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Weekend family guide

The Family Movie Guide should be used along with the Motion Picture Association of America rating system for selecting movies suitable for children.

By Times Staff Writers
Published February 16, 2006


SUITABLE FOR FAMILIES

Curious George B-

(G) - The beloved children's book becomes an animated movie as sweet and squeaky clean as its inspiration.

Greece: Secrets of the Past B+

(Not rated, probably G) - Beautifully photographed IMAX documentary of Greek history and enduring cultural influences. Nothing objectionable except, possibly, for a flash of frontal nudity in ancient drawings of Olympic athletes.

Hoodwinked C+

(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.

Nanny McPhee C+

(PG) - Not as squeaky clean as Mary Poppins, with the kind of crude humor children love these days and brief rude language. Emma Thompson's makeup is one of the mild frights, and missing a dead mother is a key element. Otherwise, it's family fun in the Lemony Snicket vein.

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 in most PG-rated films, but bloodless. Religious themes in the subplot of a messianic lion may concern some parents.

Eight Below B

(PG) - Disney tones down the danger and natural instincts of sled dogs abandoned in Antarctica, making this fact-based story a reasonably tame outdoors adventure. Scenes of animal suffering may require parental explanation about trained canine actors, and an attack by a leopard seal is briefly frightening.

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.

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 Pink Panther B-

(PG) - Steve Martin again, this time remaking the Inspector Clouseau role that made Peter Sellers famous. Crude humor, mild profanity and several sexually suggestive jokes, if viewers decipher them in Martin's comical French accent.

Something New B

(PG-13) - A conventional romantic comedy with an interracial twist that's handled with care and humor. Moderate profanity and sexuality, mature themes. Recommended for ages 15 and older.

The World's Fastest Indian B+

(PG-13) - Anthony Hopkins shines as Burt Munro, who set land speed records on a rebuilt 1920 motorcycle against all odds. The inspiring, funny story includes profanity, brief drug abuse and mild sexual content that involves a transvestite and two women assisting the hero.

NOT SUITABLE

Annapolis C+

(PG-13) - Gritty boxing violence is plentiful in this U.S. Naval Academy drama, along with actors sometimes cursing like sailors and joking about sex.

Big Momma's House 2

(PG-13) - Just like the original, Martin Lawrence's cross-dressing comedy includes sexual humor, insults about overweight people, humorous profanity and a brief drug reference.

Date Movie

(PG-13) - The MPAA rating results from "continuous crude and sexual humor, including language." Standards set by the filmmakers' previous Scary Movie spoofs aren't high, and usually not appropriate for children.

Firewall C-

(PG-13) - Intense scenes of violence and children in peril make Harrison Ford's thriller one for the grownups.

When a Stranger Calls

(PG-13) - Violent remake of a 1979 horror flick that was rated R, giving babysitters chills ever since. The terror and profanity levels are comparable, though.

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.

Curious George B-

(G) - The beloved children's book becomes an animated movie as sweet and squeaky clean as its inspiration.

Greece: Secrets of the Past B+

(Not rated, probably G) - Beautifully photographed IMAX documentary of Greek history and enduring cultural influences. Nothing objectionable except, possibly, for a flash of frontal nudity in ancient drawings of Olympic athletes.

Hoodwinked C+

(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.

Nanny McPhee C+

(PG) - Not as squeaky clean as Mary Poppins, with the kind of crude humor children love these days and brief rude language. Emma Thompson's makeup is one of the mild frights, and missing a dead mother is a key element. Otherwise, it's family fun in the Lemony Snicket vein.

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 in most PG-rated films, but bloodless. Religious themes in the subplot of a messianic lion (voice of Liam Neeson) may concern some parents.

Eight Below B

(PG) - Disney tones down the danger and natural instincts of sled dogs abandoned in Antarctica, making this fact-based story a reasonably tame outdoors adventure. Scenes of animal suffering may require parental explanation about of trained canine actors, and an attack by a leopard seal is briefly frightening.

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.

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 Pink Panther B-

(PG) - Steve Martin again, this time remaking the Inspector Clouseau role that made Peter Sellers famous. Crude humor, mild profanity and a several sexually suggestive jokes, if viewers decipher them in Martin's comical French accent.

Something New B

(PG-13) - A conventional romantic comedy with an interracial twist that's handled with care and humor. Moderate profanity and sexuality, mature themes. Recommended for ages 15 and older.

The World's Fastest Indian B+

(PG-13) - Anthony Hopkins shines as Burt Munro, who set land speed records on a rebuilt 1920 motorcycle against all odds. The inspiring, funny story includes profanity, brief drug abuse and mild sexual content that involves a transvestite and two women assisting the hero.

NOT SUITABLE

Annapolis C+

(PG-13) - Gritty boxing violence is plentiful in this U.S. Naval Academy drama, along with actors sometimes cursing like sailors and joking about sex.

Big Momma's House 2

(PG-13) - Just like the original, Martin Lawrence's cross-dressing comedy includes sexual humor, insults about overweight people, humorous profanity and a brief drug reference.

Date Movie

(PG-13) - The MPAA rating results from "continuous crude and sexual humor, including language." Standards set by the filmmakers' previous Scary Movie spoofs aren't high, and usually not appropriate for children.

Firewall C-

(PG-13) - Intense scenes of violence and children in peril make Harrison Ford's thriller one for the grownups.

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.

When a Stranger Calls

(PG-13) - Violent remake of a 1979 horror flick that was rated R, giving babysitters chills ever since. The terror and profanity levels are comparable, though.

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