Movie Mom: ‘When the Game Stands Tall,’ ‘If I Stay,’ ‘Sin City 2,’ ‘Land Ho!’

08/20/2014 12:13 PM

08/20/2014 8:44 PM

Information for parents deciding which movies are best for kids ages 2 to 18:

“When the Game Stands Tall”

Why it’s rated PG: Tragic murder of a teenager, serious illness of a parent, parental abuse of a teenager, scenes of wounded warriors in rehab, smoking.

Minimum age: Middle school.

Family discussion: What goals will you put on your commitment card? Why didn’t the coach want his players to pay attention to the streak? What was his most important lesson?

If you like this, try: “Friday Night Lights” and “Remember the Titans.”

“If I Stay”

Why it’s rated PG-13: Literal life-and-death situations, with a serious accident and characters injured and killed. It also includes strong language, teen drinking, and nonexplicit sexual references and situations.

Minimum age: Middle school.

Family discussion: How did their families influence the different ways Adam and Mia saw their options? Why did Mia’s grandfather tell her she could go? What would you decide and why?

If you like this, try: “The Spectacular Now,” “Save the Last Dance” and “Bandslam” as well as the book by Gayle Forman and its sequel, told from Adam’s perspective, “Where She Went.”

“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”

Why it’s rated R: Extremely violent movie, themes of corruption and betrayal, characters mutilated and killed by a wide variety of weapons including a sword, knives, guns, pliers and arrows. Many graphic and disturbing images and sounds, explicit sexual references and situations, nudity and strong language. Characters smoke, drink and use drugs.

Minimum age: Adults.

Family discussion: How do Dwight, Johnny and Marv define justice? What do we learn from stories of corruption and betrayal?

If you like this, try: “Sin City” and the comic books by Frank Miller.

“Land Ho”

Why it’s rated R: Very strong and crude language, many sexual references, nudity, drinking and drunkenness, drugs.

Minimum age: Mature teens.

Family discussion: Why were these men friends? What did they learn on the trip?

If you like this, try: “Strangers in Good Company.”

Find Nell Minow’s reviews at Beliefnet on moviemom.com and on KBEQ FM 104. Email: moviemom@movie mom.com.

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