Parent's Little Helper


What it's about: Overprotective police chief dad escorts teen daughter on her visits to prospective colleges in this Martin Lawrence comedy.

Kid Attractor Factor: Raven-Symone sings and dances and engages in mild pre-college high jinks.

Violence: A tasering or two.

Language: Disney mild.

Sex: None.

Drugs: None.

Parents advisory: The cleanest film Martin Lawrence has ever been in. As to whether he's funny in it, well ...


What it's about: A nerdy elephant hears a noise from a tiny dust speck and comes to understand that there's a whole civilization living on that dust speck, one he must protect.

Kid Attractor Factor: Lovely animation from the folks who made the "Ice Age" movies, and who doesn't love Dr. Seuss?

Violence: A vulture and assorted chimps try to do in the dust speck.

Language: Clean as Jim Carrey can make it.

Sex: None.

Drugs: None.

Parents advisory: The longer treatment of this terrific and lean

Dr. Seuss book gives you a deeper appreciation of all the ideas about tolerance, the fragility of life and being willing to hold unpopular opinions when you're morally right.


What it's about: Bullied middle-class high-schoolers pool their cash to hire a bodyguard, who turns out to be a homeless con artist.

Kid Attractor Factor: Smartmouthed (and foul-mouthed) kids, Owen Wilson in droll doofus mode and a story line that will resonate with any high-schooler -- bullying.

Violence: Some brutal beatdowns.

Language: Some profanity.

Sex: The homeless guy is hot for teacher.

Drugs: None.

Parents advisory: A somewhat crude and rude updating of that age-old teen movie theme, bullies and how to cope with them.


What it's about: A teen with a violent temper gets more than he bargained for when he moves to a new school where no-holds-barred mixed-martial-arts fighting is a part of the culture.

Kid Attractor Factor: Good-looking young people beating the snot out of one another.

Violence: Plentiful.

Language: Some profanity, not gratuitous.

Sex: Make-out moments, kids in bikinis.

Drugs: Alcohol is consumed by teenagers.

Parents advisory: It's a violent martial-arts drama for kids about facing your demons and overcoming bullies, if not your anger. The important phrase? "Violent martial-arts drama."


What it's about: A plucky little island-dwelling girl's dad is lost at sea, so she e-mails a famous adventure writer to come help her find him. But the adventure writer is no adventurer herself.

Kid Attractor Factor: Abigail Breslin, a cute lizard, a cuter pelican and a cuter-still sea lion, all battling obnoxious tourists on a South Sea island.

Violence: Sharks, rock-climbing accidents, slapstick stuff.

Language: No profanity. The ratings board fibbed.

Sex: Hand-holding in the South Seas. Sigh.

Drugs: Umbrella drinks are served.

Parents' advisory: A very entertaining kids fantasy about growing up on a desert isle with friendly critters. Adults may go for the spectacle of seeing Jodie Foster upstaged by a sea lion.


What it's about: A guy who ditched his pregnant girlfriend at the altar years before takes on running a marathon to impress her and his son when she takes up with another man.

Kid Attractor Factor: "Shaun of the Dead's" Simon Pegg doing lots of rude physical comedy.

Violence: Not really.

Language: Some profanity.

Sex: A comical nude locker room scene, some discussion of sex.

Drugs: Cigarettes, beer.

Parents advisory: Pretty mild stuff, as modern comedies go. What's the worst that could happen -- the kids take up marathoning?

21 — PG-13

What it's about: Math whizzes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology team up to break the bank in Vegas in this drama based on a true story.

Kid Attractor Factor: Young people partying, making out and getting rich playing cards.

Violence: A beat-down. Vegas casinos don't like to be "cheated."

Language: Not that rough.

Sex: Implied.

Drugs: Lots of drinking, some smoking.

Parents advisory: The lesson that only a sucker gambles is implicit, and while the film doesn't touch on gambling as addiction, it doesn't really glamorize gambling, placing an emphasis on its personal cost.

27 DRESSES — PG-13

What it's about: A woman who has spent her life being the "perfect bridesmaid" begins to wonder if love will ever find her, just as she meets a cynical, smartmouthed newspaper wedding reporter.

Kid Attractor Factor: Katherine Heigl and James Marsden are the bickering wedding-goers in this romantic comedy.

Violence: None.

Language: Heigl, of "Knocked Up," still remembers how to cuss.

Sex: Hinted at, implied.

Drugs: A boozy night of karaoke.

Parents advisory: Not a bad date movie for teens, with good messages about friendship, selflessness, cynicism and love.


What it's about: An illegal immigrant mom works in L.A. to support her son back in Mexico, until he gets it in his head that he should cross the border and find his way to her.

Kid Attractor Factor: A very cute, very young boy has many misadventures on his way from the pueblo to South Central L.A.

Violence: The threat of violence hangs over the child as he makes his way across the border.

Language: Clean.

Sex: Out-of-wedlock pregnancy and marriages of convenience are discussed.

Drugs: A little alcohol is consumed.

Parents advisory: A warm family drama in which the family happens to sit right on an American hot-potato political topic -- illegal immigration.

— Roger Moore, The Orlando Sentinel