Parental Guidance

Three Spy Movies You Can Watch with Your Family Instead of Red Sparrow

by | March 2, 2018 | Comments

The main movies opening this week are rated R, including Red Sparrow, featuring Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence as a Russian ballerina who becomes a spy. Basically, all you need to know about this movie is that Lawrence’s character complains that she was sent to “whore school” for her training. This is extremely graphic, violent material.

But there are other movies about spies that are far more appropriate for you to watch with your family. Here are a few suggestions:


THE RECOMMENDATIONS

Spy Kids (2001) 93%

Rating: PG, for action sequences and brief language.

The first Spy Kids was good. Then it was all downhill from there. The fact that Robert Rodriguez was applying his indie sensibilities to a colorful and lively family flick after making his name with the low-budget shoot-‘em-up El Mariachi was exciting, and the movie itself has an enjoyable, goofy energy about it. Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino star as married secret agents. When they disappear, it’s up to their son and daughter (Daryl Sabara and Alexa Vega) to rescue them. There’s some potty humor and some bizarre creatures. The kids find themselves in danger, but it’s always depicted in a humorous way. If you’re going to watch any of the Spy Kids movies, this is the one to choose. The (many) sequels felt strained and not nearly as inspired. Fine for viewers around 7 and older.


Agent Cody Banks (2003) 39%

Rating: PG, for action violence, mild language and some sensual content.

I’m not saying it’s a great piece of cinema. But this kid version of James Bond will likely entertain the kids in your own house. And it features two likable young stars in Frankie Muniz and Hilary Duff, who successfully made the tricky transition from child actor to grown-up performer. Muniz stars in the title role as a seemingly ordinary 15-year-old who lives a secret life as a spy, having trained at CIA summer camp. When he has to befriend a scientist’s daughter (Duff) as part of his first assignment, he realizes he has no idea how to talk to girls. But then when she gets kidnapped, he has to do more than just talk to her – he has to rescue her. The action set pieces, which include fights, chases and explosions, are big and cartoonish. The villains also are over the top. There’s a bit of language and suggestive humor. But overall, I’d say this is fine for viewers around 9 or 10 and older.


Dr. No (1962) 96%

Rating: PG

It’s a classic, of course: The first James Bond movie, which introduced Sean Connery in the iconic role and featured some of the most enduring imagery of the long-running series. Agent 007 must travel to Jamaica to discover what happened to a missing colleague; what he stumbles upon is the evil Dr. No and a plot to interfere with American rocket launches. It’s pure escapism, filled with lavish settings, elaborate action sequences and beautiful women. But while Dr. No seems tame compared to movies of this genre being made today – especially the modern, Daniel Craig Bond films — it’s definitely not for very young kids. Bond famously has a license to kill, and he infamously has a way with the ladies. A lot is suggested without being shown on camera, but still – watching this movie may result in some conversations you’re not ready to have yet. But if you have kids in your house who love action movies and are interested in learning about the films that influence what they watch today, Dr. No is fine for tweens and older.

Tag Cloud

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