David James 20th Century Fox Joseph Gordon-Levitt, playing Robert Lincoln, eldest son of the president, is part of a large cast in the sweeping "Lincoln."

Family Watch:'Lincoln' is a lesson; 'Quartet' a tough sell

Published: Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 18TICKET

Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers.


LINCOLN

Rating: PG-13 for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language

What it's about: Abraham Lincoln and his fractious Cabinet try to rally congressional support for an amendment to end slavery.

The kid-attractor factor: A valuable history lesson about the messiness of government and a very human portrait of a sainted president

Good lessons/bad lessons: In politics, even the noblest ideals have their detractors.

Violence: Some gruesome Civil War combat

Language: A scattering of period-appropriate profanity, racial slurs.

Sex: None

Drugs: None

Parents' advisory: Even if their school isn't assigning this, there's a lot to be said for rounding the kids up and letting them absorb a little Civil War history – suitable for 10-and-up.


A LATE QUARTET

Rating: R for language and some sexuality

What it's about: Members of a famous string quartet face the illness and retirement of their oldest member with scheming, power grabs and betrayals.

The kid-attractor factor: Christopher Walken plays it straight for once.

Good lessons/bad lessons: It takes more than just ego – cooperation – to make beautiful music together.

Violence: None

Language: Even classical musicians curse

Sex: Suggested, flirted with

Drugs: None

Parents' advisory: A hard sell to any child not into string music, it's suitable for 13-and-up.

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