Information for parents deciding which movies are best for kids ages 2 to 18:
“Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb”
Why it’s rated PG: Comic/fantasy peril, some characters appear to be hurt but are fine, potty humor, brief schoolyard language.
Minimum age: 8.
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Family discussion: Do you agree with Nick’s decision about the tablet? Which museum would you like to see come to life and why?
If you like this, try: The first two movies — and read about the real legends and histories of Theodore Roosevelt, Camelot, Sacajawea, ancient Egypt and M.C. Escher.
Why it’s rated PG: Themes of child abandonment and abuse, a character abuses alcohol and there is a joke about alcoholism, mild joke about “paid companionship,” some mild peril, schoolyard language and potty humor.
Minimum age: 8.
Family discussion: What did Annie mean when she said Stacks did not know he was good yet? How is Annie different from the other girls?
If you like this, try: The other musical versions of “Annie” and “Game Plan.”
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”
Why it’s rated PG-13: Extensive and graphic peril and fantasy war violence with many sad deaths and some disturbing images.
Minimum age: Middle school.
Family discussion: What was the most difficult decision made by Thranduil? By Bilbo?
If you like this, try: The other “Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” films by Peter Jackson and the books by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Why it’s rated R: Explicit sexual references and situations, nudity, substance abuse including heroin, very strong language, some peril and disturbing images.
Minimum age: Mature teens.
Family discussion: What do you think the quote from Emily Dickinson means and why did Strayed use it to begin her hike? What does it mean to say that wounds come from the same source as power?
If you like this try: Strayed’s books, “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” “Torch” and “Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar.” Also: another 2014 film about a real-life woman on a long, long walk, “Tracks.”
Find Nell Minow’s reviews at Beliefnet on moviemom.com and on KBEQ FM 104. Email: moviemom@movie mom.com.