10 and Older
"Two Brothers" (PG). Ravishing tale of tiger cubs amid ancient temples of Cambodia, circa 1920, and how an adventurer (Guy Pearce) helps them return to the wild after much human mistreatment. Harrowing scenes of tigers hunted; non-graphic animal deaths; off-camera killing of household pet by tiger; implied abuse of tiger by circus trainers; tiger attacks trainer; vivid description of hunter's kill; mild sexual innuendo.
"Around the World in 80 Days" (PG). Disneyfied take on Jules Verne novel has a few moments of charm and droll references to Victorian-era art and science but is long, confusing and dumbed-down. British inventor Phileas Fogg (Steve Coogan) and the mysterious Chinese traveler who becomes his valet (Jackie Chan) go on 'round- the-world trip to win wager against the Royal Academy of Science. Kung-fu fights against blade-wielding villains are bloodless but violent for a PG; mild sexual innuendo.
"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (PG). Beautifully realized third installment has darker themes of death and evil too intense for many under-10s. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) returns to Hogwarts wizard school, learns of Azkaban prison escapee Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), who may be a threat to Harry. Images nearing PG-13 scariness include icy-fingered specters, fight between dog and werewolf that menaces Harry and friends, giant spider and snake, implied beheading of mythical beast. Some parents may object to portrayal of witchcraft as force for good as well as evil.
"White Chicks." Marlon and Shawn Wayans in cheesy comedy about doofus FBI agents posing as rich white girls; racial stereotypes cleverly spoofed at times but premise is never convincing. Graphic sexual language and innuendo; implied semi-nudity; crude toilet humor; understated gun violence, fistfights, snarling dog; pooch in comic danger; profanity, racial slurs; drug joke; drinking.
"The Notebook." Highly sentimental love story (from Nicholas Sparks's novel) saved from total goopiness by solid cast: James Garner as old gent who keeps love of his life (Gena Rowlands) company in nursing home as her memory fades; long flashbacks recount how they met as blue-collar boy (Ryan Gosling) and debutante (Rachel McAdams) in 1940s. Fairly explicit sexual situations with implied nudity; naked men at Army health check in World War II; drinking, smoking; profanity.
"The Terminal." Steven Spielberg's ode to American diversity stars Tom Hanks in cuddly turn as man from a former Soviet bloc nation stranded at JFK International Airport after his country has a coup, making his passport invalid; top airport official (Stanley Tucci) wishes he were gone, but the traveler learns English, befriends airport workers, romances Catherine Zeta-Jones in cliched role as flight attendant. Mild PG-13 with profanity, sexual innuendo; intense scene showing man arrested.
"Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story." Surprisingly hilarious sports spoof with Ben Stiller as egotistical, muscle-obsessed owner of fancy gym, Vince Vaughn as shlumpy owner of bankrupt gym, facing off on dodgeball court at big Las Vegas tourney. Profanity; gross verbal toilet humor; many crotch jokes; humor targeting gays, overweight people; verbal innuendo about group sex; characters hit with hurled wrenches. Not for middle-schoolers.
"Fahrenheit 9/11." Michael Moore's one-sided but gripping, alternately funny and heart-rending polemic against the Iraq war and what he deems tainted Bush administration motives and outright lies. Graphic footage of war wounded, including dead babies, video of public beheading (shown from a distance), American corpses burned by mob, sexual language, profanity, slurs spoken by soldiers, some of it directed at Iraqi prisoners; audio montage of Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center. Mature high schoolers.