This second feature-length SpongeBob SquarePants movie is zippy and zany and colorful and everything you want if you’re a fan of the long-running television series. This time, SpongeBob (voiced as always by Tom Kenny) and his pals must leave the watery safety of Bikini Bottom and venture onto dry land to track down the culprit who stole the secret formula for everyone’s favorite fast-food treat, the Krabby Patty. (Antonio Banderas appears in live-action sequences as a goofily villainous pirate.) The pop culture references and subversive humor will go over kids’ heads. There are a few gross-out jokes but they’re harmless. I brought my 5-year-old son and one of his friends to see this and they had a blast — jumping up and down, laughing and dancing. This is a good time for the whole family.
Rating: PG-13, for some violence, sequences of sci-fi action, some suggestive content and partial nudity.
A long, noisy and totally nutso sci-fi opera from the writing-directing Wachowskis, Lana and Andy. Mila Kunis stars as a Chicago maid who learns she’s actually the queen of the universe. Channing Tatum plays the half-man, half-dog protector who zooms around on jet-powered boots to save her whenever she’s in trouble (which is often). Big, dangerous chases and battles ensue as various members of a royal galactic family try to manipulate and even kill Kunis’ character to seize the kingdom. The sheer volume and running time will probably make this prohibitive for a lot of younger viewers. It’s just an overwhelming experience. There’s also a bit of nudity in a bathtub scene. More mature tweens with a taste for this kind of science fiction/fantasy material might dig it, though.
Rating: PG-13, for intense fantasy violence and action throughout, frightening images and brief strong language.
In this supernatural action spectacle set in a distant past, Jeff Bridges stars as a mysterious knight who imprisoned a powerful witch (Julianne Moore) centuries ago. But now she’s escaped, and she gathers her various nefarious minions to seek revenge. The film is loosely based on the young adult series of Last Apprentice novels, so tweens may be familiar with the material, but much of this will probably be too visually intense and frightening for young viewers. The witch transforms into several scary creatures and there’s quite a bit of medieval swordplay and death. There’s also some romance, passionate kissing and implied sex. Probably best suited for mature tweens and up.