Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers.
RISE OF THE GUARDIANS
Rating: PG for thematic elements and some mildly scary action
What it's about: The "Guardians of Childhood," a.k.a. Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc., struggle to keep the boogeyman from ruining childhood.
The kid attractor factor: It's animated and it has Santa, elves and a holiday theme (sort of).
Good lessons/ bad lessons: Belief in magic and the supernatural is an important part of childhood.
Violence: Stylized, animated, some chilling effects
Language: A DreamWorks movie that is Disney clean.
Parents' advisory: Kids who read "The Guardians of Childhood" book may get more out of this than kids, and adults, who didn't. Suitable for all ages.
TWILIGHT: BREAKING DAWN PART 2
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity
What it's about: Bella's half-vampire baby is growing up, and that has the other vampires nervous.
The kid attractor factor: Those teen vampires Bella and Edward have settled down and started a family. And have to fight to protect it.
Good lessons/ bad lessons: Even hardened enemies can be reasoned with, if they see the consequences of their stubbornness.
Violence: More than the other "Twilight" movies. Vampires, wolves and humans die.
Language: A scattering of mild profanity
Sex: Nothing very graphic, though there is some skin.
Parents' advisory: If they've seen the earlier "Twilights," this one won't hurt them. Suitable for 13-and-up.
Rating: PG-13 for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language
What it's about: Abraham Lincoln and his fractious cabinet try to rally congressional support for an amendment to end slavery.
The kid attractor factor: A valuable history lesson about the messiness of government and a very human portrait of a sainted president.
Good lessons/ bad lessons: In politics, even the noblest ideals have their detractors.
Violence: Some gruesome Civil War combat.
Language: A scattering of period-appropriate profanity, racial slurs.
Parents' advisory: Even if their school isn't assigning this, there's a lot to be said for rounding the kids up and letting them absorb a little Civil War history suitable for 10-and-up.