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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 +

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.

Ladder 49

(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.

Cellular D

(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.

The Cookout

(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."

Wimbledon B

(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.

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