Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Taken 2 and Won't Back Down

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

by | January 17, 2013 | Comments

 

It’s been a rough month for family-friendly theatrical releases, so once again we look to the DVD shelf, where we find an action sequel (Taken 2) and an education drama (Won’t Back Down). Read on to find out what’s appropriate for the whole family.

New On DVD:

Taken 2

22%

What’s it about? Liam Neeson is back as retired CIA agent Bryan Mills, who must use every skill in his arsenal when he and his ex-wife are kidnapped in Istanbul by the vengeance-driven family members of the folks who abducted Mills’ daughter last time.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 “for intense sequences of violence and action, and some sensuality.” It’s probably nothing your teens haven’t seen before, but it’s certainly too much for anyone younger.

Is it any good? Critics say Taken 2 is essentially a rehash of its predecessor, but without the logic, coherence, and excitement required to keep it fresh.

Won’t Back Down

35%

What’s it about? Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal star as a teacher and a single mom, respectively, who become so disillusioned by the bureaucratic rigidity of the local public school system that they start a grass-roots movement to wrest control from the teachers union.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG “for thematic elements and language.” It’s probably safe for kids, though they might not want to watch a movie about education policy; teens may be more receptive.

Is it any good? Critics say Won’t Back Down is well-acted, but its script fails to lend dramatic heft or sophistication to the hot-button issue of education reform.

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