Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Pacific Rim and Grown Ups 2

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

by | July 12, 2013 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:

Pacific Rim


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

Monsters wreak spectacular havoc on major cities across the globe, and giant robots battle them for the future of humanity: It’s a fantastically fun, marvelously mounted summer escape. For younger kids, the underwater monsters who’ve burst from the deep to destroy us — the kaiju, as they’re called — might be a little too scary. Director Guillermo del Toro does not mess around when it comes to his creatures, so the beasts here have clever, vividly detailed features. And there is one sequence that’s absolutely terrifying for viewers of any age: a flashback in which a young girl runs through the ravaged Japanese streets, sobbing in fear as she tries to escape the monster that has just killed her parents.

Grown Ups 2


Rating: PG-13, for crude and suggestive content, language and male rear nudity.

Fart jokes. Pee jokes. Poop jokes. Vomit jokes. Jokes about boobs. Jokes about butts. Jokes about stoned, bi-polar school bus drivers. If you are not shocked or offended by any of these de rigueur elements of an Adam Sandler comedy, and you think your older kids will get a mindless kick out of such puerile humor, then sure, Grown Ups 2 is suitable. They may giggle at the gross-out gags, but the alleged “meat” of the film — the midlife crisis that Sandler and his pals Chris Rock, Kevin James and David Spade are experiencing — will probably go over their heads. Still, if you truly love your kids, you won’t subject them to such lazy, cynical trash.

New On DVD:



Rating: PG-13 for language and some sexual material.

Tina Fey and Paul Rudd team up for the first time ever in a comedy that sadly squanders their immense likability. Fey plays an uptight admissions officer at Princeton University; Rudd is a former classmate of hers who now runs a crunchy-granola alternative high school, who’s pushing her to consider one of his top students. Besides some profanity, nothing really shocking occurs, but there are a few mature plot points that may prompt some awkward questions from younger kids. There’s a subplot involving an affair that leads to a pregnancy. Fey and Rudd share a shower scene but there’s no real visible nudity. And Lily Tomlin enjoys some risqué moments as Fey’s maverick-feminist mother.

The Host


Rating: PG-13, for some sensuality and violence.

Since it’s based on a book by Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series, this sci-fi thriller would seem tailor-made for her same core fan base of tween and teen girls. Yes, the content is suitable for them; young people find themselves in danger here, but no more or less so than in a fevered girl-vampire-werewolf love triangle. Saoirse Ronan plays a headstrong 17-year-old in a post-apocalyptic future (is there any other kind?) who refuses to let her body be taken over by a nomadic Soul. There is some gun violence and a bit of bloodshed, but the real offense is just how silly it all feels.

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