A guide to movies from a family perspective:
Rise of the Guardians
-- Rated: PG.
-- Suitable for: Kindergartners and up.
-- What you should know: This is an animated adventure, being shown in 2-D and 3-D (as always, you pay extra and must wear the glasses throughout), about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Sandman and Jack Frost. They band together to stop an evil spirit from taking over.
-- Language: Nothing objectionable.
-- Sexual situations and nudity: None.
-- Violence/scary situations: The movie opens with a teenage boy falling through the water and recalling, "It was dark and it was cold and I was scared." After obviously drowning, he is immediately "reborn" as Jack Frost and a later scene shows he was ice skating with a younger sister when the accident happened. An evil character can turn children's dreams into nightmares, represented by amorphous black stallions. There are snowball fights and a wild sled ride that knocks out a boy's tooth.
-- Alcohol and drug use: None.
-- Rated: PG-13.
-- Suitable for: Mature tweens and older.
-- What you should know: This is a remake of the 1984 movie about a foreign invasion of the United States. This time, the invaders are North Korean and the backdrop Spokane, Wash., with a cast led by Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck and Josh Hutcherson.
-- Language: One F-word, a couple uses of profanity and two dozen milder expletives.
-- Sexual situations and nudity: Couples kiss, but that's about it.
-- Violence/scary situations: The sky fills with invading planes, at least one of which crashes and sets a house on fire. People are shot and wounded or killed, imprisoned or subjected to checkpoints. Also features wild chase scenes, deadly explosions, people and strongholds under attack or assault, shootouts and use of all manner of weapons and ammunition as high-school students are turned into instant soldiers.
-- Alcohol and drug use: In the early going, beer-drinking, mainly by Hemsworth's character, a Marine home on leave. A scene is set in the bar part of a restaurant.
-- Rated: PG-13.
-- Suitable for: Mature high-school students and older.
-- What you should know: This movie is 150 minutes long and very talky, although it's also a showcase for an outstanding Daniel Day-Lewis as President Abraham Lincoln. Directed by Steven Spielberg, it covers the period from January to April 1865 and tracks attempts to pass the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.
-- Language: The N-word, an F-word or two, about 10 instances of profanity and a handful of milder four-letter words.
-- Sexual situations and nudity: Nothing stronger than a brief kiss.
-- Violence/scary situations: The movie opens with a violent wartime battle and the president later pays a visit to a hospital with men wounded in the war. An onlooker outside is, understandably, dismayed and stunned by the sight of a mound of freshly amputated limbs.
-- Alcohol and drug use: Adults with what appears to be wine.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2
-- Rated: PG-13.
-- Suitable for: Mature teens, particularly if they've read the books or seen the other four movies.
-- What you should know: This is the final movie, starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, based on the Stephenie Meyer novels about vampires, werewolves and the occasional human. As the story opens, Stewart's character of Bella is a newborn vampire and new mother whose daughter is targeted by a rival coven with murderous intent.
-- Sexual situations and nudity: Newlyweds Bella and Edward (Pattinson) are shown in passionate poses, sometimes accompanied by partial nudity. There is brief talk about another couple and their sexual appetites. A young man starts to strip to his briefs before changing into a wolf.
-- Violence/scary situations: Lots, including beheadings and torchings of bodies. A vampire feeds on an animal and others, on humans (from the shadows). A vampire child is shown with a bloody mouth and mound of victims. Wolves are hurt or killed. The movie includes a massive, deadly fight scene between two opposing camps.
-- Alcohol and drug use: Nothing notable.
-- Rated: PG-13.
-- Suitable for: High-school students and older.
-- What you should know: This is Daniel Craig's third time as James Bond. He is drawn into the fallout from an unprecedented security breach, which sheds light on M's background and his childhood. It introduces new characters and says goodbye to some old ones.
-- Language: One F-word, at least two uses of "Christ" and maybe a half-dozen milder words.
-- Sexual situations and nudity: A man and woman are shown kissing in bed, and later a couple cozily share a shower behind steamed-up glass. Some banter could be read as containing double entendres.
-- Violence/scary situations: Lots, with breathless chases, a fight atop a speeding train, falls fatal and otherwise, deadly exchange of gunfire, dying or dead people, a spectacular public-transportation
accident, fatal explosions, an enormous fire and grim encounter with a Komodo dragon. The movie also dramatizes the death of a franchise stalwart.
-- Alcohol and drug use: Characters are shown (not always drinking) with whiskey, champagne, beer and, of course, a martini. At least one scene is set in a bar, another in a casino where drinks are served.