spectacular here – and they’re the main reason to recommend this movie. There are a couple scenes of peril: a chase through the crowded streets of Manhattan, as well as an erupting volcano. And Walter’s boss, played by an arrogant Adam Scott, is a total jerk. But for the most part this inanely uplifting story about overcoming your fears and chasing your dreams is pretty darn harmless.

Ride Along


Rating: PG-13, for sequences of violence, sexual content and brief strong language.

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart co-star in this clichéd, mismatched buddy-cop comedy that strains desperately to be funny. Hart plays a fast-talking security guard with dreams of becoming a police officer. He also dreams of marrying his longtime girlfriend (Tika Sumpter), whose brother is the toughest detective in all of Atlanta. Hart goes for a ride along with Cube — hence the title — to prove his worth. Shootings, showdowns with generic Serbian bad guys and explosions ensue. There’s also plenty of language and suggestive sexual jokes involving the various positions and tricks Hart likes to employ in the bedroom. (And his nickname is Black Hammer, supposedly a reference to his manhood.) This is probably OK for older kids, but you may want to show them The Other Guys or even 21 Jump Street instead.

Tag Cloud

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