Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Skyfall, Lincoln, and New DVDs

New column: each week we'll be bringing you the best bets for family viewing.

by | November 9, 2012 | Comments


Welcome to the inaugural edition of Parental Guidance! Each week, we’ll be bringing you the best bets for new movies in theater and on DVD and Blu-ray to help you make informed decisions about what films are appropriate for family viewing. This week, we’ve got Skyfall, the newest installment in the James Bond franchise, as well as Steven Speilberg’s historical drama Lincoln and some brand new DVDs. Read on for more information!

In Theaters This Week:



What’s it about? After going off the grid for a bit, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is summoned back into action when MI6 comes under attack. Chases, fights, and blows to 007’s confidence ensue.

Who’s it for? Skyfall is rated PG-13 for “intense violent sequences throughout, some sexuality, language and smoking.” Content-wise, it’s pretty much like every James Bond movie ever, though it’s worth noting that while smoking has declined since Sean Connery’s time, the franchise has undoubtedly gotten more risqué. Parents should probably take the rating to heart.

Is it any good? It’s Certified Fresh with thecritics, so there’s a good chance you’ll like it.



What’s it about? Lincoln is an up-close-and-personal look at Honest Abe’s political maneuvering over the course the Civil War, during which time he attempted to end the conflict and abolish slavery.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 “for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language.” It’s also likely to bore the wee ones to tears. However, for history buffs middle school-age and up, Lincoln is sure to embody the “history lesson come to life” concept in the best way possible.

Is it any good? Daniel Day-Lewis is getting rave reviews for his portrayal of the Great Emancipator, and the critics say Steven Speilberg’s direction is typically fine; the result is a compelling, nuanced recreation of a pivotal moment in American history.

New On DVD:

The Amazing Spider-Man


What’s it about? It’s the story of how Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) gets bitten by a radioactive spider, becomes a superhero, develops a relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and battles a supervillain named the Lizard.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 for “scenes of action and violence.” It’s certainly too much for little kids, but it’s probably fine for pre-teens and up.

Is it any good? The Amazing Spider-Man got solid, respectful reviews, but some critics and fans were slightly miffed that the franchise was rebooted so soon after Sam Raimi’s three installments. Newcomers to the world of Spider-Man will probably pick fewer nits than Marvel fanboys, though.

Arthur Christmas


What’s it about? It’s the story of Santa Claus’ son Arthur (voiced by James McAvoy), who must deliver a present to a sad little girl after Papa Noel neglects to visit her house. Along the way, we learn about Santa’s state-of-the-art headquarters up at the North Pole.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG for “some mild rude humor,” but this clever, colorful animated tale is probably safe for little kids.

Is it any good? The good folks at Aardman Animations have a strong track record of delightfully offbeat family-friendly films (including Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit), and critics say the Certified Fresh Arthur Christmas is no exception.

The Muppet Christmas Carol 20th Anniversary


What’s it about? A retelling of Charles Dickens’ timeless morality play, The Muppet Christmas Carol stars Michael Caine as curmudgeonly cheapskate Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future after mistreating his long-suffering employee Bob Cratchit (Kermit the Frog) on Christmas Eve.

Who’s it for? Who doesn’t love the Muppets? The Muppet Christmas Carol serves as a fine introduction to a classic holiday tale of darkness and redemption. Plus, Statler and Waldorf prove they can “bah humbug” with the best of ’em.

Is it any good? It’s one of the worst-reviewed Muppet movies, but Christmas Carol is still solidly fresh at 68 percent.

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