"Space Jam" (PG, 1 hour, 19 minutes)

There are enough laughs and slam dunks here to delight starry-eyed basketball buffs 6 and up who'd go to see Michael Jordan do anything. In this case, he consorts with Warner Brothers Looney Tunes -- Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, et al. -- leading them to victory in a game of hoop against space aliens. (The tiniest tots may cower at first when the itty-bitty aliens turn into neon-colored monsters.) Yet despite its many enjoyable cartoon moments (the usual comic mayhem), innocent dialogue and nonsensical plot, "Space Jam" feels like a bloated sports shoe commercial. Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing and Mugsy Bogues do funny cameos and Jordan shows a relaxed, likable screen self. But kids should learn to recognize hype and "Space Jam" embodies it. If they like live characters mixed with animation, rent the infinitely superior "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (PG, 1988).

"The Mirror Has Two Faces" (PG-13, 2 hours, 5 minutes)

This "Mirror" won't reflect the lives of many teens, but some high schoolers will understand the longing for love that fires this contrived, cutesy, superficially (and forgettably) entertaining film. It's a romantic comedy about a pair of repressed middle-aged academics who enter into a platonic marriage only to find that passion steams up their vision. The rating, appropriate for the mildly sex-themed material, indicates rare but pungent profanity and a couple of steamy though non-explicit love scenes. Teens may enjoy picking apart the movie's apparent message that physical beauty isn't important, even while its frumpy heroine (Barbra Streisand, who also directed) makes herself over into a French-manicured seductress. Streisand plays (surprisingly unaffectedly) a plump romantic literature prof at Columbia and Jeff Bridges is the fusty math wonk whom she weds but doesn't bed. Guess what happens. Lauren Bacall as her vain, insensitive mother steals the show.[ ~ Beyond the ratings game

Fine for 8 and up:

"Larger Than Life," PG (Man inherits elephant in cute comedy. Occasional crude language, mild sexual innuendo. A parent's death discussed.)

"Dear God," PG (Con man working in post office starts answering letters to deity in funny, friendly comedy. Crude language, mild sexual innuendo, glaringly bad grammar.)

Say, 13 and up:

"Twelfth Night," PG (Gender confusion in Shakespeare's wise romantic comedy. For theater-loving teens.)

"William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet," PG-13 (Fast, furious Latino-inspired version works. Moderate gun violence; chaste love scene; Romeo takes pill that makes him pass out. Romantic teens love it.)

"Looking for Richard," PG-13 (Al Pacino discusses, performs Shakespeare's "Richard III." Great for stage-struck teens. Rare profanity; killings during play acted out.)

"High School High," PG-13 (Tasteless but funny spoof of films about idealistic inner-city teachers. Mild profanity, crude language; racial stereotyping; mild sexual situation, innuendo, partial nudity.)

"The Associate," PG-13 (Wall Streeter Whoopi invents mythical white male partner to get clients in clever but wan comedy. Mild profanity, sexual innuendo, nearly topless dancers, drag queen.)

R's of various types:

"Ransom" (Millionaire's son kidnapped in morally confusing thriller. Child shown in jeopardy. Bloody shoot-outs, strong profanity, semi-nudity. Teens.)

"Sleepers" (Men plan revenge against juvenile officers who abused them as boys in dismal saga. Implied sexual abuse not graphic but intense; gun violence; strong profanity; partial nudity. Older teens.)

Click here to see the comments. Add yours now!