Family Watch: ‘Godzilla’ outsized, though oddly cuddly

05/22/2014 4:00 PM

05/21/2014 1:48 PM

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


Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence

What it’s about: Mankind’s nuclear ambitions awaken beasts that thrive on radiation, including Godzilla, King of the Monsters.

The kid attractor factor: Godzilla, scary in a kind of cuddly way, making mayhem in San Francisco.

Good lessons/bad lessons: The natural order seeks balance, even in monsters.

Violence: Yes, lots of death and destruction, some of it immediate and personal

Language: Shockingly clean, considering what’s going down and the casting of Bryan Cranston

Sex: None, despite the presence of Elizabeth Olsen

Drugs: None

Parents’ advisory: Closer to the cute, kid-friendly Godzilla films of decades ago than the more horrific installments in this franchise – OK for 10-and-up.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past

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

What it’s about: The X-Men of the future have to interfere with the past to save humanity from a ruinous war with mutants.

The kid attractor factor: Wolverine, Quicksilver and more X-Men, in their present and past incarnations, than you can shake a mutant at

Good lessons/bad lessons: “Just because someone stumbles and loses their way doesn’t mean they’re lost forever.” “The future never is truly set.”

Violence: Lots and lots of impalings, blood, bullet wounds, deaths

Language: A decent helping of profanity, played for comic effect

Sex: Nudity, and we’re not just talking about Mystique’s body suit

Drugs: Cigars, Johnny Walker

Parents’ advisory: Longer, denser and more violent than your typical comic book film; take the PG-13 seriously.


Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and language

What it’s about: Two single parents and their kids collide and sort of bond while on vacation in Africa.

The kid attractor factor: Adam Sandler slapstick, snot-nosed kid jokes, cute teens, bathroom humor

Good lessons/bad lessons: “You’ve got to show up for your kids.” “Being a man means dealing with what’s in front of you.”

Violence: Accidents, nothing injurious

Language: Scattered bits of profanity

Sex: Toilet jokes, rhinos do what comes (digitally) naturally, cleavage ogling, innuendo

Drugs: A little wine, here and there

Parents’ advisory: Sandler’s “family friendly” films aren’t as family friendly as advertised. Juvenile, yes, but unsuitable for 8-and-below.

Million Dollar Arm

Rating: PG for mild language and some suggestive content

What it’s about: A desperate sports agent goes to India to find hidden potential baseball talent.

The kid attractor factor: Young men from a foreign land trying to learn America’s National Pastime

Good lessons/bad lessons: In careers and relationships, the idea is “commit to it, and then you’ll figure out the rest.”

Violence: None

Language: Disney clean

Sex: The agent is a bit of a womanizer.

Drugs: A little alcohol is consumed.

Parents’ advisory: There’s not much here for younger kids, and the interminable length makes it less younger kid-friendly – OK for 12-and-up.

Amazing Spider-Man 2

Rating: PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence

What it’s about: The web-slinger is just starting to enjoy his work and his notoriety when high school graduation happens and everything changes.

The kid attractor factor: Spider-Man, whistling that “Spider-Man” tune, swinging through Manhattan. And Emma Stone

Good lessons / bad lessons: “Change is not just a slogan.” “Progress has its stepping stones.”

Violence: Shootings, torture, car crashes, a few deaths

Language: Quite clean

Sex: Rather chaste, a stolen kiss

Drugs: None

Parents’ advisory: Pretty violent for a comic book movie, but OK for 10-and-up

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