Kids 6 and older
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (85 min., G) The effervescent rodents are on the loose on a cruise. There are a few slightly scary moments, as well as a barf-bag joke.
Kids 10 and older
Hugo (127 min., PG) The title character is a 12-year-old who lives inside a railway station clock in Paris in 1931. At one point, he dangles high over the city, clinging to the huge station clock. Another orphan is sent away in a sad scene. The script includes mild sexual innuendo.
The middle ground
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (133 min., PG-13) Tom Cruise leads his crew from Budapest to Moscow to Dubai to Mumbai in this fourth installment in the series. Punches land with cracking thuds, and explosions and car chases could shatter eardrums. The dialogue includes mild profanity.
New Year’s Eve (117 min., PG-13) It’s the last night of the year in Manhattan, and all sorts of things happen to all sorts of stars, including Jessica Biel, Robert De Niro, Halle Berry, and Hilary Swank. The script includes occasional midrange profanity and semi-crude sexual slang.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (129 min., PG-13), Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law return as Holmes and Watson. The film includes bone-crushing fights, opium smoking, and occasional mild sexual innuendo.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (127 min., R) This adaptation of John le Carre’s Cold War spy novel includes a steamy and fairly explicit sexual situation; rare, nongory bursts of gun and fist violence; and occasional strong profanity. The infidelities of the hero’s wife are discussed.
Jane Horwitz, Washington Post Writers Group.