Arts & Theater

Family guide: Violence common thread in ‘American Ultra,’ ‘Sinister 2’

Rose (John Leguizamo, left) and Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg, right) star in “American Ultra.”
Rose (John Leguizamo, left) and Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg, right) star in “American Ultra.”

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

American Ultra

What it’s about: An stoner burnout discovers government-enhanced super spy killing powers when the CIA sets out to get him.

The kid attractor factor: Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart star, action-comedy genre

Good lessons/bad lessons: The government is out to get you, human life is more important than protocol and bureaucracy.

Violence: A shockingly violent film in which beloved characters are rapidly machine-gunned down as digital blood sprays across the screen, and the hero uses every tool in a big box store to murder and maim CIA assassins.

Language: Profanity and swearing of all types.

Sexuality: No nudity but some sexy flashbacks between Mike and Phoebe; a suggestion of inter-species relations.

Drugs: A lot of pot-smoking, and some on screen cocaine use.

Parents advisory: This would be OK for older teens, but not preteens or younger.

Sinister 2

What it’s about: A boogeyman ghoul gets little kids to make films murdering their families.

The kid attractor factor: Kid stars Robert and Dartanian Sloane.

Good lessons/bad lessons: Peer pressure and bullying are so bad, they can lead to murder. Watching violent movies will also lead to murder.

Violence: Most of the scary parts are shots of Bughuul creeping around, and the little kid ghosts. Their abusive father beats up the deputy and attacks his son at the dinner table. There’s a violent sequence at the end where one of the boys attemps to murder his family with fire and a scythe.

Language: A few curse words and some off-color insults.

Sexuality: One kiss between mom and the deputy.

Drugs: None

Parents advisory: This film isn’t overly scary but definitely not appropriate for children or tweens. OK for teens.