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

20%

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

46%

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

80%

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.



R.I.P.D.

13%

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

Teen Polls and Games Film Festival Baby Yoda Adult Swim Amazon dragons biography IFC streaming Best and Worst canceled TV shows anthology TV renewals Stephen King BET Creative Arts Emmys Turner Holiday spinoff Heroines binge Endgame cars cops crossover blaxploitation game of thrones independent jamie lee curtis The Walking Dead Superheroe FX on Hulu south america Song of Ice and Fire Calendar TV zombies psycho scary movies Amazon Prime movie Disney streaming service comedies RT21 TIFF children's TV cancelled TV shows ESPN 4/20 Brie Larson OWN FOX Cosplay sag awards Comedy comics 20th Century Fox Mary Tyler Moore elevated horror Bravo Academy Awards concert ratings Fantasy TCA Awards NBC CBS sequels NYCC E3 Food Network American Society of Cinematographers Chernobyl Hulu canceled Horror Interview 2020 ABC Family golden globes 2018 laika LGBT critics travel See It Skip It Superheroes finale rotten blockbuster Rocky A&E stoner Amazon Studios TCA Winter 2020 Avengers breaking bad DC Comics History vampires facebook Sci-Fi Fox News Rock reboot 45 Biopics Star Trek Marvel Lionsgate hollywood Starz HBO cinemax crime thriller Columbia Pictures WGN BBC America Paramount APB RT History Box Office The Arrangement crime joker USA Network dc space miniseries true crime spy thriller social media indie The CW 2019 San Diego Comic-Con unscripted a nightmare on elm street sitcom President best zombie technology Sundance 72 Emmy Awards Apple Lifetime Christmas movies Apple TV+ Comedy Central nbcuniversal Podcast Hallmark Christmas movies Travel Channel El Rey Character Guide thriller Hear Us Out BET Awards Photos ABC animated Christmas anime Music franchise harry potter CNN MSNBC Tubi Quiz PaleyFest Comic Book E! universal monsters Chilling Adventures of Sabrina cancelled TV series 2015 Disney Channel chucky classics singing competition robots 24 frames nature dramedy Pixar Ghostbusters criterion supernatural OneApp GIFs Nat Geo Funimation VH1 Kids & Family The Witch news Black History Month Winter TV festivals Mindy Kaling dceu Infographic Fall TV award winner HBO Max christmas movies video Martial Arts New York Comic Con football docudrama cats adventure book CMT HBO Go Syfy GLAAD Universal BBC venice Trailer Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Anna Paquin First Look Summer MTV Family witnail Emmy Nominations remakes Television Academy Crunchyroll Peacock Marvel Television Spectrum Originals werewolf spider-man dark game show Walt Disney Pictures screen actors guild Freeform SDCC movies Shondaland composers Reality Red Carpet superhero scorecard Spring TV crime drama LGBTQ Comics on TV YA Super Bowl Pop TV Mystery The Purge Dark Horse Comics discovery Britbox DC Universe transformers stand-up comedy FXX Turner Classic Movies Premiere Dates Certified Fresh AMC based on movie 2017 all-time Marathons halloween Toys Marvel Studios Disney+ Disney Plus CW Seed Holidays Epix Cartoon Network Nominations Netflix batman zero dark thirty Winners hispanic CBS All Access Awards Tour TruTV First Reviews parents Black Mirror Musicals cooking VICE X-Men obituary cancelled television Pet Sematary spain quibi festival Western name the review renewed TV shows Lifetime VOD Trophy Talk TLC Esquire Mudbound asian-american Sony Pictures TV Land historical drama political drama rotten movies we love GoT Binge Guide directors Film police drama Lucasfilm television Drama Reality Competition Captain marvel Sneak Peek 007 71st Emmy Awards SXSW A24 theme song Hallmark Paramount Network National Geographic Awards USA DC streaming service cults Musical revenge Amazon Prime Video Logo Grammys IFC Films Elton John Disney Plus Pride Month Rocketman Emmys Crackle Country indiana jones Video Games toy story Netflix Christmas movies science fiction free movies Discovery Channel TCM video on demand Year in Review screenings films Sundance TV worst movies Valentine's Day disaster Nickelodeon Pirates mutant what to watch YouTube DirecTV adaptation Tomatazos hist Tarantino Vudu fast and furious reviews FX Acorn TV Schedule TNT Star Wars Women's History Month Extras Ovation Classic Film comiccon Opinion ghosts kids Tumblr TCA 2017 BBC One Mary Poppins Returns YouTube Premium diversity casting cartoon nfl romantic comedy emmy awards medical drama Disney stop motion TBS ITV TCA 21st Century Fox satire WarnerMedia green book doctor who Warner Bros. Apple TV Plus PBS period drama spanish language Ellie Kemper tv talk DGA BAFTA Cannes Countdown mockumentary dogs Masterpiece romance strong female leads YouTube Red Set visit Rom-Com teaser series sports child's play psychological thriller twilight boxoffice mission: impossible 2016 Pop PlayStation Trivia Watching Series Spike SundanceTV sequel talk show die hard foreign justice league worst richard e. Grant natural history MCU cancelled Thanksgiving Action serial killer Animation toronto latino Shudder Mary poppins Arrowverse documentary Election Television Critics Association versus documentaries Sundance Now Showtime aliens war Oscars comic politics slashers Writers Guild of America