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) 38%

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

science fiction Marvel Studios Mary Poppins Returns vs. BBC One Peacock concert Food Network X-Men saw finale Schedule witnail dark archives Pet Sematary period drama supernatural Music Watching Series IMDb TV Film Festival 20th Century Fox prank Rock debate Cosplay Countdown comic book movie universal monsters dramedy movies Acorn TV unscripted sports Toys BAFTA fresh biography strong female leads Paramount mcc trophy transformers TBS Super Bowl Starz popular crime Columbia Pictures The Witch ghosts rotten monster movies adenture Rocky razzies name the review Alien Sneak Peek facebook space indiana jones PBS National Geographic 007 book OneApp japanese VH1 mission: impossible Calendar medical drama Apple TV Plus Apple spider-verse telelvision Film trailers cults spanish Emmy Nominations game of thrones Martial Arts Discovery Channel Instagram Live Comedy Central art house Hulu 2017 Arrowverse TV One television Ovation parents San Diego Comic-Con A24 dexter TV Land green book Mystery political drama nfl Amazon Prime Extras Endgame romantic comedy Crackle stoner biopic documentary superhero Britbox Musicals Character Guide renewed TV shows golden globes Fargo Western Box Office nature golden globe awards action-comedy teaser History international Kids & Family latino Certified Fresh IFC Films Turner PlayStation FX on Hulu BET Awards Lifetime Christmas movies wonder woman E3 Hear Us Out video on demand spinoff video french 2021 docuseries harry potter Mindy Kaling award winner Oscars sequel TruTV animated scary deadpool venice children's TV spanish language APB australia cops Comics on TV Opinion Shudder Amazon Studios franchise dragons Photos Lucasfilm black Reality Tomatazos book adaptation satire Binge Guide Apple TV+ Universal Action New York Comic Con emmy awards 45 rt archives aliens comic books black comedy GoT revenge comic book movies Cannes Showtime remakes asian-american dc a nightmare on elm street Year in Review Freeform docudrama serial killer Exclusive Video Rocketman Star Wars Women's History Month Set visit disaster dreamworks gangster MTV PaleyFest rotten movies we love leaderboard BBC E! Awards Tour TCA 2017 vampires Grammys USA El Rey TV movies young adult cancelled television all-time women psycho dogs rom-coms Syfy zombie live event The Academy HBO Go Captain marvel Marvel elevated horror comic 72 Emmy Awards CMT movie DC streaming service FXX Spectrum Originals hispanic casting Christmas hispanic heritage month Brie Larson slasher genre Paramount Network versus ratings new zealand cancelled TV shows Quiz die hard YA Elton John Thanksgiving DirecTV lord of the rings stop motion Disney+ Disney Plus superman Turner Classic Movies Hallmark Christmas movies psychological thriller BET cinemax game show TIFF Disney Channel zero dark thirty Disney spider-man Marvel Television HBO Max 2019 anime Creative Arts Emmys Winners worst Pride Month true crime ABC Family SXSW spy thriller WarnerMedia directors Chernobyl Ellie Kemper sequels reviews Comic-Con@Home 2021 TCA Winter 2020 critic resources Sundance Now Masterpiece Superheroes Universal Pictures Lionsgate Legendary technology joker scary movies Spike based on movie FOX comiccon tv talk CBS chucky japan Writers Guild of America Nickelodeon Chilling Adventures of Sabrina romance Amazon marvel comics NBC Song of Ice and Fire cars Travel Channel Pirates new york screenings cartoon Musical discovery Tumblr Stephen King WGN best comics Tarantino Television Critics Association child's play know your critic live action quibi heist movie Vudu social media news justice league reboot Polls and Games 99% Trivia Netflix canceled toy story jurassic park werewolf jamie lee curtis AMC miniseries basketball CBS All Access marvel cinematic universe Nat Geo TLC HBO The Walt Disney Company Television Academy comedies binge king arthur Funimation President Cartoon Network First Reviews 2020 cancelled BBC America films SDCC historical drama Election Epix SundanceTV Mudbound 24 frames canceled TV shows Heroines what to watch scorecard 90s richard e. Grant police drama james bond Infographic The Purge TNT classics kids RT21 Red Carpet Trailer singing competition blockbusters Emmys AMC Plus rt labs Netflix Christmas movies Pop TV Pop criterion zombies christmas movies MSNBC sopranos Dark Horse Comics FX Adult Swim The Walking Dead A&E Esquire natural history halloween tv 2015 2018 TCA Awards thriller Reality Competition Mary poppins mob Lifetime stand-up comedy royal family VOD pirates of the caribbean robots Mary Tyler Moore halloween Comic Book Holiday sitcom Fox News Paramount Plus twilight hollywood Bravo Premiere Dates Country VICE LGBT crime drama breaking bad boxing festival USA Network toronto Fantasy Best and Worst travel laika 2016 4/20 diversity festivals Interview indie Winter TV Comedy worst movies 73rd Emmy Awards Sundance RT History mutant GLAAD TCA Broadway Amazon Prime Video GIFs The CW NYCC 71st Emmy Awards king kong Fox Searchlight theme song IFC LGBTQ MCU Nominations olympics Academy Awards Family fast and furious Walt Disney Pictures independent Warner Bros. critics Hallmark kaiju YouTube doctor who talk show Tokyo Olympics suspense batman DC Comics ViacomCBS Horror Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Image Comics war spain anthology boxoffice foreign Classic Film cooking The Arrangement streaming CNN Valentine's Day crossover ID 21st Century Fox Black Mirror italian YouTube Premium OWN mockumentary 1990s Drama hidden camera Superheroe TV renewals Holidays YouTube Red Spring TV ABC Marathons blaxploitation adventure series Biopics ABC Signature obituary Logo adaptation kong Disney Plus DC Universe American Society of Cinematographers Rom-Com streaming movies composers posters Animation nbcuniversal crime thriller Pixar documentaries Pacific Islander Neflix Video Games Trophy Talk ESPN cats Black History Month See It Skip It DGA ITV Sundance TV football feel good cancelled TV series free movies Ghostbusters legend blockbuster 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Summer rt labs critics edition Anna Paquin Disney streaming service politics Avengers target sag awards south america Podcast CW Seed Sci-Fi Crunchyroll godzilla scene in color Shondaland TCM Wes Anderson Teen slashers hist new star wars movies Sony Pictures Star Trek high school Tubi NBA Fall TV 93rd Oscars screen actors guild Awards First Look dceu TV Baby Yoda aapi