Joker (R)

Age 16+

Bleak, violent, powerful; not your typical comic-book movie.

Joker” is an intense, complex, powerful thriller starring Joaquin Phoenix as the famous Batman villain. It’s far darker and more violent than other takes on the character. Expect extremely graphic killings and blood spatters/sprays, guns/shooting and stabbing. Several characters bully and beat up the main character, punching and kicking him, and there are scenes of fighting, rioting, rage and shouting, as well as a scene of smothering with a pillow. There’s brief nudity as the pages of a journal are flipped through, plus images and movie titles on porno theaters. The main character is shown with his hand down the front of his underwear, suggesting masturbation, and there’s kissing. Language isn’t constant but includes uses of “f---,” “s---,” ­
“a--hole,” etc. The main character takes prescription pills, and characters smoke frequently. The Joker isn’t presented as a role model, but the movie does condemn those who do nothing to help the downtrodden get on their feet, which positions him as a somewhat sympathetic character. It also suggests connections between mental illness and villainous acts/behavior, which is troubling. The story disparages hate, anger and unkindness, but it doesn’t exactly promote kindness, love or generosity. (122 minutes)

AD
AD

Lego Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar (Unrated)

Streaming

Age 7+

Action, Lego humor bolster so-so franchise add-on.

Lego Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar” is an animated series set before the live-action “Jurassic World” movie and features characters introduced in “Lego Jurassic World: The Secret Exhibit.” There’s a lot of action related to the dinosaurs, who roar at and threaten park employees and visitors. Other perilous scenarios put people in danger, such as when a gondola car falls into the T-Rex enclosure and its passenger fears for his life. A more subversive threat exists in an employee who finds ways to sabotage the park while posing as a loyalist. On the upside, Claire and Owen continue to enjoy a productive working relationship despite their differences and prove themselves capable and creative problem solvers on a daily basis. (13 22-minute episodes)

AD
AD

Available via Nickelodeon streaming.

Mr. Mom (TV-PG)

Streaming

Age 12+

Movie-inspired show presents strong marriage, family roles.

Mr. Mom” is a sitcom inspired by the 1983 film of the same name and follows the story of a married couple who trade primary roles in the household to mixed — and often comical — results. Positive themes emerge about effective relationships, communication and compromise as Megan and Greg demonstrate a willingness to adapt to each other’s needs within the context of a major life change, and the nature of their family structure challenges standard gender roles within marriage. The show makes light of challenges familiar to family life, including parenting woes and the struggle to balance work, family and romance. There’s limited adult drinking, veiled hints at matters such as pornography and drugs, and other mature content that makes this series best suited for grown-ups who can relate to the characters and their situation. (Eight 11-minute episodes)

Available via Vudu streaming.

Between Two Ferns: The Movie (TV-MA)

AD
AD

Streaming

Age 16+

Hilarious film version of Web series; cursing, edgy jokes.

Between Two Ferns: The Movie” is a comedy based on a popular Web series in which Zach Galifianakis conducts awkward interviews with celebrities. While hilarious overall, there are quite a few off-color jokes centered on topics such as AIDS, suicide and drug abuse. Profanity is regularly used; “f---” and variations used several times. The n-word is used in the background in a hip-hop song. Some comedic violence, including a car crash, and a scene in which John Legend sprays Mace in the face and groin of Galifianakis. Galifianakis goes back to Chrissy Teigen’s hotel room, where they supposedly have sex (no nudity). Some jokes centered on penises. One joke centered on a porn movie Galifiankis rented repeatedly in a hotel room, and there were jokes about cocaine, crystal meth. Overall, this is a movie with nearly two dozen all-star cameos, and, like the Web series, is best for those who enjoy mature humor that’s both dry and absurd. (82 minutes)

Available via Netflix streaming.

Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. Go to commonsensemedia.org for age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites and books.

AD
AD