"The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland" (G, 1 hour, 17 minutes)
"Sesame Street's" sweet baby monster, Elmo, gets selfish about his cuddly blanket, then loses it when it blows down the street into Oscar the Grouch, who tosses it into his trash can. Elmo dives after it, falling all the way to Grouchland in this really funny, coloring-book-bright adventure, which owes much of its plot to "The Wizard of Oz," though it's far less scary.
"Drive Me Crazy" (PG-13, 1 hour, 31 minutes)
High school kids win and lose at the dating game in this ever-so-slightly offbeat romantic comedy, which gets more interesting as it goes, and may ring truer to teen audiences than most such films. The rating covers mildly steamy kissing scenes, verbal sexual innuendo, occasional profanity, and teen characters drinking, smoking, spiking the punch, and stashing a bag of marijuana. A subplot refers to broken homes and absent or deceased parents. "Drive Me Crazy" isn't quite appropriate for pre-teens. In this case, the PG-13 rings true.
"Three Kings" (R, 1 hour, 51 minutes)
"Three Kings" is a wildly unusual action-adventure film, until it goes conventional at the end. For older high schoolers (it's too violent and profane for younger teens, though they may try to see it), it may be the first movie that gives them an idea how those in the Third World view American power. Director David O. Russell uses graphic violence to shattering effect, slowing down the gunplay. A mother is executed in front of her child, and there are scenes of torture.