Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Divergent and Muppets Most Wanted, Plus Frozen and Saving Mr. Banks

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

by | March 21, 2014 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:



Divergent

42%

Rating: PG-13, for intense violence and action, thematic elements and some sensuality.

The movie version of Veronica Roth’s young adult bestseller takes place in a rigidly structured dystopian future, so naturally this means teens are going to have to battle each other for survival. It’s a crucial part of the formula. For the tweens and older who’ve read the book, the film adaptation is probably fine. They (and you) know what to expect. Shailene Woodley stars as Beatrice, or Tris, who must decide which of society’s five factions is the best for her. Once she joins the Dauntless, known for their bravery, she learns to fight, shoot, throw knives and jump from trains. But she also must defend herself from her fellow initiates, who are trying to undermine her, and face her deepest fears within elaborate simulations. A sizable body count builds up during the film’s big action sequences toward the end, but because this is PG-13, there’s very little blood.



Muppets Most Wanted

79%

Rating: PG, for some mild action.

The Muppets are back in yet another high-energy, star-studded, song-and-dance extravaganza. This time, they’re performing in major cities throughout Europe with an internationally known jewel thief, a frog named Constantine, pretending to be Kermit at the helm. There’s nothing even remotely inappropriate here. Miss Piggy is in slight danger, briefly, and the rest of the Muppets have to put themselves in peril to save her. And much of the action takes place inside a Siberian gulag (where a hilarious Tina Fey is the warden) but even that is depicted so cartoonishly, it’s never frightening. A Monsters University short precedes the feature, which is pretty darn delightful, as well.

New On DVD:



Frozen

90%

Rating: PG, for some action and mild rude humor.

You probably already have “Let It Go” playing repeatedly in your head like a psychotic episode. Now you can own Frozen on DVD and sear the song into your brain permanently. The Oscar-winning Disney animated musical has become a pop-culture phenomenon, and understandably so. It’s extremely entertaining for the whole family, especially if you have little girls in your house. Broadway veteran Idina Menzel lends her voice to the character of Elsa, a newly crowned queen who loses control and turns her idyllic kingdom to ice. Her younger sister (Kristen Bell), Princess Anna, goes on a journey with some new friends to retrieve Elsa from her self-imposed, mountaintop exile. The only vaguely scary element here is the giant snow monster Elsa creates to protect her fortress from intruders, but it’s on screen briefly and might frighten only the youngest viewers.



Saving Mr. Banks

79%

Rating: Rating: PG-13, for thematic elements including some unsettling images.

A shamelessly sentimental retelling of how charismatic Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) persuaded persnickety Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to let him turn her beloved children’s book into a movie musical. It’s not entirely accurate from a historical perspective, but it’s certainly suitable and sufficiently cheery fare, full of upbeat tunes and cathartic tears. The only reason I can imagine for the PG-13 rating is that Saving Mr. Banks includes some flashbacks to Travers’ childhood with a father (Colin Farrell) whose alcoholism destroyed him. Showing your kids the actual Mary Poppins movie might be a better call.

Tag Cloud

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