Weekend Movie Forecast: Get the Scoop on 'Footloose,' 'The Thing' & More!

Julianne Hough cuts Footloose, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson have a Big Year, and Joel Edgerton battles The Thing in this week's new releases

Which movies are fun for the whole family and which ones are treats just for you? Find out!

In theaters now:

Short Story:
In this remake of the 1984 classic, Kenny Wormald steps into the dancing shoes previously worn by Kevin Bacon to play Ren MacCormack, a city boy who moves to a small Southern town named Bomont. When Ren discovers that Bomont's local councilmen and Rev. Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid) have banned dancing there, he and the minister's rebellious daughter Ariel (Dancing with the Stars' Julianne Hough) team up to challenge the ban and encourage Bomont residents cut loose.

What They're Saying:
"(Director Craig) Brewer, who previously put his high-intensity spin on Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan, displays his coolest moves in the way he smartly unties this Footloose from its 1980s moorings." -- Entertainment Weekly

"While hewing closely to Footloose's original story and themes, Brewer's film throws the standard high-school movie notion of a teenage caste system out the window." -- Village Voice

Good for Kids?
This '80s remake is perfect for teens and nostalgic parents, especially those with a love for music and dancing! Common Sense Media says families should expect "some making out, language and a couple of high-school scuffles." Read the full Common Sense review!

Watch the preview!

The Thing
Short Story:
In this prequel to John Carpenter's 1982 cult classic of the same name, American paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and a team of Norwegian scientists discover an extraterrestrial ship and seemingly dead creature buried beneath the snow in Antarctica. When a simple experiment brings the alien back to life, Kate and her crew's pilot (Joel Edgerton) must stop it from killing them all.

What They're Saying:
"A decent cast and a pristine glacial setting are wasted on a movie of alien transmutations and alien dissections that lacks urgency, or even a sense that's its very cold in Antarctica." -- Orlando Sentinel

"It's full of chills and thrills and isolated Antarctic atmosphere and terrific Hieronymus Bosch creature effects, and if it winks genially at the plot twists of Carpenter's film, it never feels even a little like some kind of inside joke." -- Salon.com

Good for Kids?
Rated R for violence, gore and disturbing images, Common Sense Media warns parents to expect "state-of-the-art computer effects" that may be too graphic for even teens. With Halloween right around the corner, though, this might just be perfect for adults looking for their horror fix. Read the full Common Sense review!

The Big Year 
Short Story: 
Kenny (Owen Wilson), Stu (Steve Martin) and Brad (Jack Black) are all at a crossroads in life. Tired of being tied down with obligations and responibilites, these friendly birding (a.k.a. bird-watching) rivals embark on a cross-country journey to dedicate a year to following their own dreams -- and win a competitions dedicated to spying the most species of bird in North America. 

What They're Saying:
"The most inviting thing in the movie was the exit door." --New York Observer

"It's like an Easter egg hunt for adults, joyous and sweet. The Big Year competition may be fierce, but the movie is as soft as a bunny." -- TIME magazine

Good for Kids?
With a PG rating, this comedy is sure to produce some laughs for all ages, as three grown men venture out on a competitive bird-watching competition. Parents should be aware that the film does have some sensuality and language, however, and might deal with themes too mature to interest children.

In case you missed:

Ides of March
Short Story:
Stephen Myers (Ryan Gosling) is the deputy manager for Gov. Mike Morris (George Clooney) during the height of a major political battle in Ohio. Hoping to win his candidate the Democratic nomination for the presidency, Myers faces a dilemma when the opposing candidate's campaign manager (Paul Giamatti) offers him a job on his staff -- and he uncovers a secret that threatens to scuttle Morris' career. 

What They're Saying:
"Like the non-fossil-fuel alternatives Mr. Clooney pushes in his campaign rhetoric, the adrenalin rush of The Ides of March provides a sexy alternative to most mainstream political movies about dirty politics. Others dip. This one soars." -- New York Observer

"It pulses along like an update of The Candidate fused with a politicalSweet Smell of Success -- it's got that kind of noirish fizz." -- Entertainment Weekly

Good for Kids?
The film is rated R for pervasive bad language, so it's not for little ones. But with fawning reviews, Oscar buzz and A-listers such as Clooney and Gosling at the top of their game, this thrilling political drama is a must-see for parents. 

Real Steel
Short Story:
In a future where the sport of boxing has gone high-tech, washed-up ex-fighter Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) teams with his estranged son Max (Dakota Goyo) to train a 2,000-pound, 8-foot-tall robot named Atom to fight other robots in the ring. Althought the odds are against them, Charlie and Max take Atom to the big-time, risking everything for a shot at redemption.

What They're Saying:
"Real Steel is a well-made, well-managed family fighting fantasy that combines high tech and low aspirations to go the distance in fairly lightweight fashion." -- MSN Movies

"Atom is complimented by a ringside announcer for displaying a fighting style that's 'almost human.' This is about the highest praise the mechanistic, spare-parts melodrama of Real Steel deserves." -- Village Voice

Good for Kids?
With a PG-13 rating, parents should be aware that this drama features some violence and intense action scenes that may not be appropriate for very young kids. But, with a plot that revolves heavily around robots boxing, this film is perfect for techy teens and those interested in a good action movie. 

Watch the preview!

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