Parents' Guide

The Baltimore Sun


Rating -- PG-13

What it's about -- A ghost researcher and writer checks into a haunted hotel room in the middle of Manhattan and earns the scare of his life.

The Kid Attractor Factor -- Scary stuff, without the splatter gore of much of today's horror.

Good lessons/bad lessons -- The real horror is what you take into that haunted mansion with you.

Violence -- A little gore here and there, not as much as you'd expect from a Stephen King adaptation.

Language -- Occasionally a little raw, as people who see ghosts are prone to swearing.

Sex -- None.

Drugs -- Alcohol is consumed.

Parents' advisory -- More cerebral, literary-minded and jokey than much of today's hip horror, it's still spooky enough to warrant keeping away those 10 and younger.

Evan Almighty

Rating -- PG

What it's about -- A conservative congressman is anointed by God to build an ark for the coming flood.

The Kid Attractor Factor -- Steve Carell, lots of critters.

Good lessons/bad lessons -- Change the world, "one small random act of kindness at a time."

Violence -- Lots of on-the-ark job accidents.

Language -- Biblically clean.

Sex -- None.

Drugs -- None.

Parents' advisory -- A big-budget comedy that prides itself on being inoffensive.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Rating -- PG

What it's about -- The Four think about breaking up, only to face a peril that threatens the existence of the Earth.

The Kid Attractor Factor -- It's very comic-bookish; Chris Evans and Jessica Alba are easy on the eyes.

Good lessons/bad lessons -- "Cherish each moment."

Violence -- Lots of smackdowns and explosions.

Language -- Pushes that PG envelope.

Sex -- None.

Drugs -- None.

Parents' advisory -- This one's alright for 15-and-younger.

Nancy Drew

Rating -- PG

What it's about -- Old-fashioned girl sleuth moves to L.A. and tackles an old Hollywood murder mystery.

The Kid Attractor Factor -- A fun young cast, a winning Nancy Drew (Emma Roberts) and a sassy attitude.

Good lessons/bad lessons -- Don't judge a book, or the new kid in school, by its (her) cover.

Violence -- She's in peril from time to time.

Language -- Very clean.

Sex -- It's the other girls in school who dress like Britney.

Drugs -- None.

Parents' advisory -- Exceptionally family-friendly kids' whodunit.

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