6 and Older
"Valiant" (G). Witty computer-animated 'toon about British homing pigeons serving king and country in World War II; kids will love the humor, adventure, vivid characters; older buffs will get the clever spoofs of 1940s films; Valiant (voice of Ewan McGregor), a pint-size pigeon, signs up for the Royal Homing Pigeon Service; swooping German falcons (Tim Curry as "Von Talon") try to attack his unit over France. Harrowing moments -- dodging antiaircraft fire, seeing a British plane crash, pigeons downed by falcons (no injuries shown); one pigeon fears falcons will have "our innards spread like jam on toast"; slapstick silliness -- bug-eating, belching the alphabet; mild sexual innuendo.
"The Cave." Underwater cave explorers encounter new species of predator in Romanian cavern -- a winged, slimy-toothed albino beast with reptilian features and "Alien"-esque pretensions in lightweight, negligible sci-fi thriller with actors who all look like models; cave interiors, diving footage are neat. Beast's swooping attacks are more impressionistic than graphic but with implied impalings, some blood; dead embryonic creatures; church crypt full of skulls; profanity. More for high schoolers.
"The Brothers Grimm." Terry Gilliam's occasionally ravishing but muddled, off-putting film imagines brothers Grimm (Matt Damon, Heath Ledger) traveling in early 1800s Germany as phony witch-hunters, arrested by French occupiers and ordered to find a village's missing children; they face real magic in the woods, echoing the tales they collect. Flying witches; huge flying wolves; tree roots grab people; swarming bugs, crows; children in deathlike trances; soldiers torture (not too graphically) prisoners; in gratuitous scene a kitten is killed by whirring blades off-camera, but with splattering; stabbings, shootings, attempted burnings, severed heads; rare profanity; mildly earthy sexual innuendo; crude humor; drinking. Not for preteens; iffy for some middle schoolers.
"Undiscovered." Pallid, cliched, wholly artificial showbiz romance about a top model (Pell James) and a struggling singer-songwriter (Steven Strait) caught in cynical Los Angeles music scene; skateboarding bulldog is cute. Brief, nonexplicit bedroom moment with kissing; understated hints of other trysts or offers of sexual favors among young singles; occasional profanity; drinking; model poses braless in a semi-sheer T-shirt.
"Red Eye." Tightly wound thriller with understated violence about woman (Rachel McAdams) who learns the cute guy (Cillian Murphy) next to her on a flight is a terrorist who'll have her father (Brian Cox) killed unless she calls the Miami hotel where she works and orders a government bigwig moved to a new room to enable an assassination. Mild mayhem includes gunplay, a throat stabbing, head-banging fights, white-knuckle turbulence; rare profanity; mild sexual innuendo; subtle verbal recollection of a sexual assault. Not for preteens.
Rs and an Unrated Film
"The Constant Gardener." Terrific multilayered thriller, based on John Le Carre's novel, about gentle British diplomat (Ralph Fiennes) in Kenya who tries to learn why his new wife (Rachel Weisz), a fiery advocate against exploitation of the poor by drug companies, was murdered. Relatively understated violence -- beatings, shootings, women and children attacked by marauding tribesmen; bloodied bodies in morgue; hanging victim cut down from tree, remark that he had been mutilated; steamy but nonexplicit sexual situation with partial undress; other sexual innuendo; semi-nudity; talk of baby dying at birth; strong profanity, drinking, smoking.
"Junebug." Beautifully observed bittersweet tale of cultural, spiritual worlds colliding; a former country boy (Alessandro Nivola) comes from the big city with his older, sophisticated, art-gallery-owner wife (Embeth Davidtz) to introduce her to his laconic dad (Scott Wilson), suspicious mom (Celia Weston), sullen kid brother (Ben McKenzie) and naive, ebullient sister-in-law (Amy Adams). Very explicit marital sexual situations; other slightly less graphic situations; rear view nudity; folk art with graphic depictions of male sex organs; woman going into labor; strong profanity; crude humor; themes of loss, grief; smoking. 17 and older.
"The 40-Year-Old Virgin." Steve Carell exudes un-ironic innocence in riotous, sometimes raunchy, but endearing sex farce about a guy who has never had luck with girls; film seems to say sex without love is soulless, but in one group therapy scene appears to okay teens trying everything except intercourse; strong sexual language, visual innuendo, comic talk of sex acts, including bestiality; brief semiexplicit excerpts of porn video with toplessness; other nonexplicit to mildly explicit sexual situations; strongly implied masturbation; comic bits about condoms, sex paraphernalia; other profanity; liquor, marijuana, drunk driving. 17 and older.