Fill the Void (PG). This intimate look at lives very different from most of ours could fascinate teen moviegoers who don’t mind subtitles. Nothing in the film is inappropriate for younger kids, but its slow pacing and nuanced emotions will bore them. Set in Tel Aviv among the Hasidic community, it’s the story of an 18-year-old girl, Shira, an accordion-playing assistant kindergarten teacher. She faces a life-altering choice when her beloved older sister dies during childbirth (not graphic). Her brother-in-law Yochay will likely remarry soon, and may move away. Shira’s mother, desperate to see her grandson grow up nearby, decides that Shira should marry her widowed brother-in-law. But Shira has a likely fiance about whom she’s quite happy.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Characters are in emotional pain at times. Some of the men get drunk.
The Internship. High-schoolers may find it amusing to watch a couple of 40-ish dudes struggle to survive at a company like Google. Nick and Billy are watch salesmen whose boss sells the company. Billy gets the idea of applying for Google’s summer internships, using their ages as a give-us-a-chance ploy. The internship program director doubts they’ll survive amid all the young, code-writing whizzes they’re competing against. Divided into teams, all the interns must ace various challenges; only a handful will land jobs with Google.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The script includes mild-to-midrange profanity and mild sexual innuendo. The team visits a club where there is pole-dancing and lap-dancing. One character is bullied because of his weight.
Now You See Me. Teens would do well to check out the glitzified but still arresting “Now You See Me.” In a prologue, we meet four struggling magicians — hypnotist Merritt McKinney, escape artist Henley Reeves, trickster Jack Wilder and brainiac J. Daniel Atlas. Anonymously summoned to a vacant New York apartment, they find mysterious instructions that cause them to unite in a glitzy magic act, the Four Horsemen. In their big Las Vegas show, they seem to rob a bank then empty the bank account of their furious sponsor. All this catches the interest of FBI guy Dylan Rhodes and Interpol gal Alma Dray.
The bottom line: The dialogue contains semi-crude sexual innuendo and midrange profanity. A high-speed chase involves an implied death. A fight gets pretty intense.
The East. High school cinema buffs who like “issue” movies and up-close character studies may buy into this thriller. It’s a tad too bloody and steamy for middle-schoolers. Jane is a young investigator who is sent undercover to join a cell of eco-terrorists who are harassing a corporate client. Infiltrating the group and going by the name Sarah, she befriends the group’s leader, Benji. He and his followers live in a remote wood. They taint pharmaceutical executives’ champagne with their own dubious prescription drugs, or abduct oil refinery honchos and push them into their own toxic waste. Will Sarah cross over to Benji’s side?
THE BOTTOM LINE: Surgery is performed on a wounded group member. They gut a dead deer. There is one steamy situation and a bathing scene with implied nudity. The dialogue includes mild sexual innuendo.
After Earth. Kids 12 and older may enjoy this flawed sci-fi adventure. In a prologue, Kitai explains that it is 1,000 years in the future. Earth was abandoned, too polluted for humans. Survivors resettled on planet Nova Prime, where Kitai’s dad, Cypher, is a heroic Ranger who protects people from Ursa monsters. Cypher takes Kitai along on a mission, but their spaceship crashes onto Earth. Cypher’s broken leg means he must send his son on a perilous trek to rescue them.
The bottom line: There are some intense, bloody, violent and scary bits. The hatchlings of a giant bird are killed by mutant mountain lions. Kitai sees dead crew members. Cypher performs surgery on his own leg. Kitai has flashbacks about his sister’s death. There is one instance of mild sexual innuendo. PHOBICS ALERT: Kitai encounters a large spider, angry apes, a leech and a big snake.
The Kings of Summer. Three teenage boys in search of a summer adventure build their own cabin in the woods. They enjoy roughing it until romantic rivalries and mother nature intervene. High-schoolers will be royally entertained, and the film is okay for most middle-schoolers. Joe lives with his widowed dad, Frank. Joe talks his best friend Patrick, who lives with smothering parents, into building their own house in the woods. Joined by their ultra-nerdy friend, Biaggio, the boys build a leaky house in the woods and
have a great time. That is, until the girl of Joe’s dreams comes to visit.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The profanity includes the F-word, the B-word and barnyard epithets. Mild jokes about masturbation and suicide crop up. High-schoolers drink at a party. A rabbit is killed out of frame, but the skinning and gutting are shown. A poisonous snake bites someone.
Horwitz is a freelance writer.
Read her previous reviews
at On Parenting.