Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Free Birds and Last Vegas, Plus Monsters University and R.I.P.D.

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

by | November 1, 2013 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:

Free Birds


Rating: PG, for some action/peril and rude humor.

Owen Wilson lends his distinctive, nasal twang to the voice of Reggie, a turkey who realizes he and his brethren are all being fattened up to become the main course for Thanksgiving feasts. He and a very intense, muscular turkey named Jake (Woody Harrelson) travel back in time to the first Thanksgiving to keep their kind off the menu for good. There’s a ton of stuff going on in this animated adventure — characters, subplots, themes, antics — none of which is terribly funny or thrilling. The kids at the screening I attended were uncharacteristically low-key and seemed unengaged. There’s nothing offensive or inappropriate here — a big battle scene is mere spectacle. And a half-hearted metaphor in which the film likens turkey slaughter to the plight of Native Americans will probably go over kids’ heads.

Last Vegas


Rating: PG-13, or sexual content and language.

I can’t really imagine why you’d want to take your kids to this comedy about a quartet of 70-year-olds (Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline) who reunite in Las Vegas for a bachelor party. But if for some reason your family is at the multiplex and you need to find something you can all watch, this would probably be fine for tweens and up. There are the obligatory Viagra jokes and a subplot about sanctioned cheating. The guys judge a bikini contest by the pool and enjoy a wild night of drinking and partying at a nightclub. And Kline’s character lets loose with one big, loud, well-timed F-bomb. Surprisingly, the movie itself is funnier and not as hacky as it looks, largely because the four stars bring such great presence to their roles.

New On DVD:

Monsters University


Rating: G.

Tiny, lime-green Mikey (voiced by Billy Crystal) and big, blue Sulley (John Goodman) are back together again in this prequel to the 2001 Pixar hit Monsters, Inc. The movie introduces us to how Mikey and Sulley met during their freshman year in college and studied to be the master scarers they eventually become. Speaking of scares, there aren’t too many in this lively, colorful, family-friendly comedy; my son, Nicolas, was 3 ½ when I took him to see this and he did just fine. The dean of the scaring school — an intimidating, centipede-like creature voiced by Helen Mirren — might frighten the littlest viewers as she swoops through the air and then scampers about on her sharp claws. The rest of the monsters are goofy, or furry, or squishy, and thoroughly adorable and clever.



Rating: PG-13, for violence, sci-fi/fantasy action, some sensuality and language including sex references.

This inferior version of Men in Black finds Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges as mismatched buddy cops who’ve been killed in the line of duty during different centuries. They’re forced to work together in a sort of purgatory to prevent the dead from taking over the living world. Based on a graphic novel, R.I.P.D. features grotesque and menacing creatures who transform before our eyes. They’re disgusting to look at but are never really scary, partly because the 3-D conversion looks so messy. There’s also quite a bit of gunfire but it’s of the cartoonish variety coming from souped-up, supernatural weaponry.

Tag Cloud

Biopics Paramount Cosplay Mary Tyler Moore Toys Sundance Now OWN Valentine's Day See It Skip It IFC Films Song of Ice and Fire Food Network Country anime Polls and Games Awards TIFF Syfy singing competition unscripted CBS All Access 2017 docudrama Podcast YouTube Premium CMT Nickelodeon comic Apple Photos Amazon vampires Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Action boxoffice festivals GLAAD political drama sitcom Red Carpet Star Trek harry potter Ghostbusters zombie TNT Trailer Winter TV CBS TCA SundanceTV Best and Worst Netflix Animation green book Spring TV Thanksgiving DirecTV crime drama medical drama Starz Nat Geo Universal Box Office El Rey DC streaming service Hulu Tumblr Spike police drama technology Columbia Pictures X-Men Tomatazos Year in Review Grammys blaxploitation Superheroe award winner Logo MSNBC 2019 LGBTQ crime thriller Masterpiece psycho Epix Lionsgate A&E golden globes Pop Crackle Set visit Rom-Com romance 20th Century Fox President USA period drama Freeform VH1 SXSW Shondaland APB Drama crossover E3 VICE RT History ABC Family social media USA Network politics hist Sneak Peek BBC aliens Infographic Horror Mindy Kaling TCA 2017 Lifetime Ellie Kemper comiccon San Diego Comic-Con E! The CW 2018 Video Games Marathons finale IFC Fall TV Emmys BET doctor who Premiere Dates dramedy Mary Poppins Returns DC Universe YouTube Red jamie lee curtis Opinion robots Quiz serial killer Music Mystery Western cats what to watch 007 Schedule Winners 2015 Cartoon Network FOX The Arrangement spy thriller Dark Horse Comics TLC Walt Disney Pictures Musical based on movie Lucasfilm Trophy Talk binge composers Britbox crime sports 2016 American Society of Cinematographers Ovation New York Comic Con TCM Countdown TruTV television discovery Shudder Comedy Esquire Superheroes AMC National Geographic CNN Super Bowl SDCC transformers Reality streaming Mary poppins Election NYCC justice league Adult Swim Musicals Pirates talk show BBC America ESPN PaleyFest HBO Disney FXX cinemax Acorn TV Kids & Family supernatural Trivia Oscars Comic Book Christmas Star Wars NBC mutant Showtime First Look cults 21st Century Fox Summer dc ITV travel Disney Channel CW Seed Writers Guild of America WGN dceu Sci-Fi 24 frames Rocky YA cops GIFs adventure Fox News science fiction Awards Tour historical drama History Certified Fresh ABC Reality Competition ratings Warner Bros. TBS Sundance Interview Paramount Network diversity TV Land DC Comics Martial Arts zombies MTV Comedy Central PBS cooking 45 Comics on TV Extras Creative Arts Emmys thriller Fantasy Nominations TV Holidays war biography Calendar Chilling Adventures of Sabrina FX Rock Marvel Bravo GoT Sony Pictures Teen Character Guide spider-man Pixar Watching Series