Popcorn Parents - Family Movie Reviews

Family Movie Review: Everything, Everything (PG-13)

Kernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernal (4 out of 5)

MPAA Rating: PG-13          Length: 96 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. This teen romance has the typical elements: some flirting, some kissing, an implied sex scene, and a girl lying to her mother about her feelings for the boy; some infrequent cursing and a joke about teen pregnancy; the mention of relatives who passed away in a car crash and a few scary hospital scenes; an abusive parent and a fistfight between a father and son; and an emotional subplot that involves parental deceit.

The YA-lit adaptation ‘Everything, Everything’ uses the strong chemistry of its young actors to tell a story about teen acceptance, understanding, and love. The film takes a few narrative shortcuts, but its youth romance is fantastically adorable and undeniably charming.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (PG-13)

Kernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernal(3 out of 5)

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 126 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. This latest film updates the King Arthur story so that the man grew up in a brothel in old-timey London, becoming a protector and friend to the good-hearted prostitutes who worked there as well as an excellent fighter; lots of violence, including massive battle scenes, siblings killing each other, women being stabbed and having their throats slit, and violence by way of sword, arrow, and fire. A good amount of cursing, some rude jokes, and some flirting, some male shirtlessness and implied sexual nudity in the brothel, some implied sexual abuse and domestic violence also in the brothel, some nightmarish sequences involving giant bats, snakes, and other evil creatures.

Guy Ritchie puts his London-street-gangster spin on the ‘King Arthur’ legend, peppering ‘Legend of the Sword’ with exciting action sequences and engaging imagery. But the film suffers from poor pacing, a murky sense of its own mythology, and a disturbing disregard for all its female characters.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PG-13)

Kernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalhalf-popcorn-kernal(3.5 out of 5)

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 136 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. This sequel to the 2014 Marvel film “Guardians of the Galaxy” has a lot of the same elements of the previous film, including a lot of violence, which comes in the form of space battles, hand-to-hand combat, a riot where people are shoved into space to freeze and die, lots of space-gun shooting, a spaceship crash landing, and a lethal arrow that burns its way through people, which isn’t overtly gory but is still pretty intense. A good amount of cursing and rude jokes; some scary images in the form of piles of bones and dead bodies; references to characters who were killed or died; some light romantic tension; characters who are implied to be prostitutes, and a scene that implies a character spent a night with them; and some grotesque images, like a cut-off toe.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ continues the snarky, self-aware vibe of the original, with some fantastic visuals and well-rounded characters. But like so many films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ‘Vol. 2’ is longer than it needs to be, with a plot that feels purposefully unresolved.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: The Promise (PG-13)

Kernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernal(3 out of 5)

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 132 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. This historical drama about the Turkish government’s Armenian genocide during World War I involves a fair amount of war-related violence, including villages that are attacked and destroyed, people who are beaten, shot, and killed, mass graves of bodies, shootouts, and bombings. Also a scene set during a medical school autopsy, with a body opened for examination; some cursing; some gory and upsetting moments, including lots of blood and the description of what soldiers did to a pregnant woman; some drinking, some kissing, a scene at a belly-dancing club, and implied sex scenes.

The historical drama ‘The Promise’ focuses on a love triangle during World War I, when the Turkish government enacted large-scale murder against the country’s Armenian minority. The film benefits from strong performances, but the lack of proper historical context dampens its full historical relevance.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Gifted (PG-13)

Kernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalhalf-popcorn-kernal(2.5 out of 5)

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 101 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. This film about a custody battle between a son and his mother over his niece includes some cursing, crude jokes, and racially themed humor; some kissing, an implied sex scene, and implied nudity; a subplot about a character who took her own life; a bullying scene where a girl steps in and breaks a boy’s nose after his abuse of another student; adults drink, and in a few scenes are drunk and hungover; a scene in an animal shelter where three pets are about to be put down; and some mentions of bar fights and other physical altercations.

‘Gifted’ raises the question of what is more important: academic rigor and intellectual pursuit vs. a ‘normal’ childhood. It’s an interesting question handled without much nuance, and while the film pulls on heartstrings, the clumsy storytelling lacks impact.

By Roxana Hadadi

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