‘LIFE OF PI’
Rating: PG for emotional thematic content throughout, and some scary action sequences and peril.
What it’s about: A teen, a tiger, a hyena, a zebra and an orangutan survive a shipwreck and are stuck on the same lifeboat together.
The kid attractor factor: Critters and a kid in a survival story.
Good lessons/ bad lessons: “Hunger can change everything you ever thought you knew about yourself."
Violence: Animal-on-animal attacks, graphic enough to scare off the very young.
Language: Quite clean.
Sex: Perfectly chaste.
Drugs: None at all.
Parents’ advisory: As religious parables go, this one’s too long and entirely too dense for the very young. Suitable for 13 and older.
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense war violence and action, and for language.
What it’s about: The North Koreans invade, and high school kids resist the occupation.
The kid attractor factor: Teenagers, heroically shooting people and blowing stuff up. And occasionally getting shot or blown up themselves.
Good lessons/ bad lessons: “We inherited our freedom. Now it’s up to all of us to fight for it."
Violence: Plentiful, not particularly graphic.
Language: Some profanity.
Sex: None, though there’s flirting.
Parents’ advisory: More far-fetched and action-packed than the ’80s version of this story, with fewer political overtones. OK for 12 and older.
Rating: PG-13 for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language.
What it’s about: Abraham Lincoln and his fractious cabinet try to rally Congressional support for an amendment to end slavery.
The kid attractor factor: A valuable history lesson about the messiness of government and a human portrait of a sainted president.
Good lessons/ bad lessons: In politics, even the noblest ideals have their detractors.
Violence: Some gruesome Civil War combat.
Language: A scattering of period-appropriate profanity, racial slurs.
Parents’ advisory: Even if their school isn’t assigning this, there’s a lot to be said for rounding the kids up and letting them absorb a little Civil War history — suitable for 10 and older.