Weekend Movie Forecast: The Scoop on 'The Descendants' & More!

George Clooney reconnects with his family in The Decendants, and Michael Fassbender bares his soul -- and much more! -- in Shame

Which movies are fun for the whole family and which ones are treats just for you? Find out!

In theaters:

The Descendants 
Short Story:
When his wife is left comatose by a boating accident and he subsequently learns that she'd been having an affair, detached husband/father Matt King (George Clooney) is forced to reassess his relationship with his two daughters and his decision to sell the family's 25,000-acre land holdings. 

What They're Saying: 
"We get vested in the lives of these characters. That's rare in a lot of movies. We come to understand how they think and care about what they decide." -- Chicago Sun-Times

"Another beautifully chiseled piece of filmmaking -- sharp, funny, generous, and moving -- that writes its own rules as much as About Schmidt or Sideways did." -- Entertainment Weekly

Good for Kids?
Parents need to know that this dramedy mainly focuses on death and forgiveness, and Common Sense Media says the movie's "mature subject matter is too much for younger teens and tweens" (even though the cast features younger actors, including Shailene Woodley from ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager). As a result, common Sense recommends the film for kids 16 and older -- but adults should definitely check it out, as it's one of the most critically acclaimed movies of the year. Click to read the full Common Sense review! 

Watch the preview!

Shame
Short Story:
Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is a New York yuppie and sex addict, who seems quite content in his life of uncontrollable urges. That is, he's content until his wayward sister Cissy (Carey Mulligan) arrives unannounced, causing Brandon's life to spiral out of control as painful memories from their childhood bubble to the surface. 

What They're Saying:
"In a movie era remarkable for its reluctance to dramatize erotic intimacy, Shame merits praise for the dark energy of its sexual encounters." -- TIME magazine

"How can visual pleasure communicate existential misery? It is a real and interesting challenge, and if "Shame" falls short of meeting it, the seriousness of its effort is hard to deny." --The New York Times

Good for Kids?
This erotic drama is rated NC-17 for explicit sexual content. So, although it has received rave reviews from the critics, this movie is definitely not suitable for young kids and teens.

In case you missed:  

The Muppets
Short Story:
While on vacation to Los Angeles, the world's biggest Muppet fan, Walter (a new Muppet voiced by Peter Linz), and his friends Gary (Jason Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams) discover an evil plot of Tex Richman (Chris Cooper), an oilman planning to raze the Muppet Theater to get at the black gold beneath it. Walter, Mary, and Gary must help Kermit reunite with all his old Muppet pals -- who have all gone their own ways over the years -- to put on The Greatest Muppet Telethon Ever to raise $10 million and save the theater!

What They're Saying: 
"Effortlessly blending wised-up, self-reflexive humor with old-fashioned let's-put-on-a-show pizzazz, The Muppets is an unexpected treat" -- Variety

"A mostly winning return for childhood favorites from a prior century looks to accomplish its goal of pleasing old fans and winning new ones." -- The Hollywood Reporter

Good for Kids?
Although their may be some mild rude humor, Common Sense Media says this is a "must-see family pick for the 2011 holiday season," especially for young kids and adults who grew up with these beloved characters. Click to read the full Common Sense review! 

Arthur Christmas
Short Story:
How does Santa deliver so many presents in one night? Welcome to the high-tech operations at the North Pole where an army of highly trained elves help to distribute gifts worldwide. But when one of 600 million children doesn't receive a present from Santa, Arthur (Santa's misfit son) goes on an unauthorized mission to deliver a present halfway around the world before Christmas morning. 

What They're Saying:
"In her directing debut, Aardman veteran Sarah Smith and her co-writer Peter Baynham offer a fresh look at the Santa legend: a flawed Claus." -- Associated Press

"Arthur Christmas feels less insularly British than previous Aardman releases; there's plenty here for all ages and nationalities, including the sly but entirely welcome suggestion that female characters have been under-credited in previous yuletide tales." -- Variety

Good for Kids?
Common Sense Media says this holiday tale is perfect for kids. With a PG rating, Arthur Chirstmas gives a fun "behind-the-North Pole look at how Old St. Nick operates" and promises to be a good family pick for Thanksgiving weekend. Click to read the full Common Sense review!

Hugo
Short Story:
Hugo (Asa Butterfield), an orphaned boy, secretly lives in the walls of a hectic Paris train station. When Hugo finds a broken automaton, left to him by his late father (Jude Law), he gets caught up in a magical adventure as he attempts to unlock the machine's secret. 

What They're Saying:
"A stunning exercise in 3D and a delightful celebration of Scorsese's lifelong love of the movies, something he, like Hugo, developed in childhood." -- Orlando Sentinel

"A wondrous blend of fantasy and mystery that will appeal to adults as well as children." -- USA Today

Good for Kids?
This adventure film is based on Brian Selznick's novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, so it will appeal to older kids familiar with the book, as well as movie nuts eager to see director Martin Scorsese's first foray into 3-D and family filmmaking. Common Sense Media says this "book-based adventure should be epically good for tweens." Expect to see some tense scenes and mild violence -- but with an A-list supporting cast including Jude Law and Sacha Baron Cohen, this should be a fun pick for the whole family. Click to read the full Common Sense review!

Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow http://t.co/wfewf

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web