Weekend Movie Forecast: 'Madea,' 'Water for Elephants' & More

Get the scoop on R-Pattz and Reese Witherspoon's romantic epic, Tyler Perry's latest cross-dressing jaunt and more!

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

In theaters now...

Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family
Short Story:
Madea's back -- larger and more in charge than ever. After learning of her niece Shirley's (Loretta Devine) disheartening medical news, Madea (a cross-dressing Tyler Perry) rallies the family and Shirley's three adult children for support. Unfortunately, it appears Tammy (Natalie Desselle), Kimberly (Shannon Kane) and Byron (Bow Wow) are too distracted by their own issues. Tammy struggles to control her unruly household; Kimberly is filled with anger and takes it out on her marriage; and Byron, after spending two years in jail, is under pressure to deal drugs again. It's up to Madea, with the help of the equally boisterous Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis), to bring the family together and make things right the only way she knows how: with a lot of tough love.

What They're Saying:
Critics have not yet reviewed this film -- which doesn't bode well.

Good For Kids?
The older teen crowd will get a good kick out of this rambunctious comedy.

Watch the Preview!

Water for Elephants
Short Story:
In this film adaptation of the bestselling novel by Sara Gruen, Robert Pattinson plays Jacob, a veterinarian student who abandons his studies to join a traveling circus as the manager of the circus menagerie. There, he meets and falls for the beautiful Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), the wife of August (Inglourious Basterds Oscar winner Christoph Waltz), the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. Amidst the beautiful backdrop of the big top, Jacob and Marlena bond through the shared compassion for a special elephant and -- against all odds -- foster an unforgettable and timeless love.

What They're Saying:
"Like The Notebook, but with an elephant, the unexpectedly good film version of Water for Elephants elevates pure corn to a completely satisfying realm of romantic melodrama." -- Chicago Tribune

"The 1931 circus setting and a love triangle involving three exceedingly attractive people provides a constant wash of scenic pleasure, and the film's fidelity to its source will receive nodding approval from the book's many fans" -- The Hollywood Reporter

Good For Kids?
While you may revel in this adorable tale, the little ones will soon bore of the sappy romance.

Watch the Preview!

African Cats
Short Story:
Disney births a nature documentary like no other. Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the African Savannah, the docu-film follows Mara, an endearing lion cub, Sita, a fearless cheetah and mother of five, and Fang, a proud leader of the pride who must defend his family from a once banished lion. It's a true story of love, power and adventure in the majestic wild.

What They're Saying:
"If it maintains a superficially manipulative façade, the film remains committed to addressing the harsh realities of existence on the plains." -- Village Voice

"It's not a put-down of the darker and more straightforward Last Lions to suggest Cats is to Lions what poetry is to prose." -- Orlando Sentinel

Good For Kids?
Kids will love this rich tale of feline family and wild adventure.

In case you missed...

Scream 4
Short Story:
The masked Woodsboro killer -- fondly known as Ghostface -- is back with a vengeance! In the fourth Scream flick, self-help author Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to her hometown on the last stop of her book tour. Unfortunately, her presence brings a new Ghostface killer out of the woodwork, putting her old pals and the whole town of Woodsboro in danger. Franchise regulars Courteney Cox and David Arquette return, along with some fresh blood in the form of Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Anthony Anderson, Adam Brody, Mary McDonnell, Marley Shelton, Nico Tortorella, Kristen Bell, Anna Paquin and Shanae Grimes.

What They're Saying:
"It's a giddy reminder of everything that made Scream such a fresh scream in the first place." - Entertainment Weekly

"Against all odds, Scream 4 proves that sometimes you can go home again." - Miami Herald

Good For Kids?
The best way to keep the kids from crawling in your bed at night: forcing them to watch Rio instead of this adult-themed bloodbath.

Watch the Preview!

Rio
Short Story:
Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), a domesticated macaw who never learned to fly, lives in the small town of Moose Lake, Minn., with his owner and best friend Linda (Leslie Mann). When Blu sets out for Rio de Janeiro to find Jewel (Anne Hathaway), the only other macaw of his kind in existence, he encounters more than he bargained for. Soon after arriving, Blu and Jewel are kidnapped by local animal smugglers. With the help of Jewel and a group of smooth-talking city birds, Blu escapes. Now, with his new friends in tow, the macaw must find the courage to fly, dodge the trappers who are hot on their trail, and somehow return to his best friend Linda. The animated flick's star-studded voice cast also includes will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez and Tracy Morgan.

What They're Saying:
"Comical, colorful, wonderfully cast and beautifully animated, Rio is the first Blue Sky movie that could be compared to the best of Pixar." -- Orlando Sentinel

"Nothing deep or heavy here -- just a good time and a pleasurable escape." -- Associated Press

Good For Kids?
Need something to keep the kids occupied? Rio will have them riveted right up until the last laugh.

Watch the Preview!

The Conspirator
Short Story:
James McAvoy and Robin Wright star in this historical suspense about Mary Surratt (Wright), the lone female charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. With the whole nation against her, Surratt turns to her reluctant lawyer (McAvoy) to uncover the truth and prove her innocence.

What They're Saying:
"Redford obviously wants to make the enraged, corrective movie of his glory days. The effort is admirable, even if his whole team isn't on the same page." -- Time Out New York

"This retelling of a crucial, poorly-remembered chapter of American law and war has enough atmosphere, stalwart acting and suspense to appeal to the mass of moviegoers." -- TIME

Good For Kids?
The serious theme surrounding The Conspirator won't much appeal to the younger crowd -- but teen history buffs might take a shining to it.

Watch the Preview!

Atlas Shrugged: Part I
Short Story:
Based on the 1957 novel by Ayn Rand, this flick follows Dagny Taggart (Taylor Schilling) -- who runs the largest remaining railroad company in America. Struggling to keep her business afloat after workers mysteriously leave the company, Dagny enlists the help of industrialist Henry Rearden (Grant Bowler). With determined spirit and Rearden's innovative metal alloy, the two set out on a quest to rebuild the Taggart rail line and learn the answer to the mysterious query: Who is John Galt?

What They're Saying:
"Part one of a trilogy that may never see completion, this hasty, low-budget adaptation would have Ayn Rand spinning in her grave." -- Variety

"Not all books should be made into movies, and this is one of them." -- Boston Pheonix

Good For Kids?
Keep the peace and give the kids a pass on this cinematic drama.

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