6 and Older
"The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" (G). Overlong, overstuffed, more retro, less fun sequel to likable first "Princess Diaries" (G, 2001), this time with Princess Mia (charming Anne Hathaway), a college grad, back at her Euro-mini-kingdom, being groomed to take the throne when grandmother (Julie Andrews) retires; Mia must marry or give up the crown, so she agrees to an arranged match, while falling for the handsome nephew (Chris Pine) of a scheming viscount (John Rhys-Davies). A 12-year-old boy asks Mia to let him blow in her ear; she chastely cuddles all night with a fellow.
8 and Older
"Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2" (PG). Awful sequel to awful 1999 comedy (also PG) based on premise that babies are hip intellectuals using a secret language (special effects make baby lips form words) when adults look away; Jon Voight schemes to rule world as Naziesque head of a kids' TV network; babies at day-care center save the day, led by Peter Pan-type hero Kahuna. Slapstick and lame martial arts mayhem; villain talks of snatching orphans; flashback of boy at dying father's side.
"Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid." Not all that scary, but kinda fun adventure follows scientists in search of rare orchid with anti-aging properties in Borneo jungles; computer-generated but convincing giant anacondas soon thin their numbers. Huge snake jaws rear up lightning-fast, but killings are mostly off-camera and implied using little gore; human and snake corpses, skeletons; muted human violence; mild sexual innuendo; rare profanity. Not for reptile or insect phobics.
"Danny Deckchair." Cliched but likable Australian comedy about underachieving dreamer (Rhys Ifans), aware that his girlfriend (Justine Clarke) is straying while his life drifts; he attaches heavy-duty balloons to a lawn chair as a prank and accidentally floats away from Sydney, landing in a remote village where he finds paradise (with Miranda Otto), at first. Rare profanity; sexual innuendo; gently implied sexual situations; drinking.
"Hero." Beautiful, mythic, if somewhat confusing tale about birth of first Chinese dynasty 2,000 years ago, told with balletic, treetop-skimming martial arts, amazing swordplay and little blood, though strongly implied lethal wounds; Jet Li as anonymous lawman who tells king (Chen Daoming) how he stopped three would-be assassins; as he tells it, the story changes. Mildly implied sexual situation. In Mandarin with English subtitles.
"Mean Creek." Strong, well-acted teen tragedy limits its audience with overly profane, sexualized language; Rory Culkin as bullied middle-schooler whose teen brother (Trevor Morgan) plans a prank to teach the kid (Josh Peck) who has been harassing him; it turns disastrous, forcing the kids into major moral choices. Crude, explicit sexual language, homophobic slurs; profanity; muted violence; graphic description of parent's suicide; kids smoke pot, cigarettes, drink beer while driving; boy exposes himself -- camera shows only his backside. High schoolers.
"Exorcist: The Beginning." Bloody, violent, but oddly gripping prequel imagines earlier life of exorcist-priest Father Merrin (Stellan Skarsgard); embittered by World War II, he has left priesthood, but is asked to visit ancient church near an African village; he senses a demonic presence, saves a possessed child (Remy Sweeney). Disturbing, graphic images of Gestapo officer shooting children; boys attacked by hyenas, mutilated in tribal rituals; suicides; stillborn baby covered in maggots; soldiers and villagers in massacre; explicit sexual language, profanity; racial slurs. 17 and older.