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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.

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

MPAA Rating: G           Length: 77 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 6+. The film follows a mother bear and her two cubs as they try to find food before they need to hibernate again; along the way, there are various dangers in the forms of other animals who want to eat the cubs, such as alpha male bears and wolves. Some fighting between bears including growling, clawing at each other, and chasing; bears and wolves eating fish and fighting over fish bones; and the possibility that the mother bear or her cubs may die.

Disneynature has made a pattern of releasing an environmentally aware documentary each Earth Day, and this year we get ‘Bears.’ As narrated by John C. Reilly, the film is more goofy than you might expect, but the visuals are as stunning as you could hope for.

By Roxana Hadadi

It must be difficult for Disneynature to figure out what tone to set with their Earth Day documentaries each year. 2011’s “African Cats” shocked families when it included a scene of a two cheetah cubs disappearing into the night, theoretically eaten by hyenas, as the mother cheetah despaired over being unable to find them. On the other end of the spectrum, 2012’s “Chimpanzee” was narrated by comedian Tim Allen and had more of a silly tone; even though a mother chimpanzee died in that film, you’ll remember Allen’s jokes. And “Bears,” Disneynature’s latest, seems to follow Allen’s lead, with narrator John C. Reilly becoming increasingly goofy as the film moves forward. That certainly doesn’t take away from the powerful, engaging visuals, but it may be only your kids who laugh at Reilly’s antics, not you.

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MakeYourMove ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): half-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13           Length: 110 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. “Make Your Move” is a movie about two dancers from different worlds who fall in love while dancing, so there are some suggestive dance moves, a few kisses, and an implied sex scene (a shirtless man and a clothed woman fall into bed together). Also some cursing; some fistfights in nightclubs, including one drive-by shooting that doesn’t hurt anyone; discussion of a character’s felonious past; and a few racial slurs. Nevertheless, barely any of this stuff has any impact; this film is as vanilla as possible.

‘Make Your Move’ tries to adapt the Romeo-and-Juliet template to a relationship between rival dancers—and no, that’s never been done before! Except in practically every other teen-centered dance movie ever, and to far better results than this.

By Roxana Hadadi

“Make Your Move,” about an American white male dancer and a Korean-Japanese female dancer, wants to be “Romeo and Juliet” on the stage so badly, it hurts. As in, it hurts to watch this movie, because it is terrible.

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

MPAA Rating: PG-13           Length: 91 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 14+. Some language and sexually suggestive situations, such as an author who cheats on her husband who is writing a trashy romantic novel. It’s actually lighter-than-normal PG-13 fare, but won’t really be interesting to anyone younger than teenagers.

The documentary style that ‘Authors Anonymous’ tries to use to tell the story of struggling writers furious at one of their friends’ success never comes together. Coupled with an unsurprising script and unbelievable characters, ‘Authors Anonymous’ is disappointingly amateurish.

By Roxana Hadadi

We have to accept that there is no escaping the mockumentary format, and when it’s done right, it’s hard to dislike: “Best in Show” or “Borat,” or on television, “Parks and Recreation” and the British version of “The Office.” The mix of straightforward narrative and breaking-the-fourth-wall asides can do wonders for comedy structure and delivery. But if a film is unclear on how to use the mockumentary format, then it’s never going to succeed; you need supreme confidence to make it work. Which is why “Authors Anonymous,” on top of its clichéd storyline and underwritten characters, is such an unfulfilling viewing experience. It can’t figure out which kind of movie it wants to be.

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