Directed by: Alejandro Agresti Starring: Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Christopher Plummer Rated: PG for some language and a disturbing image. Parental Notes: This is a fairly innocuous film for preteens and older kids. Young children might be a bit spooked by a sequence early in the film when a man is hit by a bus.
Directed by: Andrew Adamson Starring: William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley, Liam Neeson (voice), Tilda Swinton. Rated: PG for battle sequences and frightening moments. Parental Notes: Although the violence in the film is not graphic, there are many frightening moments (the bombing of London, battles between armies, the children are chased by wolves, etc.) and the battle sequences are sweeping and intense. This film will likely enchant older children, but preschoolers and Kindergarteners may find it too scary.
Directed by: Tim Burton Starring: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, David Kelly, Missi Pyle, Deep Roy, Annasophia Robb, Julia Winter, Jordan Fry, Philip Wiegratz Rated: PG for quirky situations, action and mild language. Parental Notes: Although some of the events may unsettle very young children, this is overall a great kids’ movie. It’s a morality tale, where the good are rewarded and the bad are punished, and it’s quirky enough to keep that predictability from making it dull. Even better, there’s plenty here to make it worth seeing for parents too.
Directed by: Ken Kwapis Starring: Amber Tamblyn, Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, Blake Lively, Jenna Boyd, Bradley Whitford, Mike Vogel, Michael Rady Rated: PG for thematic elements, some sensuality and language Parental Notes: This is a film aimed squarely at teen and pre-teen girls, and although it has moments to make adults roll their eyes, the girls will almost certainly enjoy it. Fans of the book may be irked by some of the changes but it is largely a spot-on adaptation of the novel.
Directed by: Marilyn Agrelo Starring: The kids and teachers of P.S. 150, P.S. 115, and P.S. 112 in New York. Rated: PG for some thematic elements. Parental Notes: This is a good kids film, provided the kids in question are interested in dancing, New York, or some other element of the film. There’s no action or suspense and nothing objectionable. Indeed, watching how these kids take to ballroom dancing might be an inspiration for kids in the audience to try it. It’s hard to imagine hundreds of New York public school fifth graders learning to ballroom dance every year, but that’s just what has happened since American Ballroom Theater started its Dancing Classrooms program a decade ago. Now, skilled teachers spend ten weeks teaching fifth graders the meringue, the rumba, the tango, the foxtrot, and swing dancing. “Mad Hot Ballroom” follows three schools on their journey from the first weeks of the program through the
Directed by: Danny Boyle Starring: Alex Etel, Lewis McGibbon, James Nesbitt, Daisy Donovan Rated: PG for thematic elements, language, some peril and mild sensuality Parental Notes: This is a sweet film for all ages. Youngsters may be a trifle distressed by the villain, who is a menacing fellow, but there’s almost no actual violence and the “mild sensuality” of the rating involves the sexual tension between the boys’ father and his new girlfriend. We see the two of them wake up in bed together, but nothing explicit.
Directed by: Brad Silberling Starring: Emily Browning, Liam Aiken, Jim Carrey, Timothy Spall, Meryl Streep, Billy Connolly Rated: PG for thematic elements, scary situations and brief language. Parental Notes: Although not all kids will like the film, there
Directed by: Jon Turtletaub Starring: Nicholas Cage, Harvey Keitel, Sean Bean, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight, Justin Bartha Rated: PG for action violence and some scary images. Parental Notes: This film is fairly innocuous for preteens, with little innuendo and fairly bloodless violence.
originally written for The Milpitas Post Directed by: Brad Bird Starring the voices of: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Spencer Fox, Jason Lee, Samuel L. Jackson Rated: PG for action violence. Parental Notes: This movie has plenty of things to entertain adults but nothing to make it inappropriate for all but the youngest kids. Some of the action scenes may be a bit too intense for little children, but kids eight and up will almost certainly love it.
Originally written for The Milpitas Post Directed by: Jean-Jaques Annaud Starring: Guy Pearce, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Freddie Highmore, Oanh Nguyen, Vincent Scarito Rated: PG for mild violence. Parental Notes: Although young children (and animal lovers) may find some scenes too heart wrenching to watch, this is a good film for anyone who enjoys tigers and doesn’t mind putting up with a badly-constructed plot.