Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Left Behind and Transformers: Age of Extinction

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

by | October 3, 2014 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:

Left Behind


Rating: PG-13, for some thematic elements, violence/peril and brief drug content.

A remake of the 2000 Kirk Cameron thriller about the Rapture, this has a bigger budget and a bigger star in Nicolas Cage in hopes of reaching a larger, more mainstream audience. But that didn’t exactly result in a quality piece of filmmaking in terms of special effects. Or dialogue. Or performances. Or anything. Cage stars as a philandering airline pilot who’s the captain on a transatlantic flight from which several passengers mysteriously disappear. The same phenomenon occurs back on the ground where his wife and kids are. Mostly children get zapped but also the truly faithful. Because, you know, it’s Armageddon. Director Vic Armstrong’s film features some “big” set pieces that look pretty small and chintzy, including a school bus that goes off an overpass and a small plane that crashes into a shopping mall parking lot. Cage’s character, meanwhile, must find someplace to land his own plane amid the pandemonium. There’s a brief bit of drug content involving one of the passengers. But mainly there’s just widespread panic. Probably fine for tweens and up, or anyone looking for a good laugh.

New On DVD:

Transformers: Age of Extinction


Rating: PG-13, for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language and brief innuendo.

Transformers: Perhaps you’ve heard of them. They’re robots disguised as cars and trucks. Sometimes they fight each other. This is the fourth Transformers film Michael Bay has made, so you should know what you’re in for by now: noise and violence, followed by mass destruction.

But there isn’t much of a body count because it’s a PG-13 movie. One character does get blasted to death and remains frozen in horror — that’s kind of a disturbing sight. Lots of buildings blow up, including the quaint Texas farmhouse where Mark Wahlberg’s character and his sexy teenage daughter (Nicola Peltz) live. Shadowy government bad guys, including Kelsey Grammer, skulk about the globe furthering their nefarious plans. And while there’s language throughout, Stanley Tucci (as a slick, high-tech inventor) gets to drop one well-placed F-bomb. Probably OK for tweens and up, although with a running time pushing three hours, this is a challenging slog for anyone to endure regardless of age.

Editor’s note: In addition, The Hero of Color City is in limited release and geared for young children. Hero is an uplifting animated adventure about crayons who embark on an adventure to discover their true colors, featuring the voices of Christina Ricci, Owen Wilson, Craig Ferguson and more. Check out an exclusive Rotten Tomatoes clip here:


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