Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action.
What it's about: A swinging single test pilot learns responsibility when he is chosen to join an elite corps that battles evil.
The kid attractor factor: A legendary comic book, a lot of green-tinted special effects and Ryan Reynolds.
Good lessons/bad lessons: "Face up to your fears," accept your responsibilities.
Violence: Lots and lots.
Language: A generous scattering of profanity.
Sex: No, but we do see the morning after.
Parents' advisory: Darker in tone than the summer's other comic-book fare, this suits a 12-and-older comic-book audience best.
'Mr. Popper's Penguins'
Rating: PG for mild, rude humor and some language.
What it's about: A workaholic, real estate developer learns about family when penguins come into his life.
The kid attractor factor: Chances are, they've had the book read to them, plus it stars Jim Carrey and lots of cute penguins.
Good lessons/bad lessons: "Put your heart out there. It might get broken, but that's how you know you have one."
Violence: Penguin pecking.
Language: Penguin potty jokes.
Parents' advisory: The penguin poo makes this one skew very young, though the wordplay might amuse older kids, OK for 5-and-up.
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and some drug use.
What it's about: Small-town middle-school movie buffs try to shoot a zombie movie with a Super 8 camera only to have real horror show up on their doorstep.
The kid attractor factor: Smart and smart-mouthed kids make a bad movie and face off with monsters.
Good lessons/bad lessons: Sometimes, kids catch on a lot earlier than adults.
Violence: Quite a bit, graphic, without much blood.
Language: Kids of the '70s got into mild profanity in their tweens.
Sex: Young, chaste romance.
Drugs: Adult alcoholism is discussed.
Parents' advisory: A bit too scary-violent, adult and profane for the very young, but certainly OK for 10 and older.
'Transformers: Dark of the Moon'
Rating: PG-13 for intense, prolonged sequences of sci-fi action violence, mayhem and destruction, and for language, some sexuality and innuendo.
What it's about: The Autobots and Decepticons go at it again, rewriting the history of the Space Race as they do.
The kid attractor factor: It's a toy. It's a movie. It's both. And lots of stuff blows up.
Good lessons/bad lessons: "When it's not your war, join that side that's going to win." "Relationships have consequences."
Violence: Humans are vaporized, but only robots bleed.
Language: Quite a bit of profanity for PG-13.
Sex: A model-actress wears low-cut, high-hemline dresses and a come-hither look.
Drugs: Not really, a little wine.
Parents' advisory: The violence, death, sexy clothing and profanity run this one right up to the edge of an "R" rating. Suitable for 13 and older.
Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language and some sexual content.
What it's about: A man of late middle age finds himself alone and out of work. So he goes back to college.
The kid attractor factor: It's the guy who voices Sheriff Woody! And Julia Roberts!
Good lessons/bad lessons: College enriches your life in ways you can never imagine.
Language: Some profanity.
Sex: That Julia Roberts and her flirting.
Drugs: Alcohol is consumed in excess, abused even.
Parents' advisory: Mild-mannered and cute, this still doesn't hold a lot that would appeal to anybody under 13.