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:


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

war technology medical drama police drama Hulu Trivia President period drama Nat Geo Premiere Dates Lucasfilm 2015 Food Network dceu YouTube Red Disney Channel Sci-Fi Reality Competition Election Dark Horse Comics MSNBC CNN Infographic GoT dramedy Cartoon Network PaleyFest Interview Comic Book IFC Western Starz BBC Fox News Sundance APB Comedy Central diversity golden globes science fiction Tumblr Showtime TBS Polls and Games TNT Character Guide discovery Disney Mystery Cosplay BBC America zombie singing competition Mindy Kaling WGN aliens travel TCM sports DC Comics ratings Spike adventure X-Men dc Calendar Adult Swim Winners The Arrangement Reality what to watch USA Network PBS Opinion romance Kids & Family DC Universe based on movie ABC Family Lifetime Video Games Rom-Com TLC Schedule VICE Marvel Logo Biopics Pop American Society of Cinematographers serial killer talk show OWN TIFF Action LGBTQ Awards Horror History CBS Red Carpet FOX cops YA Crackle CW Seed Best and Worst biography ABC Mary Tyler Moore Super Bowl Tomatazos Britbox Christmas Masterpiece Netflix Spring TV Freeform IFC Films Summer 24 frames SundanceTV Sony Pictures TV Watching Series harry potter Creative Arts Emmys political drama Toys Country boxoffice cooking Emmys Universal Sundance Now El Rey CBS All Access TV Land thriller Grammys DirecTV Podcast Animation Set visit Holidays 45 Sneak Peek Warner Bros. 007 The CW Star Wars 21st Century Fox Valentine's Day binge Nickelodeon Writers Guild of America psycho crime TruTV cats Drama Nominations crime thriller ITV E3 politics Certified Fresh MTV Fantasy Comedy historical drama E! HBO Martial Arts Syfy Ellie Kemper AMC FX RT History Fall TV spy thriller VH1 A&E unscripted SDCC ESPN First Look Lionsgate transformers GIFs FXX Countdown Pirates Oscars Marathons USA Bravo Photos comiccon BET Amazon Thanksgiving Superheroe CMT social media 2017 Rocky GLAAD Star Trek Box Office Ghostbusters Rock cults supernatural Extras vampires Superheroes composers sitcom Year in Review cinemax 2016 NYCC Music Paramount Network 20th Century Fox Musical docudrama Acorn TV NBC Musicals TCA 2017 justice league Trailer Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Paramount robots Teen Winter TV Esquire Pixar DC streaming service TCA crime drama See It Skip It