Family Movie Guide
By STEVE PERSALL
Published January 19, 2006
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
Cheaper by the Dozen 2 C-
(PG) - Mildly crude humor won't dissuade children and parents from viewing Steve Martin's sequel.
(PG) - The fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood gets a Shrek-style makeover that also spoofs television police shows. That means a few scenes of animated violence and tough talk, but nothing to disturb parents.
SUITABLE, WITH RESERVATIONS
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe B-
(PG) - Fans of C.S. Lewis' book will be more patient than others with the film version's understated fantasy for most of the running time. The final 40 minutes boast exciting computer-generated creatures, although they could be nightmare material for young viewers. The violence level is higher than most PG-rated films, but bloodless. Religious themes in the subplot of a messianic lion (voice of Liam Neeson) may concern some parents.
End of the Spear B-
(PG-13) - Christian missionaries from the United States are killed in Ecuador by members of an indigenous tribe, creating dilemmas of religious faith in both cultures. Intense violence in a film being marketed to churches nationwide.
Fun with Dick and Jane C+
(PG-13) - Jim Carrey's antics are favored by children, but the economic factors leading a married couple into criminal life may be too thematically mature. Profanity, brief drug and sexual references.
Glory Road B-
(PG) - Teenagers will enjoy this fact-based story of Texas Western University's 1966 national champion basketball team, the first with an all-black starting lineup. Disney's version of events is homogenized but still includes racial epithets, vandalism and brief violence. Brief alcohol abuse and profanity.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire B+
(PG-13) - The first Harry Potter movie to earn a PG-13 rating, chiefly for scary images involving Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), fire-breathing dragons and an underwater sequence that features creatures and possible drowning. A few rude remarks sneak into the dialogue, as well as brief, mild sexual references. Parents of children ages 8 and younger should exercise caution.
King Kong A
(PG-13) - Peter Jackson's remake of the classic creature feature is three hours long, a test of youthful patience, especially in its first hour. Jackson rarely lets up when the action begins, an intense parade of zombie natives, giant bugs, hungry dinosaurs and, of course, Kong, whose rampages can be nightmare material. But that's what they said about the 1933 original, too. Brief profanity.
Last Holiday B-
(PG-13) - Queen Latifah's new comedy includes several sexual references as a working-class woman spends her life savings when she thinks she's going to die.
The Family Stone B+
(PG-13) - Family dysfunction is played for laughs and tragedy in a smartly conceived feel-good movie for adults only. Mature themes, including homosexuality, recreational drug use, infidelity and cancer, spring from not-so-petty squabbles punctuated by strong profanity.
Memoirs of a Geisha B-
(PG-13) - Children will be bored by the leisurely pace. Parents may be concerned about the film's sexual situations, including auctioning virginity and a near-rape. Brief drug abuse and sensuality.
The New World C+
(PG-13) - Terrence Malick's culture clash between English colonists and American Indians would be fine if heavily edited for history classes. Otherwise, it's a bore for children. Scenes of violent conflict and brief sensuality.
The Producers B-
(PG-13) - Mel Brooks' films generally aren't kid-friendly. The film version of his Broadway musical is no exception, with crude humor, sexual situations and stereotypes, profanity and mature themes.
Rumor Has It C
(PG-13) - The central theme of Rob Reiner's comedy is The Graduate, a movie most children haven't seen to understand the jokes. Sexual situations, profanity, mature themes.
Tristan & Isolde C+
(PG-13) - Teenagers seeking a Romeo and Juliet experience may be bored by the film's Dark Ages motif and classical drama. Moderate violence as warriors slash, bash and occasionally decapitate each other. Several sensual scenes and brief nudity.
Walk the Line C+
(PG-13) - This by-the-numbers biography of music legend Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix) contains strong profanity, drug and alcohol addiction and mature themes that include adultery. The 136-minute running time may make children antsy.
[Last modified January 18, 2006, 11:22:07]
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