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A parents' guide to kid-friendly movies

Find out about movies like ”Grease” and ”Wide Awake” before letting your kids watch

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A parents’ guide to kid-friendly movies

The Newton Boys

What it’s about
Four brothers (Matthew McConaughey, Ethan Hawke, Skeet Ulrich, and Vincent D’Onofrio) become the most successful bank robbers in U.S. history.

Will kids want to watch it?
Don’t bank on it, but the hunky cast may lure the young ladies.

MPAA rating
PG-13

Sex/nudity
A skinny-dipping actor’s bare backside

Drugs/alcohol
Prohibition has little effect on these guys’ habits.

Violence/scariness
Some shooting, including one bloody brother

Objectionable words/phrases
More than 100

What’s good about it
The robbers are antiviolence — at least in theory.

What’s not so good
The glamorization of crime, since the boys become celebrities

Appropriate ages
13 and up

Grease

What it’s about
Good girl Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) and hip-shaking rebel Danny (John Travolta) make an unlikely couple in the rerelease of this musical paean to ’50s high school romance.

Will kids want to watch it?
Yes. Even if they’ve seen it on TV or on Broadway, they’ll want to see this big-screen rerelease.

MPAA rating
PG

Sex/nudity
Lots of talk; a couple has unsafe sex off screen and a pregnancy scare

Drugs/alcohol
The boys throw back beers; the girls opt for wine.

Violence/scariness
None

Objectionable words/phrases
About 10

What’s good about it
Beneath black leather jackets sometimes beat hearts of gold.

What’s not so good
Sandy succumbs to peer pressure and trades in her polite poodle skirts for sleazy spandex.

Appropriate ages
10 and up

Meet the Deedles

What it’s about
Surfer twins Phil (Paul Walker) and Stew (Steve Van Wormer) get mistaken for rookie park rangers at Yellowstone.

Will kids want to watch it?
Like, yeah. Ever hear of Bill and Ted — or Wayne and Garth?

MPAA rating
PG

Sex/nudity
A female park ranger wears a teeny-weeny bikini.

Drugs/alcohol
A champagne celebration

Violence/scariness
Slapstick all the way

Objectionable words/phrases
Seven

What’s good about it
Phil and Stew see their mission through to the end.

What’s not so good
Impressionable young viewers might try to imitate the dudes’ reckless skateboarding.

Appropriate ages
8 and up

My Giant

What it’s about
Talent agent Sammy (Billy Crystal) meets 7′ 7” Max (Gheorghe Muresan) in a Romanian monastery and vows to make him a big star.

Will kids want to watch it?
Probably. Giant Muresan will catch their eyes, but much of Crystal’s shtick will go over their heads.

MPAA rating
PG

Sex/nudity
None

Drugs/alcohol
Max gets drunk.

Violence/scariness
Sammy nearly dies in a car crash; Max beats up two guys.

Objectionable words/phrases
About 15

What’s good about it
Its message — that people who are different are still people, not freaks

What’s not so good
The comedy heads south after Max is diagnosed with a potentially fatal heart condition.

Appropriate ages
6 and up

Wide Awake

What it’s about
Devastated by the death of his beloved grandpa (Robert Loggia), 10-year-old Joshua (Joseph Cross) searches for a sign that God really exists.

Will kids want to watch it?
Doubtful. They may respond to costar Rosie O’Donnell, but they’ll be disappointed by the trite story.

MPAA rating
PG

Sex/nudity
None

Drugs/alcohol
Parents drink wine.

Violence/scariness
Kids may be upset by how upset Joshua is; Joshua’s best friend bleeds after a seizure.

Objectionable words/phrases
About 10

What’s good about it
The strong relationship Joshua and his grandfather have

What’s not so good
By being so boring, the movie reinforces the idea that religion is boring.

Appropriate ages
6 and up