Parental Guidance: G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Lincoln, and Parental Guidance

We give you what you need to know about the family-friendliness of this week's new releases.

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This week in family films, there's a little something for everyone, from action (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) to historical drama (Lincoln) to domestic comedy (Parental Guidance). Read on to find out what's appropriate for family viewing.

In Theaters This Week:

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

28%

What's it about? Cobra shape-shifter Zartan has occupied the White House, and Cobra Commander has escaped from prison, so it's up to the Joes to save the world from chaos.

Who's it for? It's rated PG-13 for "for intense sequences of combat violence and martial arts action throughout, and for brief sensuality and language." As with the old Joe cartoons, there isn't a whole lot of actual blood, but there are plenty of explosions and even the assassination of a world leader. It's probably ok for young teens.

Is it any good? Critics say G.I. Joe: Retaliation is better than its predecessor (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra), but it's still essentially a loud, over-the-top cartoon.

New On DVD:

Lincoln

90%

What's it about? Lincoln is an up-close-and-personal look at Honest Abe's political maneuvering over the course of the Civil War, during which time he attempted to end the conflict and abolish slavery.

Who's it for? It's rated PG-13 "for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language." It's also likely to bore the wee ones to tears. However, for history buffs middle school-age and up, Lincoln is sure to embody the "history lesson come to life" concept in the best way possible.

Is it any good? Daniel Day-Lewis won an Oscar for his portrayal of the Great Emancipator, and the critics say Steven Speilberg's direction is typically fine; the result is a compelling, nuanced recreation of a pivotal moment in American history.

Parental Guidance

18%

What's it about? Crusty old Artie (Billy Crystal) and his wife Diane (Bette Midler) agree to babysit their grandchildren for a week; hilarity ensues and life lessons are learned.

Who's it for? It's rated PG for "some rude humor." It's relatively safe for pre-teens, though there's some mild violence and a couple of instances of body-function humor.

Is it any good? Critics say Parental Guidance is good-natured, but blandly predictable, and it misuses old pros Crystal and Midler.

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