"The Incredibles" (PG, 1 hour, 55 minutes)
Members of a close-knit family of comic-book-style superheroes defeat villains and, between battles, solve their own hilarious human problems and find their greatest strength within one another. "The Incredibles" is an ingenuous concept for an animated feature and a cool piece of entertainment. Unlike such G-rated Pixar films as "Toy Story" (1995), "Monsters, Inc." (2001), and "Finding Nemo" (2003), "The Incredibles" earns its PG for good reason: It contains harrowing action sequences and animated violence that too closely emulate live-action films to be dismissed as mere "cartoon" mayhem. This makes the film more appropriate for kids 7 and older. (It also drags a bit in its overlong third act.) Such kids will get more the film's multilayered humor, though there are bits that will tickle only older teens and grown-ups, as it should be with a family film.
There are scenes that show an attempted suicide jump, gunplay, an evil bomber (named Bomb Voyage, actually), a killer robot shaped like an octopus, its mechanical arms smashing at foes, a superfast superhero boy chased by lethal flying discs, a volcano seething with molten lava, the captured superhero dad given electric shock, missile attacks against the superheroes' plane, a scary parachute escape, and the brief kidnapping of a seemingly helpless, crying superhero baby.
"Alfie" (R, 1 hour, 43 minutes)
This remake of the 1966 British film that made Michael Caine a star updates the original and moves the adventures of the cockney womanizer from London to modern Manhattan. It feels dated anyway. The new "Alfie" is a big Hollywood film that tries to be edgy like its low-budget predecessor, but instead bogs down in cute. Yet high-schoolers 17 and older who like star Jude Law may also like "Alfie" because it tries so hard to look good.The movie includes explicit sexual situations, some with partial nudity, and bristles with slangy (though not especially crude) verbal sexual language ("shagging birds") and innuendo. There are subplots about male sexual dysfunction, bipolar disorder, a cancer scare and a planned abortion for an out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Profanity, marijuana use, drinking and smoking are the other, milder mature elements.
"Ray" (Jamie Foxx stars as music legend Ray Charles. Tough scenes of drug abuse; graphic drug-withdrawal sequence; steamy scenes before and after implied sexual situations; much sexual innuendo; racial slurs; profanity; out-of-wedlock pregnancy; liquor, cigarettes. High-schoolers.)
"The Grudge" (Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as social worker trainee in Tokyo who enters a house haunted by chalk-faced specters in remake of confusing Japanese horror hit "Ju-On: The Grudge" (R, 2003). Not overly graphic, but themes of violence, revenge too intense for middle-schoolers; sometimes bloody ghosts suck breath from victims; dead body swings from rope; corpse falls from attic; suicide jump; understated sexual situation; smoking. High-schoolers.)