David James / Twentieth Century Fox

Daniel Day-Lewis, stars as President Abraham Lincoln

Family Watch: 'Guardians' protect the innocence of young children

Published: Friday, Nov. 23, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 17TICKET

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


Rating: PG for thematic elements and some mildly scary action

What it's about: The "Guardians of Childhood," a.k.a. Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc., struggle to keep the boogeyman from ruining childhood.

The kid attractor factor: It's animated and it has Santa, elves and a holiday theme (sort of).

Good lessons/ bad lessons: Belief in magic and the supernatural is an important part of childhood.

Violence: Stylized, animated, some chilling effects

Language: A DreamWorks movie that is Disney clean.


Drugs: None

Parents' advisory: Kids who read "The Guardians of Childhood" book may get more out of this than kids, and adults, who didn't. Suitable for all ages.


Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity

What it's about: Bella's half-vampire baby is growing up, and that has the other vampires nervous.

The kid attractor factor: Those teen vampires Bella and Edward have settled down and started a family. And have to fight to protect it.

Good lessons/ bad lessons: Even hardened enemies can be reasoned with, if they see the consequences of their stubbornness.

Violence: More than the other "Twilight" movies. Vampires, wolves and humans die.

Language: A scattering of mild profanity

Sex: Nothing very graphic, though there is some skin.

Drugs: None

Parents' advisory: If they've seen the earlier "Twilights," this one won't hurt them. Suitable for 13-and-up.


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.

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