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Parents' Guide

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Walking Thunder

[WHAT IT’S ABOUT] When his family (led by the late John Denver) heads to Colorado during the 1850 gold rush, 14-year-old Jacob (David Tom) learns that pioneering is harder than it looks in his books.

[WILL KIDS WANT TO WATCH IT?] The family-in-jeopardy plot is too scary for little kids and too tame for older ones.

[MPAA RATING] G

[SEX/NUDITY] None

[DRUGS/ALCOHOL] Whiskey drinking

[VIOLENCE/SCARINESS] Killer bears; fighting, shooting; the family is held at knifepoint; Jacob’s ma goes into labor without his pa.

[OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES] One

[WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT] Jacob realizes that his bespectacled dad is a hero in his own right.

[WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT IT] The message that women are good only for making babies and correcting their kids’ grammar

[APPROPRIATE AGES] 7 to 12

Dirty Dancing

[WHAT IT’S ABOUT] 17-year-old Baby (Jennifer Grey) summers at a resort with her parents, where dance instructor Johnny (Patrick Swayze) helps her move with confidence and think for herself.

[WILL KIDS WANT TO WATCH IT?] This coming-of-age tale will be as much of a hit with girls as it was in its first 1987 release.

[MPAA RATING] PG-13

[SEX/NUDITY] Baby and Johnny make love under the covers; sultry dancing

[DRUGS/ALCOHOL] Drinks at meals and parties

[VIOLENCE/SCARINESS] None

[OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES] About 10

[WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT] Baby is a smart, independent role model.

[WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT IT] The subplot involving a dancer who has an abortion may be inappropriate for younger kids.

[APPROPRIATE AGES] 13 and up

Nowhere

[WHAT IT’S ABOUT] 18-year-old Dark (James Duval) searches for true love among the drugged and ruined of the jaded L.A. teen scene.

[WILL KIDS WANT TO WATCH IT?] Director Gregg Araki has his young fans, but you won’t want your kid to be one of them.

[MPAA RATING] R

[SEX/NUDITY] Rampant sexual experimentation; two shots of Dark’s bare backside

[DRUGS/ALCOHOL] Kids snort cocaine, pop pills, and drink liquor.

[VIOLENCE/SCARINESS] Two suicides; date rape; a carjacking at gunpoint; a fatal beating

[OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES] About 25

[WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT] It’s less than 90 minutes long.

[WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT IT] Its nihilism

[APPROPRIATE AGES] 16 and up with a parent

Mrs. Santa Claus

[WHAT IT’S ABOUT] Tired of spending Christmas Eve alone, Mrs. Claus (Angela Lansbury) takes the reindeer out for a spin to New York City, where she gets a job in a toy factory and helps unionize its employees.

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