Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Delivery Man, Plus Planes and Paranoia

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

by | November 22, 2013 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

90%

Rating: PG-13, for intense sequences of violence and action, some frightening images, thematic elements, a suggestive situation and language.

The sequel to last year’s smash-hit The Hunger Games is every bit as violent and suspenseful as its predecessor. But this time, there’s an even greater sense of dread as a bloody revolution is sweeping the districts of dystopian Panem. The full force of the totalitarian regime against which the masses are rebelling also feels clearer — and more frightening — than in the original film. At its center is Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, the co-victor of the last Hunger Games who must fight for her life once more. At its core, all of these films based on the Suzanne Collins novels are about young people being forced into an elaborate and sadistic competition in which they must kill each other for the greater good of their people. It’s a heady and disturbing concept. As executed here, it’s often a bloody and gruesome one, as well. Older kids only – anyone younger than Katniss’ little sister, Prim, should probably wait a bit longer to enter the arena.

Delivery Man

40%

Rating: PG-13, for thematic elements, sexual content, some drug material, brief violence and language.

Vince Vaughn stars in this feel-good comedy as a middle-aged underachiever who discovers he’s the biological father of hundreds of children from the many sperm donations he made two decades ago. This inspires a series of jokes in which the act of masturbation is described in colorful ways. Vaughn’s character finds the need to insert himself surreptitiously in his kids’ lives and perform kind deeds for them, which leads to some dramatic situations. One of his daughters nearly overdoses on heroin, for example; we see her passed out on a bed before paramedics arrive to rush her by ambulance to a hospital. Thematically, this is probably best for older tweens and up.

New On DVD:

Planes

25%

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

This is an extremely gentle PG-rated animated film. It’s a spin-off of the Cars world, which explains why those big eyes in the planes’ windshields look so familiar. Dane Cook provides the voice of a crop-duster who dreams of competing in an around-the-world air race. He finds himself in a couple of potentially dangerous situations, including a severe storm, which might seem mildly distressing. There’s also a flashback to a World War II combat sequence. And of course, there is the obligatory poop joke. Because kids love poop. Totally suitable for all ages.

Paranoia

7%

Rating: PG-13, for some sexuality, violence and language.

Between Hunger Games movies, Australian hunk Liam Hemsworth starred in this techno-thriller which would be completely forgettable except for the presence of Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman in juicy supporting roles. I’m not sure why your kids would want to see this movie — it’s a clichéd, shiny bore — but if for some reason it pops up on your television, there are a few potentially mature elements to look out for. They include fast-paced chases, staged car accidents and heavy firepower. There’s also a healthy amount of language and a tasteful sex scene between Hemsworth and Amber Heard.

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