The Weinstein Co. William Shatner voices the character of Gen. Shanker in the animated "Escape From Planet Earth."

Family watch:'Escape From Planet Earth' is pure escapism

Published: Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 19TICKET

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


Rating: PG-13 for drug content and sequences of violence

What it's about: A teen lets a pal talk him into accepting a drug shipment, and the kid's dad has to go undercover to get his son's federal prison sentence reduced.

The kid attractor factor: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, fighting drug dealers, driving tractor trailers.

Good lessons, bad lessons: Minimum mandatory sentencing means you make a single drug- related mistake, your life is ruined.

Violence: A few shootouts with bloody consequences.

Language: Profanity, but not as much as you might think.

Sex: None.

Drugs: Sold, shipped, and cocaine is sniffed.

Parents advisory: A reasonably realistic portrayal of what happens when civilians get mixed up in the drug trade, suitable for 13-and-up.


Rating: PG for action and some mild rude humor

What it's about: Aliens who "come in peace" find themselves abducted, held captive in Area 51 and in need of rescue.

The kid attractor factor: Aliens and space ships.

Good lessons, bad lessons: Looking out for you, "that's what brothers do." And beware the Slurpee "brain freeze."

Violence: Some, mostly of the cartoon slapstick variety.

Language: Squeaky clean.

Sex: Not a hint.

Drugs: Tranquilizer darts.

Parents advisory: A mash-up of "Planet 51" and "Monsters vs. Aliens," inoffensive to all ages.


Rating: PG-13 for violence, scary images and some sexual material

What it's about: The dark, poetic and pretty new girl in high school? She's a witch.

The kid attractor factor: A witchy "Twilight" with a smattering of action and a great sense of humor about itself.

Good lessons bad lessons: Fate, shmate. "We make our own lives." Violence: A shooting, a few supernatural tussles.

Language: Pretty clean, actually.

Sex: Implied, after a lot of smooching.

Drugs: None.

Parents advisory: Funny; light on the violence, profanity and heavy breathing; suitable for 10-and-up.


Rating: PG-13, for thematic material involving threatening behavior, violence and sexuality

What it's about: A young woman in trouble flees to the sleepy Carolina coast, where romance awaits.

The kid attractor factor: Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel, cute kids, lightweight comedy. Do children read Nicholas Sparks novels?

Good lessons, bad lessons: "Take a lot of pictures. You'll only regret the ones you didn't take."

Violence: Yes, involving knives and fires and guns.

Language: A scattering of profanity, a smidge more than you see in your typical Nicholas Sparks movies.

Sex: A little more than you see in your typical Sparks movie.

Drugs: Alcohol is abused.

Parents advisory: A little edgier than your typical Sparks romance novel adaptation, but nothing that will unsettle anybody over 12.


Rating: R for sexual content and language

What it's about: Jason Bateman has his identity stolen by loose cannon and credit-card hijacker Melissa McCarthy.

The kid attractor factor: Adults behaving badly.

Good lessons, bad lessons: There's no such thing as a victimless crime.

Violence: Fights, shootings – a little blood.

Language: Melissa McCarthy is rated R, with or without a movie.

Sex: Yes, loud, crude and rude.

Drugs: Booze and pills.

Parents advisory: A comedy in the "Hangover" tradition – raunchy and violent. Suitable for 15 and up.

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