Parental Guidance: Gravity and Parkland

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

In Theaters This Week:

Gravity

97%

Rating: PG-13, for intense perilous sequences, some disturbing images and brief strong language.

The sense of tension and the possibility of death are constant in Alfonso Cuaron's minor masterpiece about a veteran astronaut (George Clooney) and a medical engineer on her first mission (Sandra Bullock) who find themselves lost in space. It's an incredibly beautiful and harrowing film - technically flawless and emotionally resonant. Yes, there is some language -- you'd probably curse, too, if you were floating around in the vast blackness, cut off from Earth -- and some violent images as one terrifying thing after another occurs. Older kids -- especially those with an interest in space exploration -- will totally dig this.

Mode: HLS Link

Parkland

48%

Rating: PG-13, for bloody sequences of ER trauma procedures, some violent images and language, and smoking throughout.

This star-studded drama (Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, Jacki Weaver, the list goes on) depicts the assassination of President Kennedy from the perspective of various people caught up in that horrific event. They include Secret Service and FBI agents, Abraham Zapruder (who famously shot the film that captured the killing) and the trauma surgeons at Parkland Hospital, where the president ultimately was pronounced dead. Although director Peter Landesman takes a detached, matter-of-fact tone -- and doesn't show us the shooting itself -- he still depicts a graphically bloody scene, which would be uncomfortable for anyone to watch. Thematically, this is probably best for older kids.

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New On DVD:

The Croods

70%

Rating: PG, for some scary action.

A visually sublime but thematically simple animated film about a prehistoric family on a road trip. Dad (voiced by Nicolas Cage) is afraid of everything. His daughter, Eep (Emma Stone), constantly makes him nervous with her sense of daring - especially when she meets a guy named Guy (Ryan Reynolds) who introduces them all to a thing called fire. The overly facile message here is: Trying new things is good. It's a useful notion for kids in the crowd to chew on, but their older companions may be longing for something more substantive. Toward the end, there are some seismic shifts that create a few moments of danger, but otherwise this colorful, vibrant 3-D adventure is suitable for all ages.

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