Popcorn Parents - Family Movie Reviews

Family Movie Review: Warcraft (PG-13)

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

MPAA Rating: PG-13         Length: 123 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. This fantasy-action film based on the video game includes a good amount of violence, some of it brutal (sword fights, hand-to-hand combat, bodies and heads crushed by orc axes, life forces being sucked out of people, fights to the death, stabbings, etc.); some sexual content, including flirting, some cuddling, lots of talk about “mating,” sexual tension, and the implication that a female character was previously raped; a character goes into labor and delivers a stillborn child who is later brought back to life; and some nightmarish imagery, like someone transforming into a demon.

‘Warcraft’ goes heavy on the world-building, with great production design and a serious focus on action scenes. But the film goes on too long and ends too ambiguously to make any real impact.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows (PG-13)

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2OutOfTheShadows ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 112 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. Action violence, with hand-to-hand combat, fighting with ninja weapons and hockey sticks and pucks, car explosions, a chase scene, turtles jumping out of airplanes, a crash plane landing, and mentions of various characters’ criminal records. Some sexually themed stuff, like the main female character in a skimpy schoolgirl outfit, jokes about male genitalia, and jokes about sexual tension; some bathroom humor; some cursing; and some gross imagery in the form of villain Krang, a gigantic floating brain that is simultaneously goofy and revolting.

Thankfully funnier and less serious than its predecessor is ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows.’ It’s still juvenile and simplistic storytelling, but it’s less torturous than you would expect.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Me Before You (PG-13)

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

MPAA Rating: PG-13         Length: 110 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. This romance is meant to elicit as many tears from viewers as possible with its story about a relationship between a wealthy quadriplegic man and the working-class girl who is hired to be his companion and caretaker. Some language and jokes about sex, a few kisses, couples are pictured in bed together, some cleavage, some male shirtlessness, and a major plot involving assisted suicide. The discussions about whether a life spent in a wheelchair is worth living, and the somewhat sexist nature of the main characters’ romance, are both problematic for younger viewers.

‘Me Before You’ presents itself as classier than its genre, but it fundamentally presents an imbalanced central relationship that comes off as quite sexist. There’s nice chemistry here, but the tear-jerking feels manufactured.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Alice Through the Looking Glass (PG)

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

MPAA Rating: PG        Length: 112 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 10+. This extremely loose adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Through the Looking Glass’ has Alice traveling through time. Family members are either dead or assumed to be killed; a young girl suffers a head injury that changes her personality; a character ends up in a sanitarium and is threatened with sedation; some characters are sick or harmed to the brink of death, another dies, shown falling into a bowl of soup, and we see the implied corpse of another character; some romantic tension, involving a jilted lover trying to exact revenge on the woman who rejected him; some sibling rivalry, including one child blaming another for something and lying about it; an unsupportive father figure; and some hurtful insults from children to their parents.

A movie could not have less to do with its source material than ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass.’ This thoroughly listless sequel to the surprise Disney live-action hit is a dizzying array of mediocrity.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: X-Men: Apocalypse (PG-13)

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

MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 144 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. Lots of characters die: crushed by rocks, decapitated, stabbed, trapped inside things, exploded, or slashed to pieces, and you see a good amount blood afterward and some corpses; other violence, including hand-to-hand combat and forced cage-fighting; infrequent cursing, including one use of the f-word; some nightmarish images of world-ending destruction; some romantic stuff, including mentions of past relationships between characters, a flashback of a kiss, and teenage crushes; some cleavage; a scene is set at Auschwitz and includes flashbacks to the Holocaust; and some familial issues, including parental abandonment.

The ‘X-Men’ franchise gets bigger with ‘Apocalypse,’ which brings the mutants face-to-face with the end of the world. The acting is still excellent, but the story lacks any real sense of danger.

By Roxana Hadadi

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Sat Mar 25, 2017 @12:00AM
Easter Bunny at Arundel Mills, Hanover
Sat Mar 25, 2017 @12:00AM
Going Wild, Baltimore
Sat Mar 25, 2017 @12:00AM
National Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, D.C.
Sat Mar 25, 2017 @12:00AM
Y Spring Eggstravagana, Various locations
Sat Mar 25, 2017 @10:00AM
Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails, Baltimore
Sat Mar 25, 2017 @10:00AM
Maryland Day, Edgewater
Sat Mar 25, 2017 @10:00AM
Flower Show: Modern HOMEsteading, Davidsonville
Sat Mar 25, 2017 @10:00AM
Maryland Day, Annapolis
Sat Mar 25, 2017 @ 8:00PM
A Symphony of Colors, Annapolis
Sat Mar 25, 2017 @ 8:00PM
The Taming of the Shrew, Baltimore