Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers.
THE SMURFS 2
Rating: PG for some rude humor and action
What it's about: More Smurf visits to the real world – Paris, this time – to foil the wizard Gargamel's plans to steal Smurf Essence.
The kid-attractor factor: Smurfs, doing Smurf-slapstick, Smurf singing, Smurf-punning.
Good lessons/bad lessons: "We rise to the amount of love we show," "It doesn't matter where you came from, what matters is who you choose to be" and "You never give up on family."
Violence: Pratfalls and slapstick, most of it involving a wizard and his cat
Language: Smurf innuendo, Smurf jokes
Sex: Smurf flirting, and not much of that
Parents' advisory: Aimed at very young children; suitable for all ages
Rating: R for some violence, language throughout and some drug use
What it's about: The last day in the life of a complicated young man shows both his promise and the past that won't let go of him.
The kid-attractor factor: A tragic depiction of a young life snuffed out too soon, and the circumstances that led to that.
Good lessons/bad lessons: Violence begets violence, and when people and police with guns make mistakes, they're often fatal ones.
Violence: A fistfight, an altercation with cops and a shooting
Language: Lots of profanity Sex: Suggested
Drugs: Drug use and the drug trade form a backdrop.
Parents' advisory: An important film for older teenagers to see, suitable for 15-and-up.
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, some sexuality and language
What it's about: The ever-haunted Wolverine revisits Japan and remembers a horror from his past and an old debt.
The kid-attractor factor: Wolverine, the coolest X-Man by far, battling sword-slinging ninjas
Good lessons/bad lessons: All good soldiers seek "an honorable death."
Violence: Much blood is spilled; slashings, shootings, stabbings
Language: Wolverine curses, when the need arises.
Sex: A menage a trois is interrupted.
Parents' advisory: Quite violent, this one pushes the PG-13 boundaries. OK for 12-and-up.
THE WAY, WAY BACK
Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements, language, some sexual content and brief drug material
What it's about: A put-upon teen learns about life at his first summer job, at a water park.
The kid-attractor factor: Kids in love, adults behaving badly, Sam Rockwell stealing the show.
Good lessons/bad lessons: Role models come in unexpected shapes and sizes.
Language: A smattering of profanity
Sex: Hints of infidelity, older men leering at young women in swimsuits
Drugs: The adults indulge. The kids see it.
Parents' advisory:A bit raunchy and rude, but sweet and sentimental, too. Suitable for 12-and-up.
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief language
What it's about: Earth's governments and militaries adjust to a new threat, monsters, by building gigantic robots to battle them.
The kid-attractor factor: Did I mention the monsters and the robots?
Good lessons/bad lessons: "Fortune favors the brave, dude." And, "Vengeance is like an open wound."
Violence: A few human-on-human brawls, a small girl is terrorized. Mostly, it's just digital monsters vs. digital robots.
Language: Scattered curse words of the mildest kind
Sex: A shirtless moment here, a little cleavage there
Parents' advisory: As violent popcorn pictures go, this one skews young – suitable for 8-and-up.