Family Movie Guide
By STEVE PERSALL
Published November 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
Chicken Little B
(G) Nothing offensive in this computer-animated Disney production. Mild action violence, but not as intense as The Incredibles.
Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story B
(PG) - Only a few mild profanities in this feel-good movie about a trainer (Kurt Russell), his daughter (Dakota Fanning) and an overachieving horse. Otherwise, it's safe for all ages.
The Greatest Game Ever Played B
(PG) - Nothing objectionable and plenty inspirational about the fact-based story of Frances Ouimet (Shia LaBeouf), a surprising 20-year-old contender in the 1913 U.S. Open golf tournament. Brief profanity.
The Legend of Zorro C
(PG) - The romantic heat generated by Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones shouldn't bother parents, and the action violence is silly enough to be laughed away.
Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit A
(G) - The long-awaited feature-length adventure about a meek inventor and his intrepid dog is wonderful for all ages. The animation is clever, the jokes are silly in a smart way, and a few mildly suggestive sight gags won't offend.
(PG) - Siblings follow a board game into outer space adventures that aren't as exciting as the premise suggests. The sci-fi action is tame by video game standards, and a few crude remarks among kin won't offend many parents, who'll appreciate a late message for everyone to like each other.
SUITABLE, WITH RESERVATIONS
Corpse Bride B+
(PG) - Many children loved Tim Burton's macabre sense of humor in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This stop-motion animation effort includes scarier images of decomposed bodies and icky action, so viewers younger than 10 may require parental reassurance before bedtime.
(PG-13) - Jodie Foster plays a mother whose daughter disappears on an airliner, if the girl was alive upon departure in the first place. That perilous theme could upset children, and the violence and tension level is definitely geared for grownups.
The Gospel B-
(PG) - A provocative recording artist rediscovers his religious faith when his father, a clergyman, falls ill. The temptations causing his backslide are handled tastefully, but there are still suggestive material and profanity.
Pride & Prejudice B
(PG) - Adolescent girls will appreciate Jane Austen's knack for creating plucky, romantic 18th century heroines more than boys, and any child under age 10 will likely be bored. Keira Knightley wearing a corset again may attract youth market interest, but this isn't Pirates of the Caribbean.
(PG-13) - Young viewers will be attracted by the youthful cast, including pop singer Bow Wow, and the roller-skating angle. But the nostalgic 1970s setting, including songs from the era, may be too quaint for their tastes. The film includes crude language, sexual suggestiveness and brief drug references.
(PG-13) - The big-screen adaptation of the failed TV series Firefly contains intense sci-fi action violence and a few sexual references.
Everything is Illuminated A-
(PG-13) - An odd Jewish man (Elijah Wood) traces his grandfather's personal Holocaust history. The trail leads him to sexual encounters and violent memories, assisted by a pair of humorously profane guides. Teenagers may appreciate the film's cockeyed outlook, but children will likely be bored.
(PG-13) - Youth market favorites Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst co-star in a coming home comedy-drama of love and death. Those mature themes are explored by writer-director Cameron Crowe with middling results. Moderate profanity, some sexual references.
(PG-13) - Remake of John Carpenter's 1980 ghost story, slightly less gory. The film still contains violence, disturbing images and brief sexuality.
Good Night, and Good Luck A-
(PG) Although the profanity is minor and there's no sex or violence in George Clooney's film, the fact-based drama is rife with mature political themes that can make younger viewers impatient. The black-and-white cinematography and lack of physical action won't help. Save this fine film for teenagers seeking a civics lesson.
In Her Shoes A-
(PG-13) - A party girl (Cameron Diaz) and her uptight sister (Toni Collette) deal with sexual issues, substance abuse and an estranged grandmother (Shirley MacLaine). Sensuality and frank dialogue about mature themes plus strong profanity equal nothing for children.
(PG-13) - This adult romantic comedy was initially rated R by the MPAA, but that was changed on appeal by Universal Pictures. There's still enough sensuality, profanity and frank discussions of sexuality for parents to be wary.
[Last modified November 9, 2005, 10:39:08]
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