Starring: Susan Sarandon, Goldie Hawn, Geoffrey Rush Directed by: Bob Dolman Rated: R for language, sexual content and some drug use. Parental Notes: the content of this film is probably inappropriate for younger teens, but older teenagers, particularly girls, will doubtless get a kick out of the idea that women their Mom’s age can still rock the house.
Starring: Robert DeNiro, James Franco, Frances McDormand, Eliza Dushku Rated: R for language, drug use and some violence. Parental Notes: The violence and drug use in this film are brief but powerful, and the overall tone of faint hope in the midst of despair may make it too intense for younger teens.
Directed by: Andrew Niccol Starring: Al Pacino, Catherine Keener, Jason Schwartzman Rated: PG-13 for some sensuality Parental Notes: “Simone” is a film that will probably go over the heads of youngsters, but older teens may appreciate its mockery of the Hollywood machine.
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan Starring: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Abigail Breslin, Rory Culkin, Cherry Jones Rated: PG-13 for some frightening moments Parental Notes: “Signs” is aimed at the adult crowd, and more mature teens may enjoy it. Youngsters will likely find it alternately dull and terrifying, as some of the more suspenseful scenes are quite intense.
Directed by: Ellory Elkayem Starring: David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra, Scarlett Johannson, Leon Rippy Rated: PG-13, for sci-fi violence, brief sexuality and language. Parental Notes: There’s not much here to distress parents of older preteens and teenagers. Some sequences may be frightening to small children, but the violence is mostly cartoonish rather than truly frightening.
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Lara Flynn Boyle Director: Barry Sonnenfeld Rated: PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and some provocative humor. Parental Notes: Like the first film, “Men in Black II” is primarily aimed at teens and sci-fi fans. Younger children may find some sequences too intense, but the violence is very cartoonish and completely lacking in gore.
Stars: Tom Cruise, Max von Sydow, Samantha Morton, Colin Farrell Directed by: Steven Spielberg Rated: PG-13 for violence, brief language, some sexuality and drug content. Parental Notes: This film contains some scenes that children and younger teens will likely find far too intense to watch, in particular a scene in which a character’s eyes are removed surgically (mostly off-screen).
Starring: John Turturro, Clea DuVall, Alan Arkin, Matthew McConaughey Directed by: Jill Sprecher Rated: R for language and brief drug use. Notes for Parents: This is a film most pre-teens will find uninteresting, although it isn’t particularly inappropriate for them. Indeed, “Thirteen Conversations” would make a great starting point for a long discussion with a more philosophically minded teen.
Directed by: Christopher Nolan Starring: Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hillary Swank Rated: R Notes for Parents: Although “Insomnia” has only a few moments of violence, its themes and intellectual suspense make it inappropriate for younger teens.
Directed by: George Lucas Stars: Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Christopher Lee Rated: PG for action/violence Notes for Parents: Like the other Star Wars films, this is a kid-friendly action flick. Although younger children might find the aliens too frightening and the action sequences too intense, older kids and teens will probably like it.