Movie News & Reviews

Family Watch: ‘Paper Towns’ frank but not explicit; ‘Pixels’ deals in stereotypes


Rating: PG-13 for some language, drinking, sexuality and partial nudity – all involving teens

What it’s about: A quiet high school senior sets out to find his crush who has mysteriously gone missing.

The kid attractor factor: Based on a novel by “The Fault in Our Stars” writer John Green, young stars Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff, teen adventure

Good lessons/bad lessons: It’s the journey, not the destination, appreciate those around you and embrace who you are, sex is for the right person at the right time, drinking too much will make you sick.

Violence: A near miss car accident, some mild hallway bullying, a series of pranks

Language: Mild profanity and frank discussions of sex, STDs, losing virginity.

Sex: One of the pranks involves shaming a cheating boyfriend – he is seen nude from the side in long shot, and a photo taken of him is used as blackmail. A brief shot of teens making out at a house party, there’s frank discussion about sex throughout and losing one’s virginity on prom night, chlamydia is mentioned. A final kiss.

Drugs: No drugs, but a high school party features binge drinking (and keg stands).

Parents’ advisory: The lessons about consequences neutralize much of the sexuality and drinking, though the film is honest about these realities. The sexual content is not explicit. OK for teens and ’tweens, but probably not younger.


Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive comments.

What it’s about: Nerds have to save the world against an alien invasion of retro arcade game characters.

The kid attractor factor: Colorful, larger than life video game characters, broad humor, a kid supporting character, adorable Q*bert sidekick.

Good lessons/bad lessons: Always have confidence in yourself, even nerds can be heroes, video game expertise might be useful in the face of alien invasion.

Violence: Giant alien video games characters descend onto earth like Godzilla and shatter buildings and people into pixels, but the violence is largely bloodless.

Language: Other than emphatic use of “b–,” the suggestive/profane language is relegated to playground euphemisms.

Sex: There’s mention of a husband cheating with a Pilates teacher. Some other talk of sex. A kiss.

Drugs: No drugs, light drinking.

Parents’ advisory: Would be appropriate for children above the age of 8, who would have a lot of fun. Distressing gender stereotypes aren’t very empowering for all viewers.