Instant Family


After taking in three siblings (Isabela Moner, Gustavo Quiroz and Julianna Gamiz) from foster care, a good-hearted couple (Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne) faces a series of challenges that disrupt their previously placid lifestyle and leave them wondering if they can cope with the commitment they’ve made. Drawing on his own real-life experience, director and co-writer Sean Anders deftly weaves amusing incidents with touching emotional interludes. While the result is a fundamentally pro-family film, the script, penned with John Morris, includes material appropriate for grown-ups only. Much sexual and some scatological humor, implicit acceptance of homosexual relationships and contraception, a handful of profanities, a couple of milder oaths, at least one rough term, frequent crude and crass language, an obscene gesture. A-III;

Beautiful Boy


The sheer randomness of drug addiction in this case, to crystal meth and the ensuing raw family pain are covered effectively, although succinctly, in this adaptation of two memoirs by journalist David Sheff (Steve Carell) and his oldest son, Nic (Timothee Chalamet). There are no solutions offered in this drama, no speeches and no moralizing. Instead, as directed by Felix Van Groeningen from a script he co-wrote with Luke Davies, the story finds Dad trying to be supportive to the point of exhaustion until he realizes that his son has to solve the problem for himself. Frequent drug use, a scene of implied non-marital sexual activity, pervasive rough language. A-III; R

Creed II


Viewers will know what to expect from this extension of the “Rocky” franchise long before they buy a ticket. Yet the tried and true, against-the-odds formula still works somehow. Early on in this chapter of the saga, the boxer of the title (Michael B. Jordan), with the help of his hard-driving trainer (Sylvester Stallone), becomes world heavyweight champion. He also proposes to his live-in girlfriend (Tessa Thompson), a singer who suffers from hearing loss. But the rise of a rival (Florian Munteanu) he feels compelled to take on sets up an emotionally fraught match since the up-and-comer is the son of the Russian fighter (Dolph Lundgren) whose blows killed the champ’s dad in 1985’s “Rocky IV.” Working from a script Stallone co-wrote with Juel Taylor, director Steven Caple Jr. handles themes of disability, family estrangement and good sportsmanship with dexterity and manages to instill suspense into this sequel to 2015’s “Creed,” the seventh successor to Stallone’s 1976 original. Possibly acceptable for mature teens. Some intense physical violence, premarital cohabitation, about a dozen crude and at least one crass term. A-III; PG-13

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Warner Bros.

Sharper sequel to the 2016 original, once again set in the 1920s, finds the shy, critter-collecting main character of that film (Eddie Redmayne) caught up in a multisided struggle among powerful forces within the world of wizardry created by screenwriter J.K. Rowling. As the villain of the title (Johnny Depp) schemes against non-magical humans, the only opponent capable of defeating him (Jude Law), mysteriously remains in the background. When not on the malefactor’s trail, the protagonist pursues romance (with Katherine Waterston) and tries to maintain his relationship with his bureaucrat brother (Callum Turner). Returning director David Yates works up more energy than marked the last outing, though the overly complicated plot and a heavy reliance on special effects and cuddly animals weakens the proceedings. But the magic on display is unlikely to draw even impressionable youngsters toward the dark side and the script promotes tolerance and a preference for peace. Much stylized bloodless violence, occult themes, some gruesome images, a possible reference to homosexuality. A-II; PG-13

Green Book


High-minded saga of race relations in 1962 is hobbled by sentimentality and doesn’t so much lean into stereotypes as take flying, cringe-worthy leaps. It’s based on a real concert tour through the Midwest and South taken by African-American pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) in the company of Anthony “Tony Lip” Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen), an assistant maitre d’ at New York’s Copacabana nightclub who served as both chauffeur and bodyguard. Shirley was famous at the time for his recordings of jazz and show tunes (since, in that era, promoters thought audiences wouldn’t accept a black classical musician). Director Peter Farrelly, who co-wrote the screenplay with Vallelonga’s son, Nick, and Brian Currie, shows the journey as a series of individual challenges, depending on the venue. The film has merit despite its flaws, although it’s never clear that either character is experiencing anything along the lines of personal growth. Pervasive racial slurs, references to homosexuality, fleeting rough language. A-III; PG-13

Ralph Breaks the Internet


Sweet animated follow-up in which the two arcade game characters central to 2012’s “Wreck-It Ralph,” the burly eponymous demolition specialist (voice of John C. Reilly) and his best friend (voice of Sarah Silverman), a diminutive race car driver, find both their resourcefulness and their relationship put to the test when a difficult-to-replace broken part leaves the business’ owner (voice of Ed O’Neill) ready to trash her game. Taking to the internet in search of the rare item, they encounter a new and challenging environment, one he resists but she enthusiastically embraces. Directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore (Johnson penned the script with Pamela Ribon) deliver a picturesque and often funny adventure that carries reassuring lessons about loyalty and forgiveness. Only the easily frightened and those who object to a couple of potty-themed puns need worry. Cartoonish mayhem, some peril, fleeting scatological wordplay. A-II; PG

Robin Hood


Vicious anti-Catholicism permeates this otherwise merely dopey take on the classic legend. Taron Egerton as the titular outlaw teams with a Muslim warrior (Jamie Foxx) he met while fighting the film’s chronologically unmoored version of the Third Crusade to thwart the evil schemes of the sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) and his more powerful patron, an unnamed cardinal (F. Murray Abraham). Eve Hewson as a feisty Marian provides both the traditional love interest and, eventually, some battlefield backup while Friar Tuck (Tim Minchin) offers meager comic relief. The image of the church that emerges in director Otto Bathurst’s would-be hip updating of his ancient source material is not merely unflattering but grotesque and morally obscene. Anti-Catholic animus, much harsh, sometimes gory violence, including torture, nongraphic sensuality, at least one use of profanity, a milder oath, occasional crude and crass language. O; PG-13.

USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting


A-I – General patronage

A-II – Adults and adolescents

A-III – Adults

A-IV – Adults, with reservations

L – Limited adult audience

O – Morally offensive

Motion Picture Association of America ratings:

G – General audiences; all ages admitted

PG – Parental guidance suggested; some material may not be suitable for children

PG-13 – Parents are strongly cautioned to give special guidance for attendance of children under 13; some material may be inappropriate for young children

R – Restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian

NC-17 – No one under 17 admitted