EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 13, 2013

FAMILY FILM GUIDE But can we take the kids?


Violence/scary situations: A man takes a baseball bat shot to the crotch, a woman bloodies her nose while playing outside, a bully taunts a boy who stutters, someone sports a shiner (you don’t see the confrontation), and a skateboarder takes a spill after a child urinates on the half-pipe he’s using.

Alcohol and drug use: Adults are shown with beer or wine and a scene is set in a bar.

‘Jack Reacher’

Rated: PG-13.

Suitable for: Teens and older.

What you should know: This movie, starring Tom Cruise in the title role, opens with a scene, taken from the Lee Child source novel, in which a sniper shoots a handful of people. The PG-13 rating is right on the money.

Language: One f-word, a half-dozen uses of profanity and a dozen milder four-letter words.

Sexual situations and nudity: A woman is briefly shown in underwear leaving a man’s bed.

Violence/scary situations: Lots, with the sniper shooting, intense physical fights and shootouts that wound or kill, the murder of a character and dumping of the body, scenes of someone held captive and a long chase scene.

Alcohol and drug use: Beer is consumed and a scene is set in a bar.

‘The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey’

Rated: PG-13.

Suitable for: Middle-schoolers and older.

What you should know: The movie marks the return of Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson with the prequel to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which he also adapted for the screen. “An Unexpected Journey” is the first of three “Hobbit” films, with lots of additions to Tolkien’s tale of Bilbo Baggins, who leaves his serene life for an adventure with Dwarves and a wizard named Gandalf. Obstacles along the way include rock giants, trolls, goblins and a creature named Gollum. At almost three hours, this is a long haul for fidgety kids.

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