Information for parents deciding which movies are best for kids ages 2 to 18:
“A Dog’s Purpose”
Why it’s rated PG: Tense, sad and dangerous situations, including very sad deaths of beloved pets and character injured, alcohol abuse, depression, domestic abuse, neglect of animal, fire, shoot-outs, some potty humor, some disturbing images.
Minimum age: 10.
Family discussion: What do you think a dog’s purpose is? How is it different from a human’s purpose?
If you like this, try: The book by W. Bruce Cameron and the movies “My Dog Skip,” “Marley & Me” and “The Three Lives of Thomasina.”
Why it’s rated R: Constant very strong and crude language, some peril and violence including guns, predatory animal and illness, some disturbing images, drunkenness, chain smoking, fraud and betrayal.
Minimum age: Mature teens.
Family discussion: Would you trust Kenny with your money? Should he have taken the deal?
If you like this, try: “The Wolf of Wall Street,” also featuring McConaughey.
“xXx: The Return of Xander Cage”
Why it’s rated PG-13: Constant action-style peril and violence, chases, explosions, assault weapons, knives, terrorism, sexual innuendo and nonexplicit situation, some strong language.
Minimum age: High school.
Family discussion: Do you agree with Xander’s comment about rebels and tyrants? How do the characters decide when to be loyal and whom to be loyal to?
If you like this, try: The earlier “xXx” movies and the “Transporter” and “Fast and Furious” series.
“The Resurrection of Gavin Stone”
Why it’s rated PG: Some bad behavior and mayhem, passion play with bloody crucifixion image.
Minimum age: Middle school.
Family discussion: Why did Gavin make so many bad choices? What surprised him about the people in the church?
If you like this, try: “Brother White.”
Find Nell Minow’s reviews at Beliefnet on moviemom.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.