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Family Movie Guide

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. Compiled by St. Petersburg Times film critic Steve Persall.

RECOMMENDED

Finding Nemo A

(G) _ The newest Pixar animated film will be as thrilling for children and entertaining for adults as the studio's previous hits, Toy Story and its sequel and Monsters, Inc. The story of a father clownfish (voice by Albert Brooks) searching the seas for his lost son contains a few moments of peril that may briefly scare kids, but overall the movie is good, clean _ and smart _ fun.

Rugrats Go Wild! B-

(PG) _ Nickelodeon combines two of its most popular television franchises for a feature film: the precocious toddlers of Rugrats and the adventurous family from The Wild Thornberrys. Fans of the programs will expect the mildly crude "ick"-factor humor that earned the MPAA's rating.

Sinbad: Legend

of the Seven Seas C

(PG) _ Swashbuckling action violence abounds, and some sea creatures are momentarily scary, but the most objectionable aspect of DreamWorks' latest animated feature is its reliance upon creaky 2-D animation practices that look dull in these days of computer-generated delights such as Finding Nemo. Brief sensuality, a few crude jokes and a comical glimpse of Sinbad's butt cheek.

RECOMMENDED

WITH RESERVATIONS

From Justin to Kelly

(PG) _ American Idol celebrities Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini parlay 15 minutes of fame into a full-length feature film. The plot _ a beach party romance in Miami _ is an excuse for the stars to sing. The MPAA rating results from racing hormones, sensuality and brief profanity.

Hulk B

(PG-13) _ Hulk is a moodier Marvel Comics hero, and Ang Lee's approach to Oedipal psychodrama may disturb (or bore) young viewers. Otherwise, the MPAA rating is due to the green monster's science fiction violence, disturbing images of his transformation and brief partial nudity when his alter ego, Dr. Bruce Banner (Eric Bana), grows out of his clothes.

The Italian Job C+

(PG-13) _ Moderate profanity, action violence (mostly car chases) and some sensuality provided by co-star Charlize Theron led to the PG-13 rating.

The League of Extraordinary

Gentlemen C-

(PG-13) _ A close call for recommendation, since the graphic action violence and creepy special effects associated with vampires, Dorian Gray, the Invisible Man and Mr. Hyde could be too intense for younger viewers. The project also lacks kid appeal, with graybeard Sean Connery leading a band of crimefighters from literary classics. Recommended for viewers over age 13, who might be inspired to read those novels.

Pirates of the Caribbean:

The Curse of the Black Pearl A-

(PG-13) _ Another popular Disney theme park attraction becomes a full-blown movie, with Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom doing battle with ghostly buccaneers. This is Walt Disney Pictures' first film release with a PG-13 rating, mostly because of macabre special effects and swashbuckling violence.

NOT RECOMMENDED

2 Fast 2 Furious B-

(PG-13) _ The sequel to 2001's surprise box office hit has more of the elements that made parents worry before: dangerous street racing in souped-up cars that should be performed only by professional drivers on closed courses, criminal violence that includes gunplay, moderate profanity and some sensuality. One torture scene involves a bucket, a rat and a blow torch. Kids shouldn't try any of this at home.

Alex and Emma C+

(PG-13) _ It took the MPAA longer than usual to determine a rating for Rob Reiner's romantic comedy. The result: PG-13 for sexual content (mostly a silhouetted tryst) and profanity. Judging from the preview, the story of an author (Luke Wilson) and his stenographer (Kate Hudson) writing a novel while acting out its romance in two separate centuries doesn't seem to have much kid appeal, anyway.

Bruce Almighty A

(PG-13) _ Jim Carrey's film about a self-centered man with powers on loan from God (Morgan Freeman) marks his return to crude comedy with numerous sexual references, moderate profanity (one f-word), a marijuana reference and a take on religion that may offend some parents.

Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle B

(PG0-13) _ The formula hasn't changed: Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu don provocative clothing and use sex appeal as a weapon. In fact, the formula has been intensified, with Demi Moore returning to screen in fine form and not a bit ashamed of it. Profanity is moderate, but sexual innuendo is keen. Don't forget the blast-'em-up action violence, either.

Dumb and Dumberer:

When Harry Met Lloyd D+

(PG-13) _ The prequel to 1994's Dumb and Dumber doesn't feature Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, but viewers can expect the same kind of toilet-level humor, sexually charged jokes and profanity that made the original film such a hit.

Hollywood Homicide C-

(PG-13) _ Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett co-star as detectives chasing the mass murderers of a hip-hop music group. Plenty of violence on their agenda, plus profane tough talk and sexual situations, including a kinky scene with Ford and Lena Olin.

Legally Blonde 2:

Red, White and Blonde C-

(PG-13) _ Reese Witherspoon returns as Elle Woods, an extremely fashion conscious Harvard graduate now working in Washington, D.C. The character is something of a role model for young women, socially aware and responsible, despite her outwardly ditzy personality. Perhaps even enough for parents to overlook the occasional sexual reference, which includes a spate of gay-themed humor.

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