6 and Older
"The Adventures of Sharkboy & Lavagirl in 3-D" (PG). Inventive digital video fantasy celebrates youthful imagination, yet despite pun-filled, literate script, grows quickly tedious, flawed by amateurish child actors, washed-out color in 3-D scenes; a daydreaming schoolboy (Cayden Boyd) sees his classroom invaded by superhero kids he made up in his dreams -- Sharkboy (Taylor Lautner) and Lavagirl (Taylor Dooley); 3-D effects begin as they take him to Planet Drool, an amusement park-ish place that he must save from Mr. Electric (George Lopez). Littler ones may find pop-out 3-D images scary, but film is mild, apart from a tornado and a giant who nearly eats the kids; subplots about a bully, troubled parents; a flatulence joke.
10 and Older
"Deep Blue" (G). Gorgeously filmed documentary footage of spectacular seascapes from around the world, culled from the cable series "Blue Planet," is big on music and sound effects, short on information. Harrowing -- though not graphic -- sequences show a baby whale stalked and hunted by sharks and other sea mammals killed by predators; true, it is the nature of things, but the film seems to exploit the violence a bit for drama; some blood shown.
"The Perfect Man" (PG). Sappy trifle features Hilary Duff in another perky teen portrayal as Holly, who invents an imaginary secret admirer to send her always-single mom (Heather Locklear) flowers and e-mails so she won't pull her daughters (Aria Wallace as the 7-year-old) out of school and change cities every time she breaks up with a loser. Subtly implied that both sisters were born out of wedlock; mild sexual innuendo, includes a man who hints he had a fling with two women, and Carson Kressley of TV's "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" as a bartender flirting with hard hats; Duff wears teen jeans that start near the bikini line.
"Rize." Fairly compelling documentary chronicles growth of competitive dance teams in South Central Los Angeles, offering inner-city kids a creative alternative to gangs, drugs; dancers working in what they call "clowning" and "krumping" styles are incredibly athletic, their movements expressing a mix of rage and joy; disappointing sense the kids are still not breaking out educationally. Some sexualized movements; discussion of one teen's father committing suicide, of other violent street deaths and of parents in jail or on drugs; losers at big dance battle contest act out a bit; some profanity.
"Batman Begins." Moody, expressionistic, well-made prequel traces troubled millionaire Bruce Wayne's (Christian Bale) path from a Hamlet-style funk to his crime-fighting Batman persona; still traumatized from childhood experiences of falling into a cave and being swarmed by bats, then witnessing the mugging and murder of his parents, the grown-up Bruce trains in Asia with a martial arts master (Liam Neeson), then returns to Gotham City still pondering vengeance vs. justice; a gangster (Tom Wilkinson), an evil shrink (Cillian Murphy) and a childhood sweetheart (Katie Holmes) all affect his choice; his butler, Alfred (Michael Caine), and a scientist (Morgan Freeman) from his dad's company help invent Batman. Flashbacks of childhood traumas are intense; non-gory martial arts fights, gunfire, swordplay; wormy hallucinatory images; mild profanity; drinking. Too slow or intense for some middle schoolers; not for preteens.
"The Honeymooners." Haphazardly conceived update of 1950s Jackie Gleason blue-collar sitcom has a contrived, feel-good story and none of the original's grimly comic, bickering edge about people who don't achieve their dreams; helped somewhat by comedic skills of Cedric the Entertainer as bus driver Ralph Kramden and Mike Epps as sewer worker Ed Norton. Muted sexual innuendo; rare profanity, semi-crude humor; Ralph and Ed bend the rules, cheat with few consequences. Teens.
"Mr. & Mrs. Smith." Clever satiric metaphor for man-woman relationships becomes soulless, superficial entertainment in amoral action comedy about professional assassins (Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt), married to each other but keeping secret what line of work they're in; years of lies have killed their union; it reignites after one is assigned to kill the other. High body count with relatively bloodless, stylized hits; gunplay, knife attacks, explosions; Jane Smith (Jolie) poses as a prostitute in dominatrix gear; other sexual innuendo, implied, nongraphic sexual situations (including premarital tryst); some profanity; drinking. Teens.