Parents' guide to movies |


Parents' guide to movies

We rate the kid friendliness of summer films like ''Men in Black'' and ''Hercules''

Parents’ guide to movies


What It’s About: A New York police officer (Will Smith) teams up with an elite secret agent (Tommy Lee Jones) to save the planet from an intergalactic terrorist.

Will Kids Want to Watch It?: Older kids will; younger ones might want to wait for the animated TV series.

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Sex/Nudity: None

Drugs/Alcohol: None

Violence/Scariness: Comic-booklike fights between humans and aliens.

Objectionable Words/Phrases: About 35

What’s Good About It: Hilarious special effects in which aliens inhabit people’s bodies.

What’s Not So Good: Very young kids are likely to miss most of the hip references and deadpan humor.

Appropriate Ages: 8 and up


What It’s About: The legendary Greek strongman (voice of Tate Donovan) must prove he’s no musclehead when dad Zeus (Rip Torn) comes down from Olympus to put his heroism to the test.

Will Kids Want to Watch It?: With wisecracking characters, catchy tunes, and a savvy script, it can’t myth.

MPAA Rating: G

Sex/Nudity: None

Drugs/Alcohol: None

Violence/Scariness: The Saturday-morning cartoon kind.

Objectionable Words/Phrases: Two

What’s Good About It: The animation is Disney at its best, and you’ll have as good a time as your kids.

What’s Not So Good: Your strength will be sorely tested by an endless assault of merchandise tie-ins.

Appropriate Ages: 5 and up


What It’s About: The titular heroes (George Clooney and Chris O’Donnell) join forces with Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone) to battle Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman).

Will Kids Want to Watch It?: Yes! What better way to chill out on a hot summer afternoon?

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Sex/Nudity: Suggestive scenes with the seductive Poison Ivy.

Drugs/Alcohol: Grisly guys guzzle from bottles; social drinking.

Violence/Scariness: Beloved butler Alfred’s brush with death.

Objectionable Words/Phrases: Seven

What’s Good About It: When the guys are down, Batgirl shows up.

What’s Not So Good: There’s little substance under the flashy style.

Appropriate Ages: 8 and up


What It’s About: Julianne (Julia Roberts) plots to break up the impending marriage between old friend Michael (Dermot Mulroney) and his flighty fiancee (Cameron Diaz).

Will Kids Want to Watch It: Older girls, in particular, will say ”I do.”

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Sex/Nudity: None

Drugs/Alcohol: Lots of social drinking.

Violence/Scariness: None

Objectionable Words/Phrases: About 15

What’s Good About It: Julianne’s conniving antics don’t pay off the way she wants.

What’s Not So Good: Julianne’s cigarette habit.

Appropriate Ages: 10 and up


What It’s About: Twelve-year-old Marshall (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) and his two older brothers take a cross-country journey to film nature’s most elusive and dangerous creatures.

Will Kids Want to Watch It?: They’ll be fascinated by this fact-based story of the Stouffer brothers.

MPAA Rating: PG

Sex/Nudity: Coed skinny-dipping off screen.

Drugs/Alcohol: Teens share a flask.

Violence/Scariness: The brothers’ lives are imperiled by alligators, bats, grizzly bears, and river rapids.

Objectionable Words/Phrases: About 25

What’s Good About It: The boys’ commitment to shoot endangered animals with cameras, not guns.

What’s Not So Good: This offbeat family film could get lost among the summer aliens and special effects.

Appropriate Ages: 6 and up