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Daddy's Home, God's Not Dead 2 and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

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By Chris Kavan - 12/23/15 at 06:40 AM CT

Just before the Christmas holiday, we celebrate one of the last updates of the year. While nowhere near as packed as last week's rather large update, there are a few good updates, including a movie hitting theaters this Friday, a sequel to an inspirational hit and another early-year military-based film that looks to join the likes of American Sniper and The Hurt Locker in its quest for an audience. So before you hit the eggnog and mistletoe, enjoy this little update, my gift to you.

MPAA Official Logo

First up is a film you won't have very long to wait for, as it comes out this Friday. That would be the Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg dueling daddies comedy, Daddy's Home. The film follows step-dad Brad Whitaker (Ferrell) who is trying to put his best foot forward with new wife Sara (Linda Cardellini) and her two children, Megan and Dylan (the precocious yet devious Scarlett Estevez and newcomer Owen Vaccaro). While the mild-mannered radio executive is having mixed results, things are further complicated when the freewheeling ex-husband, Dusty Mayron (Wahlberg) shows up - setting up a showdown between the two dads. The previews make this looks pretty good (I'll never tire of seeing Ferrell bean a cheerleader with a basketball) but time will tell if this can set itself apart from the generic comedy herd. I'll probably stream this. The film earns a safe PG-13 for thematic elements, crude and suggestive content and for language.

The December - January window has given us plenty of decent military-themed films in the past few years. American Sniper was a bit hit with audiences and critics, The Hurt Locker was a smaller film but when on to earn many awards and Lone Survivor was another film that took a compelling real-life story and did a good job translating it to the big screen. Hoping to join these successful films is 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. The film follows a group of six men on a security detail when the American ambassador is killed in Libya and chaos follows. The ensemble cast includes John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, Pablo Schreiber, Max Martini, David Giuntoli and Toby Stephens among others. Now, one thing I have to mention is that the director of this film is Michael Bay (the guy who delivered us Transformers and the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) so whether this is a serious story behind a dangerous military action or just an excuse to show lots of bullets and explosions remains to be seen. That being said, the early months have been kind to military films - we'll see if this is the exception to the rule. Going the manly route, the film earns an R for strong combat violence throughout, bloody images and language.

Finally we have the inspirational sequel, God's Not Dead 2, which doesn't have a synopsis but the recent trailer seems to suggest a Church vs. State trial after a teach (Melissa Joan Hart) has the gall to quote the bible in class (while answering a student's question) and is tosses aside like the garbage she is. Ray Wise also plays an evil Jesus-hating atheists (or so I'm assuming) and lawyer (two strikes) who takes up the prosecution while Jesse Metcalfe fights on the side of God. Robin Givens is the principal of said school while some other semi-famous people (Pat Boone, Ernie Hudson and the late Fred Dalton Thompson in his last role) also show up. I'm not a fan of these pseudo-Christian films that pander to audiences and trot out religion like it's some kind of huge burden to carry. But, Christian audiences seem to eat it up (for the most part - some fall flat) and the original God is Dead managed to bring in a tidy $60.7 million on a $2 million budget (probably a big reason we're getting this sequel) thus, here we go again. I won't knock you if you want to see it - but I can knock your taste in movies. The angelic films of course gets a PG for some thematic elements.

That's all for the big dogs this week, check out the full Ratings Bulletin below:


Rated R for strong combat violence throughout, bloody images, and language.


Rated R for language, sexual content, drug use and brief violence.


Rated R for language, some sexual content and bloody images.


Rated R for violence, language and some nudity.


Rated R for some sexual assaults.


Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, crude and suggestive content, and for language.


Rated PG for some thematic elements.


Rated PG for thematic elements, some language and smoking.


Rated R for some nudity and brief sexual references.


Rated PG for mild thematic elements and rude humor.


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