Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Island of Lemurs: Madagascar and More

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

by | April 4, 2014 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier


Rating: PG-13, for intense sequences of violence, gunplay, and action throughout.

As is always the case in these effects-laden blockbusters based on comic books, the second Captain America movie is chock full of shootouts, martial arts butt kicking and the kind of prolonged, punishing brawls in which only physically altered specimens can engage. But beneath the well-staged mayhem, much darker themes – as well as the debate over freedom vs. security — are at work. This time, Cap (Chris Evans), with the help of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), must uncover a conspiracy within the secret government agency S.H.I.E.L.D. There’s an incredibly violent car chase which causes a ton of damage involving their boss, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), as well as a climactic battle in the skies above Washington featuring massive machines that were built to take out millions of people. This is probably fine for mature tweens and older.

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar


Rating: G.

Lemurs, people! How do you not love them? The playful yet intense primates are the focus of this beautiful and intimate 3-D IMAX documentary. Morgan Freeman narrates, sharing the story of how these furry creatures floated on a raft of vegetation across the Indian Ocean from Africa to a remote, exotic island 60 million years ago. Now, several kinds of lemur face extinction, as well as a shortage of rainforest in Madagascar because so much land has been burned for farming. It’s a powerful ecological message that older kids will understand; younger ones will probably just revel in the gorgeous imagery and the lemurs’ hilarious, adorable antics. Totally suitable for the entire family.

New On DVD:

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues


Rating: PG-13, for drug use, crude and sexual content, comic violence, and language.

You know what you’re getting here. If you’ve seen the 2004 cult comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, you’re in for more of the same kind of raucous comedy in the sequel, in which Ron Burgundy and his pals help launch the first 24-hour cable news channel. Will Ferrell’s buffoonish news anchor and his equally inept colleagues smoke crack on the air, cavort with women in uncomfortable, lustful ways and take part in an even bigger brawl with their rival TV news teams. There’s a lot of over-the-top banging and clanging that goes on. It’s all very silly – would you expect anything different? – but it feels even more slapped together than usual for this genre. Still, this is probably fine for older kids and up.