Just So You Know: PG-13 Movies in Theaters Now or Soon

You might not think it’s that big a deal for a 20-year-old woman to consider whether to go see a movie that’s either rated PG-13 (or lower) or rated R, but maybe if you were the size of a 10-year-old child and didn’t actually have a New York state ID that listed date of birth (I recognize that that is my own fault), you might put stock into that sort of deliberation too. When I go to movies by myself, depending on the theater, I have to worry about whether or not I’ll be let in since so many box office attendants are convinced that I am younger than seventeen.

I don’t mean to discredit movies that don’t have content judged as “mature” as other movies have, so here’s a list of thirteen interesting-sounding PG-13-rated movies which have either come out recently in New York (and possibly the rest of the country/world, depending on where you live) or will be released later this year. Summer is burning hot right now in Brooklyn and elsewhere in NYC, so some of these films may be great options for beating the heat.

Mud (opened April 26) – Matthew McConaughey is in the midst of a career revival. This film got mixed reviews, but some critics have said that it’s excellent. The consensus is that young writer-director Jeff Nichols (who made 2011’s much-feted apocalyptic drama Take Shelter) is a filmmaker to watch.

The Great Gatsby (opened May 10) – this glittering 3D flick is probably a lot of fun. I love Baz Luhrmann’s aesthetic (particularly in Strictly Ballroom and William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet) so this latest extravaganza is undoubtedly really entertaining.

The East (opened May 31) – Cults seem to be a hot topic lately (Martha Marcy May Marlene comes to mind) so this thriller about an anarchist group called “The East” might be worth a look. Brit Marling, a quickly rising star, co-wrote the screenplay.

Much Ado About Nothing (June 7) – When I heard that Joss Whedon had made a new version of the classic Shakespeare play, it was a bit of a head-scratcher. I generally associate him with shows and films like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Firefly” and The Avengers. The film might be interesting, though, especially since it appears to have been photographed mostly in black-and-white with little accents of color.

Man of Steel (June 14) – How could you not be excited for a new Superman movie? Plus Michael Shannon is General Zod. You can’t ask for a better villain than that.

Unfinished Song (June 21) – This dramedy about senior citizens banding together to sing is probably a sweet, harmless bit of entertainment. The film stars a number of notable actors – Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave, Gemma Arterton, Christopher Eccleston and Anne Reid – so if you’re a fan of any or all of the above, you might want to see the film.

White House Down (June 28) – No, it’s actually not a remake of this year’s earlier president-in-distress thriller Olympus Has Fallen. This time, the president is played by Jamie Foxx rather than Aaron Eckhart and the Secret Service guy who has to save the POTUS is Channing Tatum instead of Gerard Butler. Better casting in WHD, I say.

The Lone Ranger (July 3) – Admittedly, I don’t know the rating for this one yet, but I’m guessing PG-13. It’s Disney, after all.

The Way, Way Back (July 5) – Could any movie starring Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph, Allison Janney and co-director/co-writer Jim Rash (among others) possibly fail?

Pacific Rim (July 12) – It reminds me a bit too much of Transformers, but maybe Charlie Day’s presence will be something positive.

Girl Most Likely (July 19) – Unlike a lot of people, I don’t care all that much for Kristen Wiig. The thought of seeing a comedy starring her and co-starring Darren Criss (aka one of the young guys whose career was boosted by “Glee”) doesn’t exactly thrill me. I do, however, enjoy Matt Dillon in pretty much anything. He’s just a really good actor. For him, I guess I would consider seeing the movie.

Blue Jasmine (July 26) – I’m such a fan of Woody Allen that I would watch anything he directed. Anything. (Yes, even Scoop. Hey, I liked it!) This film sounds especially fascinating because of the cast: Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard, Andrew Dice Clay, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tammy Blanchard, Max Casella, Charlie Tahan and Alden Ehrenreich.

Austenland (August 16) – I’ve never read the Shannon Hale novel that this movie is based on, but I did read another novel by Hale (The Actor and the Housewife) and it was kind of good, if a little on the cheesy side. But anyway, who cares whether or not Austenland sounds good or cheesy – Bret McKenzie’s in it! (I’m a big fan.)


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