EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 20, 2013

A guide to movies from a family perspective

‘The Impossible’

Rated: PG-13.

Suitable for: Teenagers and up, keeping the subject matter in mind.

What you should know: This is the harrowing story of a family of five -- wife, husband and their three boys -- vacationing in Thailand in December 2004 when the tsunami hits. The destruction is vividly and expertly dramatized in this movie inspired by real events. The movie stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor as the parents and Tom Holland as the oldest of their three sons.

Language: A couple of stronger versions of “heck.”

Sexual situations and nudity: A woman’s breast is briefly exposed, a moment that embarrasses her son, when the strap on her top gives away after it’s ripped by water and debris.

Violence/scary situations: Lots, once the tsunami hits, sweeping away people, killing others, separating parents and children, leaving mounds of debris and sometimes bodies, and creating a chaotic hospital where people live and die. One leg gash is particularly bloody, raising questions about whether the limb can be saved.

Alcohol and drug use: Nothing out of the ordinary.

‘Les Miserables’

Rated: PG-13.

Suitable for: Teens and older.

What you should know: Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of the popular stage musical features live singing (as the camera rolls). The Victor Hugo source story remains the same: Parolee Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is on the run toward redemption, relentlessly pursued by his righteous jailer, Javert (Russell Crowe). Anne Hathaway plays the ill-fated Fantine, whose daughter is rescued by Valjean amid rebellious times in 19th-century France. The movie is 160 minutes long, so plan accordingly.

Language: Very little, perhaps one use of profanity.

Sexual situations and nudity: Fantine is forced into prostitution, and the resultant sex scene is explicit without nudity. A young couple share longing looks and eventually kiss.

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