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    Judi Dench stars in “Philomena.”

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    Martin Freeman is Bilbo in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”

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

Family Watch: ‘Hobbit’ is too long, violent for very young

Published: Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 - 12:00 am


Rating: PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.

What it’s about: A hobbit and his dwarf companions battle a dragon as they seek to rescue an ancient treasure.

The kid attractor factor: Hobbits. And Elves. With plenty of dwarfs and a wizard and dragon for good measure.

Good lessons / bad lessons: The smallest among us can turn out to be the toughest and most cunning.

Violence: Quite a lot of stabbings, throat slashings and decapitations.

Language: A teensy hit of Middle Earth profanity.

Sex: A joke about “what’s in my trousers.”

Drugs: Drinking.

Parents’ advisory: The violence, fantastical and stylized, is a bit much, and it’s too long for the very young to sit through – OK for 10-and-up.


Rating: PG-13 on appeal for some strong language, thematic elements and sexual references

What it’s about: An elderly Irish retiree talks a disgraced ex-journalist into helping her find the son that nuns took from her and sold into adoption 50 years before.

The kid attractor factor: Judi Dench, old and spunky, Steve Coogan smirking, a true story of heartbreak and hope.

Good lessons / bad lessons: Forgiving people who should be begging for your forgiveness is a sign of a great soul.

Violence: None.

Language: Nicely timed moments of profanity.

Sex: Frankly discussed, with a fairly graphic childbirth scene.

Drugs: A spot of alcohol is consumed, here and there.

Parents’ advisory: Unpleasant corners of Catholic history aside, this brand of heartwarming is suitable for 13-and-up.

Read more articles by Roger Moore

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