Family Watch: 'Despicable Me 2' fun for all; 'Lone Ranger' full of violence, so take PG-13 rating seriously

07/05/2013 12:00 AM

08/11/2013 12:28 PM

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


DESPICABLE ME 2

Rating:PG for rude humor and mild action

What it's about: Gru is summoned to help track down a fellow supervillain who is bent on world domination, but hiding out at the local mall.

The kid-attractor factor: Minions. Many many Minions.

Good lessons/bad lessons: You don't have to be an evil genius to raise daughters who are nearing dating age. But it helps.

Violence: Slapstick.

Language: A few fart and "poop" jokes.

Sex: 'Tween flirtation, online dating.

Drugs: Nope.

Parents' advisory: Fun for the whole family.


THE LONE RANGER

Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some suggestive material

What it's about: An idealistic and naive young lawyer puts on a mask and dispenses justice after his lawman brother is slain.

The kid-attractor factor: Johnny "Captain Jack Sparrow" Depp, in heavier makeup and even more outlandish as Tonto.

Good lessons/bad lessons: "Come a time, kemosabe, when good man must wear mask."

Violence: Lots and lots, some of it borderline graphic.

Language: Disney clean

Sex: Not really

Drugs: Alcohol and tobacco are consumed.

Parents' advisory: Incredibly violent for a PG-13 rated movie. Take the rating seriously, suitable for 13-and-up, but not younger viewers.


WHITE HOUSE DOWN

Rating: PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action and violence including intense gunfire and explosions, some language and a brief sexual image

What it's about: Terrorists attack the White House in an effort to kidnap the president, but a D.C. cop runs to the rescue.

The kid-attractor factor: Channing Tatum saves Jamie Foxx, and lots of stuff blows up.

Good lessons/bad lessons: "Our country is stronger than one house."

Violence: Lots and lots, with a high body count and one fairly bloody moment

Language: Scattered snippets of profanity

Sex: None

Drugs: None

Parents' advisory: Not nearly as grim and gory as "Olympus Has Fallen," with a generous helping of actual White House lore. OK for 13-and-up.


THE HEAT

Rating: R for pervasive language, strong crude content and some violence

What it's about: A fussy by-the-book FBI agent teams with a rule-and-rights-violating slob of a Boston cop to bust up a drug ring.

The kid-attractor factor: Sandra Bullock, a role model for makeup tips, and Melissa McCarthy, who teaches kids lots of new dirty words.

Good lessons/bad lessons: Admitting you don't know it all can be humbling, and liberating.

Violence: Shootings, stabbings, beatings, explosions

Language: Just filthy

Sex: Discussed, crudely

Drugs: Pot is smoked, vodka is gulped, harder drugs are glimpsed.

Parents' advisory: McCarthy's rep as the Queen of Crude gains credence here – pretty foul-mouthed, but harmless enough. Suitable for potty-mouthed 13-year-olds and older kids.


MAN OF STEEL

Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language

What it's about: The last survivor of an alien world moves to Earth where he has a lot of super powers and a pretty neat suit.

The kid-attractor factor: It's Superman, the ultimate comic book hero.

Good lessons/bad lessons: "People are afraid of what they don't understand." "A good death is its own reward."

Violence: Lots of it, a high body count – and there's a little blood

Language: The occasional burst of profanity, rather mild

Sex: After a Kryptonian childbirth scene, not a hint of it

Drugs: Alcohol is consumed and abused in a bar.

Parents' advisory: More violent than the Superman you remember, a darker film. Suitable for 10-and-up.

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