Family Glance: 'Skyfall,' 'Fun Size' and 'Alex Cross'
Scripps Howard News Service
Must credit Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A guide to movies from a family perspective:
-- Rated: PG-13.
-- Suitable for: High-school students and older.
-- What you should know: This is Daniel Craig's third time as James Bond. He is drawn into the fallout from an unprecedented security breach, which sheds light on M's background and his childhood. It introduces new characters and says goodbye to some old ones.
-- Language: One F-word, at least two uses of "Christ" and maybe a half-dozen milder words.
-- Sexual situations and nudity: A man and woman are shown kissing in bed, and later a couple cozily share a shower behind steamed-up glass. Some banter could be read as containing double entendres.
-- Violence/scary situations: Lots, with breathless chases, a fight atop a speeding train, falls fatal and otherwise, deadly exchange of gunfire, dying or dead people, a spectacular public-transportation accident, fatal explosions, an enormous fire and grim encounter with a Komodo dragon. The movie also dramatizes the death of a franchise stalwart.
-- Alcohol and drug use: Characters are shown (not always drinking) with whiskey, champagne, beer and, of course, a martini. At least one scene is set in a bar, another in a casino where drinks are served.
-- Rated: PG-13.
-- Suitable for: Mature tweens, teens and up.
-- What you should know: Victoria Justice plays a teen who, on Halloween night, loses track of her little brother, a misfit who quit talking when their dad died the previous year. She enlists her best friend (Jane Levy, "Suburgatory") and two nerdy boys in the hunt to find him on Halloween night. He willingly goes off with a series of strangers in a way that may disturb or alarm some adults.
-- Language: Stronger than you might expect, with at least one use of profanity, and a dozen or so milder words.
-- Sexual situations and nudity: A young shirtless hunk and his older girlfriend, a widowed mother of two, embrace in the kitchen. The mom later encounters a couple demurely reading in bed, although one is in the middle of "Fifty Shades of Grey." Some teen groping and kissing. A man strips and streaks to distract the police.
-- Violence/scary situations: The children's youthful father died the previous year although no details are given. The kids later visit their dad's grave. The little brother repeatedly disappears with strangers although he comes to no harm. However, he is in a car being driven by someone who is drinking and who later (briefly) holds him captive in his house. A tussle between two car drivers leads to the firing of a musket, but only someone's pride is hurt. A car is totaled after all manner of assaults, including by a giant chicken statue that falls from its restaurant perch.
-- Alcohol and drug use: It's impossible to know what teens are drinking at a party, but adults are shown drinking.
-- Rated: PG-13.
-- Suitable for: Mature high-school students and older.
-- What you should know: Tyler Perry takes over the role of Alex Cross, previously played by Morgan Freeman. The character, from James Patterson's popular novels, is a homicide detective, psychologist and master profiler who meets his match in a sadistic killer. Cast also includes Ed Burns, Matthew Fox and Jean Reno.
-- Language: A couple of uses of profanity and about a dozen other mild expletives.
-- Sexual situations: Couples are shown in bed, and a bedroom scene in which a woman's hands are tied up turns deadly.
-- Violence/scary situations: Pretty much from beginning to end as people are tortured and killed and, in one particular case, mourned at a funeral and afterward. Characters are shot to death, someone's fingers are cut off and an explosion proves deadly. Also, a violent car crash and bloody or prolonged fights, with one that ends in a fatal fall.
-- Alcohol and drug use: An offer of cognac is made by a host, and adults are shown in a bar.
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.shns.com.)