Movie News & Reviews

Family reviews: 'Planet 51,' 'The Blind Side,' 'An Education'

A parents' guide to select new movies:

'Planet 51'

Rating: PG for mild sci-fi action and some suggestive humor.

What it's about: A world enduring the doo-wop black-and-white-TV global paranoia of its own "1950s" is visited by an alien: a NASA astronaut.

The Kid Attractor Factor: Animation, a cute robot, a cute alien dog.

Good lessons/bad lessons: "If an alien came all this way, wouldn't it be smart enough to come in peace?"

Violence: Gun play. And tank play.

Language: Quite clean.

Sex: A repeated anal "cork" joke, a penis joke.

Drugs and alcohol: None.

Parents' advisory: A Shrek writer scripted it, so there's a hint of the naughty hanging around the edges of this kids-only cartoon.

'The Blind Side'

Rating: PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references.

What it's about: A big homeless kid is taken in by a wealthy family and finds that his place in the world might be on the football field.

The Kid Attractor Factor: Teen angst, amped up by poverty and race.

Good lessons/bad lessons: "Family" means always having their back, always covering their blind side.

Violence: Some, and there's a lot of football, too.

Language: Pretty clean, considering.

Sex: "References."

Drugs and alcohol: Discussed, but not flaunted.

Parents' advisory: This inspiring "Just do the right thing" family film based on a true story is suitable viewing for ages 10 and older.

'An Education'

Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic material involving sexual content, and for smoking.

What it's about: A smart teenager is pursued and charmed by an older man in '60s London.

The Kid Attractor Factor: A teen, demanding to be treated as an adult, making grown-up mistakes.

Good lessons/bad lessons: Yes, they nag, but parents and teachers nag for a reason.

Violence: None.

Language: Quite clean, considering.

Sex: Yes, nothing graphic.

Drugs and alcohol: Cigarettes, wine.

Parents' advisory: An entertaining coming-of-age film that could offer sober life lessons for the teenager in your family.

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