A guide to movies from a family perspective:
-- Rated: PG-13.
-- Suitable for: Mature high-school students and older.
-- What you should know: This movie is 150 minutes long and very talky, although it's also a showcase for an outstanding Daniel Day-Lewis as President Abraham Lincoln. Directed by Steven Spielberg, it covers the period from January to April 1865 and tracks attempts to pass the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.
-- Language: The N-word, an F-word or two, about 10 instances of profanity and a handful of milder four-letter words.
-- Sexual situations and nudity: Nothing stronger than a brief kiss.
-- Violence/scary situations: The movie opens with a violent wartime battle and the president later pays a visit to a hospital with men wounded in the war. An onlooker outside is, understandably, dismayed and stunned by the sight of a mound of freshly amputated limbs.
-- Alcohol and drug use: Adults with what appears to be wine.
"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2"
-- Rated: PG-13.
-- Suitable for: Mature teens, particularly if they've read the books or seen the other four movies.
-- What you should know: This is the final movie, starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, based on the Stephenie Meyer novels about vampires, werewolves and the occasional human. As the story opens, Stewart's character of Bella is a newborn vampire and new mother whose daughter is targeted by a rival coven with murderous intent.
-- Sexual situations and nudity: Newlyweds Bella and Edward (Pattinson) are shown in passionate poses, sometimes accompanied by partial nudity. There is brief talk about another couple and their sexual appetites. A young man starts to strip to his briefs before changing into a wolf.
-- Violence/scary situations: Lots, including beheadings and torchings of bodies. A vampire feeds on an animal and others, on humans (from the shadows). A vampire child is shown with a bloody mouth and mound of victims. Wolves are hurt or killed. The movie includes a massive, deadly fight scene between two opposing camps.
-- Alcohol and drug use: Nothing notable.
-- Rated: PG-13.
-- Suitable for: High-school students and older.
-- What you should know: This is Daniel Craig's third time as James Bond. He is drawn into the fallout from an unprecedented security breach, which sheds light on M's background and his childhood. It introduces new characters and says goodbye to some old ones.
-- Language: One F-word, at least two uses of "Christ" and maybe a half-dozen milder words.
-- Sexual situations and nudity: A man and woman are shown kissing in bed, and later a couple cozily share a shower behind steamed-up glass. Some banter could be read as containing double entendres.
-- Violence/scary situations: Lots, with breathless chases, a fight atop a speeding train, falls fatal and otherwise, deadly exchange of gunfire, dying or dead people, a spectacular public-transportation accident, fatal explosions, an enormous fire and grim encounter with a Komodo dragon. The movie also dramatizes the death of a franchise stalwart.
-- Alcohol and drug use: Characters are shown (not always drinking) with whiskey, champagne, beer and, of course, a martini. At least one scene is set in a bar, another in a casino where drinks are served.
-- Rated: PG-13.
-- Suitable for: Mature tweens, teens and up.
-- What you should know: Victoria Justice plays a teen who, on Halloween night, loses track of her little brother, a misfit who quit talking when their dad died the previous year. She enlists her best friend (Jane Levy, "Suburgatory") and two nerdy boys in the hunt to find him on Halloween night. He willingly goes off with a series of strangers in a way that may disturb or alarm some adults.
-- Language: Stronger than you might expect, with at least one use of profanity, and a dozen or so milder words.
-- Sexual situations and nudity: A young shirtless hunk and his older girlfriend, a widowed mother of two, embrace in the kitchen. The mom later encounters a couple demurely reading in bed, although one is in the middle of "Fifty Shades of Grey." Some teen groping and kissing. A man strips and streaks to distract the police.
-- Violence/scary situations: The children's youthful father died the previous year although no details are given. The kids later visit their dad's grave. The little brother repeatedly disappears with strangers although he comes to no harm. However, he is in a car being driven by someone who is drinking and who later (briefly) holds him captive in his house. A tussle between two car drivers leads to the firing of a musket, but only someone's pride is hurt. A car is totaled after all manner of assaults, including by a giant chicken statue that falls from its restaurant perch.
-- Alcohol and drug use: It's impossible to know what teens are drinking at a party, but adults are shown drinking.
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.shns.com.)