'The Counselor,' 'Don Jon,' & Other Movies to Avoid Seeing With Your Parents

Most people with common sense know that it's probably not a good idea to go see Joseph Gordon-Levitt's pornography-centered film Don Jon with their parents. I am not one of those people. In my defense, I live in the Midwest, and the area is already too cold for outdoor activities. Consequently, I ended up in a Sunday matinee watching JGL sift through RedTube videos and throw dirty tissues into a metal waste bin, with my father.

Basically, unless you have the world's most comfortable relationship with your parents (and I know some of you do), don't take them to see Don Jon this weekend. In fact, this weekend's box office lineup is full of potential land mines for those of you naive, overly adventurous, or desperately bored folks out there. Because I care, here is a list of some other red flags.

The CounselorExtreme acts of violence, the drug trade, enigmatic plot, and a hard-to-follow plot, The Counselor is not safe for parents (NSFP). If they even get past all of the cocaine and crazy Javier Bardem hair, you'll still be hounded with questions of "wait, what just happened," "who is he, again," and "where did that come from" in the middle of the movie theater.


This highly upsetting but nevertheless superb thriller about two sets of parents dealing with the kidnapping of their children is definitely worth watching. It's not, however, worth watching with your parents, who, if they're anything like mine, will spend the next thirty minutes explaining whether they would have trapped and tortured the suspected kidnapper or not. Save yourselves the headache.


This one is a no-brainer. I guarantee your parents saw the Sissy Spacek original, which means they'll be comparing the two films. Chances are, they're going to come away complaining about the new version and romanticizing the old, even though neither merits much conversation.

Machete Kills

This one could go either way. It's action-packed, cheesy, sexual, and over-the-top, but it's so crazy, it's cartoonish. You just might get away with it, especially if your mom has the hots for Danny Trejo. If not, stay far away. It's a lot of Charlie Sheen and Lady Gaga, and I'm not sure your parents are ready for that.

Runner Runner

You're probably wondering how this thriller made the list since it's not gratuitously violent, sexual, or disturbing in comparison to the other films on this list. Let me explain. You want your parents to love Justin Timberlake, and because of SNL and his smooth new album, they almost do. Why ruin it with this poorly acted, poorly directed snoozefest? Keep your parents oblivious to JT's failures so they only remember his successes.Obviously, this list isn't a mandate. Do you love watching simulated sex with your parents? Then Don Jon is the best way to entertain them and yourself this weekend! But for the majority of you who don't feel that way, heed my advice.