Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Dumb and Dumber To, Beyond the Lights and more

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

by | November 14, 2014 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:

Dumb and Dumber To

30%

Rating: PG-13, for crude and sexual humor, partial nudity, language and some drug references.

It’s a Farrelly brothers movie — and a sequel to a hugely popular Farrelly brothers movie — so you know exactly what you’re getting. Fart jokes and urine jokes. Jokes about genitalia — those of our idiotic heroes and an unsuspecting old lady in a nursing home. Jokes about people of various ethnicities, sexual orientations and physical disabilities. If it’s raunchy and (allegedly) shocking, it’s in here. Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey return to the roles of Harry and Lloyd, respectively, which they played in the original Dumb and Dumber from 1994. This time, they reunite to go on a road trip in hopes of tracking down the daughter Harry never knew he had, and hopefully finding a spare kidney along the way. They bumble their way from one ridiculous situation to the next and offend everyone they come across. It’s satire! The crude physical comedy, which is the Farrellys’ bread and butter, makes much more sense to me now that my son is 5. Still, the material here is probably best suited for older tweens and up.

Beyond the Lights

83%

Rating: PG-13, for sexual content including suggestive gestures, partial nudity, language and thematic elements.

There are some heavy themes as well as some mature situations in this romantic drama set in the music world from Love & Basketball director Gina Prince-Bythewood. Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars as Noni, a troubled, Rihanna-esque R&B singer on the brink of superstardom. She falls for a hunky member of her security detail (Nate Parker), but their romance conflicts with their individual career ambitions. Beyond the Lights tackles the pressures of fame, mental illness and the music industry’s heightened sexualization of female artists. It also features some strong language, suggestive movements and sex scenes with partial nudity. It’s probably best for 13-year-olds and up.

New On DVD:

How to Train Your Dragon 2

91%

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

In case you were wondering, the young Viking Hiccup (voiced with great humor and warmth by Jay Baruchel) has indeed trained his dragon, the playful and loyal Toothless. Now, in this sequel to the 2010 animated hit, dragons are a big part of everyone’s daily life and serve as friendly companions, and they’re all depicted in wondrous color and vibrant detail. But another challenge awaits Hiccup and his buddies: They must conquer a villain (voiced by an intimidating Djimon Hounsou) who wants to kidnap all the dragons and turn them into an army to carry out his nefarious plans. While the movie is lively and thrilling for viewers of all ages, there are some serious themes, daring deeds and dire consequences. Hiccup reconnects with an important figure from his past and watches as another key character dies. My son was 4 ½ when I brought him with me to see this, and he was a bit frightened only by the Hounsou character. The heavier stuff might register more with slightly older kids. This is a great pick for most ages.