Popcorn Parents - Family Movie Reviews

Family Movie Review: Ghostbusters (PG-13)

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

MPAA Rating: PG-13      Length: 116 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. This addition to the ‘Ghostbusters’ franchise ups the scary factor a bit, with more demonic-looking ghosts that attack people; some fights between the humans and the ghosts and some creepy possessions; a good amount of sexism directed at our female protagonists that is thoroughly rejected by them; some flirtations between a few characters; and some cursing, bathroom humor, and rude jokes.

The much-talked-about all-female ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot acknowledges its detractors and wholly rejects them in this often-hysterical, smartly written new addition to the franchise. It has problems with pacing and shaking off its predecessors, but ‘Ghostbusters’ delivers enough laughs and scares to stand on its own.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: The Secret Life of Pets (PG)

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

MPAA Rating: PG          Length: 90 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 6+. Some cartoon violence, including fistfights, numerous car crashes, the threat of drowning, an initiation ritual that includes a snakebite, and a ruse where pets pretend they killed their masters to get in good with the other group. Some wild party scenes from the pets’ perspective, some bullying, a few characters die off-screen, some bathroom humor (including jokes about defecating and pets being fixed), and a lecherous character who calls another his girlfriend, even though his feelings aren’t returned.

‘The Secret Life of Pets' has a number of cute moments that will be familiar and comforting for those who love their dogs, cats, birds, or other animals. But the story itself is mostly unremarkable, and its narrative shortcuts will annoy parents.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: The BFG (PG)

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

MPAA Rating: PG       Length: 117 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 8+. This film, adapted from Roald Dahl’s same-named children’s book, keeps the original plot mostly intact: There are some scary, human-eating giants that are said to be snatching people and children out of bed and eating them, although we don’t see that onscreen. There is a nightmare sequence where a young girl imagines being eaten; larger giants bully and physically abuse the titular BFG, destroying his home; some farting and burping jokes and a few gross-out sequences including slimy, nasty vegetables; and discussions of how the BFG does not have parents and his young friend Sophie is an orphan. There are some melancholy themes here that may go over younger children’s heads.

Steven Spielberg adapts Roald Dahl’s ‘The BFG’ with moments of memorable beauty and deeply felt sadness. But while visually impressive, the film lacks the certain quirkiness that made Dahl’s stories so unbelievably unique.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Central Intelligence (PG-13)

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

MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 114 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. This buddy comedy has a lot of violence as the main characters face off against the CIA, with chase scenes, hand-to-hand combat, someone’s throat ripped out, people dying by gunfire, and a character is tortured and we see the after-effects on his body. There is a strong anti-bullying message, including a scene in which a naked, overweight teenager is embarrassed in front of the entire school by a group of bullies. Also some cursing and sexually themed jokes; adults drinking to excess; characters in a committed relationship kiss; and there are some nude male butts on display.

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart give ‘Central Intelligence’ all the charisma they can, and through their combined sheer force of will, this comedy works. It’s familiar enough to be obvious, but together, Johnson and Hart are wonderfully bizarre.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: The Shallows (PG-13)

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

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 87 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. This girl-against-shark thriller includes a few curse words, a character so drunk that he’s passed out on the beach, and a lot of violence and gore, including a decomposing whale carcass with giant bloody bites ripped out of it, a young woman attacked and bitten by a shark and then has to perform emergency surgery on herself, a gigantic wound that is positively gushing blood, various characters bitten in half by the shark, and lots of other injuries to the girl, including being stung by jellyfish and injured on coral.

The stripped-down thriller ‘The Shallows’ is effectively unsettling. Its simplicity—this is girl vs. shark, no filler—is its greatest asset.

By Roxana Hadadi

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Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
Garden Fair & Plant Sale, Washington, D.C
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
A Raisin in the Sun, Washington D.C
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, Glen Echo
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
Johns Hopkins Spring Fair, Baltimore
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
Marley Station Mall Carnival, Glen Burnie
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
Muddy Creek Artist Guild’s Spring Art Show, Edgewater
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
Pygmalion, Annapolis
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
Sailboat Show, Annapolis
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
Sugarloaf Crafts Festival, Timonium
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
The Play of Love, Washington D.C