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.


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

MPAA Rating: PG-13         Length: 106 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. The film is about teenagers who construct their own time machine and use it to do-over and perfect their lives; there is a lot of cursing and crude jokes, including lots of jokes about sex; some kissing and objectification of young women (lingering shots of bare legs, a "hot girl" character who is lusted after); and violence and death as a result of their time-traveling actions (like a plane crashing and everyone onboard dying).

'Project Almanac' is yet another found-footage film with yet another failed premise. The sci-fi film about teenagers toying with time travel never develops its premise or characters enough, making it disappointingly run-of-the-mill.

By Roxana Hadadi

In the found-footage film "Project Almanac," teenagers given the ability to travel through time do pretty much what you would expect: mess with the space/time continuum to get back at bullies, better their grades, go to parties they missed, and con the objects of their romantic affection into loving them back. It's all light-hearted fun until everything starts going wrong, but in its execution, "Project Almanac" is far more like the teen-slasher "Final Destination" series than the more-reputable sci-fi films it references, like "Looper" or "The Terminator." "Project Almanac" is too disappointing to hang with that crowd.


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

MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 121 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. The film is about a white grandfather and a black grandmother fighting over custody of their biracial granddaughter, and so the film attempts to tackle issues about race and class. There is constant drinking; a few brief scenes of drug use and the depiction of a crack house; cursing and one use of the n-word; and some dramatic courtroom showdowns.

Maybe 'Black or White' is a well-meaning film, but most of the time it just comes off as a tone-deaf one. Undeserving of a strong performance from Kevin Costner, the film's attempts to tackle preconceptions about race and class are from only one point of view.

By Roxana Hadadi

It's difficult to watch a film like "Black or White" without rolling your eyes early and often. The latest from director/writer Mike Binder is attempting to ask tough questions about race, class, and how white and black people view and treat each other in the United States, but this is no "Selma." This film is a strange mix of pandering and condescending, and its greatest flaw is in its point of view—that it rotates around the privilege of a wealthy and powerful white man, who we're supposed to sympathize with from beginning to end. No one else really gets a chance to earn our sympathy, undermining the film's would-be inclusivity from the get.


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

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 86 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. The film is about the older sister of a young man who is in a coma after a car crash, and ends up falling for her brother's favorite musician. Some cursing; the possibility that her brother might never come out of his coma; and some kissing and a sex scene, with the suggestion of nude bodies and some moaning.

Anne Hathaway stars in the indie drama 'Song One,' in which she plays the disapproving older sister of an aspiring young musician who falls into a coma. She's mostly charming, but the film's scope is too narrow and almost naïve.

By Roxana Hadadi

A few years removed from her Oscar-winning role in "Les Misérables," Anne Hathaway sings again in "Song One," a micro-budget indie from director and writer Kate Barker-Froyland. Hathaway is as charming as she usually is, but the movie barely asks more of her than "stare off into the distance and pout" and "stare off into the distance and smile." The film has such a narrow, music-minded focus that both the plot and the characters feel underwritten.


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