Movie News & Reviews

Family Watch: Take kids to ‘Penguins,’ not ‘Bosses 2’

Don’t go to “Horrible Bosses 2” expecting to see any examples of refinement and restraint. The comedy features, from left, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman and Chris Pine.
Don’t go to “Horrible Bosses 2” expecting to see any examples of refinement and restraint. The comedy features, from left, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman and Chris Pine. New Line Cinema

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

Horrible Bosses 2

Rating: R for strong crude sexual content and language throughout

What it’s about: The three losers from “Horrible Bosses” seek revenge on the ruthless businessman who stole their company from them.

The kid attractor factor: Inept criminals played by the screeching Charlie Day, the dopey Jason Sudeikis and the slow-burning Jason Bateman

Good lessons/bad lessons: Revenge never goes the way you plan.

Violence: Kidnapping, shooting, a murder

Language: Just filthy

Sex: Discussed, in all its kinky variations, thanks to Jennifer Aniston

Drugs: Alcohol

Parents’ advisory: Definition of bad parenting? Anybody who brings a child under 13 to this.

Penguins of Madagascar

Rating: PG for mild action and some rude humor

What it’s about: We see how those over-exposed commando-penguins from “Madagascar” first teamed up, and go with them on their most dangerous mission.

The kid attractor factor: It’s “Madagascar” stripped to its funniest characters.

Good lessons/bad lessons: “Looks don’t matter. It’s what you do that counts.”

Violence: Cartoon slapstick, and lots of it

Language: “Parker Posey!” is as dirty as it gets.

Sex: “ZOOmates! We were never mates. There was no mating!”

Drugs: None

Parents’ advisory: Skews younger, with jokes aimed at 8-and-below, with verbal humor intended for parents

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images and thematic material

What it’s about: Two young revolutionary lovers become pawns in a power game between an oppressive regime and those resisting it.

The kid attractor factor: Katniss pines for Peeta, while her backup beau, Gale, lingers, waiting for his chance.

Good lessons/bad lessons: “It is the things we love most that destroy us.”

Violence: Yes, nothing bloody, but “intense” is the right word for it.

Language: Cursing has been abandoned in favor of fashion and fascism in the future.

Sex: Not even close.

Drugs: Alcohol and medication are joked about.

Parents’ advisory: A relentlessly dark and brooding episode in this series – not for anybody under 10, or anyone who has not seen the earlier films.


Rating: R for language including some crude references, and violent content

What it’s about: A reporter returns to his Iranian homeland only to be arrested and tortured by the government there.

The kid attractor factor: Gael Garcia Bernal plays the reporter, and Jon “The Daily Show” Stewart directed this.

Good lessons/bad lessons: There are a lot of ways of torturing people, and the most harmful might be isolating them from human contact.

Violence: Beatings, shootings

Language: “Crude references”

Sex: None

Drugs: None

Parents’ advisory: Too adult in nature for the very young, too hard to follow for pre-teens, suitable for 13-and-up


Rating: PG-13 for some intense perilous action and brief strong language

What it’s about: As the Earth sickens and dies, astronauts set out in search of a place to colonize and save the human race.

The kid attractor factor: Dark science fiction, with a glimmer of hope – science lessons blended with high-stakes action

Good lessons/bad lessons: “Science is admitting what we don’t know.”

Violence: Yes, deaths

Language: Scattered profanities

Sex: A great big kiss

Drugs: None

Parents’ advisory: Too long and talky and science-centric for the very young. Suitable for sci-fi geeks 10-and-up.