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) 95%

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

HBO Max Tubi Rocky franchise composers concert Britbox crime movie werewolf Disney Channel comics psycho First Look TV Land Food Network joker CBS All Access Nominations Stephen King Ghostbusters talk show Rock Shudder crime thriller New York Comic Con Emmys Syfy ABC political drama doctor who medical drama casting thriller what to watch Awards 2020 Sundance all-time Writers Guild of America BBC Shondaland Certified Fresh spinoff Marathons RT21 breaking bad IFC Films jamie lee curtis Esquire 21st Century Fox TBS The Walking Dead Reality spy thriller Winter TV stoner quibi Pop TV Comic Book 45 GIFs dceu cartoon Black Mirror indiana jones television Action Film WarnerMedia Holidays Netflix Christmas movies scary movies Crackle Dark Horse Comics Walt Disney Pictures best cancelled TV series series elevated horror Amazon FX YouTube Red Cartoon Network Television Academy Schedule IFC Cosplay The Arrangement GLAAD Video Games Election Turner Classic Movies Tarantino 24 frames E3 kids CMT Bravo Academy Awards Song of Ice and Fire supernatural DirecTV classics dc Comedy Chernobyl Lifetime criterion Cannes facebook Family satire DC Comics Amazon Studios Lionsgate sitcom TLC vampires psychological thriller TNT TV films USA Network adaptation Crunchyroll Summer Sneak Peek BBC America foreign ESPN HBO Go green book Paramount Apple TV+ Christmas Ovation LGBT slashers mission: impossible Quiz Starz stand-up comedy Awards Tour sag awards Discovery Channel Baby Yoda Oscars Hear Us Out Mary Tyler Moore 2019 Thanksgiving TCA Winter 2020 Tumblr Netflix twilight Rom-Com Women's History Month historical drama AMC LGBTQ MTV comiccon Martial Arts DGA Mystery dogs children's TV Teen NBC American Society of Cinematographers boxoffice hist cars Marvel USA Travel Channel Hulu Black History Month 2018 TCA Awards 2016 Binge Guide award winner TCM FOX politics docudrama The CW revenge Sundance TV Holiday true crime superhero HBO spain blaxploitation toy story YouTube dragons witnail independent Freeform die hard disaster serial killer Country YA Character Guide sports mutant Apple directors discovery Television Critics Association rotten movies we love cancelled TV shows El Rey canceled TV shows Animation Interview Creative Arts Emmys Rocketman documentaries worst VOD fast and furious laika Podcast batman canceled Elton John Turner E! diversity Pride Month cults universal monsters justice league Star Wars golden globes Star Trek Hallmark Christmas movies Mary poppins TIFF DC Universe Disney FX on Hulu richard e. Grant parents Set visit chucky name the review Acorn TV harry potter Logo Arrowverse Avengers travel reviews 20th Century Fox anime Calendar cancelled Countdown Premiere Dates space comedies History MSNBC Best and Worst Superheroe latino Ellie Kemper singing competition Brie Larson strong female leads sequel Peacock Opinion blockbuster indie aliens Polls and Games TV renewals Marvel Studios Toys tv talk Watching Series Trailer SXSW A&E finale Red Carpet Lucasfilm Masterpiece Hallmark Emmy Nominations Mudbound YouTube Premium streaming crime drama Horror spanish language ITV MCU game show Amazon Prime TruTV RT History free movies The Witch nature science fiction Columbia Pictures National Geographic Spring TV Classic Film Adult Swim screen actors guild 71st Emmy Awards child's play SDCC Sony Pictures Trivia Pet Sematary obituary CW Seed cats San Diego Comic-Con halloween nbcuniversal asian-american anthology 4/20 Marvel Television news versus animated period drama 72 Emmy Awards Infographic NYCC Reality Competition mockumentary technology Valentine's Day spider-man A24 Funimation SundanceTV cops Chilling Adventures of Sabrina hollywood Superheroes south america video on demand Musical festivals VICE OneApp emmy awards Vudu robots adventure BET Awards Kids & Family christmas movies Sundance Now stop motion First Reviews Paramount Network Showtime game of thrones a nightmare on elm street binge transformers Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TCA Captain marvel miniseries book APB Tomatazos romantic comedy Fox News Western OWN Sci-Fi BBC One 2017 video Pop Music Endgame Amazon Prime Video reboot Drama Super Bowl Disney Plus Film Festival screenings Biopics crossover rotten Fantasy movies PlayStation GoT based on movie comic renewed TV shows Trophy Talk FXX CBS Epix TCA 2017 Fall TV Box Office X-Men war dark The Purge Winners hispanic natural history ABC Family ratings unscripted Grammys See It Skip It Disney+ Disney Plus WGN Nat Geo BAFTA Apple TV Plus theme song Spike DC streaming service PaleyFest cooking President dramedy Musicals police drama teaser PBS Extras cancelled television cinemax Nickelodeon Warner Bros. ghosts Lifetime Christmas movies BET documentary Pixar social media romance Comedy Central Universal Comics on TV CNN Spectrum Originals critics VH1 Anna Paquin 007 Mary Poppins Returns biography zero dark thirty Photos Pirates Mindy Kaling zombie zombies Disney streaming service Heroines Year in Review 2015