August 2, 2013

Family watch:'Wolverine' pushes PG-13 rating

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

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


Rating: PG for some rude humor and action

What it's about: More Smurf visits to the real world – Paris, this time – to foil the wizard Gargamel's plans to steal Smurf Essence.

The kid-attractor factor: Smurfs, doing Smurf-slapstick, Smurf singing, Smurf-punning.

Good lessons/bad lessons: "We rise to the amount of love we show," "It doesn't matter where you came from, what matters is who you choose to be" and "You never give up on family."

Violence: Pratfalls and slapstick, most of it involving a wizard and his cat

Language: Smurf innuendo, Smurf jokes

Sex: Smurf flirting, and not much of that

Drugs: None

Parents' advisory: Aimed at very young children; suitable for all ages


Rating: R for some violence, language throughout and some drug use

What it's about: The last day in the life of a complicated young man shows both his promise and the past that won't let go of him.

The kid-attractor factor: A tragic depiction of a young life snuffed out too soon, and the circumstances that led to that.

Good lessons/bad lessons: Violence begets violence, and when people and police with guns make mistakes, they're often fatal ones.

Violence: A fistfight, an altercation with cops and a shooting

Language: Lots of profanity Sex: Suggested

Drugs: Drug use and the drug trade form a backdrop.

Parents' advisory: An important film for older teenagers to see, suitable for 15-and-up.


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

What it's about: The ever-haunted Wolverine revisits Japan and remembers a horror from his past and an old debt.

The kid-attractor factor: Wolverine, the coolest X-Man by far, battling sword-slinging ninjas

Good lessons/bad lessons: All good soldiers seek "an honorable death."

Violence: Much blood is spilled; slashings, shootings, stabbings

Language: Wolverine curses, when the need arises.

Sex: A menage a trois is interrupted.

Drugs: None

Parents' advisory: Quite violent, this one pushes the PG-13 boundaries. OK for 12-and-up.


Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements, language, some sexual content and brief drug material

What it's about: A put-upon teen learns about life at his first summer job, at a water park.

The kid-attractor factor: Kids in love, adults behaving badly, Sam Rockwell stealing the show.

Good lessons/bad lessons: Role models come in unexpected shapes and sizes.

Violence: None

Language: A smattering of profanity

Sex: Hints of infidelity, older men leering at young women in swimsuits

Drugs: The adults indulge. The kids see it.

Parents' advisory:A bit raunchy and rude, but sweet and sentimental, too. Suitable for 12-and-up.


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

What it's about: Earth's governments and militaries adjust to a new threat, monsters, by building gigantic robots to battle them.

The kid-attractor factor: Did I mention the monsters and the robots?

Good lessons/bad lessons: "Fortune favors the brave, dude." And, "Vengeance is like an open wound."

Violence: A few human-on-human brawls, a small girl is terrorized. Mostly, it's just digital monsters vs. digital robots.

Language: Scattered curse words of the mildest kind

Sex: A shirtless moment here, a little cleavage there

Drugs: None

Parents' advisory: As violent popcorn pictures go, this one skews young – suitable for 8-and-up.

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