A family guide to 2012's summer movies

By Jeffrey Peterson

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, May 2 2012 10:00 a.m. MDT

For adventurous moviegoers 13 and up, this could serve as an intro to the offbeat humor of indie comedies without the problematic content usually associated with them.


“Snow White and the Huntsman” (PG-13) — With the popularity of star Kristin Stewart and “Lord of the Rings”-inspired battle sequences, Universal seems confident of its dark, gritty take on the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale. In fact, a sequel is already in the works.

The mostly bloodless action glimpsed in the trailers helps tone down the violence, keeping it appropriate for young adult audiences. Smaller children, however, should stick with the Disney version for now.

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” (PG) — “Madagascar 3” will probably draw pretty big numbers for DreamWorks just by virtue of the fact that it is the first real kids’ movie of the summer and a recognizable franchise.

Other than some mild violence and “rude humor,” “Madagascar 3” should be fine for all ages.

“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” (not yet rated) — Considering director Timur Bekmambetov’s penchant for stylized action and the fact that Lincoln’s weapon of choice in his battle with the undead is an ax, this could turn out to be a pretty violent movie.

It is not yet clear what rating this will receive. If PG-13, expect it to push the rating pretty far with its combination of action and horror. Audiences should look into content before rushing to theaters.

“Brave” (not yet rated) — Between Katniss in “The Hunger Games,” Hawekeye in “The Avengers” and Merida in this film, bow and arrow sales will probably experience a major spike sometime this summer. Pixar’s newest animated feature is also its first to focus on a female protagonist. Early buzz suggests this is going to be another winner for the acclaimed studio.

“Brave” will very likely be the family film of the year.

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” (not yet rated) — Under the direction of Jon M. Chu (“Justin Bieber: Never Say Never”), this sequel to the 2009 “G.I. Joe” movie looks like more of the same but with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson taking center stage.

“G.I. Joe” is all but guaranteed a PG-13, most likely for violence and profanity, and should play to a similar audience as “Battleship.”


“The Amazing Spider-Man” (not yet rated) — A reboot of the hugely successful Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire “Spider-Man” movies, director Marc Webb (“(500) Days of Summer”) re-examines the character’s origin story in a way that could prove extremely controversial among fans of the web-slinging superhero.

Peter Parker/Spider-Man has always been a role model for teenagers. This film, which looks to take a more mature approach to the character’s themes, should be good for teenagers and adults alike.

“Ice Age: Continental Drift” (not yet rated) — Even though critical response has grown more and more negative with each installment of Fox’s animated franchise series, audience turnout has only increased over the years.

The fourth film in the series should provide some much-needed relief for parents desperate to keep their kids occupied during the long summer days.

“The Dark Knight Rises” (PG-13) — Christopher Nolan’s long-awaited final entry in his “Dark Knight” series could be the most highly anticipated film of the year. The only real question remaining is how many new records it will set before it ends its theatrical run.

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