6 and Older
"The Wild Thornberrys Movie" (PG). Delightfully offbeat, funny, informative animated adventure based on Nickelodeon show about spunky 12-year-old Eliza Thornberry, who secretly talks with animals and whose family shoots nature documentaries in Africa; she escapes from school to rescue a cheetah cub. Under-6's may cringe at chase scenes, Eliza dangling from helicopter, animals wounded or threatened by poachers.
"Just Married." Newlyweds (Brittany Murphy, Ashton Kutcher) begin disastrous Italian honeymoon madly in love, return ready to kill each other in derivative, often lewd, sloppily made rich-girl/poor-boy romantic comedy with redeeming slapstick. Strong sexual innuendo; milder sexual situations; dog falls to off-camera death in allegedly comic scene; toilet humor; ethnic slurs, stereotypes; occasional profanity. Not for middle-schoolers.
"The Hours." Gorgeously acted film about three women in different decades linked by Virginia Woolf's novel "Mrs. Dalloway." Nicole Kidman as Woolf struggles to write through intense depression; Julianne Moore as sad 1950s housewife reads the book as escape; Meryl Streep as liberated New Yorker in 2001, whose dying former lover (Ed Harris) dubs her Mrs. Dalloway. Depression, suicide, sexuality, AIDS, parental abandonment themes; rare profanity. Not for middle-schoolers.
"Catch Me if You Can." Leonardo DiCaprio shines in Steven Spielberg's sly, hugely entertaining 1960s saga of real-life con man who as unhappy teen posed as airline pilot, doctor and lawyer, cashing bad checks and fleeing a dogged FBI man (Tom Hanks). Themes of adultery, divorce; mild sexual situations; profanity; sexual innuendo; graphic depiction of bloody broken leg.
"Chicago." Snazzy, jazzy, high-kicking take on Broadway hit set in 1929 Chicago, where wannabe star Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) and vampy chanteuse Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones), both jailed for murder, vie for slick lawyer Billy Flynn (Richard Gere). Shootings; suggestive dancing; implied sexual situation; occasionally crude language. Too steamy, cynical for preteens.
"Antwone Fisher." Wonderfully acted, heart-wrenching tale of sailor (Derek Luke) who untangles memories of childhood in abusive foster care with help of kind Navy psychiatrist (Denzel Washington, who directed). Real-life Fisher wrote screenplay about his life. Implied off-camera sexual abuse of child; racial slurs; rare profanity; gun violence, fights; talk of sexuality. More for high-schoolers.
"Two Weeks Notice." Hugh Grant, Sandra Bullock well matched in smart romantic comedy about the jokey, platonic (at first) rapport between a millionaire playboy and the ultra-ethical, workaholic public interest lawyer he hires to improve his image. Mildly off-color sexual innuendo; toilet humor; drunkenness.
R's "Narc." Ray Liotta and Jason Patric tear up the place emotionally, physically as tough cops investigating murder of one of their own in churning, hard-edged, bleak police drama, filmed through a jittery lens -- with Liotta as dead man's avenging partner, Patric as narcotics detective trying to redeem his derailed career, neither quite trusting the other. Intense gun, fist violence; drug abuse; strong profanity; racial slurs; sexual innuendo; semi-nudity. 17 and older.
"The 25th Hour." Spike Lee's tough, moody, fine film about drug dealer (Edward Norton) making peace with pals (Barry Pepper, Philip Seymour Hoffman), girlfriend (Rosario Dawson), dad (Brian Cox) before he goes to prison. Profanity, ethnic slurs, strong sexual language, innuendo; graphic beatings; sounds of dogs fighting, one shown injured; drinking, talk of drugs. 16 and older.