Movie News & Reviews

Family reviews: 'War Horse,' 'We Bought a Zoo'

Jeremy Irvine plays a farm boy whose horse is drafted into World War I in War Horse.
Jeremy Irvine plays a farm boy whose horse is drafted into World War I in War Horse.

A parents' guide to select new movies:

'War Horse'

Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of war violence

What it's about: A young Thoroughbred and the teenage boy who loves him must prove themselves on the farm and then on the battlefields of World War I.

The Kid Attractor Factor: A boy and his horse, maybe the prettiest horse ever to grace the screen.

Good lessons/bad lessons: In life, "there are big days, and there are small days." You get to decide what kind of day to make it.

Violence: Quite a bit of combat, some of it reasonably graphic.

Language: Disney clean.

Sex: None.

Drugs and alcohol: Alcohol is consumed and abused.

Parents' advisory: A violent history lesson about the Great War seen through the eyes of a horse, this is too intense for the very young — suitable for 12 and older.

'We Bought a Zoo'

Rating: PG for language and some thematic elements

What it's about: An adventure-prone widower uproots the kids when they buy and take over a small rural zoo.

The Kid Attractor Factor: Cute kids, cuter critters, children living in and trying to save the family zoo.

Good lessons/bad lessons: "Bad things happen; you just keep going." "You do something for the right reasons, nothing can stop you."

Violence: A couple of off-camera deaths.

Language: A scattering of profanity, with some of it coming from the kids.

Sex: A little young teen romance, a little adult flirtation.

Drugs and alcohol: Alcohol is consumed, sometimes in excess.

Parents' advisory: Despite the presence of cute kids and critters, this is too slow and grown-up in theme for younger children. OK for 10 and older.

Roger Moore, The Orlando Sentinel

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