"Dr. Dolittle 2" (PG, 1 hour, 27 minutes)
The clever repartee of "Dr. Dolittle 2" seems designed to amuse parents and teens more than little kids and is mildly risque, despite its PG rating, and full of Seinfeldesque animal-human exchanges. It's far more entertaining than the cruder 1998 film, which was rated PG-13. "Dolittle 2" contains lots of animal toilet humor, jokes about neutering dogs and sexual innuendo that equates animal instincts with human lust. Many jokes will go over the heads of kids 6 to 10, but the film does offer enough accessible humor and enough cute animal behaviors to keep them at least smiling.
"The Fast and the Furious" (PG-13, 1 hour, 47 minutes)
Deafening and dumb, "The Fast and the Furious" is the kind of teen-oriented movie that gives adults migraines. However, car-crazy teens will probably be entertained by its spectacular 100-plus mph street racing with souped-up Japanese cars and characters who teeter on the wrong side of the law. "Furious" barely avoids an R-rating by toning down the effects of violence in close-ups. But it is violent, with drive-by shootings, other gunplay and fistfights, and contains profanity, misogynistic and racial slurs, strong sexual innuendo and a milder sexual situation.
"Startup.com" (R, 1 hour, 43 minutes)
High schoolers savvy about current events and economic news could find this documentary/cautionary tale about the rise and fall of an Internet company riveting. That's because it's about a couple of twenty-somethings who still look like kids. There are confessions, confrontations, hugs, accusations, tears, reflective moments. "Startup.com" contains enough profanity to warrant its R rating. It's tame, really, but likely to bore younger teens.
"The Anniversary Party" (R, 1 hour, 55 minutes)
A sophisticated film about childish adults, "The Anniversary Party" offers an inside view of life among successful folk in Hollywood. Mature high schoolers 16 and older may find this neat little ensemble film a revelation - not only for its fly-on-the-wall ambience but also for its anti-Hollywood aesthetic, shot on digital video. It's an authentic R: Characters take "recreational drugs" such as Ecstasy, drink, go topless and engage in a couple of steamy though nonexplicit sexual situations. A subplot involves drug overdoses and suicide. Beyond the ratings game
Kids 6 and older
"Atlantis: The Lost Empire," PG: Animated adventure about museum researcher who goes on underwater expedition, finds lost but living civilization of Atlantis. Scarier, more violent than most Disney 'toons; underwater attack robots like monster lobsters; gunplay, fights, though no injuries shown; giant cyborgs awaken; volcano erupts; character chain-smokes.)
"Shrek," PG: Computer-animated fractured fairy tale about bad-tempered ogre who goes on mission with talking donkey to free spellbound princess. Comic violence; fire-breathing dragon; toilet humor; visual gags with derrieres.
"Lara Croft: Tomb Raider": Angelina Jolie stars as aristocrat-adventurer who finds mysterious artifact sought by evil secret society in movie based on popular video game. Bloodless gunplay, fists, daggers; rare mild profanity; subtle sexual innuendo; brief hints of chaste seminudity.
"Evolution": David Duchovny, Orlando Jones, Julianne Moore as scientists tackling fast-evolving alien critters. Swearing; sexual innuendo; colorectal humor; character moons folks; gun violence; smoking. Phobic alert: Wormy aliens evolve into bugs, reptiles, apes, huge blobs. Iffy for nightmare-prone preteens.
"Moulin Rouge": Nicole Kidman as Parisian nightclub chanteuse circa 1899, Ewan McGregor as writer who loves her in postmodern musical. Strong sexual innuendo; prostitution theme; hallucinogenic effects of absinthe.
"The Animal": Rob Schneider in doofus comedy about timid police clerk who becomes hero after mysterious scientist mends him with animal parts after car crash. Much toilet humor; crude sexual innuendo; occasional mild profanity. Iffy for preteens.
"Pearl Harbor": Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett as U.S. pilots, Kate Beckinsale as Navy nurse who loves them in World War II epic. Largely nongraphic injuries; rare profanity; racial epithet; understated sexual situation; sailors' bare behinds; drinking.
"Swordfish": John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry in high-tech thriller about mysterious villain who recruits hacker to help transfer billions in government funds for special project. Explicit, often demeaning sexual situations; profanity; shootings, explosions, child held hostage; seminudity; drugs, liquor, cigarettes. 16 and older.