THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
Rating: PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.
What it’s about: A hobbit and his dwarf companions battle a dragon as they seek to rescue an ancient treasure.
The kid attractor factor: Hobbits. And Elves. With plenty of dwarfs and a wizard and dragon for good measure.
Good lessons / bad lessons: The smallest among us can turn out to be the toughest and most cunning.
Violence: Quite a lot of stabbings, throat slashings and decapitations.
Language: A teensy hit of Middle Earth profanity.
Sex: A joke about “what’s in my trousers.”
Parents’ advisory: The violence, fantastical and stylized, is a bit much, and it’s too long for the very young to sit through – OK for 10-and-up.
Rating: PG-13 on appeal for some strong language, thematic elements and sexual references
What it’s about: An elderly Irish retiree talks a disgraced ex-journalist into helping her find the son that nuns took from her and sold into adoption 50 years before.
The kid attractor factor: Judi Dench, old and spunky, Steve Coogan smirking, a true story of heartbreak and hope.
Good lessons / bad lessons: Forgiving people who should be begging for your forgiveness is a sign of a great soul.
Language: Nicely timed moments of profanity.
Sex: Frankly discussed, with a fairly graphic childbirth scene.
Drugs: A spot of alcohol is consumed, here and there.
Parents’ advisory: Unpleasant corners of Catholic history aside, this brand of heartwarming is suitable for 13-and-up.