Rating: PG for some scary action
What it's about: A cowering family of cave men and cave women have to trek cross-country to safety when earthquakes destroy their home cave.
The kid-attractor factor: Wisecracking cave people, 3-D animation, funny animals
Good lessons/bad lessons: "Fear" may be what "keeps us alive," but a life with no risk is no life at all.
Violence: Slapstick, mostly
Language: A DreamWorks 'toon that is Disney clean.
Sex: Cave teens flirt
Parents' advisory: Mother-in-law jokes for the grown-ups, and feral toddlers and funny sloths for the kids. Suitable for all ages.
Rating: PG-13 for language and some sexual material
What it's about: An Ivy League admissions counselor discovers that the baby she gave up for adoption is now old enough to apply to her school. Old enough, but not qualified.
The kid-attractor factor: The odd way that some alternative schools teach is lampooned, and the curtain is pulled back on the arcane college admissions process.
Good lessons/bad lessons: More than grades and the economic class of the parents should play into whether a kid is admitted to a college.
Violence: A gun is brandished.
Language: A scattering of profanity
Sex: Hinted at.
Drugs: A suggestion of college partying
Parents' advisory: A romantic comedy in disguise, this one works better for kids in that "thinking about college" window of 13-and-up.
OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL
Rating: PG for sequences of action and scary images, and brief mild language
What it's about: A carnival magician is sucked by a tornado into the Land of Oz and a legend is born.
The kid-attractor factor: Flying monkeys, wicked witches and a lot of reminders of "The Wizard of Oz."
Good lessons/bad lessons: "Nothing's impossible, if you put your mind to it."
Rules to live by: "Show up. Keep up and shut up."
Violence: The menacing monkeys have been supplanted by scarier 3D baboons.
Language: Disney clean
Sex: A few smooches, a little leering, a little Mila Kunis in spandex
Drugs: Not a hint
Parents' advisory: Scarier and not nearly as adorable or musical as the original, but if your kids love "The Wizard of Oz," they'll get the jokes. Suitable for 8-and-up.
JACK THE GIANT SLAYER
Rating: PG-13 for intense scenes of fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief language
What it's about: A farm boy finds himself battling giants to rescue a princess thanks to his mishandling of some magic beans.
The kid-attractor factor: Fee. Fie. Foe. And Fum. In this case, giants eating Englishmen.
Good lessons/bad lessons: Truth can become legend. And "a princess is useless."
Violence: A very high body count knife fights, giants chomping down on people, very little blood, however.
Language: A couple of very mild oaths
Sex: A fairytale smooch
Parents' advisory: Entirely too loud and violent for the very young; suitable for 8-and-up.