Information for parents deciding which movies are best for kids ages 2 to 18:
“The Wild Life”
Why it’s rated PG: Scary shipwreck, mean cats, pirates, peril and some violence with guns and fire, characters drink alcohol, sad off-screen death.
Minimum age: 7.
Family discussion: Why is Mak the only one on the island who is curious about the rest of the world? Why did Mal do what May said? How can you tell the difference between a coincidence and a bad omen?
If you like this, try: “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” and “Shipwrecked.”
Why it’s rated PG-13: Extreme, intense peril with some disturbing images, alcohol and some strong language.
Minimum age: High school.
Family discussion: What experience and character qualities made it possible for Sully to think through his options so quickly and figure out a way to save everyone on board? Were any of the questions they were asked unfair?
If you like this, try: “Apollo 13” and “Captain Phillips,” two other fact-based films with Tom Hanks in charge of a vessel in trouble.
Why it’s rated PG: Themes of disability with some struggles, losses and anxieties, mild sexual reference.
Minimum age: Middle school.
Family discussion: What was Owen’s most difficult challenge? Why is he so interested in sidekicks? Which animated film would you show someone trying to learn about communication?
If you like this, try: “How to Dance in Ohio,” a documentary about a prom for people with autism; “The Story of Luke.”
Find Nell Minow’s reviews at Beliefnet on moviemom.com. Email: email@example.com.