Family Film Guide: 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower,' 'Won't Back Down,' 'Hotel Transylvania' and 'Pitch Perfect'
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The Post-Gazette reviews movies from a family perspective:
Suitable for: Teens and up.
What you should know: This movie, set and filmed in Pittsburgh, is based on the Stephen Chbosky novel of the same name about suburban high school students. It stars Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller and taps into what it's like to be young.
Language: One f-word, an offensive term for someone who is gay, four or so uses of profanity, and less than a dozen milder words.
Sexual situations and nudity: Teens, gay and straight, are shown kissing, and there is talk about homosexual and heterosexual sexual activity, past and present.
Violence/scary situations: There is mention of a teen who committed suicide and quick dramatization of a fatal car accident. A teenage boy slaps his girlfriend, a fight erupts in a school cafeteria, and we see evidence that someone was physically punished by a parent who doesn't approve of a homosexual relationship. In scenes handled with discretion, a character lands in a mental hospital after realizing he had been molested years earlier. In two scenes thematically crucial to the story, teens who are passengers stand up while riding through the Fort Pitt Tunnel, which is obviously illegal and dangerous and was done with safety harnesses for the movie.
Alcohol and drug use: Underage drinking (mainly wine filched from parents) and drug use, with one incident landing someone in the ER.
Suitable for: Tweens and above.
What you should know: Also filmed and set in Pittsburgh, this drama is about two mothers (Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis) who try to take over a failing elementary school in the Hill District.
Language: Perhaps three very mild words that could turn up on TV.
Sexual situations and nudity: Some adult flirting and joking about a handsome teacher.
Violence/scary situations: A character talks about having too much to drink and getting into a serious car accident in the past. A child has a bit of blood on his shirt, apparent evidence of bullying, which is not shown.
Alcohol and drug use: A couple of scenes are set in a bar, and adults are seen drinking wine with dinner or ordering whiskey or sipping other alcoholic drinks.
Suitable for: Kindergartners and up.
What you should know: This is a computer-animated movie about Dracula and his efforts to protect his only child, Mavis, who is turning 118. The twist here is that the monsters are afraid of the humans. A young human backpacker stumbles upon the remote hotel Dracula runs and falls for Mavis, creating havoc. The celebrity voices are led by Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez and Andy Samberg. The movie is in 2-D and 3-D, which costs a few dollars more and requires everyone to wear special glasses throughout.
Language: Nothing notable.
Sexual situations and nudity: None, unless you count some clean, awkward flirting.
Violence/scary situations: The most disturbing moment comes in a flashback to a fatal fire. The vampires sometimes, but mainly briefly, turn into bats. Dracula's anger flares but quickly disappears. The story has lots of slapstick moments and characters, such as zombies, who might normally be frightening but are comic figures here.
Alcohol and drug use: None.
Suitable for: High school students and older.
What you should know: This is a comedy about the battle among acoustic college singing groups where national championships and pride are on the line. Anna Kendrick leads the cast.
Language: Two uses of profanity and at least a half-dozen milder four-letter words.
Sexual situations and nudity: A shower scene turns awkward when a woman is accosted by two others in a campus restroom. You see nothing unmentionable although there is mention of someone's private parts.
Violence/scary situations: There are two bouts of projectile vomiting played for laughs. A comic confrontation results in an arrest and quick release, and someone who is mean-spirited hurls some food at an overweight young woman.
Alcohol and drug use: At least one student gets drunk at a campus party. There is an obvious joke about crystal meth.
First Published September 28, 2012 12:00 am