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

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