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 +
The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement C
(G) _ The sequel to 2001's surprise hit continues the fairy tale of an American teenager (Anne Hathaway) growing into her destiny as ruler of a fictional European country. As was the first film, this one is squeaky clean and filled with delights for young female viewers.
Shark Tale B
(PG) _ DreamWorks aims for another Shrek-size animated hit with the story of a fish (voice of Will Smith) involved with an undersea mobster underworld. Mild profanity and crude humor are par for the course, but the film's portrayal of Mafia-style fish has drawn criticism from Italian-American groups.
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow A
(PG) _ Good old-fashioned fun patterned after 1930s serial adventures, a la Raiders of the Lost Ark. The science-fiction violence is bloodless and not especially frightening for children.
+ RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS +
First Daughter C+
(PG) _ Katie Holmes (Pieces of April) plays a U.S. president's daughter whose freshman year in college includes romance and danger. The MPAA rating is for mild profanity, brief sexual situations and alcohol-related material.
(PG-13) _ Firefighters are vividly portrayed as heroes in John Travolta's latest film, in which a new fireman (Joaquin Phoenix) is trapped in a burning building. The action sequences are intense, and a few profanities slip out under pressure.
Napoleon Dynamite C-
(PG) _ This low-budget comedy may strike a chord with social outcasts, such as its hero (Jon Heder), a painfully awkward high school student. The jokes are mostly at his expense, the profanity is mild, and a few jokes concerning his brother's door-to-door sales job are risque. Recommended for ages 12 and older.
+ NOT RECOMMENDED +
Alien Vs. Predator
(PG-13) _ Two of the grisliest creatures from R-rated horror films are defanged just enough to earn a PG-13 rating and the child audience that comes with it. There's still plenty of violence, scary special effects and profanity to give parents, if not their children, nightmares.
Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid D
(PG-13) _ Explorers searching for the flower of youth meet a bunch of giant snakes. That means action violence, skin-crawling images (especially for viewers afraid of snakes) and bad words people often say when they are scared.
(PG-13) _ Kim Basinger stars in a kidnap thriller that may be too intense for younger viewers. The MPAA also cites violence, profanity and sexual references as reasons for the rating.
(PG-13) _ A basketball player (Quran Pender) signs a pro contract and invites the neighborhood to celebrate at his new mansion, creating cross-cultural humor along the lines of TV's Method and Red. The MPAA rating cites "drug content, sexual references and language."
The Forgotten B
(PG-13) _ Small children will likely be creeped out by a mother (Julianne Moore) searching for a missing son who may have never existed. Pervasive themes of insanity and danger, plus brief violence and profanity, make this thriller more appropriate for teenagers and adults.
Mr. 3000 B-
(PG-13) _ Bernie Mac's cutting-edge humor, with profanity and sexual references, makes this baseball-themed comedy questionable for younger viewers.
Vanity Fair B
(PG-13) _ This lavish adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's 19th century novel doesn't contain any role models, and the era generally won't appeal to younger tastes, anyway. Only a dash of sensuality and a brief, comical shot of rear nudity, but teenagers dying to see what Reese Witherspoon does next will be interested.
Wicker Park C-
(PG-13) _ Josh Harnett plays an investment banker obsessed with following a woman who may be his former lover, which doesn't sit well with his fiancee. The MPAA rating cites "sexuality and language."
(PG-13) _ Spider-Man made Kirsten Dunst popular with young viewers, but this romance with a professional tennis backdrop is more mature, with profanity, sexuality and partial nudity.