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.


NightAtTheMuseum3SecretOfTheTomb ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): half-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13         Length: 97 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. Lots of bathroom-related jokes, including a monkey peeing everywhere and on people; teenage kids at a party holding red Solo cups; the description of someone as the "sexist"; and a couple of kisses between a man and a monkey and between a human woman and a Neanderthal. No real violence (aside from a knight fighting a CGI dinosaur skeleton) or cursing.

Utterly unnecessary and largely uninspired, 'Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb' attempts to explain the franchise's movie magic. But the same old jokes all fall flat in this decidedly unfunny sequel.

By Roxana Hadadi

Why is Ben Stiller fighting his funny side? His passion project, last year's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," was largely serious and blandly aspirational, and his starring turn in this winter's "Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb" is equally mundane. In a cast of mostly zany characters, Stiller is the (extremely bored-seeming) straight man—and his monotonous performance makes it seem like he would rather be anywhere else.


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

MPAA Rating: PG         Length: 118 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 10+. The central plot focuses on the abandoned Annie, who grows up in foster care with a neglectful foster mother who drinks too much and has a "medicine cabinet" that is off limits; jokes about prostitution and the homeless; a lightly romantic and flirtatious relationship between two adult characters; some sexually charged dancing between adults at a nightclub; and some drinking-focused, bathroom-related, and spitting-out-food jokes.

The updated 'Annie' hits all the heartwarming notes you would expect from a movie released around the holiday season. The modernization works some of the time, but the film—while mostly pleasing—doesn't feel particularly unique.

By Roxana Hadadi

The latest update to the classic "Annie" musical is refreshingly self-aware, and that may be its greatest asset. The film from producers Will and Jada Pinkett Smith is unabashed about its subversions—making the primary characters black instead of white, most obviously, and challenging the purpose of wealth and our expectations for women, more subtly—and it's willingness to go places you wouldn't expect give the film a particular kind of flair. It's not a great film, but it's an enjoyable one, and a holiday crowd-pleaser for sure.


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

MPAA Rating: PG-13          Length: 150 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 10+. Lots of fantasy violence, including a dragon burning people and destroying a town; orcs and goblins fighting with humans and elves, resulting in stabbings, arrow wounds, beheadings, and lots of characters dying; some romantic relationships, including a kiss and an unrequited love; tons of corpses; and some creepy and scary imagery, such as the orcs, goblins, undead warriors, and other monsters depicted in J.R.R. Tolkien's works.

'The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies' is a blatant cash grab that attempts to infuse its bloated material with emotional meaning and resonance. What the film actually presents is underwritten characters, and overwritten story, and a crippling reliance on technological innovations that make the film so glossy that it's practically inhuman.

By Roxana Hadadi

Since the release of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" and "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," much has been said about the foolishness of splitting J.R.R. Tolkien's barely 300-or-so-page novel into numerous movies, but that decision has never seemed more blatant than in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the third and final film in this adaptation trilogy. An exhausting journey into Middle Earth, "The Battle of the Five Armies" takes forever to get started, and when the story finally does, it takes forever to end. Prepare for 150 minutes of pure tediousness.


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