Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Penguins of Madagascar, The Giver, and A Madea Christmas

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

by | November 25, 2014 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:

Penguins of Madagascar


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

The scene-stealing penguins from the Madagascar series get their own movie, which is sort of an origin story and sort of a spin-off. It explains how the foursome — Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private — became globetrotting super spies, and it follows them on an all-new adventure. John Malkovich provides the rich voice of the shape-shifting villain who’s their target: an angry octopus who’s pretending to be a mad scientist. He kidnaps penguins from zoos and aquariums around the world and plans to zap them with a serum that will turn them into monstrous versions of themselves. His hope is that they’ll seem less adorable and appealing to the masses, but what they become is more silly than frightening. The penguins find themselves in several perilous situations but always manage to escape. There’s a lot of playful spanking among the animals as well as some fart jokes and double entendres about flatulence, but it’s the kind of harmless, puerile humor that routinely cracks kids up. Nothing here is shocking or inappropriate. Fine for all ages, although a lot of the pop-culture references are purely for adults.

New On DVD:

The Giver


Rating: PG-13, for mature thematic image and some sci-fi action/violence.

Mature tweens and older are probably the appropriate audience for this sci-fi drama/thriller — yet another based on a Young Adult novel set in a rigidly structured, post-war future. Brenton Thwaites stars as Jonas, the obligatory, plucky teen who dares to rise up and shake up the status quo. Jonas is chosen as the keeper of all memory in this sterile, black-and-white community; Jeff Bridges is the giver of the film’s title, who passes along the information he’s been storing. This includes color, music and love but also violence, war and hatred, with a series of harrowing images flashing through the young man’s mind as he receives them. Jonas and his girlfriend, Fiona (Odeya Rush), find themselves in danger when it becomes clear to the elders (led by Meryl Streep, of all people) that they’ve started thinking for themselves. There’s also a disturbing subplot involving the killing of infants who don’t meet the community’s precise standards.

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas


Rating: PG-13, for sexual references, crude humor and language.

Nearly a year after it arrived in theaters, this raunchy and racially tinged Christmas comedy is coming out on DVD. Think of it as a lump of cinematic coal in your stocking. But if you’re home flipping channels after a long day of shopping and it pops up, or if it happens to be on television at a holiday party, there’s nothing here that will permanently scar your children. It’s just sloppily made, as all Tyler Perry movies tend to be. This time, Perry climbs back into the sassy drag of his Madea persona, a crass and wacky old lady with no internal censor. Most of the stuff she babbles about will go over kids’ heads: references to lingerie, drugs andstrippers, for starters. Larry the Cable Guy shows up and amps up the vulgarity with some sexual innuendos — which, again, probably won’t register with young viewers. There’s also a massively contrived car crash and explosion that might have been slightly suspenseful in the hands of someone, you know, capable.

Tag Cloud

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