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Movie Mom: Which Christmas week movies should your kids see and which to avoid?

In “Sing,” Meena the elephant (Tori Kelly) finds her voice.
In “Sing,” Meena the elephant (Tori Kelly) finds her voice. .

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

“Sing”

Why it’s rated PG: Some slapstick humor, including a character whose false eye keeps popping out, criminal behavior involving a parent and teenage child, parent in prison, scary fire, business problems.

Minimum age: 7.

Family discussion: If you were going to perform, what song would you pick and why? What made Meena so shy and what helped her?

If you like this, try: “Zootopia” and “Despicable Me.”

“Passengers”

Why it’s rated PG-13: Extended sci-fi action and peril, sad death, characters injured, some disturbing images, issues of predatory behavior and consent, brief strong language, alcohol, sexual references and situations, nudity.

Minimum age: Mature teens.

Family discussion: Why did Aurora make that choice at the end of the film? What would you do if you were left alone?

If you like this, try: “Gravity” and “The Martian.”

“Assassin’s Creed”

Why it’s rated PG-13: Extended action violence, many characters injured and killed, murder of a parent, dismemberment, torture-like scientific experiments, some disturbing images, brief strong language.

Minimum age: High school.

Family discussion: What would the Templars do if they had control of the apple? Is it possible to live without free will?

If you like this, try: The game and comic book that inspired it and “Prince of Persia.”

“Fences”

Why it’s rated PG-13: Themes of racism, adultery, some strong language, sexual references, sad death.

Minimum age: High school.

Family discussion: Do you agree with Rose’s choice? Why didn’t Troy want Cory to play football? What do we learn from Troy’s relationship with Gabriel?

If you like this, try: “A Raisin in the Sun” (the play is at Kansas City Repertory Theatre March 24 to April 16) and “Desire Under the Elms.”

“Lion”

Why it’s rated PG-13: Extreme poverty, non-explicit portrayal of child abuse and predatory behavior, peril, sad deaths, mental illness and drug abuse, issues of adoption and identity, non-explicit sexual situation.

Minimum age: Middle school.

Family discussion: Why did Saroo risk his relationships to keep searching? How did he show us his survival skills?

If you like this, try: The book by Saroo Brierley.

“Why Him?”

Why it’s rated R: Extremely crude and explicit humor including sexual references and situations and bathroom jokes, very strong and crude language, drinking, drugs, comic peril and violence.

Minimum age: Mature teens.

Family discussion: How does your family treat boyfriends and girlfriends? How were Laird and Ned alike?

If you like this, try: “Meet the Parents.”

“Jackie”

Why it’s rated R: Graphic depiction of historical assassination, some strong language, smoking, some alcohol.

Minimum age: High school.

Family discussion: How did Jackie Kennedy shape the way her husband would be remembered? What was most important to her in shaping his legacy? What would you want people to remember about you or the people you are close to?

If you like this, try: Other films about the Kennedy era such as “13 Days” and “John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums” and Jackie Kennedy’s televised White House tour.

Find Nell Minow’s reviews at Beliefnet on moviemom.com. Email: moviemom@moviemom.com.

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