Parental Guidance

Wonder Woman Might Be Too Violent for Your Kids

by | June 2, 2017 | Comments

There are two superhero movies coming out this weekend, but one of them is an animated feature based on a series of children’s books about a not-so-super hero who traipses around in his unmentionables. The other movie — one you might have heard something about lately — is the latest entry in the DC Extended Universe, and Christy is here to let you know which side of PG-13 it sits on. Read on for all the details on the two wide releases, plus a couple of new DVDs.



Wonder Woman (2017) 93%

Rating: PG-13, for sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive content.

So many parent friends of mine – with little girls, especially – have asked me whether this big-screen version of Wonder Woman is suitable for their kids. And the answer, as much as I hate to say it, is: probably not. Not yet, at least. Don’t get me wrong – it’s great. But it’s also extremely violent. The origin story of Diana Prince (a hugely charismatic Gal Gadot), the Amazon warrior who’d become a superhero, is both thrilling and moving. Director Patty Jenkins has pulled off a tricky balance of humor, heart, and high-tech spectacle that’s genuinely inspiring. But Wonder Woman also features several long, graphic action sequences. There’s a ton of gunfire, swordplay, and hand-to-hand combat. Several characters die, and while there isn’t a lot of blood (hence the PG-13 rating), the movie definitely doesn’t shy away from showing the actual deaths. We see people in peril – including women and children — during World War I battles. In one scene, a room full of bad guys perish from poisonous gas. There’s also the suggestion of a sex scene between Diana and Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), the American spy she rescues from a crash landing, but all we see is kissing in a hotel room. At over two hours, Wonder Woman also might be too long for many young viewers. I brought my 7 ½-year-old son with me and he was fine, but he’s also seen a) a lot of movies in general, and b) a lot of comic-book movies specifically. (He also loved it – and he wasn’t so enthusiastic about seeing it beforehand.) But Diana is heroic and brave, idealistic and pure, she’s usually the smartest and most capable person in the room or on the battlefield. That’s all worthwhile. But I suspect this would be too much just yet for viewers younger than 8 or 9.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (Captain Underpants) (2017) 87%

Rating: PG, for mild rude humor throughout.

If your kids are fans of the Captain Underpants books, they will love this movie. They will be laughing hysterically throughout the entire thing, and they’ll be singing its unlikely superhero’s catch phrase – “Tra la laaa!” – as they leave the theater. The good news is, as a parent, you’ll have a blast, too – whether or not you’re familiar with the Captain Underpants extended universe. Director David Soren’s film, written by Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah MarshallGet Him to the Greek), draws from a few of author Dav Pilkey’s hugely popular books. It introduces best friends George (voiced by Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch), who spend their days designing comic books and plotting elaborate pranks at their elementary school. But one day they go too far, and they turn their mean principal, Mr. Krupp (Ed Helms), into the comic hero of their dreams: Captain Underpants. Nothing in here is vaguely inappropriate – unless you have a problem with jokes about poop, pee, farts and toilets. And Captain Underpants actually has a valuable message about being kind to people who are friendless or who’ve been bullied. But mostly it’s about potty humor. Fine for all ages.



The Shack (2017) 21%

Rating: PG-13, for thematic material including some violence.

Viewers around 11 or 12 and older should be OK here, even though it’s about pretty grown-up stuff. This weepy religious film is based on a New York Times best seller about a father (Sam Worthington) who goes on a spiritual journey after the tragic loss of his young daughter (Amelie Eve). The little girl is kidnapped and killed during a family camping trip, leaving him bereft and faithless and eroding his relationships with his wife (Radha Mitchell) and two other kids (Megan Charpentier and Gage Munroe). Then one day, a mysterious note in his mailbox leads him back to the scene of the crime – and to an idyllic shack in the woods where he meets God (Octavia Spencer), Jesus (Aviv Alush), and the Holy Spirit (Sumire Matsubara). Thematically alone, this is too much for very young viewers to handle. We see visions of the young girl being carried away, and we witness the father’s pain and remorse. There’s also a scene in which another kid nearly drowns and requires CPR. And at over two hours, the running time alone will make this a tough sit for kids.

Before I Fall (2017) 65%

Rating: PG-13, for mature thematic content involving drinking, sexuality, bullying, some violent images, and language – all involving teens.

Young teens and older should be fine watching this angsty but well-acted high school drama. Think Groundhog Day meets Heathers. Zoey Deutch stars as a popular high school senior who wakes up the morning after a raging party to find she’s living the previous day all over again. Then it happens the next morning, and the next. And it keeps happening, over and over, regardless of the slight tweaks she makes to jar herself loose from this time loop. In the process, she learns to see her mean-girl friends more clearly and treasure what’s truly important in life. Director Ry Russo-Young’s film features a ton of language and frank talk about sex. Teens also get super drunk at the party Deutch’s character and her friends attend, and they bully an awkward girl who shows up uninvited. And there’s a major car accident that serves as an important plot point, which we see again and again from various perspectives.

Tag Cloud

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