Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: TMNT, The Hundred-Foot Journey and More

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

by | August 8, 2014 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

22%

Rating: PG-13, for sci-fi action violence.

This live-action reboot of the franchise featuring modified, crime-fighting, pizza-eating turtles is a Michael Bay production. That means it’s essentially a Transformers movie, complete with shiny action sequences and destructive battles that place innocent bystanders in peril. The turtles themselves may be cute and cool and wacky in other incarnations but here, the special effects make them odd-looking in an off-putting way. Still, they emerge from the sewers to defend New York City, as is their duty, with the help of Megan Fox as an intrepid TV reporter. The enemy is a giant robot samurai named Shredder who resembles a Japanese Megatron. He’s working with a wealthy, villainous scientist (William Fichtner) who wants to rule the city by releasing a deadly toxin. There are explosions, lots of gunfire and general mayhem as a roaming group of marauders known as the Foot Clan terrorize the city and take hostages. I saw this movie with my son (who’s almost 5) and he was a bit frightened of Shredder, but only briefly.



The Hundred-Foot Journey

66%

Rating: PG, for thematic elements, some violence, language and brief sensuality.

Helen Mirren stars as the uptight owner of an elegant restaurant in the south of France. Om Puri plays the boisterous patriarch who moves his family into her quaint village and opens a new Indian restaurant directly across the street — 100 feet away, to be exact. Their competition, and the way they sabotage each other, is petty and cruel but amusing. And eventually — spoiler alert! — their rivalry leads to multicultural understanding. There are a couple of brief instances of violence — one in the beginning, one in the middle — in which vandals attack the Indian family’s restaurants, setting fire to them and even causing a death. But in both cases in director Lasse Hallstrom’s film, these are opportunities for rebuilding and redemption. Fine for kids around 10 and older.



Step Up: All In

42%

Rating: PG-13, for some language and suggestive material.

I’m guessing that the solitary, casually tossed F-bomb is the main reason that this fifth Step Up movie received a PG-13 rating. Otherwise, it’s pretty harmless as it offers one dance battle after another after another. This time, the action takes place at a competition in Las Vegas, with various characters from the previous films assembling and reassembling in different crews. The ultimate prize is a three-year deal performing at Caesars Palace. Maybe some of the dance moves are slightly and briefly risque — the thrusting, the suggestion of some sexual acts — but it all flies by at a dizzying pace. Even the dancers’ night out on the town is chaste. No smoking for these agile, muscular guys and gals, and even the drinking they do consists of a few glasses of celebratory champagne. Totally fine for kids around 8 or 9 and up.

New On DVD:



Divergent

42%

Rating: PG-13, for intense violence and action, thematic elements and some sensuality.

This is yet another movie based on a young adult novel set in a dystopian future where teenagers must fight each other for survival. Tweens who have read the book — and anyone familiar with this genre, really — will know what to expect in terms of violent situations and disturbing imagery. Still, because it’s rated PG-13, there’s very little blood to accompany the considerable body counts that accumulates. Shailene Woodley stars as Beatrice — or Tris, as she renames herself — a modest girl who faces the momentous task of deciding which of society’s five factions is the best fit for her. She chooses to join the Dauntless, which means a quick and demanding training regimen of shooting, fighting, throwing knives, climbing great heights and jumping from moving trains. But she also must defend herself against the competing initiates who are trying to take her down. It’s intense, dark stuff with a lengthy running time at two-plus hours.



Need For Speed

22%

Rating: PG-13, for sequences of reckless street racing, disturbing crash scenes, nudity and crude language.

Aaron Paul’s first major role post-Breaking Bad finds him starring in this zippy, flashy action thriller in which a lot of cars get seriously mangled. Paul plays a small-town drag racer and mechanic who must compete in that tried-and-true one last race to redeem himself and save his family’s shop. It’s a high-stakes road challenge full of exotic sports cars, which inevitably causes some serious crashes. These adrenaline junkies knowingly put themselves in this dangerous situation — and some of them won’t survive — but they also subject untold innocent pedestrians and fellow drivers to their general disregard for human safety. Probably fine for viewers age 10 and up — but kids, don’t try this at home.

