The Family Movie Guide should be used along with the Motion Picture Association of America rating system for selecting movies suitable for children. Only films rated G, PG or PG-13 are included in this weekly listing, along with occasional R-rated films that may have entertainment or educational value for older children with parental guidance. Films are categorized as "recommended" for family viewing, "recommended with reservations" and "not recommended" for family viewing, with a description of content that led to that categorization. Compiled by St. Petersburg Times film critic Steve Persall.
+ RECOMMENDED +
The Adventures of
Rocky and Bullwinkle B
(PG) No sex or nudity, and no violence that anyone can take seriously in this funny, nostalgic movie. Only one very mild profanity and a couple of rude comments. Children may not understand all of the cultural references skewered with puns and sight gags. This is for grown-ups, too.
Chicken Run A
(G) Why should parents cross the road? To get to the multiplex with their children to see this delightful movie. Doomed chickens stage a great escape _ much like those old World War II concentration camp movies _ with Mel Gibson voicing a heroic rooster. No profanity, sexual jokes or nudity, just every pun imaginable. Violence is mild slapstick with a dash of Indiana Jones tension along the way.
Mission to Mir B-
(Not rated, probably G) Spaceflight is a grabber for children, and this IMAX documentary blends textbook knowledge and zero-gravity stunts into a decent documentary. No profanity, nudity, sex or violence. Running only 40 minutes, the film and the massive IMAX exhibition process don't have time to lose children's attention.
WITH RESERVATIONS +
Bring It On C+
(PG-13) Teen girls may go gaga for this tale of a championship high school cheerleading squad's efforts to secure its title. Kirsten Dunst is likable as captain of the coed group, and so is a love interest played by Jesse Bradford and a new cheerleader portrayed by Eliza Dushku. The cheerleading sequences are as energetic as they ought to be. There's no nudity and just a sprinkling of profanity, but crude sexual remarks and gestures are abundant. And the filmmakers aren't exactly fighting against sexual objectification of young women. Not appropriate for the under-13 crowd.
Godzilla 2000 B
(PG) The new Godzilla movie revives good old-fashioned schlock with poorly dubbed dialogue, cheesy miniature sets being stomped and a crude monster with personality. Children unaccustomed to such low production values may be bored, or they may enjoy the campy fun. Sci-fi violence is constant but never frightening. Only one fatality is suggested in the mayhem. A few profanities are dubbed into the plot.
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps B+
(PG-13) Eddie Murphy is a lovelorn biology professor hanging out with his wacko family and battling his evil alter ego in this funny and sweet-natured but often rude and crude sequel to the 1996 hit. Murphy makes remarkable transformations, playing the title character and five other Klumps. The limited violence is slapstick, and there's no nudity, but the sexual innuendoes and bodily function references are relentless. Not appropriate for those under 10.
Space Cowboys B
(PG-13) Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner strike a blow for senior citizens as world-saving astronauts. Appeal is limited for youngsters beyond the third-act special effects. Moderate profanity, including one pantomimed f-word. Mild violence. Sutherland's character brings sexual humor to the mix. Comical rear nudity from the four sagging stars.
+ NOT RECOMMENDED +
Autumn in New York
(PG-13) Richard Gere and Winona Ryder share a tragic love affair defying age differences and terminal illness. Doesn't sound like anything children will be interested in watching. Profanity is occasional. No violence or nudity, but a couple of sensual scenes are included.
Coyote Ugly B-
(PG-13) Mamas and daddies, don't let your babies grow up to be coyotes. Not unless you don't mind them visiting a booze-soaked bar where customers leer at sexy women running the joint. The setting is the most obvious of several mature themes here. Profanity is relatively light for the PG-13 rating. No nudity or sexual intercourse, but extreme sensuality. Violence is limited to a mild brawl.
The Crew D
(PG-13) The problems of four senior citizen mobsters won't have much relevance for young viewers. Much of the humor is sexually charged and juvenile. Numerous profanities. Nudity (or costuming close to it) is a recurring, needless backdrop. Violence mostly occurs off-screen (including a shotgun blast to a corpse), played for weak laughs.
(PG-13) Plenty of locker room humor in this pro football farce, with special attention paid to exotic dancers who become cheerleaders when the league goes on strike. Numerous harsh profanities, plus bone-crunching violence in the game and practice scenes.
What Lies Beneath C
(PG-13) This ghost story steeped in adultery is too scary and risque for young children. Violence includes a bloody chase. Frightening images include drowning and a decomposed corpse. Profanity includes one f-word. No nudity, although one steamy scene and a few foreplay discussions are more than many parents will want to share with youngsters. Restless alert.