Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: X-Men: Days of Future Past and Blended, Plus Pompeii and Vampire Academy on DVD

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

by | May 22, 2014 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:

X-Men: Days of Future Past


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

Key X-Men characters and the younger versions of themselves all factor into this time-travel drama, with Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine traversing both realms. 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. This is an extremely violent and intense film, featuring massive set pieces with major destruction. Giant, flying robots known as Sentinels have been built to take out the mutants by shape shifting to adapt to their gifts. Prolonged fistfights and protracted gun battles abound. Magneto alone racks up the damage and casualties with just a casual hand gesture. OK for mature tweens and up.



Rating: PG-13, for crude and sexual content, and language.

Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore team up for the third time, following The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates, as single parents who initially clash but eventually end up getting together and blending their five combined kids during a lavish trip to Africa. This is a comparatively tame Sandler movie in terms of the gross-out factor. There’s no projectile vomit, no messy excrement. There is one joke about urination but it’s actually relevant in context. Computer-generated rhinos cavort and a giraffe gives a teenage boy an unexpected tongue kiss. Speaking of kissing, a couple of newlyweds make out incessantly (and the young wife is especially jiggly). There’s also a running bit about Barrymore’s 13-year-old son’s affection for masturbation. This is probably fine for tweens and up.

New On DVD:



Rating: PG-13, for intense battle sequences, disaster-related action and brief sexual content.

Stabbings, impalings, beheadings — name a brutal way for men to destroy each other and it’s probably in here. And that’s long before the volcano goes boom and starts shooting fireballs at the innocent citizens of Pompeii. This telling of the ancient eruption of Mount Vesuvius is a massively violent PG-13 disaster movie — but it’s all rendered with slick, computer-generated effects. Hunky gladiators beat their opponents bloody and tear into each other with their mighty swords. In the midst of the mayhem, bland young lovers Milo (Kit Harington) and Cassia (Emily Browning) scurry to survive — but they still find for unintentionally hilarious romance. This is probably OK for young teens but truly, I’d choose something else if you have some options. Something, you know, good.

Vampire Academy


Rating: PG-13, for violence, bloody images, sexual content and language.

This hyper-verbal, smart-alecky action comedy is based on the series of young adult novels of the same name. It follows the adventures of teen vampire royalty and the guardians who’ve been assigned to protect them. Then there are the evil, immortal vampires who want to lure them to the dark side. Just as scary are the daily dramas of high school life, which best friends Lissa (Lucy Fry), the royal, and Rose (Zoey Deutsch), her protector, must navigate. There’s a ton of blood sucking, hand-to-hand combat, stabbings and general peril. There’s also a subplot about animal mutilation and some gossip about a female character engaging in a ménage a trois with two male classmates. Both might prove to be gnarly topics of discussion afterward. Fine for the target YA audience of tween and teen girls.

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