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Parents' Guide to Movies

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CENTER STAGE (PG-13)
IN A NUTSHELL Fierce competition, critical teachers, and an egotistical boyfriend keep aspiring dancer Jody (Amanda Schull) on her toes during her first year at the American Ballet Company.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT? Girls will love this combination of Fame, Flashdance, and Dirty Dancing.
SEX/NUDITY A couple has sex off screen; some suggestive dancing.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL Students drink margaritas at a club; Jody has a glass of wine.
VIOLENCE/SCARINESS None
OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES/STEREOTYPES The characters’ language isn’t nearly as delicate as their moves.
THE VERDICT Although the story is tutu full of cliches, one message — stay true to yourself — rises above them.
APPROPRIATE AGES 10 and up

GLADIATOR (R)
IN A NUTSHELL Cheated out of his future as successor to the emperor and robbed of his family, general-turned-slave Maximus (Russell Crowe) vows to wreak revenge on the evil Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) and help make Rome a republic.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT? Hail, yes! This rousing epic is as big, bold, and bloody as its hero.
SEX/NUDITY None, although Commodus has incestuous designs on his sister.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL Some imbibing
VIOLENCE/SCARINESS Graphic battles on the field and in the arena as bodies are hanged, impaled, burned, and dismembered
OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES/STEREOTYPES A few mild curses
THE VERDICT Maximus is fair and good-hearted, and despite the excessive carnage, the movie places a strong emphasis on honor.
APPROPRIATE AGES 15 and up

ROAD TRIP (R)
IN A NUTSHELL Four college buds embark on a rowdy journey to intercept a mistakenly mailed sex tape.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT? Absolutely. The promise of risque gags and the presence of MTV’s Tom Green will reel them in.
SEX/NUDITY Topless lovemaking; full-frontal coeds; an aroused old man; a sperm bank deposit
DRUGS/ALCOHOL Students party hearty; a little reefer madness.
VIOLENCE/SCARINESS A lawman father draws his gun.
OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES/STEREOTYPES The boys feel threatened at a black frat house; loads of swearing.
THE VERDICT Despite its one-track mind, this comedy is surprisingly amiable; the geek of the bunch learns to stand up for himself.
APPROPRIATE AGES 15 and up

SCREWED (PG-13)
IN A NUTSHELL To get back at his rich, penny-pinching boss, lowly gofer Willard (Norm Macdonald) decides to kidnap her dog for a million-dollar ransom.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT? Maybe, because of funnyman Macdonald, but they may feel the titular sentiment when it’s over.
SEX/NUDITY Willard’s bare backside
DRUGS/ALCOHOL A few drinks
VIOLENCE/SCARINESS Mostly slapstick, but little boys pull a knife on Willard and a guy with an arsenal of weapons opens fire on a police car.
OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES/STEREOTYPES Lots of crude language
THE VERDICT None of these nitwits even consider the possibility that honesty may be the best policy.
APPROPRIATE AGES 12 and up

BATTLEFIELD EARTH (PG-13)
IN A NUTSHELL In the year 3000, humans, on the verge of extinction, fight back against their alien captors, led by the hirsute Terl (John Travolta).
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT? Sci-fi fans and bad-movie gluttons may be tempted.
SEX/NUDITY None
DRUGS/ALCOHOL Drinks at a futuristic bar
VIOLENCE/SCARINESS Lots of videogame-style fighting, shooting, and explosions
OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES/STEREOTYPES A couple of mild expletives
THE VERDICT The movie’s focus on power and domination is distressing; you’d be better off renting Planet of the Apes.
APPROPRIATE AGES 12 and up

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