FIRST DAUGHTER (PG, 104 minutes)
Girls ages 10 to 12 may find this an enjoyable romantic fantasy about growing up famous, despite its utter artificiality. Teenagers, however, may find this parable of a president's daughter and her difficult transition into college way too contrived. An able cast can't overcome the laborious script. "First Daughter" features considerable mild sexual innuendo for a PG, including references to getting "a little action." There are beer jokes and scenes of drunkenness. Under-10s may be startled by Secret Service emergency moves.
Katie Holmes plays Samantha, the romance- and freedom-starved daughter of the president (Michael Keaton) and first lady (Margaret Colin). They fly her to California on Air Force One to start college. Sam can't wait to escape the spotlight, but her roommate, Mia (singer Amerie), is a pop tart who gets her into embarrassing photo-ops that threaten Dad's reelection bid. Sam feels trapped by the Secret Service, the paparazzi and her public role until a dreamy upperclassman (Marc Blucas) appears.
THE FORGOTTEN (PG-13, 96 minutes)
Well acted and expertly constructed, with understated violence and an intriguing mystery at its core, "The Forgotten" plays like a good episode of the "Twilight Zone" TV shows of the 1960s. Though a relatively mild PG-13 by current standards, the movie better suits high schoolers. Its roiling emotions and tales of lost children and grieving parents may upset middle schoolers, let alone younger kids. There are startling scenes -- a sudden car crash, a fall from a window, a near-strangulation, people snatched off the Earth in a flash. The rating also reflects gunplay, a man beaten for information, drinking, rare profanity and mild sexual innuendo.
Julianne Moore plays Telly, a mother shattered by the loss 14 months earlier of her young son, Sam (Christopher Kovaleski), in a plane crash. Mementos start to vanish and her husband (Anthony Edwards) and therapist (Gary Sinise) tell her the memories are false -- she had no son. Telly cannot believe them. With the father (Dominic West) of a girl lost in the same crash, she chases down the bizarre truth while the feds chase her.
SHAUN OF THE DEAD (R, 99 minutes)
Thoroughly profane and gross as only flesh-eating zombie movies can be, this ingenious British spoof will delight savvy audiences 17 and older. It's inappropriate for younger high schoolers, or even older teenagers with weak stomachs. In addition to hordes of the undead munching ravenously on the living, the movie contains bloody violence against the zombies, profanity strong enough to strip paint, sexual innuendo, marijuana jokes, smoking, drinking and toilet humor.
Writer-director Edgar Wright gets his cast to work with deadpan precision and shows a neat visual sense with clever, high-speed transitions. He pokes fun at zombie flicks and guys who play video games, slurp beer and live like zombies. That would be protagonist Shaun (Simon Pegg), who spends so much time with his slob of a flatmate, Ed (Nick Frost), that his girlfriend (Kate Ashfield) dumps him. Shaun and Ed start to notice their London neighbors acting, well, undead. Can they make it to their favorite pub unbitten?