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Film

Family Movie Guide

By STEVE PERSALL
Published March 10, 2005


The Family Movie Guide should be used along with the Motion Picture Association of America rating system for selecting movies suitable for children. Only films rated G, PG or PG-13 are included in this weekly listing, along with occasional R-rated films that may have entertainment or educational value for older children with parental guidance. Compiled by St. Petersburg Times film critic Steve Persall.

SUITABLE FOR FAMILIES

Are We There Yet? F

(PG) -- A road trip with his girlfriend's children sounds like a nice way to impress, until the guy (Ice Cube) meets the kids. Crude humor, brief profanity.

Because of Winn-Dixie B-

(PG) -- Child abandonment is a key theme in Wayne Wang's Southern-fried tearjerker. Otherwise, only a few rude words interrupt a wholesome tale of a girl (AnnaSophia Robb), her scruffy dog and a town filled with good-hearted folks.

Pooh's Heffalump Movie

(G) -- Absolutely nothing objectionable here, except Disney's packaging of a 68-minute movie created for home video as a feature-length theatrical release. Primarily geared to ages 6 and younger.

Robots

(PG) -- An animated world populated by robots (with voices by Robin Williams, Halle Berry and Mel Brooks) is appealing eye candy for children. The MPAA rating is due to mildly crude language and a few double-entendres to keep grownups interested.

Uncle Nino B-

(PG) -- A kindly old Italian visits his U.S. relatives, urging them to become a closer family unit. A couple of rude insults and teenagers smoking (but getting strong anti-cigarette messages from Uncle Nino) are the only things that may concern parents. Otherwise, this is one of the most wholesome movies to come along in quite a while.

SUITABLE, WITH RESERVATIONS

Bride and Prejudice B-

(PG-13) -- Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice is filtered through Bollywood, with lavish musical numbers and lofty morality. That doesn't prevent a few sexual references from sneaking in, something akin to the naughty bits of Grease.

The Chorus (Les Choristes) B

(PG-13) -- Oscar-nominated French film, set in a boys school where a new music teacher uses chorale singing to inspire students. Positive messages abound, but the English subtitles and classical song selections may not excite some young viewers. Profanity, mild sexual references and brief violence.

Hotel Rwanda B

(PG-13) -- The genocide of 1-million Africans a decade ago won't be absorbing to young viewers. Teenagers, however, can find inspiration in the Schindler's List-style heroics of hotel manager Paul Ruesabagina (Oscar nominee Don Cheadle), who attempts to save lives. Briefly gruesome violence and scary images of corpses, moderate profanity.

The Pacifier C

(PG) -- Action star Vin Diesel goes the family-film route, playing a special operations commando protecting the children of a murdered scientist. The rating is due to action violence, crude humor and brief profanity.

Son of the Mask D

(PG) -- More proof that the ratings board is loosening its reins: The PG rating results from crude and suggestive humor, frenzied action (including Road Runner-style attempts to kill an infant) and mild profanity.

NOT SUITABLE

Be Cool C

(PG-13) -- The sequel to Get Shorty (which was originally rated R) features more characters making threats through violence, an equal amount of sensuality, and crude language, including an f-word and several sexual references. Strictly for adults only.

Boogeyman

(PG-13) -- The MPAA cited this film's "intense scenes of horror and terror/violence, and some partial nudity," and still gave it a PG-13 rating. Go figure.

Cursed

(PG-13) -- Teenagers become vicious werewolves. The rating is due to "horror violence/terror, some sexual references, nudity, language and a brief drug reference." And that was the edited version submitted to appeal the original R.

Diary of a Mad Black Woman C

(PG-13) -- Tyler Perry's stage play becomes a movie unsure if it wants to be a gospel inspiration, a feminist soap opera, a gritty street drama or a Big Momma's House-style comedy. The film's strong theme of drug abuse, profanity, sexual situations and brief violence -- not to mention its crude humor -- might be frowned upon in church.

Hitch B-

(PG-13) -- Will Smith is popular with young viewers, but the sexual references and profanity (including an f-word) are strictly for grownups.

Man of the House

(PG-13) -- Tommy Lee Jones and Cedric the Entertainer move into a college cheerleader dorm to protect nubile murder witnesses. The rating is due to "violence, sexual content, crude humor and a drug reference." (Yet a few bare breasts earned William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice an R rating.)

Million Dollar Baby A

(PG-13) -- Clint Eastwood's mature drama about a female boxer (Hilary Swank) is more about personalities than pugilism, with a tragic turn that may disturb young viewers. The film also contains profanity (including an f-word uttered by a priest) and boxing violence.

The Wedding Date D-

(PG-13) - A plot involving a single woman (Will & Grace's Debra Messing) hiring a gigolo (Dermot Mulroney) for any reason should give parents pause. Sexuality is a constant theme in a comedy made with adults in mind.

[Last modified March 9, 2005, 09:39:05]


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