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

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 103 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 14+. Cursing and rude names; a sex scene involving a prostitute/stripper, who is a prominent character in the film (but there is no nudity); a scene in a strip club with that aforementioned character dancing onstage in a bikini; some violence, including bullying; a character steals and tries to sell prescription drugs; that same character is a barely functioning alcoholic; gambling; and discussions about and the depiction of marital infidelity. There is certainly a lot going on, but the sex and violence aren't graphic.

Bill Murray goes full-on grouch for 'St. Vincent,' playing a boozy, broke senior citizen who is paired with unlikely neighbors. The film means to be moving, but you can see every trite storytelling beat from a mile away.

By Roxana Hadadi

Setting out to deliberately make a heart-warming movie can be tough; with "St. Vincent," it backfires nearly completely. The debut film from Theodore Melfi, who handles both directing and writing duties here, has a game Bill Murray willing to drink whiskey, gamble on horse races, woo prostitutes, and befriend small children, but there is far too much going on and too many telegraphed story beats. The grouchy old man has a heart of gold, you say? Who knew? (Except for everyone.)

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

MPAA Rating: PG        Length: 95 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 8+. The film is very matter-of-fact about death, and it is presented and celebrated in a way that is accurate to Mexican culture; it shouldn't be traumatizing, even though many characters die throughout (often off screen). Also some violence including bandits looting a town, bullfighting, and some snake bites; and a romantic subplot that involves a couple of kisses and ballads.

Beautifully animated and charmingly constructed, 'The Book of Life' fantastically honors the Mexican Day of the Dead. There's a lot going on here, but it's one of this year's best children's movies.

By Roxana Hadadi

Every children's movie needs a bit of whimsy, and "The Book of Life," centered on the Mexican Day of the Dead, is chock full of it. Sure, the whimsy is full of sugar skulls and dead relatives and other ostensibly "creepy" things, but "The Book of Life" is beautifully crafted and respectfully made, full of well-developed characters and fantastic animation. Funny, heartfelt, and genuine, "The Book of Life" is one of the best children's movies of the year.

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

MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 92 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. The movie is supposedly the unknown backstory of Dracula, so there are vampires (along with fangs and the requisite blood-drinking), skeletons, people impaled on stakes and killed in warfare, combat scenes between Turks and Transylvanians, some kissing, the discussion and depiction of child slave soldiers, and lots of threats to the protagonist's masculinity, which are often presented as whether he can "please" his wife. Overall, not particularly gory, grotesque, sexual, or vulgar.

'Dracula Untold' gives us an origin story for the classic vampire, with some twists that deviate from Bram Stoker's original novel. The plot updates could be interesting if told in a more effective way, but the execution is largely shoddy.

By Roxana Hadadi

Can Dracula be an antihero? First-time director Gary Shore wants to switch our understanding of Bram Stoker's classic vampire with "Dracula Untold," in which the titular character is just a former child slave soldier trying to do right by his cowardly populace. The angle could work—and Shore certainly tries to throw some discussions about masculinity and responsibility in there—but the film is so unremarkably written, acted, and directed that it all falls flat.

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