Tots on Up
"Piglet's Big Movie" (G, 75 minutes). Genial animated Disney adventure in which little Piglet finds he's underappreciated until one day Pooh, Eeyore, Rabbit and Tigger can't find him and use his scrapbook for clues to his whereabouts, while recalling his big deeds; inspired by A.A. Milne's stories, with songs by Carly Simon. Some fidgety stretches; little ones may be scared by swarming bees or sad when Pooh et al. can't find Piglet.
10 and Older
"What a Girl Wants" (PG). Stunningly superficial romantic fantasy will divert girls 10 to 13 with Nickelodeon star Amanda Bynes as plastic-perky Daphne, a New York girl who sets off for London to meet the lord (Colin Firth, wonderful even in this) who is her long-lost father. Kelly Preston plays her wedding singer mom, Anna Chancellor and Christina Cole the dad's snarky fiancee and stepdaughter-to-be. Mild sexual innuendo.
PG-13s and a PG More for Teens
"Bend It Like Beckham." Fresh, droll British comedy about teen daughter of traditional Indian family in London who longs to play soccer, idolizes British star player David Beckham and sneaks out to games because her family deems it unladylike; predictable but invigorating film portrays family fondly. Mild sexual situation; occasional crude language.
"Head of State." Chris Rock in improbable but hilarious spoof as D.C. alderman picked for cynical reasons to be presidential candidate; he becomes populist hero with Attitude and funny Bernie Mac as his brother/running mate. Some profanity; sexual innuendo; comic assassination images may disturb unironic younger teens. Not for middle schoolers.
"The Core." Hugely entertaining sci-fi thriller overcomes so-so special effects with smart script, fine cast in gripping tale; professor (Aaron Eckhart) realizes planet's core has stopped rotating and, with other "terranauts" (Stanley Tucci, Delroy Lindo), heads to Earth's middle (in ship piloted by Hilary Swank) to jump-start it. Nongraphic death, destruction; authentic-looking nonfatal crash of space shuttle; rare profanity; smoking.
"Laurel Canyon." Neatly observed adult comedy by Lisa Cholodenko about parents who act like kids and the uptight offspring they raise; with Christian Bale as psychiatrist, Kate Beckinsale as his biologist fiancee, their quiet lives upended when they stay in L.A. with his pot-smoking record producer mom (Frances McDormand) and her lead singer boyfriend (Alessandro Nivola). Explicit sexual situations; implied threesome; nudity; drugs; drinking, smoking; profanity. 17 and older.
"Dysfunktional Family." Comic Eddie Griffin plays to packed house in his Kansas City hometown, with edgy humor that's often funny, perceptive about terrorism, racial issues, excessively raunchy about relationships; intercut with documentary moments with his family, youthful hangouts, etc. Constant profanity; graphic sexual language; cruel jokes at expense of Sikh man, homosexuals. 17 and older.
"Phone Booth." Colin Farrell in short, skillful, sometimes unbearably suspenseful mini-thriller (Joel Schumacher directed) as cocky, mendacious Manhattan publicist held prisoner in phone booth by sniper (voice of Kiefer Sutherland) who keeps him on the line, threatening bloody comeuppance via telescopic sight; Forest Whitaker as brave policeman. Brief gun violence; strong profanity, sexual innuendo. 16 and older.
"A Man Apart." Vin Diesel in formulaic cops-and-drug-dealers thriller, slickly made to mask his limited emotional range as DEA agent who breaks rules to find Mexican drug lord who ordered hit on his wife; with Larenz Tate as his loyal partner. Violence escalates from bloodless (for the genre) to bloodbath; topless dancing; strong profanity. 17 and up.
"Assassination Tango." Robert Duvall in wonderfully eccentric character study (he also wrote, directed) of aging mob hit man on assignment in Argentina, taking time to learn to tango but sensing his latest job is perilous. Understated violence; profanity; sexual situation. High-schoolers into offbeat stories, exceptional acting.