7 and Older
"Herbie: Fully Loaded" (G). Cliched, charmless update of 1969's "Love Bug" and its offspring -- "Herbie Rides Again" (1974), "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977), "Herbie Goes Bananas" (1980) -- all Gs, is partly saved by Herbie's anthropomorphic cuteness; Lindsay Lohan stars as young woman from a NASCAR racing family who unwittingly rescues the gifted VW Bug, in all his headlight-winking, oil-spurting glory, from the scrap heap and races him against a villainous NASCAR champ (Matt Dillon). Mild sexual innuendo -- racecar driver demands photos of women who send him their phone numbers; Herbie's aerial goes up in a way adults (and some kids) may take as sexual when he sees a pretty VW Bug; his risky stunts could frighten little ones, especially when he seems scared.
8 and Older
"Rebound" (PG). Martin Lawrence swaggers and trash talks (in PG terms) his way through a haphazardly written but entertaining comedy about a hotshot basketball coach who is tossed out of collegiate sports for on-court tantrums and off-court celebrity antics; he is invited to coach the losing hoops team at his old junior high for good PR's sake; he learns humility from the 13-year-olds (all excellently acted) and their shy geekiness; they learn teamwork from him; one player (Oren Williams) has a pretty divorced mom (Wendy Raquel Robinson) who teaches at the school and keeps an eye on Coach Roy (Lawrence) to see he doesn't unleash his temper on the kids. Girl bully (Tara Correa) punches out anyone who irritates her; recurring vomit joke; mild sexual innuendo.
10 and Older
"March of the Penguins" (G). Enthralling, deeply touching French-made documentary (with English narration spoken by Morgan Freeman) chronicles a year in the lives of the brave emperor penguins of Antarctica; it skimps on facts in favor of an impressionistic narrative of the harrowing dangers and tragedies they face from weather, predators, fatigue and starvation as they trek hundreds of miles to complete their breeding cycle; a leopard seal chases after penguins underwater and it is implied that it catches one; a bird of prey grabs a penguin chick; adult penguins seem to grieve over dead chicks or a cracked egg, which means a dead embryo; a bereft mother tries to steal another's chick.
"Bewitched." Cleverly conceived update of classic 1964-72 TV sitcom; Will Ferrell as washed-up movie star who hopes to revive his career in a remake of the old series; Nicole Kidman as a real-life witch who wants to stop using her powers and lead a normal life; he spots her in a store, twitching her nose, and gets her to audition for Samantha, not knowing her secret; she gets the part and soon decides her childish co-star needs some comeuppance; with Michael Caine as her dad, Shirley MacLaine as the actress hired to play Samantha's mom, Endora. Insults using crude sexual slang in a nonsexual context; milder sexual innuendo; comic moment of implied nudity; joke about drug use; drinking; some parents will object to witchcraft theme on religious grounds. Tweens.
"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/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.