The Pirates! Band of Misfits (PG). Much of the humor in this animated comedy will, alas, go over kids’ heads. Yet there’s little in the film that is inappropriate for those 10 and older, save a lone line uttered by the Pirate Captain, who reminisces about how he used to enjoy running people through and killing babies. The Pirate Captain and his merry crew are headed to Blood Island so the Captain can enter the Pirate of the Year contest. He encounters a scientist named Charles Darwin, who notes that the Captain’s pet Polly is actually a rare dodo bird. Darwin brings the Captain and his crew to London for a science contest and things get quite out of hand.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The dialogue includes very mild sexual innuendo, as with a character named “The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate.” A few mild curses such as “hell’s barnacles!” are heard. A subplot about rich people who like to eat the meat of rare, exotic animals could disturb kids.
Marvel’s The Avengers. Most teens and lots of tweens will enjoy this witty, raucous ride, which doesn’t push PG-13 boundaries much at all. Joss Whedon’s eardrum-blowing, property-destroying mash-up keeps humor and characterization simmering nicely, amid the 3-D, special effects and mayhem. The villain, Loki, invades the secret Earth-protection agency S.H.I.E.L.D. and grabs a renewable energy Cosmic Cube. He aims to use it to subjugate humankind. Nick Fury, leader of S.H.I.E.L.D., puts out the call to superheroes, asking them to set aside their egos and defeat Loki and the invading army he aims to unleash.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The mayhem rarely gets graphic. Natasha is smacked hard by Russian “interrogators.” Loki warns Natasha that he’ll kill her “slowly, intimately.” The rest of the violence involves arm-bending, neck-cracking, head-banging, body-hurling fights, as well as massive property destruction in car chases and aerial dog fights. Younger audience members may recoil to see Bruce Banner morph into the Incredible Hulk. The exploding arrows shot by Hawkeye aim for eyeballs, but not graphically. There is mild sexual innuendo.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Here’s the film that parents and grandparents can enjoy while the kids give their eyes and eardrums a workout at “The Avengers.” That noted, there’s nothing in “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” that’s inappropriate for high-schoolers, though some of the mildish innuendo about elder-sex could make middle-schoolers cringe. A passel of geezers leave England for India to spend their twilight years in a hotel in Jaipur. The rundown place was heavily photo-shopped by the host, the charming but disorganized Sonny Kapoor. Director John Madden does a lovely job tracing the separate stories, yet giving the film narrative cohesion.
The bottom line: The dialogue includes rare profanity, including one nonsexual use of the F-word. There is considerable sexual innuendo, most of it mild, but some of it bawdy for a PG-13. One comic scene with mild sexual content includes implied nudity. Maggie Smith’s character, without using actual racial slurs, is clearly racist in the beginning and uses nasty stereotypes.
Think Like a Man. This is an adult romantic comedy despite the PG-13 rating, and better suited to high-schoolers and grown-ups. Parents may find it too sexually charged and occasionally profane for middle-schoolers. Based on comedian Steve Harvey’s advice book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” it follows the romantic follies of several men and women who have key problems in their relationships. The women get copies of Harvey’s book and start using his advice to trick the men into stepping up. Then the men get the book and try to fight back.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The movie includes several steamily implied but non-explicit sexual situations, implied drug use, moderate drinking, midrange profanity and a lot of sexual innuendo.
The Lucky One. Teen girls (and their moms) are the target audience for this romantic drama, based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, and they’ll like it just fine. Logan believes that the photo of an unknown woman he found somehow saved him in Iraq. He traces the photo to Beth, a divorcee who runs a kennel in Louisiana and lives with her 7-year-old son, Ben, and her grandmother. Logan can’t bring himself to tell Beth why he’s there.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Scenes depicting violence in the Iraq War, threats by a jealous ex-husband and strongly implied sexual situations make the film iffy for preteens. The film includes a couple of strongly implied sexual situations, which involve bare bottoms. Characters occasionally use barnyard epithets and get drunk and belligerent. A character’s apparent drowning is not graphic.
The Five-Year Engagement. Too sexually explicit and comically profane to recommend for under-17s, “The Five-Year Engagement” is nevertheless a deeply humane and refreshingly comedic take on the difficulties of love. Tom is a gifted San Francisco sous chef. Violet is a budding psychologist. It was love at first sight. She gets an offer from the University of Michigan, and they postpone their wedding. Tom gamely follows her there but hates it and sinks into a depression. It takes the five years of the title for the two to realize they need to be together.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A child accidentally fires a loaded crossbow, and Violet gets an arrow in the thigh. Tom shoots a couple of deer on hunting trips. The film includes a couple of very explicit sexual situations and language, and an instance of nonsexual, back-view nudity. firstname.lastname@example.org
Horwitz is a freelance writer.