Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Bourne Legacy, and Ice Age: Continental Drift

Check out our rundown of what is (and isn't) kid-friendly this week.

by | December 12, 2012 | Comments


This week in family viewing, we take a journey to Middle-earth with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. On DVD and Blu-ray, we’ve got the spy thriller The Bourne Legacy and the animated sequel Ice Age: Continental Drift. Read on to find out what’s appropriate for the whole family.

In Theaters This Week:

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.

New On DVD:

The Bourne Legacy


What’s it about? Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is a chemically-enhanced super-soldier who discovers that the secret government agency that gave him his powers is trying to kill him, so he goes on the run.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 for “violence and action sequences.” It’s safe for teens, but Aaron Cross’ various escapes from peril are certainly too much for younger viewers.

Is it any good? Critics say that while The Bourne Legacy is a bit overlong and more disjointed than previous installments, it’s still a capable chase thriller with strong action scenes.

Ice Age: Continental Drift


What’s it about? Scrat the saber-toothed squirrel triggers a continental rift thanks to his irrepressible search for acorns. Meanwhile, Manny the mammoth, Sid the sloth, and Diego the sabre-toothed cat find themselves on the run from pirate apes.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG for “for mild rude humor and action/peril.” You can almost certainly show it to elementary school kids.

Is it any good? Critics say Continental Drift has moments of charm and witty slapstick but often seems content to recycle ideas from the previous Ice Age films.

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