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Film

Family Movie Guide

By STEVE PERSALL, Times Film Critic
Published May 26, 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

Kicking and Screaming B-

(PG) - Soccer moms and dads can feel fairly comfortable taking children to Will Ferrell's comedy. The PG rating is the result of a few crude jokes, mild profanity and a subplot about a man's dysfunctional relationship with his father.

Madagascar B

(PG) - A few mild profanities and crude jokes (mostly flatulence and poop gags) earned the MPAA rating, along with a few thematic elements of peril and abandonment.

SUITABLE, WITH RESERVATIONS

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy D-

(PG) - Douglas Adams' science fiction satire may sail over the heads of anyone who hasn't read the book, watched the BBC miniseries or heard the radio show. The rating is for action violence and brief profanity, though nothing to worry parents.

Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey B-

(Not rated, probably G) - The percussion dance troupe Stomp goes around the world to show cultures making "music" from ordinary tools and traditional instruments. Children with percussion or geographic interests may enjoy this IMAX film. Otherwise, it's simply a noisy travelogue.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith A-

(PG-13) - The final chapter of the Skywalker family saga is the first to be rated stronger than PG by the MPAA. There are a few good reasons, especially in the final hour when Anakin (Hayden Christensen) turns completely to the Dark Side of the Force. A suggested mass murder of children may worry parents, and there are more severed limbs and heads of androids and humans than in previous episodes. Anakin's gruesome condition, which leads to his Darth Vader transformation, is a bit scary. Recommended for ages 10 and older.

NOT SUITABLE

The Interpreter C

(PG-13) - Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman co-star in a political assassination thriller that, unlike many films these days, isn't aimed at youthful tastes. The mystery, plotting and pace won't appeal to many young viewers. The violence, profanity and sexual content are strong enough to give parents pause.

The Longest Yard

(PG-13) - Proof that the MPAA has relaxed its standards. Violence, jokes and profanities that earned an R rating for Burt Reynolds' 1974 prison football comedy are mostly repeated, and children can buy a ticket. Toss in several sexually charged jokes and a few drug references, and parents should be cautioned.

Monster-in-Law D+

(PG-13) - Crude, cruel humor, alcoholism, sexual references and profanity (including a 12-letter epithet stopped two syllables from completion) led to the MPAA rating. Jennifer Lopez's young fans may not mind, but their parents, who are closer to co-star Jane Fonda's generation, likely will.

XXX: State of the Union D-

(PG-13) - Intense action violence and profanity earned the MPAA rating for Ice Cube's secret agent thriller.

[Last modified May 25, 2005, 09:51:08]


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