The A-Team

Directed by: Joe Carnahan Starring: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence throughout, language and smoking.

Sherlock Holmes

Directed by: Guy Ritchie Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, Kelly Reilly, Hans Matheson Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some startling images and a scene of suggestive material.

The Hangover

Directed by: Tod Phillips Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zack Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Heather Graham Rated: R for pervasive language, sexual content including nudity, and some drug material. Parental Note: This is not a film for kids. It’s gleefully vulgar and packed with adults behaving badly.


Written for the screen and directed by: Henry Selick Starring: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Keith David, John Hodgman, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Robert Bailey Jr., Ian McShane Rated: PG for thematic elements, scary images, some language and suggestive humor. Parental Notes: This is essentially a horror movie for kids. Know your child’s limitations, there are some seriously creepy themes and images in the film that may be too intense for younger children.

Gran Torino

Directed by: Clint Eastwood Starring: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Carley, Bee Vang, Ahney Her Rated: R for language throughout, and some violence. Parental Notes: This is not a film aimed at children. Mature teens may enjoy it, but youngsters should stay home. The violence is not glorified and excessive, but it’s not comfortably cartoonish either.


Written and Directed by: John Patrick Shanley Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Amy Adams Rated: PG-13 for thematic material. Parental Notes: Although there’s nothing on screen that might be problematic for young viewers, the subject matter (doubts about whether a priest is assaulting schoolboys) and the overall style of the film are inappropriate for youngsters.


Directed by: Ron Howard Starring: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Matthew McFayden, Oliver Platt, Sam Rockwell, Kevin Bacon Rated: R for some language Parental Notes: Most youngsters will probably be bored by this talk-heavy film, though there’s little objectionable here — very little violence (some footage of American involvement in Vietnam and Cambodia) and even less sexual content. Teens with interest in politics should definitely check it out, though — ideally with their parents. This film would make a great starting point for a discussion of the ramifications of Watergate.


Directed by: Clint Eastwood Starring: Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Jeffrey Donovan, Colm Feore Rated: R for some violent and disturbing content, and language. Parental Notes: This is a film aimed squarely at adults. There is some nastiness involving missing and murdered children which, while not graphic, renders the film unsuitable for youngsters — but children of that age would probably find the movie boring anyway.


Directed by: Ed Harris Starring: Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renée Zellweger Rated: R for some violence and language. Parental Notes: This is a very mild R, and I suspect it got that rating because of a sequence in which two naked people are seen from a distance, from behind, rather than because of a few instances of swearing and a couple of brief gunfights. Should be fine for mature preteens and teenagers.

The Dark Knight

Directed by: Christopher Nolan Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhardt, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and some menace. Parental Notes: This is a pretty hard PG-13 — I’d call it a borderline R. The makeup effects, psychotic characters, and thoroughly dark story make the film unsuitable for most youngsters.