Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Planes and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

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

by | August 8, 2013 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:



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

This animated adventure is a spin-off of the Cars world, so those airplane eyeballs will look familiar to your kids, and you, and anyone who’s ever been to a store that sells backpacks and bedspreads. Dane Cook provides the voice of Dusty, a crop-dusting plane who dreams of taking part in an around-the-world race. Kind of like a snail who dreams of competing in the Indianapolis 500…but anyway. This is extremely kid-friendly, to the point of being colorfully bland. True danger only exists briefly in a couple of scenes: a bad storm that threatens Dusty’s survival over an ocean and a quick World War II flashback. Your kids may be bored (my 3 ½-year-old was — and eventually, he fell asleep) but they’ll never be truly frightened. Oh, and of course there’s the obligatory poop joke, right at the end. ‘Cause poop is funny.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters


Rating: PG for fantasy action violence, some scary images and mild language.

It’s rated PG but there’s actually some legitimately scary stuff in this sequel to 2010’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Monsters kill a little girl in the opening scene. A giant, transforming robot bull rampages through an idyllic forest community, trying to trample, gore and shoot fire at the pleasingly multicultural mix of demigod teens and satyrs who live there. And after taking on a fearsome Cyclops, Poseidon’s son Percy (Logan Lerman) and his pals must conquer the giant, stomping, child-eating Titan Kronos. The theater was packed with families, but this Harry Potter knock-off is probably suitable for kids ages 7 or 8 and up.

New On DVD:



Rating: PG-13, for sci-fi action violence, brief strong language, and some sensuality/nudity.

A visually dazzling but narratively derivative sci-fi thriller starring Tom Cruise as a drone mechanic in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic world (as if there were any other kind). Machines think for themselves in ways that may seem a little startling. The decimation of the planet provides some arresting imagery, but it probably won’t seem too disturbing for older kids who are interested in this genre. There are some intense chase sequences, some confrontations with predatory alien creatures, a bit of language and a glass-bottom space pool where Cruise cavorts with his live-in work partner/love interest. Overall, suitable for older kids.



Rating: PG-13, for some violence, sexual references, language, thematic elements and smoking.

One of the best movies of the year also happens to be a really strong pick for older kids — say, tweens and up — who are capable of handling some sophisticated subject matter. Director Jeff Nichols’ Southern coming-of-age drama follows a couple of 14-year-old boys who befriend a fugitive killer played by a charismatic and frightening Matthew McConaughey. These are not pretentious, cutesy moppets but rather tough kids who end up in danger — which includes being shot at by bad guys. One of the boys also finds himself in serious peril when a deadly snake bites him. Just as startling for these kids, though, is the shattering of their illusions about the way the grown-up world really works.

Tag Cloud

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