Parental Guidance

Remember, Deadpool 2 Is Not for Kids

But here are three pop culture-laden alternatives you can watch at home with them.

by | May 18, 2018 | Comments

Two years ago, a certain Ryan Reynolds superhero action comedy debuted and, to almost everyone’s surprise, broke a bunch of box office records and earned a Certified Fresh 83% on the Tomatometer. But despite its comic book origins, Deadpool was decidedly not for kids. We warned parents about it then, but just in case your memory’s gone bad, Christy is here to remind you again not to take your little ones to its follow-up, Deadpool 2, and offer three slightly more innocuous alternatives that are also steeped in pop culture references.


THE MOVIE

Deadpool 2 (2018) 83%

Rating: R, for strong violence and language throughout, sexual references and brief drug material.

If you saw the original Deadpool in 2016, you know what you’re in for here. Director David Leitch’s film really earns its R rating, with a nearly non-stop cavalcade of gory violence, harsh language and crass sexual humor. The red-suited Marvel character may look like a lot of fun – and in Ryan Reynolds’ expert comic hands, he definitely is – but he’s also not for kids. This time, Reynolds’ Wade Wilson (a.k.a. Deadpool) hooks up with some of the lesser-known X-Men to form his own team. Their mission is to take on the powerful bad guy Cable (Josh Brolin), a soldier who has traveled back in time to right a wrong (and wreak havoc in the process). Kids are frequently in danger, but one kid in particular – a fire-throwing teenage mutant named Russell (Julian Dennison) – is as inappropriate and profane as Deadpool himself. But he also becomes Deadpool’s sidekick and pet project, which adds some tenderness to balance out the wrongness. It’s intense and boundary pushing, but Deadpool 2 also has an emotional undercurrent that gives the film more substance than you might expect. Fine for older teens and up.


THE RECOMMENDATIONS

Part of what makes the Deadpool movies so funny is that they’re crammed with rapid-fire pop-culture references. Since the vast majority of kids probably shouldn’t see this sequel, here are some other movies you can share with them that gleefully wallow in meta movie and music influences.

The LEGO Movie (2014) 95%

Rating: PG, for action and rude humor.

Basically, every LEGO character you could possibly imagine – plus a few truly inspired ones you never knew existed – co-mingle in this high-energy extravaganza, making it the ultimate pop-culture mash-up. From Batman and Wonder Woman to Shaquille O’Neal and Abraham Lincoln to Lando Calrissian and C-3PO, the characters cross time, space and storytelling boundaries to interact in this animated adventure, and it’s a blast. You couldn’t possibly catch all the references in Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s movie in one sitting, but that’s OK. Revisiting The LEGO Movie and noticing new details each time is part of the fun. (If you have kids who are anything like my 8-year-old son, you’ve probably already seen it several times. “Everything Is Awesome” will eventually get unstuck from your head, I promise.) Chris Pratt (himself a superhero as Star-Lord in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) lends his voice here as an ordinary construction worker named Emmet. He goes on a hero’s journey with the rebellious Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) when he’s mistaken as the Master Builder who will lead his people to freedom from the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell). There’s a ton of action and danger here, but it’s mostly playful. A great choice for all ages.

Watch now on: AmazonFandangoNOW, iTunes


Clueless (1995) 79%

Rating: PG-13, for sex-related dialogue and some teen use of alcohol and drugs.

The main characters are high school students named Cher (Alicia Silverstone) and Dionne (Stacey Dash), “after famous singers of the past who now do infomercials.” And that’s just the beginning in this generation-defining comedy that’s packed with a panorama of pop-culture references and influences. Writer-director Amy Heckerling’s film as a whole is inspired by the Jane Austen classic Emma. But it’s very much of its time with jokes involving Luke Perry, Ren & Stimpy, Calvin Klein, Kenny G and Mark Wahlberg (back when he was still rapping as Marky Mark), plus some older references to Barbra Streisand, James Bond and Sammy Davis Jr. It’s got quite a bit of teen partying and some sexual references, but on the whole it’s a light, sweet movie about finding out what’s important in life. Silverstone’s Cher is a materialistic Beverly Hills queen bee, but she’s loyal to her friends and her heart is in the right place. A solid choice for viewers around 11 and older.

Watch now on: AmazonFandangoNOWiTunes


Sing Street (2016) 95%

Rating: PG-13, for thematic elements including strong language and some bullying behavior, a suggestive image, drug material and teen smoking.

This movie is a complete charmer, and if you didn’t catch it when it came out a couple years ago, now is the time. Irish writer-director John Carney’s semi-autobiographical film is an excellent choice for the teens and tweens in your house, capturing vividly the longing ache of adolescent first love. The performances are all lovely, but the ‘80s-inspired music is what really makes it sing. Ferdia Walsh-Peelo stars as Conor, a sweet teenager who finds himself an outcast when he transfers to a rough new school. Along with the few friends he makes, he starts a band to impress the beautiful and mysterious older girl (Lucy Boynton) who lives across the street. Early MTV videos are a major influence on Conor and his pals as they hone their look and sound, from Duran Duran to The Cure to Hall & Oates. Sing Street is full of insanely catchy, original songs – and the accompanying music videos the band shoots are hilarious — but the poppy sound of the era is pervasive. Conor also has the benefit of an older brother (Jack Reynor) who helps shape his musical tastes, and their intense conversations about what’s good (the Sex Pistols) and what’s bad (Phil Collins) are consistently amusing. There’s quite a bit of bullying, language and smoking, but for the most part, Sing Street is a total joy.

Watch now on: AmazonFandangoNOWiTunes

Tag Cloud

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