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.
PG-13's and a Misrated PG
"Kangaroo Jack" (PG, but more PG-13ish). Crass, over-broad comedy stars Jerry O'Connell as ne'er-do-well stepson of Brooklyn mobster (Christopher Walken), sent with his pal (Anthony Anderson) to Australian Outback to deliver cash, which a kangaroo makes off with following a car accident in which it's sort-of killed (don't ask). Much sexual innuendo; drunkenness; line about a dingo (wild dog) snatching a baby; joke that someone's "testicles will fall off"; mobsters with guns; flatulent camels.
"National Security." Martin Lawrence as loudmouth police academy dropout, Steve Zahn as tightly wound L.A. cop he gets fired by charging brutality, wind up as bickering security guards chasing guys who killed Zahn's partner; hilarious spoof of political correctness, but too many stunts, chases, shootouts pad barely serviceable plot. Much sexual innuendo; profanity; intense gunplay, fighting, not all of it comedic. More for high-schoolers.
"A Guy Thing." Jason Lee as nice guy who wakes up after his bachelor party next to an unknown blond (Julia Stiles) who turns out to be his fiancee's (Selma Blair) cousin in baldly contrived romantic comedy that gets a few laughs but lacks charm. Extended jokes about stray pair of woman's panties, hero contracting a genital irritation, a pubescent boy's sexual fantasies; dinner guests get high on marijuana-laced food; drunkenness, toilet humor; sadistic cop. Not for preteens.
"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 its off-camera death in allegedly comic scene; toilet humor; gag about groom recovering from airport security cavity search; ethnic slurs, stereotypes; occasional profanity. More for high-schoolers.
"Catch Me If You Can." Leonardo DiCaprio shines in Steven Spielberg's sly, hugely entertaining 1960s saga of real-life con man Frank W. Abagnale, an unhappy teen runaway posing 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.
"The Hours." Gorgeously acted film about three women in different decades linked by Virginia Woolf's novel "Mrs. Dalloway" -- Nicole Kidman as Woolf, struggling to write through intense depression, Julianne Moore as sad 1950's 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. More for high-schoolers.
"Antwone Fisher." Wonderfully acted, heartwrenching tale of American sailor Antwone Fisher (Derek Luke), who untangles memories of awful 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.
"Intacto." Stylish but pretentious and obscure Spanish film about survivors' guilt and jaded folks who bet on human beings placed in dangerous situations; with Max von Sydow as Holocaust survivor and casino owner obsessed with luck. Gun violence; fighting; brief toplessness; flashbacks of car crash. 17 and older. In English and Spanish with English subtitles.
"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.
"Narc." Ray Liotta and Jason Patric tear up the place 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 save his derailed career, neither trusting the other. Intense gun, fist violence; drug abuse; strong profanity; racial slurs; sexual innuendo; semi-nudity. 17 and older.