The holiday season always results in a parade of new movies in theaters. If you haven’t already heard, The Wolf of Wall Street is the worst possible movie that you can see with your entire family. Word on the street is that its opening scene involves ingesting drugs off of the bare rear end of an “escort.” Let’s make sure that this doesn’t happen to you (again). Start off the new year on a good foot with your family, ideally a foot that doesn’t involve cringing during extended noisy sex scenes.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
There are probably zero parts of this movie that would be uncomfortable for your great-grandmother to watch. On an even more exciting note, it’s not one of those stupid predictable romantic movies. Ben Stiller isn’t overly cocky or good-looking, Drew Barrymore isn’t in the movie, and there are some silly characters to keep the plot light. You won’t cry, you might laugh out loud, and it’ll make you want to do more with your life. Namely, travel and stop wasting away your youth in a dim cubicle. If you’re hanging out at home through the new year, or just being a delightful offspring and spending quality time with the ‘rents, you and your mom will love this. Oh – and make sure to stay for the credits. The names of the crew working in their international location (no spoilers!) are great.
Only see Her if your mom is okay with one sex scene and one scene of bad language. The good news is that the sex scene only involves one actual person and no nudity, and the bad language comes from a cartoon character and it’s funny. So all in all, minimal awkwardness. The plot itself is interesting, and will prompt a semi-intellectual conversation on the drive home – the perfect opportunity to prove that you’ve grown into a well-rounded, smart human being. The cherry on top is the visual and audio beauty of this movie. There are great color themes, and the entire soundtrack was done by Arcade Fire. Props.
This is a Disney movie. You can’t really go wrong here. On the one hand, any younger siblings or extended family members will be stoked. On the other hand, animated movies always have a deeper layer of jokes and amusement for adults. And, the talent required to create an animated movie can truly be appreciated by an older audience. Read up on some technical jargon and impress the family with your comments afterward.
This movie would be enjoyed mostly by your dad/stepbrother/weird uncle. Let’s be honest: Ron Burgundy is hilarious, but the humor is really, really stupid. Stick with family members who aren’t too self-conscious to laugh at racial jokes, talking animals, bad puns, and the occasional silly Brick face. There’s no outright nudity or excessive realistic violence, but there is an encounter with crack cocaine. Think the original movie, but with every major scene kicked up a notch. Anchorman 2 is a movie for belly laughs with your more liberal family members.
If you’re trying to impress your parents with your underground knowledge of intellectual Woody Allen movies, this is your movie. The plot is heavy: it involves adopted siblings, suicide, money theft, and a hearty helping of mental breakdown. But none of the above is presented in vulgar terms. There is minimal drug use, no sex scenes, and the most violent episodes involve lots of yelling but no actual bloodshed. The movie is set in both New York and San Francisco, so there’s something relatable for viewers from many backgrounds. And, the plot highlights the difficulties of being wealthy, so your family might stop asking you why you aren’t as successful as that older cousin yet.