washingtonpost.com  > Arts & Living > Movies > Reviews > Family Filmgoer


Friday, April 15, 2005; Page WE40

6 and Older

"Robots" (PG). Delightful, witty, inventive computer-animated fable set in a robot world with Fiestaware colors, Rube Goldbergesque designs; young inventor Rodney Copperbottom (voice of Ewan McGregor) leads fellow robots (voices of Robin Williams, Amanda Bynes, Halle Berry, others) in nonviolent revolt against evil robotics executive (Greg Kinnear) who aims to eliminate spare parts and old robots, reversing policy of company founder Bigweld (Mel Brooks). Mild sexual innuendo about making robot babies; flatulence gags; robot pierced with screws wears "Got Screwed" sign; Aunt Fanny robot has huge derriere; hellish underground shop where old 'bots are melted down could scare youngest.


"Fever Pitch." Amiable, low-key, nicely atmospheric comedy (adapted from Nick Hornby's memoir) about a Boston schoolteacher (Jimmy Fallon) and his high-powered executive girlfriend (Drew Barrymore), whose romance goes swimmingly until baseball season, when she sees what insane Boston Red Sox fans he and his buddies become. Occasional crude language, profanity; funny/gross sequence about vomit; much mild sexual innuendo (by today's PG-13 standards); passionate kissing scenes leading up to implied sexual situations, then morning-after cuddling; subplot about possible unplanned pregnancy; memories of parents' divorce, childhood depression over it.

"Sahara." Matthew McConaughey as macho archaeologist/adventurer/tomb raider hilariously named Dirk Pitt and Steve Zahn as his lifelong pal, Al, hunt for a long-missing Civil War-era ironclad battleship; trail leads to Africa, where they meet a beautiful doctor (Penelope Cruz) tracking a mysterious illness; their two quests converge in wildly derivative (paging Indiana Jones), disjointed, ultimately boring action adventure. Sexual innuendo, profanity; much violence with minimum gore -- stabbings, gunplay, head-banging fights, cannon fire, attack helicopters, powerboat chases.

"Beauty Shop." Amiable if predictable spinoff features Queen Latifah as tough-but-tender single mom Gina, a ladies' hairstylist seen briefly in "Barbershop 2: Back in Business" (PG-13, 2004); now in Atlanta so her daughter (Paige Hurd) can study at a top music school, she quits working for arrogant salon boss (Kevin Bacon) and buys a run-down inner-city shop; Andie MacDowell, Mena Suvari as customers who follow her; Alicia Silverstone as a white hairdresser who must prove herself to the African American stylists (Alfre Woodard, Golden Brooks, Sherri Shepherd, Keshia Knight Pulliam). Strong sexual innuendo, sometimes escalating into explicit slang about sex acts, organs; profanity, homophobic humor, racial gibes; talk of breast implants; drinking. Not for middle schoolers.

"Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous." Sandra Bullock's comic moments as klutzy tomboy FBI agent Gracie Hart can't save a stunningly ill-conceived sequel (to "Miss Congeniality" PG-13, 2000); fresh from catching a killer at the Miss United States pageant while posing as a contestant, she tours the country as FBI's glam "new face"; angry, aggressive female agent Sam (Regina King), is her bodyguard; they hate each other but team up to save kidnapped Miss United States (Heather Burns) and pageant host (William Shatner); Gracie and Sam perform unfunnily at a drag bar. Head-banging fights; nonlethal gunplay; near-drowning; rare profanity; crude humor; sexual innuendo; jokes about tampons, cramps, fake breasts. Teenagers.

"Guess Who." Amusing but unambitious mainstream comedy reverses "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967) concept with some humor, little profundity; Bernie Mac stars as proud family man and banker, chagrined when his daughter (Zoe Saldana) brings home a white boyfriend (Ashton Kutcher) for his and his wife's (Judith Scott) 25th anniversary; Mac growls and Kutcher dithers as prospective father-in-law and groom. Lots of fairly mild sexual innuendo; homophobic humor; one crude joke about alleged differences between black and white men's penises; occasional profanity; racial jokes ranging from mild to mean; characters get drunk. Teenagers.


"Frank Miller's Sin City." Visually stunning, well-acted, verbally sharp, yes, but also overlong, brutal, sadistic, sexualized rendering of stories from Frank Miller's "Sin City" graphic novels; on digital video with live actors in a special-effects world made to look like the novels; antiheroes played by Bruce Willis as an aging cop, Mickey Rourke as an ex-con, Clive Owen as a tough-guy do-gooder, Brittany Murphy as a waitress, Benicio Del Toro as her abusive ex, Rosario Dawson as leader of Sin City hookers. Violence is ultra-stylized, but feels real: heads, limbs lopped off, odd-colored blood, shootings, electrocution, whipping, smashed skulls, gun suicide; strong hint that men's privates are mutilated; explicit sexual situation; seminudity; profanity; drinking. 17 and up.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company