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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A young girl sheds her preconceived notions about rural life and begins to enjoy her environment.
Positive Role Models
The main character lies at one point, but there are consequences, and she learns a lesson. A grandfather forges a strong relationship with his granddaughter (though he also gets upset with her). The neighbors are bullies, but it's clear that their behavior isn't meant to be emulated.
Violence & Scariness
Two neighbor characters are menacing; one man flashes a rifle.
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Motherlovin' is as envelope-pushing as it gets.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this sweet but predictable film inspired by Jack London's classic novel is squeaky clean -- there's no nudity, drinking, smoking, or swearing. And the message, while conventional, is positive: Sometimes what you want may not be what you need. That said, there are a few scenes/characters -- bullying neighbors, a grandfather getting upset with his granddaughter -- that make the tone a little too grown-up for the youngest viewers. It's also worth noting that the film is presented in 3-D in some locations, which could make some of the images more intense for little kids. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
CALL OF THE WILD means well, but that's not enough to make it compelling. Problem number one: lackluster dialogue. "It's Tracy," announces one character as his crush approaches. "She's the prettiest girl in town." (Who talks like that?) Number two: cheesy foreshadowing. Every time a particularly enigmatic local shows up onscreen, the wind whistles, solemn music trills, and the camerawork slows. (Ah, he must be a mystic!) Number three: a storyline that, put plainly, hits all the expected marks without much distinction (it screens like an after-school special). Plus, the race that everyone anticipates so hotly is stripped of any excitement.
But the movie tries -- does it ever! -- and you can't fault its earnestness. It means well, and the landscape looks pretty, too. With a feel-good story like this, it's best to shoot straight for the heart.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.