Family Movie Guide
By STEVE PERSALL
© St. Petersburg Times,
published November 1, 2001
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.
Max Keeble's Big Move
(PG) -- Disney's throwaway comedy includes a few crude sight gags, rude remarks and some bullying violence but nothing too offensive for family viewing.
Monsters, Inc. A
(G) -- Pixar Animation Studios works the same computer wonders with bedtime creatures as it did before with toys and bugs. John Goodman and Billy Crystal give voice to cuddly monsters whose job is to scare children at bedtime. The film, however, should help youngsters overcome those fears rather than worsen them. Nothing objectionable. A few jokes aimed at parents may leave young minds puzzled.
RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS
(PG-13) -- Keanu Reeves manages an inner-city youth league baseball team. The movie was originally rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America before some trims. Still some moderate profanity, street violence and mature themes to consider.
Hearts in Atlantis A
(PG-13) -- Don't let Stephen King's name in the credits worry you. This isn't a horror story, but a gentle coming-of-age tale along the lines of King's earlier surprise Stand by Me. The rating is for "violence and thematic elements," including a bully-beating and suggested rape, yet neither factor is strong enough to be objectionable. Slow pacing and a quiet demeanor may bore very young viewers.
Iron Monkey B+
(PG-13) -- Martial arts violence is the major sticking point for concerned parents, although it's performed in a mostly bloodless comic book fashion that can't be taken seriously or scarily. One scene includes mild sensuality. Subtitles may be bothersome to many children or else a fun reading tool.
On the Line
(PG) -- Contains mild profanity and some crude humor that shouldn't bother the intended audience, fans of the pop music behemoth 'N Sync. Two of the group's singers, Lance Bass and Joey Fatone, make their movie debuts in this lightweight romantic comedy.
(PG-13) -- Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton make larceny seem like cool fun in this crime yarn. In addition to that dubious theme, the film includes moderate profanity, sexual situations and graphic violence.
(PG-13) -- Saturday Night Live cut-up Chris Kattan plays a gangster's son infiltrating the FBI. Moderate profanity, crude sexual and drug-related humor.
(PG-13) -- John Travolta plays a divorced father who suspects his former wife's new husband is a murderer. Just what stepparents need, a movie to make children distrust them. The film includes violence, profanity and intense scenes sometimes including child endangerment for cheap drama.
The Glass House B-
(PG-13) -- Teen orphans enter the guardianship of family friends who have something sinister in mind. Child endangerment and mistrust of supposedly loving authority figures are among the mature themes. Moderate profanity, violent tension and drug abuse.
(PG-13) -- Kevin Spacey plays a mentally disturbed man claiming to be an alien and convincing everyone he meets. Jeff Bridges is the psychologist unlocking the truth along with some nasty emotional traumas that young children don't need to see. Moderate profanity, including an f-word. Minor sexual humor and the suggestion of rape.
(PG-13) -- Martial arts star Jet Li (Romeo Must Die) plays a time-traveling killer who's latest target is himself in an alternate universe. The rating is due to numerous fight scenes that aren't graphic but are intense. Moderate profanity.
Riding in Cars With Boys C-
(PG-13) -- Teenager (Drew Barrymore) gets pregnant, marries badly and matures into a conscientious woman inspired by her son. Based on Beverly Donofrio's autobiography. Profanity. Mature themes include sexual and drug-related activities.
Rush Hour 2 C-
(PG-13) -- Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker team up again for a crude-humored, violent cop adventure. Many of the jokes are steeped in racial stereotypes and sexism. Violence is mostly of the martial arts variety, with some gunfire and explosions. Moderate profanity, brief rear nudity and sexual situations, including a brothel visit.
(PG-13) -- Grown-up romantic comedy starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, featuring moderate profanity and one scene of sexuality. No nudity or violence.
The Others B
(PG-13) -- This ghost story starring Nicole Kidman doesn't contain any violence, profanity or nudity, and only a brief bit of sensuality. But the plot hinges upon issues of child endangerment and mortality that could upset younger viewers. Slow pacing won't satisfy them, either, in a film that doesn't resort to cheap, crowd-pleasing shocks.
(PG-13) -- The R rating originally bestowed on Ben Stiller's comedy was appealed by Paramount Pictures, resulting in a PG-13 rating. The film still includes sexual content, drug references and a political assassination plot played for laughs.
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