Tag Cloud

biography Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series blaxploitation adventure Arrowverse Fox News Song of Ice and Fire Quiz green book Showtime Martial Arts streaming CBS All Access Star Trek Superheroe talk show Spectrum Originals psychological thriller sitcom Summer Columbia Pictures Christmas Disney Awards aliens Music dc book Oscars TruTV politics 007 Horror game of thrones Comics on TV thriller Britbox 21st Century Fox Red Carpet historical drama Peacock Schedule YouTube Red Creative Arts Emmys crossover Crackle Toys GIFs Dark Horse Comics TLC war Ovation WGN ESPN anime television romance Holidays Certified Fresh Lifetime cinemax stand-up comedy Mary Tyler Moore TCA 2017 TV Land Logo Tarantino IFC Films Extras Podcast spinoff Calendar cars DC Universe binge Walt Disney Pictures robots Freeform adaptation FXX based on movie Super Bowl Universal Pop technology Western diversity psycho Ellie Kemper anthology sports 2016 Winter TV dragons President YA spy thriller Shondaland New York Comic Con Drama DC streaming service crime thriller Amazon Prime Video festivals RT21 20th Century Fox Box Office TCM Mary Poppins Returns Year in Review TNT Elton John Country BBC America Binge Guide VICE Trivia unscripted Television Academy LGBT See It Skip It Emmy Nominations El Rey hist casting strong female leads Marathons Character Guide Nominations Paramount Network zombie Trailer VH1 Shudder Election serial killer Animation Comic Book justice league Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt MCU Brie Larson Masterpiece what to watch Musical nature Disney streaming service Teen vampires Pride Month Kids & Family mockumentary Awards Tour American Society of Cinematographers Marvel zombies Black Mirror LGBTQ award winner Epix Fall TV BET Starz Captain marvel Cannes Superheroes supernatural comiccon Infographic cops crime witnail Comedy Central HBO Max kids Warner Bros. First Look SXSW Biopics spanish language First Reviews teaser Acorn TV Sundance Now Paramount CBS APB Thanksgiving PaleyFest Rocketman DGA comic A&E Hulu NYCC crime drama Cartoon Network Lucasfilm Nat Geo FX Valentine's Day Nickelodeon spider-man Film Festival USA Reality The Arrangement movies facebook Pirates WarnerMedia richard e. Grant Adult Swim 2015 natural history Comedy Chernobyl composers medical drama zero dark thirty Rock dramedy boxoffice sequel 2018 spain Film cats Watching Series cults TBS Vudu cooking Anna Paquin San Diego Comic-Con harry potter Sony Pictures Heroines social media SDCC E! Sneak Peek TV Set visit The Witch Spike Sci-Fi CMT DC Comics Amazon Prime Grammys travel E3 24 frames Sundance DirecTV quibi golden globes Lionsgate Countdown Stephen King Netflix Fantasy MSNBC TIFF Opinion true crime X-Men Ghostbusters foreign latino Winners RT History MTV Emmys animated miniseries Mudbound Amazon Video Games south america Cosplay period drama ITV Women's History Month Food Network National Geographic HBO mutant game show Reality Competition jamie lee curtis transformers Mystery Best and Worst Star Wars space CNN Writers Guild of America doctor who Premiere Dates 2017 Esquire 2019 Rom-Com GoT USA Network elevated horror Disney Channel Bravo GLAAD disaster Photos Musicals 45 theme song Action video Family docudrama Tumblr finale ghosts BBC Mindy Kaling YouTube Premium TCA revenge SundanceTV CW Seed political drama PBS 71st Emmy Awards Apple ratings toy story tv talk Rocky police drama ABC Family Mary poppins Tomatazos AMC The CW Interview dceu NBC hispanic Polls and Games Pet Sematary History Trophy Talk ABC singing competition discovery children's TV Syfy OWN science fiction IFC FOX Pixar Spring TV