The Muppets (98 min. PG) Not surprisingly, there's little that's off-color or nasty here. Even the bad guy (Chris Cooper) says ``maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh,'' instead of actually laughing maniacally. There's that passionate spark between Piggy and Kermit, of course, and a human one between leads Jason Segel and Amy Adams.
Kids 8 and older
Arthur Christmas (97 min., PG) The sophistication of the British-accented dialogue and the occasional darkness of this story about Santa's young son make the film better for kids 8 and older, though younger children can enjoy the eccentric characters, the animation, and the physical comedy. Some of the aerobatics in the second half could unsettle kids under 8. Also, the presence of a selfish, disingenuous grandparent could dismay little ones, though he mellows by the end. The film contains rare mild sexual innuendo and toilet humor.
Kids 10 and older
Hugo (127 min., PG) The title character is a 12-year-old who lives inside a railway station clock in Paris in 1931. At one point, he dangles high over the city, clinging to the huge station clock. Another orphan boy is sent away in a sad scene. We see brief footage of World War I trench warfare. The script includes mild, subtle sexual innuendo.
Jack and Jill (91 min., PG) Fine for most kids 10 and older, ``Jack and Jill'' has Adam Sandler playing brother-and-sister twins. The PG rating covers some mildly naughty sexual innuendo that will be missed by most kids. Characters drink a bit, throw some punches, and engage in crazy stunts that should cause injuries, but don't. There are loud intestinal distress bits.
The middle ground
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (117 min., PG-13) There is little that can be called explicit, yet this installment is definitely less geared to middle schoolers. Note the morning-after sight of a shattered bed, and bruises on Bella for which the superhumanly powerful Edward apologizes - he was trying so hard not to bite her that his ``human'' lovemaking intensified. The innuendo about the intensity of Bella and Edward's lovemaking is quite strong, though not graphic. A birth sequence late in the film becomes very bloody, and there are snarling, violent confrontations among the werewolves, and between them and the vampires.
The Descendants (115 min., R) The film is a mild R for some strong language and a sexual infidelity theme. George Clooney plays a lawyer whose wife has been in a boating accident and lies in a hospital on life support. Now he has to care for their teen daughter and her little sister. Throughout the film, we revisit the hospitalized woman and focus on her family's grief. The film deals directly and in detail with the decision to take someone off life support and the idea that she will die.
Immortals (110 min., R) Greek mythology as (gory) video game. Battles depict beheadings, impalings, throat-slittings, and much spattered blood. A king uses torture, and a priest cuts out his own tongue rather than tell the king where someone is. A nongraphic but steamy sexual encounter includes back-view nudity. Soldiers talk lasciviously about an oracle and her three handmaidens.
J. Edgar (137 min., R) Leonardo DiCaprio stars as longtime FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Early in the film, a bombing incident is quite intense, but with no lethal injuries depicted. The script includes occasional strong profanity. Only once does the relationship between Hoover and right-hand man Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer) explode into a sexually charged confrontation, but that is ultimately repressed.
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (90 min., R) The third chapter in the screen adventures of this stoner pair offers steaming profanity, female toplessness, male frontal nudity, sexual language, and graphically implied sexual situations. That's bad enough. Even worse is the ongoing comic element of a toddler getting high on drugs. The film also contains nonlethal gun violence, fights, and gross toilet humor.
Source: The Boston Globe