Spirit Untamed (PG)

Age 8+

So-so story, strong girls in upbeat horse adventure; peril.

Spirit Untamed” is DreamWorks Animation’s reboot of their “Spirit” franchise (both “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron” and the popular “Spirit Riding Free” series). This feature-length adventure tells the story of how young Lucky Prescott (voiced by Isabela Merced) forms a bond with a wild stallion in the Old West. Expect scenes of peril, an early parental death (not shown on screen, but characters react) and kids making reckless choices to save Spirit and other wild horses from a band of thieves. The young characters face close calls and near injuries, as well as make some iffy choices — such as running away to help the wild horses. But ultimately the story affirms strong relationships, the importance of caring for animals and dear friends and the need for open communication between parents and kids. The all-star voice cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Julianne Moore, Mckenna Grace, and Andre Braugher. (87 minutes)

At area theaters.

The Conjuring (R)

Age 16+

Horror sequel is intense, but not as good as previous films.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” is the third “Conjuring” horror movie based on the “true case files” of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. It’s the eighth movie overall in the “Conjuring Universe” series. Violence is on par with other films in the franchise: Expect jump-scares, stabbing and slicing, lots of blood, characters hit with flying objects, a heart attack, scary demons and icky monsters, a sledgehammer attack and more. Couples kiss in more than one scene, and language includes a use of “s---,” a use of “hell” and exclamatory uses of “Jesus Christ,” and “God.” A supporting character drinks several beers and tries to get others to drink with him, and there’s dialogue about being “a drunk.” This movie is a little less effective overall than the previous films, but the characters and story make it worth a look for mature horror hounds. (112 minutes)

At area theaters; also available on HBO Max.

Rugrats (TV-Y7)


Age 6+

Charming reboot faithful to ‘90s cartoon classic.

This 2021 “Rugrats” reboot stays faithful to the 1991 original, just with 3-D characters. Like the original, the show is full of heart but also has some content that kids will probably find hilarious but may make parents raise an eyebrow. Angelica the toddler (voiced by Cheryl Chase) is still mean and manipulative and calls the babies “dumb” and other insults regularly. Twins Lil and Phil (Kath Soucie) are somewhat rebellious and very inclined toward potty humor and some rude language like “butt.” There are some sex- and substance-related jokes that may go over most kids’ heads (and will make adult viewers chuckle). The babies’ real and imagined adventures can be moderately scary, but the characters never feel like they’re in real danger. This show is about babies, but it’s definitely better suited for older kid viewers. (22-minute episodes)

Available on Paramount Plus.

Dog Gone Trouble (TV-Y7)


Age 8+

Peril, lots of potty humor in animated canine comedy.

Dog Gone Trouble” — about a pampered pooch named Trouble (voiced by Sean “Big Sean” Anderson) who ends up lost after a beloved owner (Betty White) dies — features dogs in peril. Younger kids may find Trouble’s predicament sad, if not a little scary. Animated skirmishes with other dogs, oncoming traffic, a menacing animal tracker seen one time with a gun, and a gang of dancing squirrels are more funny than frightening. The same goes for a short stint in the dog pound, where one inmate plays soulful prison music with his paws. Expect lots of bodily function humor, especially “nut” jokes and references. There’s a play on words that some kids might pick up on involving the confusion of “shed house” and “s---house.” Insults include “stupid,” “dumb,” “idiot,” “mutt,” “pipsqueak,” “punk” and “slimeball.” The film’s messages are that home is where the heart is, and love and family are more important than wealth and possessions. (88 minutes)

Available on Netflix.

Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. Go to commonsensemedia.org for age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites and books.