Information for parents deciding which movies are best for kids ages 2 to 18:
“The Secret Life of Pets”
Why it’s rated PG: Extended peril and action, references to killing humans and animals, sad offscreen death, disabilities portrayed as humorous, some potty humor.
Minimum age: 7.
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Family discussion: What does your pet do when you are away? Why didn’t Max like Duke?
If you like this, try: “Despicable Me” and the “Toy Story” films.
“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”
Why it’s rated R: Extremely graphic adult material with very crude sexual references and explicit situations, comic peril and violence with some injuries, drinking, drugs and very strong and crude language.
Minimum age: Adults.
Family discussion: What makes someone a good wedding date? Why was it so hard for Mike and Dave to behave themselves?
If you like this, try: “American Pie” and “Saving Silverman.”
“The Legend of Tarzan”
Why it’s rated PG-13: Extended peril and violence, guns, spears, explosions, predator animals, some disturbing images, characters injured and killed, some sexual references, brief strong and racist language.
Minimum age: Middle school.
Family discussion: Why did John and Jane have different views about going back to Africa? How did John’s idea of honor change and why?
If you like this, try: The many other movie and television portrayals of Tarzan and the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
“The Purge: Election Year”
Why it’s rated R: Extended and very graphic violence with many disturbing images, characters injured and killed, guns, car, knife, kidnapping, torture, beheading, scary surprises, very strong language.
Minimum age: Mature teens.
Family discussion: How do the election issues affect the purge? Once that system is in place, can it be changed?
If you like this, try: The other “Purge” movies.
Find Nell Minow’s reviews at Beliefnet on moviemom.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.