The Washington Post

Family filmgoer reviews ‘One Direction,’ ‘Getaway,’ ‘The World’s End’ and ‘You’re Next’


One Direction: This is Us (PG). This big-screen ode to all things One Direction will surely delight millions of teen and tween girls. Discovered by producer Simon Cowell in 2010 as separate non-winning contestants on the British version of his show “The X Factor,” the guys were brought together by Cowell in a moment of inspiration. The film follows them onstage and off during a world tour. We see them visit their home towns. They’re portrayed in a slightly sanitized manner.

THE BOTTOM LINE: There’s really little or no strong language in the film — just the guys kidding around backstage, a bit of flatulence humor and occasional rock-and-roll-style crotch grabbing during performances.


Getaway. Much rubber gets burned in this mega-car-chase thriller, and teens who appreciate visually exciting action flicks may find it gripping. “Getaway” showcases terrific stunt driving and ingenious high-speed editing. But whenever the souped-up Ford Shelby Super Snake driven by Ethan Hawke’s character slows down and interacts with Selena Gomez, the movie stalls. Hawke plays Brent Magna, a former racecar driver whose recklessness killed his career. We meet him blasting through the streets of Bulgaria, where he has moved with his wife, who has been taken hostage. Under orders from an anonymous voice, Brent has been speeding through the crowded city. At one point, an armed teen tries to carjack him. He’s ordered to get her gun and keep her in the car.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Car chases appear massively destructive, with police and civilian cars flying into the air and crashing. We don’t see other drivers hurt or killed. Bad guys seem to get hurt when there is gunplay. Brent’s wife is roughed up. The script includes moderate profanity.


Short Term 12. High-schoolers hungering for real drama on the big screen should see this indie film. Grace and her boyfriend, Mason, work as caregivers in a foster care facility for teens. They and their co-workers, a skilled and dedicated bunch, restrain and calm kids. The still childlike Sammy goes nearly catatonic when therapists take away his toys. Marcus, a smart 18-year-old, nearly implodes at the prospect of going out on his own. Jayden has a history of cutting herself. Her arrival forces Grace to deal with memories of her own rough childhood. The subject sounds dark, but the acting is delicate and makes you care.

THE BOTTOM LINE: The dialogue includes strong profanity, including many F-words and even stronger ones in an angry lyric Marcus writes about the mother who left him. A couple of teens cut themselves. We see Jayden’s scars. A central theme deals subtly with parental sexual abuse. A clothed sexual situation between Mason and Grace becomes fairly explicit. Jayden decorates her room with textbook drawings of male organs.

The World’s End. Not as thoroughly riotous as “Shaun of the Dead” or “Hot Fuzz,” this movie makes a fitting end to a wacked-out trilogy. “The World’s End” is okay for most high-schoolers, though it does involve much alcohol and cussing, plus fantasy/horror violence. Gary King is a 40-ish ne’er-do-well. His happiest memories are of a 1990 high-school pub crawl with his buds. He decides to get them all back together for another go at it. Gary meets up with Andy, Steven, Oliver and Peter in their drab suburban home town to finish the binge. They must drink at all 12 of the town’s pubs, finishing at the World’s End. Old gripes and rivalries crop up, and later, so do odd-acting townsfolk.

The bottom line: Crude language and profanity lace the dialogue, and the characters drink themselves blotto. There is mildish sexual innuendo and horror-style violence. SPOILER ALERT: The last third of the film features horror-style violence, including the skull-shattering and beheading of alien-possessed humans who bleed blue and whose heads crack like pottery.

You’re Next. For slasher/horror fans 17 and older, “You’re Next” may provide sufficient homicidal entertainment. The Davisons invite their adult children to bring significant others to a family weekend. Not all the offspring think fondly of their parents or of one another. Crispian, a struggling college professor, and his taunting brother, Drake, get into a shouting match. Just then, another guest sees something move outside. The window bursts, he gets a glass shard in the throat and dies. Arrows from a crossbow fly in through the window and the bloodbath begins, as home invaders in animal masks rampage in.

The bottom line: The killings are graphic. A married couple has a non-explicit sexual moment with partial nudity. The script includes strong profanity.

Horwitz is a freelance writer.
Read her previous reviews at
On Parenting.



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