Movie News & Reviews

Movie Mom: ‘The Maze Runner,’ ‘This Is Where I Leave You,’ ‘Tusk,’ ‘The Drop’

After “The Giver,” the next dystopian novel to hit the big screen is “The Maze Runner” (Sept. 19). Dylan O’Brien is trapped in a “Hunger Games”-type competition.
After “The Giver,” the next dystopian novel to hit the big screen is “The Maze Runner” (Sept. 19). Dylan O’Brien is trapped in a “Hunger Games”-type competition.

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

‘The Maze Runner’

Why it’s rated PG-13: Sci-fi action, peril and violence, guns, knives, many young characters injured and killed, scary and disgusting monsters, some disturbing images, some strong language.

Minimum age: High school.

Family discussion: Why do Thomas and Gally have different ideas about what to do? What was the maze supposed to test?

If you like this, try: The book series and other dystopian films like “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent.”

‘This is Where I Leave You’

Why it’s rated R: Very strong and explicit language, sexual references (some crude) and explicit situations, nudity, adultery, drinking, marijuana and pharmaceuticals.

Minimum age: 17.

Family discussion: How are the Altman siblings alike? How are they different? How do you feel about “complicated?”

If you like this, try: “This Christmas” and “Flirting With Disaster.”

‘Tusk’

Why it’s rated R: Horror film with many graphic and disturbing images of torture and mutilation, characters injured and killed, strong and crude language, drinking and smoking, sexual references and situations, with brief male rear nudity.

Minimum age: Mature teens.

Family discussion: Are we supposed to think that Wallace somehow deserved or asked for what happened to him? How do you interpret the final scene?

If you like this, try: “The Skin I Live In” and “Boxing Helena” — and Eugene Ionesco’s classic “Rhinoceros.”

‘The Drop’

Why it’s rated R: Plot concerns various crimes and attempted crimes, including extortion, robbery, torture and murder, many characters injured and killed, some graphic and disturbing images, drinking, smoking, constant strong language.

Minimum age: Mature teens.

Family discussion: The original title of the story this film was based on is “Animal Rescue.” Would that have been more appropriate for the film? Why did Bob stay at the bar?

If you like this, try: “Killing Them Softly” and “Get Shorty,” both featuring James Gandolfini.

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

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