Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: The Book of Life, X-Men: Days of Future Past and more

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

by | October 17, 2014 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:

The Book of Life


Rating: PG, for mild action, rude humor, some thematic elements and brief scary images.

Based on Mexican folklore, this is a vibrant, richly colorful animated adventure that takes place across magical realms, including the underworld. The Land of the Remembered is populated with Day of the Dead-type skeleton figures, which might seem vaguely scary for the smallest children. There are also some slightly violent bullfighting and battle sequences. And the plot concerns a longtime love triangle between childhood friends Manolo (Diego Luna), Joaquin (Channing Tatum) and Maria (Zoe Saldana). There are a few minor insults thrown around and some chaste kissing. But for the most part, this is pretty wholesome and harmless.

New On DVD:

X-Men: Days of Future Past


Rating: PG-13, for sequences of intense sci-fi violence and action, some suggestive material, nudity and language.

An extremely violence and intense PG-13 film, but also a beautiful, smart and thrillingly made one. Major X-Men characters and their younger selves must work together in director Bryan Singer’s time-travel drama. One of the first images you see is of corpses being dumped from the back of a truck into the darkness of a terrifying, post-apocalyptic wasteland. Massive set pieces lead to major destruction. Giant, flying robots known as Sentinels have been built to take out the mutants by shape shifting to adapt to their gifts. Magneto alone racks up serious damage and casualties with just the mere wave of his hand. This is probably suitable only for mature tweens and older.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman


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

This animated, time-travel adventure (which was projected in 3-D theatrically) is totally suitable for kids of all ages. It’s based on the cartoon series that played during all those great, old Rocky & Bullwinkle episodes. This time, Mr. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell), the world’s smartest dog, and his genius boy, Sherman (Max Charles), skip about through history. It’s lively, clever, smart and often quite funny, despite (or perhaps because of) Mr. Peabody’s trademark, terrible puns. Many of the historical and pop-culture references will go over kids’ heads, but the grown-ups watching will be amused. There’s nothing even remotely inappropriate here, and as for gross-out humor, there is exactly one fart joke — but the set-up for it actually makes it work. Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann, Ariel Winter, Stanley Tucci and Patrick Warburton are among the strong voice cast.