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.
By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times, published December 27, 2001
Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
(G) -- Nickelodeon's popular cartoon character comes to the big screen with all of its gizmos attached. The plot concerns aliens kidnapping parents, but the fear factor remains low. Mild sci-fi violence and a couple of crude gags, but nothing objectionable.
(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 increase them. Nothing objectionable. A few jokes aimed at parents may leave young minds puzzled.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone A
(PG) -- J.K. Rowling's enormously popular novel is a magical movie, although some of the supernatural creatures and creepy settings are nightmare material for very young viewers. Minor fantasy violence and the off-screen murder of Harry's parents are included. Two mildly crude words dot the screenplay. Themes of witchcraft that alarm some parents are outweighed by the story's positive child empowerment and the moral that goodness rules.
Joe Somebody (PG) -- Tim Allen plays another father figure, this time one who's beaten up by another dad on Take Your Child to Work Day. He whips himself into shape for a comical rematch. Mild schoolyard violence, minor crude remarks and some themes about beating up people that should be discussed with small children.
(PG-13) -- Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman (X-Men) co-star as lovers from different centuries thrown together by one of those twists of Hollywood fate. Moderate profanity and mature romantic themes.
(PG) -- Amnesiac screenwriter (Jim Carrey) gets mistaken for a missing World War II hero and learns it's a wonderful life in small-town U.S.A. Moderate profanity and some mature themes.
Contains mild profanity and some crude humor that shouldn't bother the intended audience, fans of 'N Sync. Two of the group's singers, Lance Bass and Joey Fatone, make their movie debuts in this lightweight romantic comedy.
Teen favorites James Van Der Beek (Dawson's Creek), Ashton Kutcher (That '70s Show) and Rachael Leigh Cook (She's All That) play cowboy games. Wild West violence such as gunplay and dynamite explosions and a few discouraging, profane words, and the creative skies are cloudy all day.
A Beautiful Mind B-plus
(PG-13) -- Russell Crowe (Gladiator) shines in a biography of John Forbes Nash, a mathematician who could figure out anything except his paranoid psyche. Director Ron Howard's film deals with mature themes of mental illness and government intrigue that won't interest many small children. Moderate profanity, flashes of violence and brief sensuality also make this one for adults only.
(PG-13) -- Owen Wilson (Shanghai Noon) stars as a U.S. spy plane pilot downed by Bosnian military forces, with Gene Hackman as the gruff veteran organizing a rescue. Moderately bloody wartime violence and several harsh profanities.
Martin Lawrence's brash, occasionally risque comedy stylings can make some parents blush. This fantasy about an amusement park worker mysteriously thrown back to 14th century England contains medieval violence, crude and sexual humor and moderate profanity.
(PG-13) -- The boundaries of PG-13 violence are shattered by Peter Jackson's elaborate adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's literary adventure. The battle for control of Middle-earth features numerous bloody battles, decapitations, impalings and bone-bashings. Just because they usually happen to fantasy creatures rather than people doesn't make it different. Mild sensuality, mature themes and a 3-hour running time that may numb small children.
(PG-13) -- Remake of the 1960 Rat Pack caper with George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon stepping in for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Moderate profanity, including one f-word and an obscene gesture. Two scenes of strip club sensuality, mild violence and a generally amoral attitude.
(PG-13) -- The extreme sport of snowboarding may attract some children to this bawdy comedy. The rating results from the film's crude and sexual humor, moderate profanity and substance abuse played for laughs.
(PG-13) -- The Farrelly brothers' movie is just a few off-color gags away from an R rating. A film that seems cute and romantic in previews is a tasteless slap at overweight people, disguised as sensitivity. Harsh profanity for the rating and numerous sexually charged jokes.