10 and Older
"Sleepover" (PG). Diverting, if sitcomish, flick for teen and tween girls with Alexa Vega as newly graduated middle-schooler who hosts a sleepover; she and her pals sneak out at night when snarky cool-girls' clique makes scavenger hunt challenge. Joke about pregnancy testing; high school guy disses middle school girl who won't make out with him; male teacher encounters teen protagonist in bar after she unknowingly sets up Internet date with him; implied nudity; kids may copy characters who drive without a license, climb out of upper-floor windows.
"Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy." Will Ferrell in funny spoof of pre-cable, pre-diversity TV news, as boneheaded but well-coiffed 1970s anchorman; Christina Applegate as female reporter he loves but also hates because she aims to co-anchor. Very lewd for the rating: Strong verbal sexual innuendo, crude language; visual gag too sexually graphic to be mere innuendo; drinking, smoking; drug reference; rare profanity; dog tossed off bridge in unfunny farcical instance; slapstick violence shows arm lopped off. Not for preteens.
"King Arthur." Engaging, rough-and-tumble, sometimes lyrical reexamination of Arthurian legend portrays "real" Arthur (Clive Owen) as 5th-century Roman soldier keeping barbarian hordes behind Hadrian's Wall with Lancelot (Ioan Gruffudd) and other loyal fighters. Disillusioned when Rome abandons Britain, he joins tribal leaders Merlin (Stephen Dillane) and Guinevere (Keira Knightley) to fight Saxon invaders. Intense violence shows little gore, but bone-crushing thwacks, occasional impalement, implied beheading. Strongly implied attempted rape; mildly hinted consensual sex; crude humor; skeletal corpses. Not for middle-schoolers.
"Spider-Man 2." Great sequel artfully blends spectacular action with poetic poignancy as Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) struggles with sense of duty vs. love for Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) and Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) and faces new villain, tentacled Doc Ock (Alfred Molina). Action is harrowing, so loud it vibrates, but not bloody. Toughest scenes show Doc Ock killing operating-room doctors, implied impalement, car hurtling through cafe window, fight atop speeding train; characters taken hostage, child cowers in burning building. Not for under-10s.
"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, funny, heart-rending polemic against the Iraq war and what he deems tainted Bush administration motives. Graphic footage of war wounded, including dead babies, video of public beheading (shown from a distance), corpses burned by mob, sexual language, profanity, slurs spoken by soldiers, some directed at Iraqi prisoners; audio montage of 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. Mature high schoolers.