Popcorn Parents - Family Movie Reviews

Family Movie Review: Transformers 5: The Last Knight (PG-13)

Kernel Rating (out of 5): 0 (0 out of 5)

MPAA Rating: PG-13      Length: 149 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. The latest “Transformers” film is more of the same: violent clashes between the warring groups of robots that kill them and humans alike, including people being shot, set on fire, and exploded; although there is little gore, there is massive international destruction. As is usual with Michael Bay films, there is a certain amount of female ogling and women in revealing outfits, and sexually themed, rude, and racist humor. Adults drink to excess in a few scenes.

‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ is the pinnacle of summer blockbuster stupidity. The only thing that could top it is another ‘Transformers’ sequel in the future, which is a nightmare too dreadful to imagine.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Cars 3 (G)

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

MPAA Rating: G       Length: 100 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 6+. This latest installment in Pixar’s “Cars” franchise has a few different car crashes that were extremely frightening and upsetting for the young viewers who attended the same screening I did; there were children shocked and in tears around me. Be warned! Also some characters who bully others based on their gender and age, frequent mention of a character who passed away, and some bathroom humor.

Pixar recovers from the nearly intolerably busy ‘Cars 2’ with the gently insightful ‘Cars 3,’ which tells a story about inclusion and purpose that will, of course, resonate with both parents and children, as Pixar films so often tend to do.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: The Mummy (PG-13)

Kernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernal (2 out of 5)

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 110 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. This reboot of ‘The Mummy’ plays out more like a zombie movie than a classic monster flick, with a variety of violence and action sequences: the primary villain murders her father, her stepmother, and her baby brother; there’s a pretty jarring plane crash caused by homicidal birds and a car crash; people get their life force sucked out of them and they turn undead; people are shot, stabbed, and exploded; and there are numerous monsters and characters that will scare younger viewers. Some infrequent cursing, jokes and discussions about sex, and implied nudity and sex scenes.

The reboot of ‘The Mummy’ is a whole mish-mash of nothing. It’s loud, it’s action-packed, and it’s full of Tom Cruise running, but barely anything about it is truly memorable.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Wonder Woman (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: 141 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 10+. This superhero origin story for Wonder Woman includes most of the elements typical to this genre: Set during World War I, there are numerous action sequences and battles, including trench warfare, snipers, gunmen storming a beach of women, children and women are killed, soldiers are shown missing limbs and injured from war, and poison gas is shown that tortures people and kills them. The violence isn’t gory, but it is omnipresent. Some bar fights and characters drinking to excess; some sexually themed humor, implied male nudity, some kissing and an implied sex scene; and a few vulgar jokes.

‘Wonder Woman’ is a fresh, invigorating entry into the superhero film genre that finally lets a woman take center stage—and the results are excellent. It shouldn’t have taken this long to adapt this iconic character to the big screen, but ‘Wonder Woman’ stands on its own.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (PG-13)

Kernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernal (1 out of 5)

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 129 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. There is a lot of violence in this latest ‘Pirates’ film: a crew of pirate ghosts slaughters nearly everyone they come in contact with, so there are a lot of swordfights, people who are stabbed or severed, ships full of corpses and dead bodies, and a scene where blood drips from overhead onto one of our protagonists. Ships attack each other with canons; there are lots of explosions; and characters are burned. A female character is suspected of being a witch and is shown about to be hanged, another character spends time in a guillotine, there is an actual creepy witch who burns rats, a variety of sexually themed humor and jokes (including a noticeable pattern of jokes about prostitutes), some heaving cleavage and a woman who cheats on her husband with Jack, and a subplot about the importance of fathers that fundamentally ignores mothers.

‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ is an egregious example of bloated franchise filmmaking, an exercise stuffed with idiocy and sorely lacking in fun. It is a torturous mess, too violent for children and too stupid for adults.

By Roxana Hadadi

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  27. Family Movie Review: Doctor Strange (PG-13)
  28. Family Movie Review: Trolls (PG)
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  32. Family Movie Review: Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (PG)
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