Popcorn Parents - Family Movie Reviews

Family Movie Review: The Emoji Movie (PG)

Kernel Rating (out of 5): half popcorn kernal (0.5 out of 5)

MPAA Rating: PG       Length: 86 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 7+. This animated movie about emojis and the phone world in which they live has some bathroom humor focused around the poop emoji character, who jokes about not wiping, how much he smells, and other mildly gross-out things; also some gags with a character vomiting up candy and eating it again. There are also a couple of romantic subplots in which characters have crushes on each other and discuss dating.

‘The Emoji Movie’ is the worst of cinema made for children and families—a lazy, barely developed story that relies on audience recognition of phone apps and phone programs for humor instead of actual creativity. It’s not funny, and it’s not fun.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Dunkirk (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: 113 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 14+. This World War II film isn’t bloody or gory, but is defined by an ever-increasing sense of dread and fear; there are constant bomb attacks from the sky and U-bomb attacks in the sea, and the jarring nature of those are frightening, no matter your age. There is tons of death, morbid images with corpses laid on beaches and in the water, and some cursing. It’s a lot emotionally, and will be too much for younger viewers.

Director Christopher Nolan delivers one of this summer’s most precisely crafted, visually astonishing films in the World War II-set ‘Dunkirk.’ It is simultaneously gorgeous and devastating, and ultimately impossible to forget.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: War for the Planet of the Apes (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: 140 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. This final installment in the “Planet of the Apes” prequel trilogy series has scenes of action and violence that are similar to the preceding films, including fighting between human soldiers and evolved apes, with gunfire, spears, bows and arrows, fires, and explosions; numerous people and apes die, including women and children, and a pivotal character takes his own life. Also some cursing; some gross scenes with animal feces; some emotionally disturbing scenes including one in which an ape is whipped and others in which apes are tied up and tortured; and characters drink alcohol.

The ‘Planet of the Apes’ prequel trilogy delivers its strongest installment in its finale, ‘War for the Planet of the Apes.’ Although the movie dips often into myth-making, it is visually tremendous, emotionally engrossing, and thematically complicated, a well-done link between these modern films and the original classic.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming (PG-13)

Kernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalhalf-popcorn-kernal (4.5 out of 5)

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 133 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. This latest Marvel film is mostly high school-centered, so many of the challenges of its protagonist are how to fit in when faced with bullying, a crush who may not return his affections, and classes that seem beneath his abilities. Those elements will resonate most with teenage audiences, but should be relatable to middle school viewers, too. Some cursing, including one implied use of the f-word; a rude hand gesture; some teenage romantic angst; some crude, sexually themed jokes; and a variety of typical Marvel violence, including destroyed buildings, harmed civilians, a person who is vaporized, and some moments that may be scary for those afraid of heights.

Marvel brings Spider-Man fully into the Avengers universe with ‘Homecoming,’ and the film resonates most when it lets Peter Parker just be a kid. The youthful vibe of this character reset, with its sense of humor and its light touch, makes ‘Homecoming’ one of the most enjoyable Marvel movies in years.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Despicable Me 3 (PG)

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

MPAA Rating: PG       Length: 90 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 6+. Much of the content here will be familiar to anyone who has seen the “Despicable Me” or “Minions” films: there are some action sequences, including car chases with cops and altercations with villains, that include violence in the form of guns, fistfights, robots who shoot lasers, and girls who are kidnapped. The Minions also casually hurt each other with pinches, slaps, and punches. Also a young boy attempting to kiss a young girl against her will; some bathroom humor; some inappropriate language, like “boobs”; some naked Minion butts; some implied male nudity; and a scene where two children accidentally wander into a bar full of drunk adults.

Gru, Lucy, and the girls are back for ‘Despicable Me 3,’ which uses ‘80s nostalgia for fun and musical action sequences. But the movie feels slighter than its predecessors, amusing but not particularly impactful.

By Roxana Hadadi

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