Big-Screen Cheat Sheet: Which Movie Should You See This Weekend?

From Frozen to Homefront, get the scoop on what's playing in theaters

Kristen Bell is trying to save her kingdom from the winter weather in Frozen, Jennifer Hudson is teaching her son a lesson about family in Black Nativity and Jason Statham and James Franco form an unexpected team in Homefront. These are the movies to check out -- will you be grabbing your popcorn and seeing one of them this weekend?

'Frozen' (Nov. 27)

Frozen Review

Walt Disney Studios

Short Story: When her sister Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) accidentally uses her powers to send the kingdom of Arendelle into eternal winter, Anna (Kristen Bell) and a few trusty companions embark on an icy adventure to find Elsa and make her reverse the damage.
Click here for the official movie site!

What They're Saying: "The movie, while dazzling to look at, may be a little long for some small children. But its surprising and poignant ending, which subverts so many fairy-tale stereotypes, feels as though it cancels out the movie’s small flaws and dragging moments." -- The Washington Post

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 88%

Good for Kids? Frozen is an animated Disney movie, which automatically makes it family-friendly for the holiday season. Still, Common Sense Media does have an important warning: "Like many Disney movies, the parents die and leave orphaned princesses who must find a way to survive." Bring tissues!
Click here for the full Common Sense Review.

'Black Nativity' (Nov. 27)

Black Nativity Review

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Short Story: An adaptation of Langston Hughes' famous play of the same name, Black Nativity stars Jacob Latimore as Langston, whose mother (Jennifer Hudson) sends him to his grandparents' house for the Christmas holiday when her house goes into foreclosure. While spending time with his estranged relatives, Langston is told the story of his family's origins. Also starring Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker as Langston's grandparents.
Click here for the official movie site!

What They're Saying: "Anchored by a topnotch ensemble cast, it's toe-tapping holiday fare that's also a potent reminder that family resentments and hardened hearts serve no one." -- USA Today

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 54%

Good for Kids? In this PG-rated holiday film, Common Sense Media says there is "nothing particularly alarming" for young viewers.
Click here for the full Common Sense Review.

'Homefront' (Nov. 27)

Homefront Review

Open Road Films

Short Story: Former DEA agent Phil Broker (Jason Statham) is now spending his days in Louisiana, in hopes of avoiding a motorcycle gang that isn't very happy with him. But when a local meth dealer (James Franco) gets wind of Phil's presence in town, he tries to use Phil to his advantage in the drug-dealing business.
Click here for the official movie site!

What They're Saying: "Homefront has craft and humor behind it, but not much in the way of inspiration. Think of a dessert with lots of calories and no nutrition." -- San Francisco Chronicle

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 28%

Good for Kids? Young viewers should certainly avoid Homefront for its R-rating (for violence, language, drug content and brief sexuality). But Common Sense Media says teens might want to avoid it also: "With a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone, this one may appeal to teen Expendables fans, though Homefront is not nearly as much fun."
Click here for the full Common Sense Review.

'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' (Nov. 22)

The Hunger Games Catching Fire Review

Lionsgate

Short Story: Not long after becoming the first pair of champions in Hunger Games history, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) are getting forced into the games again, this time as part of the Quarter Quell — a version of the Hunger Games in which past winners compete against each other. Knowing they are up against serious competition, Katniss and Peeta are forced to get even more cunning.
Click here for the official movie site!

What They're Saying: "Catching Fire is smoothly exciting but a bit of a tease... I hope that in the upcoming sequels, Katniss gets to show another dimension or two to go along with her precocious, defiant strength." -- CNN

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 89%

Good for Kids? Despite the Hunger Games book trilogy becoming quite popular with teens and tweens alike, Common Sense Media warns parents not to be fooled: "The movie may be too dark and violent for even mature tween readers."
Click here for the full Common Sense Review.

'Delivery Man' (Nov. 22)

Delivery Man Review

Walt Disney Studios

Short Story: Let's face it: Dave (Vince Vaughn) hasn't got much going for him. He's a truck driver and all-around average Joe, much to the chagrin of girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders). But life for both of them is about to get a lot more interesting, when Dave learns that his past donations to an artificial insemination clinic have resulted in 533 children. And they're all his.
Click here for the official movie site!


What They're Saying: "Characters barely connect, exposition is jammed awkwardly into conversation and major plot holes are regularly ignored." -- New York Daily News

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 35%

Good for Kids? Delivery Man is rated PG-13, so it's not quite as dangerous for young viewers as other movies hitting theaters this weekend. Still, among other things, Common Sense Media points out that "the humor can be mature and sexual in nature."
Click here for the full Common Sense Review.

'Dallas Buyers Club' (Nov. 22)

Dallas Buyers Club Review

Focus Features

Short Story: Based on a true story, Dallas Buyers Club follows rodeo lover Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey), who learns he has HIV after a routine blood test in the hospital. In the pursuit of finding drugs that will help him get healthier, Ron falls into the dangerous business of drug smuggling. Also starring Jared Leto as Rayon, Ron's transgender partner in crime.
Click here for the official movie site!

What They're Saying: "Hollywood has largely ignored one of the most tragic chapters of the 20th century. Considering that track record, even a movie as imperfect as Dallas Buyers Club is something worth celebrating." -- Entertainment Weekly

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95%

Good for Kids? Although the R-rating for Dallas Buyers Club should already be a red flag for parents, the subject matter of HIV/AIDS is another indicator that the film is wholly adults-only. Common Sense Media says the film "contains very strong subject matter overall -- including graphic unsafe sex, drug abuse and bigotry -- but tells a powerful and relevant story."
Click here for the full Common Sense Review.

Rebecca Iannucci is an iVillage contributing writer. Follow her on Pinterest, Twitter and
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