Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: The Croods, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and Les Misérables

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

by | March 21, 2013 | Comments


This week in family films, prepare for a journey: we’ll take you across stone age landscapes (The Croods) to Middle-earth (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) to the dusty streets of Paris (Les Misérables). Read on to find out what’s appropriate for family viewing.

In Theaters This Week:

The Croods


What’s it about? After the cave they call home is destroyed, a stone-age family journeys across its pre-historic environs, encountering wild beasts and learning to love and trust each other along the way.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG for “some scary action.” Despite it’s title, The Croods is pretty wholesome fare, though some little kids might be frightened by various animal attacks.

Is it any good? Critics say The Croods is a funny, charming animated tale with fantastic visuals and exciting action.

New On DVD:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


What’s it about? Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf go on a journey to recapture the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from an evil dragon, meeting some wild characters — including the mischievous Gollum — along the way.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 for “for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.” The film features beheadings, stabbings, characters in peril, and scary orcs and trolls, among other things, so you should probably leave the little ones at home, though teens will be fine with it.

Is it any good? Critics say The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a notable step down from the Lord of the Rings trilogy — though it’s visually stunning and well acted, it’s also overlong and sometimes feels overextended.

Les Misérables


What’s it about? Hugh Jackman stars as Jean Valjean, an ex-con turned factory owner who takes care of his ex-employee Fantine (Anne Hathaway) and her daughter while avoiding the ruthless Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe).

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 “suggestive and sexual material, violence and thematic elements.” It’s got a couple brutal beatings, and it delves into the world of prostitution, so this is probably one for young high schoolers and up.

Is it any good? Critics say Les Misérables is often over-the-top, but the performances are excellent, and director Tom Hooper injects a sense of grit and passion to the proceedings.