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Family movie guide

By STEVE PERSALL, Times Film Critic
Published September 15, 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.


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory C+

(PG) - Tim Burton's version of the classic children's tale is slightly darker than the 1971 film starring Gene Wilder without being nightmarish. Nothing objectionable except a few mature references in Willy Wonka's ramblings and a distinct lack of magic.

Sky High A-

(PG) - Essentially a live-action version of The Incredibles, with the same kind of sci-fi action violence that shouldn't worry parents of video game players. Brief, mildly crude language.

Valiant D

(G) - Disney strikes out with an animated tale of a squab (voice of Ewan McGregor) wishing to join the Royal Air Force Homing Pigeon Service during World War II. Crude humor but nothing objectionable, except Disney's expectation that its brand name can even sell junk.


Just Like Heaven

(PG-13) - Reese Witherspoon's popularity with young moviegoers after the Legally Blonde movies is set. This comedy about love after death - a la Ghost - won't offend many parents with its occasional sexual content for laughs.

Red Eye B

(PG-13) - Solid thriller that holds its adult material to reasonable levels, while proving that movies can tell nifty stories in under 90 minutes. Some profanity and third-act violence, but nothing overly objectionable.


Cry Wolf

(PG-13) - The MPAA rating for this teen slasher flick is due to "violence, terror, disturbing images, language, sexuality and a brief drug reference." Makes you wonder what the ratings board won't allow children to view.

The Dukes of Hazzard C

(PG-13) - The popular 1970s television series gets a much racier makeover. Jessica Simpson's skimpy wardrobe and sexy attitude can make parents blush, along with crude jokes, drug humor, profanity and action violence, mostly car chases. Stick to the TV reruns on Country Music Television.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose B-

(PG-13) - The supernatural frights are in The Exorcist's league, practically guaranteeing nightmares for sensitive children. The film's equal concentration on courtroom theatrics won't interest many young viewers. Moderate profanity and mature theological themes.

The Island B-

(PG-13) - Futuristic thriller starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson as clones sniffing out a conspiracy. Intense action violence, profanity, brief sexuality, mature themes.

The Man D

(PG-13) - If Samuel L. Jackson's in a movie, there will probably be profanity. If Eugene Levy's in a movie, some jokes will be crude or sexual. Toss in the usual violence for a buddy crime movie and parents should exercise caution.

Must Love Dogs B+

(PG-13) - Lonely woman (Diane Lane) searches for romance online, possibly meeting her perfect match (John Cusack). Middle-aged love affairs don't appeal to many children, and brief profanity and sexual content may bother parents.

The Skeleton Key C

(PG-13) - More haunted house stuff, this time with Kate Hudson as a hospice nurse uncovering ghosts. She adds brief partial nudity to the profanity, disturbing images, violence and mature themes that parents should consider before buying tickets for children.

A Sound of Thunder D+

(PG-13) - Big game hunter (Edward Burns) travels back in time to prehistoric days for a dinosaur safari. Scary images and sci-fi violence, partial nudity and profanity.

The Transporter 2 (PG-13) - Intense violence, occasional sexual content, partial nudity and moderate profanity make this action flick unsuitable for children. Underclassman D

(PG-13) - Nick Cannon (Drumline) plays an undercover detective facing the usual violence, profanity, sexual references and drug and alcohol abuse found in such stories. The fact that this one takes place among teenagers at a private school makes it unsuitable.

An Unfinished Life C-

(PG-13) - Slow-moving tale about grownup problems that won't interest many children. Violence is mild, although a domestic abuse subtext may make it resonate with some young viewers. Moderate profanity.

[Last modified September 14, 2005, 10:41:06]

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