Popcorn Parents - Family Movie Reviews

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

Family Movie Review: Everything, Everything (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: 96 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. This teen romance has the typical elements: some flirting, some kissing, an implied sex scene, and a girl lying to her mother about her feelings for the boy; some infrequent cursing and a joke about teen pregnancy; the mention of relatives who passed away in a car crash and a few scary hospital scenes; an abusive parent and a fistfight between a father and son; and an emotional subplot that involves parental deceit.

The YA-lit adaptation ‘Everything, Everything’ uses the strong chemistry of its young actors to tell a story about teen acceptance, understanding, and love. The film takes a few narrative shortcuts, but its youth romance is fantastically adorable and undeniably charming.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (PG-13)

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

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 126 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. This latest film updates the King Arthur story so that the man grew up in a brothel in old-timey London, becoming a protector and friend to the good-hearted prostitutes who worked there as well as an excellent fighter; lots of violence, including massive battle scenes, siblings killing each other, women being stabbed and having their throats slit, and violence by way of sword, arrow, and fire. A good amount of cursing, some rude jokes, and some flirting, some male shirtlessness and implied sexual nudity in the brothel, some implied sexual abuse and domestic violence also in the brothel, some nightmarish sequences involving giant bats, snakes, and other evil creatures.

Guy Ritchie puts his London-street-gangster spin on the ‘King Arthur’ legend, peppering ‘Legend of the Sword’ with exciting action sequences and engaging imagery. But the film suffers from poor pacing, a murky sense of its own mythology, and a disturbing disregard for all its female characters.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PG-13)

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

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 136 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. This sequel to the 2014 Marvel film “Guardians of the Galaxy” has a lot of the same elements of the previous film, including a lot of violence, which comes in the form of space battles, hand-to-hand combat, a riot where people are shoved into space to freeze and die, lots of space-gun shooting, a spaceship crash landing, and a lethal arrow that burns its way through people, which isn’t overtly gory but is still pretty intense. A good amount of cursing and rude jokes; some scary images in the form of piles of bones and dead bodies; references to characters who were killed or died; some light romantic tension; characters who are implied to be prostitutes, and a scene that implies a character spent a night with them; and some grotesque images, like a cut-off toe.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ continues the snarky, self-aware vibe of the original, with some fantastic visuals and well-rounded characters. But like so many films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ‘Vol. 2’ is longer than it needs to be, with a plot that feels purposefully unresolved.

By Roxana Hadadi

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