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What to watch with your kids: ‘Despicable Me 4’ and more

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Gru and his Minions return for family fun and some peril.

“Despicable Me 4” is the next installment of the popular supervillain-turned-good animation franchise. This time around, Gru (again voiced by Steve Carell) and his family face another life-or-death threat in escaped villain Maxime Le Mal (Will Ferrell) and his partner in crime, Valentina (Sofía Vergara). Expect lots of comic violence (including peril, destruction and close calls during capers), a few insults like “loser” and “idiot,” and Minion-speak words that sound like “poop.” There’s a glimpse of a Minion butt, plus plenty of Minion jokes and pranks and bathroom humor. But there are also heartfelt family moments and themes of communication and teamwork. Kristen Wiig and Miranda Cosgrove are among the returning voice actors. (95 minutes)

A Quiet Place: Day One (PG-13)

Clever, touching monster prequel has violence and jump scares.

“A Quiet Place: Day One” is a well-crafted prequel to the sci-fi monster movies “A Quiet Place” and “A Quiet Place Part II” that introduces two main characters — Sam (Lupita Nyong’o) and Eric (Joseph Quinn) — and unfolds at the onset of the aliens’ invasion. Violence includes monster attacks, explosions, collapsing structures, a chaotic mob, threats, deaths, injuries, corpses, blood splatters and jump scares. One character bashes a man’s head, accidentally killing him, to stop him from panicking and making noise. There are several uses of “s—” (mostly all at once), as well as one use of “f—.” Characters share a tumbler of whiskey in an abandoned bar, and Sam requires prescription meds for cancer-related pain. (99 minutes)

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F (R)

Franchise reboot has violence, language and drugs.

Like the earlier movies in Eddie Murphy’s action-comedy franchise, “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F” has lots of mature content. A plot about a drug cartel means regular mention of drugs and trafficking, and one character snorts cocaine (others drink alcohol). The sexual content is mostly suggestive, with talk of intercourse, making love, being celibate, visiting strip clubs and throwing sex parties. Expect car chases and graphic shootouts that result in property damage, injury and death. Villains threaten characters’ loved ones, and a woman is terrorized when her car is pushed off a building. A man realizes it’s his responsibility to nurture a healthy relationship with his estranged daughter, and men exchange sensible relationship advice and discuss therapy. Language includes “f—,” “s—,” “a–,” “damn,” “hell,” “b—-,” “c—sucker” and the n-word. There’s some stereotyping of gay and Mexican characters, as well as Black and White neighborhoods. (115 minutes)

Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 1 (R)

Kevin Costner’s violent, epic Western is meandering but watchable.

“Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 1” is an epic Western directed by and starring Kevin Costner in the first of four proposed films. At three hours long (and still left off as “to be continued”), it has a meandering, sometimes confusing quality, but it may appeal to some viewers. Strong violence includes shootings, dead bodies, blood spurts, pools of blood, bloody scalps, a village being attacked and burned, people being pierced with arrows or stabbed with spears, and women getting hit or threatened. A woman’s bare breasts are seen, and there are sexual situations, brief kissing and mild sex-related dialogue. Language includes “goddamn,” “s—,” “Jesus Christ,” “b—-,” “a–,” “b—–d,” “damn” and “hell.” Characters drink casually (sometimes to excess) and smoke. (181 minutes)

Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. Go to commonsense.org for age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites and books.

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