Popcorn Parents - Family Movie Reviews

Family Movie Review: Coco (PG)

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

MPAA Rating: PG       Length: 109 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 10+. The latest from Pixar shares with viewers the nuances and details of the Mexican holiday the Day of the Dead, and so a lot of that holiday’s imagery is present, including skulls and skeletons, and there are themes about what happens to you after you die and after you are forgotten by the living. Also a subplot that reveals a character’s death may not have been an accident; a character who, in her very old age, may be suffering from dementia; the young boy protagonist lies, steals, and says some very hurtful things to his family; adult characters drink; and an implied joke about women’s breasts.

Pixar expands its world view with ‘Coco,’ a vibrant, emotionally resonant animated film that educates viewers about Mexican Día de Muertos traditions while sharing a story about the importance of family love and creative fulfillment.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Justice League (PG-13)

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

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 120 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. Much of the same as most comic book movies: lots of action sequences against an alien villain with seemingly unstoppable strength and violence; a demonic army of minions that, with their pointy teeth and glowing eyes, may scare younger viewers; lots of hand-to-hand combat and characters shown being killed during those battles; some cursing; some sexist behavior by the de facto male leader of the team to the female leader; some drinking; and some male shirtlessness.

‘Justice League’ thankfully leaves the punishing, exhausting darkness of ‘Batman v Superman’ behind and goes for a looser, more humorous vibe. With that tonal change and a charismatic cast, the movie goes down easier, even if it suffers from an overly complicated narrative.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Wonder (PG)

wonder movie

Kernel Rating (out of 5):  (3.5 out of 5)

MPAA Rating: PG       Length: 113 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 10+. The plot focuses on a tween boy with a genetic condition that other children and bullies like to mock, so there is a lot of bullying here, including name-calling, rumor-spreading, mean notes, the suggestion that the boy is ugly or infected, and an exchange where the boy is told to kill himself. It may be overwhelming for younger viewers who like the protagonist and don’t understand the cruelty of the other children. Otherwise, a teen romance with some kissing; adults joke about drinking, and some grownups are shown drinking to excess; some rude jokes, some bathroom humor, and a few fistfights; a beloved pet dies.

This adaptation of the bestselling young-adult novel ‘Wonder’ is warm and kind, and young viewers will identify with the charming protagonist who is curious about when people will stop caring about what he looks like outside and will be more interested in who he is inside.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Daddy's Home 2 (PG-13)

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

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 100 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. The lazy writing, prevalent sexism, and disappointing stereotypes about masculinity from the first ‘Daddy’s Home’ film return for this sequel, which taps the same well for even unfunnier returns. Much like the first film, a variety of slapstick, violent physical humor, with characters getting hit and smacked around, subjected to frostbite, hunted by wolves, accidentally shot while hunting, and otherwise injured; rude and lewd jokes, including lots of sexist comments; some cursing, including from children, middle finger use, and bullying; some sexually themed situations and humor, including the mention of sideboob and discussions about womanizing and marital infidelity; demeaning comments and jokes about divorced families, stepparents, and homosexuality; children purposefully get drunk, a situation that is played entirely for laughs; and a character shoplifts with no repercussions. 

A brazenly lazy sequel that dives headfirst into even more depressing depths than its predecessor, ‘Daddy’s Home 2’ is an onslaught of unfunny jokes that rely on sexism and closed-minded thinking.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok (PG-13)

Thor: Ragnarok

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: 130 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. Many elements of the Marvel formula are here: lots of battle scenes, including hand-to-hand combat, impaling, stabbings, characters are depicted as slaughtered or mentioned as being dead, and fight-to-the-death gladiator-style combat. The history of Asgard is revealed to be built on world domination and slaughter, and there are undead warriors risen from the dead to fight again. Some cursing, including the s-word; some light flirting between a couple of characters; some nudity, including a shirtless Thor and the Hulk’s butt; characters drink, sometimes to drunkenness; a few rude jokes; and there are some gross-out moments played for laughs, like a character who is melted as punishment.

The ‘Thor’ franchise gets an exhilarating jolt of energy with ‘Thor: Ragnarok,’ which is wacky, weird, and wonderful. Director Taika Waititi has made a Marvel movie that is funkily original and memorably unique.

By Roxana Hadadi

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