Can My Kids Watch This Movie? Family Movie Guidance...For Parents.

Our parent movie reviews let you know which new releases to take your kids to and which ones you may want to hold off on.


TakeMeToTheRiver ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: NR         Length: 95 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. The film is rated NR, but its content is equivalent to a PG-13 rating because of a couple of instances of cursing (the s-word, the f-word), one use of the n-word, and some sexually suggestive lyrics in various songs performed throughout the film. Also discussion of segregation, racism, corrupt police officers and business owners, and some coverage of how the civil-rights movement worked to combat these elements.

The documentary 'Take Me to the River' explores the Memphis music scene and how its racial integration and unique sound had an undeniable impact on American culture. But the film jumps between too many subjects and too many concepts to really make a legitimate case for its argument.

By Roxana Hadadi

Music documentaries had a great 2013: Dave Grohl's "Sound City," about the rock 'n' roll studio and bands that recorded there, like Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty; "20 Feet from Stardom," which profiled various prolific backup singers; and "Muscle Shoals," about the Alabama town that impacted everyone from the Rolling Stones to Aretha Franklin. All those documentaries did their part to cover aspects of the music industry that don't receive enough attention, and this year's "Take Me to the River" wants to join their ranks in exploring the long-lasting effect of Memphis's music scene. But in contrast to its predecessors, this film is too scatterbrained and unstructured to get its point across.


MyOldLady ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalhalf-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 107 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 15+. Some cursing and a few rude hand gestures, some kissing and implied sexual content, and some sexually themed jokes. Most importantly, though, the film is centered around extramarital affairs and the depression that can manifest in children of these suffering relationships, so there is also discussion of alcohol abuse and a suicide attempt. The film is PG-13 because it's not explicitly sexual, violent in any way, or particularly profane, but those emotional themes may be too heavy for younger teenagers.

Kevin Kline and Maggie Smith are excellently crisp and biting as they feud in 'My Old Lady.' But the film's smartly written dialogue is weighed down by too many narrative cliches.

By Roxana Hadadi

Maggie Smith can spar with the best of them, and to see her spit one-liners and no-nonsense reprimands at Kevin Kline in "My Old Lady" is a joy. As butting heads fighting over the same piece of real estate, every moment that Smith and Kline grapple with each other is equally brutal and hilarious. But as the film moves away from comedy and more aggressively toward family-centered melodrama, "My Old Lady" wastes both actors, even though it had previously used them to great effect.


NoGoodDeed ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 84 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 15+. This kind of PG-13 movie is the worst, in that it isn't overwhelmingly gory or sexually violent, but it has enough of both to be exploitative and infuriating. Some cursing; sexually themed language and the threat of rape (a man forces a woman to get into the shower with him and also forces her to undress); and a lot of man-on-woman violence, with characters murdered, strangled, tortured, stabbed, held hostage, and shot. Older teenagers could see it, but no one should.

Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson do the best they can with 'No Good Deed,' but there isn't much to work with. At least, not much that isn't stupidly plotted or offensively presented.

By Roxana Hadadi

A criminal whose criminality is in question can be intriguing. Consider "The Lincoln Lawyer," the first film in the Matthew McConaughey comeback tour, which toyed with flashbacks and imaginary sequences to present the possibility of guilt for its antagonist. There was doubt in play there, and that kept the audience guessing and on-edge. If only "No Good Deed" had used that formula—if only the film valued tension instead of exploitation.


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