Family Film Guide: 'Les Miserables' and 'Parental Guidance'

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The Post-Gazette reviews movies from a family perspective:

'Les Miserables'

Rated: PG-13.

Suitable for: Teens and older.

What you should know: Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper's film adaptation of the popular stage musical features live singing (as the camera rolls). The Victor Hugo source story remains the same: Parolee Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is on the run toward redemption, relentlessly pursued by his righteous jailer, Javert (Russell Crowe). Anne Hathaway plays the ill-fated Fantine, whose daughter is rescued by Valjean amid rebellious times in 19th-century France. The movie is 160 minutes long, so plan accordingly.

Language: Very little, perhaps one use of profanity.

Sexual situations and nudity: Fantine is forced into prostitution, and the resultant sex scene is explicit without nudity. A young couple shares longing looks and eventually kisses.

Violence/scary situations: The film opens with an emaciated Valjean on a chain gang, subjected to a cruel jailer and then brutalized in the mean streets of 19th-century France. His life remains in peril from beginning to end, as does that of Fantine, a woman who wants only to support her child. Students and soldiers face off in a bloody antimonarchist rebellion that kills or wounds many young men and a child. We also witness a suicide.

Alcohol and drug use: Spirits are consumed, and a scene of innkeepers taking advantage of visitors is set in a saloon.

'Parental Guidance'

Rated: PG.

Suitable for: 9- or 10-year-olds and up.

What you should know: Out of options, a mother of three in Atlanta asks her parents from California -- played by Billy Crystal and Bette Midler -- to baby-sit her children while she and her husband go out of town. But the two sets of parents have vastly different parenting styles.

Language: Nothing notable.

Sexual situations and nudity: A married couple kiss and anticipate spending some time alone.

Violence/scary situations: A man takes a baseball bat shot to the crotch, a woman bloodies her nose while playing outside, a bully taunts a boy who stutters, someone sports a shiner (you don't see the confrontation), and a skateboarder takes a spill after a child urinates on the half-pipe he's using.

Alcohol and drug use: Adults are shown with beer or wine, and a scene is set in a bar.


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