Movie Review Capsules for Sept. 27

Catholic News Service


NEW YORK (CNS) -- The following are capsule reviews of movies recently reviewed by Catholic News Service.

"Baggage Claim" (Fox Searchlight)

Writer-director David E. Talbert's romantic comedy, adapted from his 2005 novel, charts the amorous adventures of a determined flight attendant (Paula Patton) searching for a soul mate among her passengers. With the help of two co-workers (Jill Scott and Adam Brody), she arranges in-flight reunions with a series of ex-boyfriends — including a record producer (Tremaine "Trey Songz" Neverson), a rising politician (Taye Diggs) and a millionaire (Djimon Hounsou) — hoping to rekindle one of her past romances. To her credit, she resists the temptation to settle for second-best, and realizes that staying married is a bigger challenge than simply getting hitched. Despite some thematic turbulence and poor choices, this is ultimately a flight worth taking, especially as it's that Hollywood rarity, a film that upholds and promotes the institution of marriage. Implied nonmarital sex, mature references, including to homosexuality and contraception, a same-sex kiss, innuendo, some crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2" (Columbia)

Cheerful animated comedy in which the young inventor (voice of Bill Hader) of a machine that turns water into food learns from his idol, a famed scientist and corporate guru (voice of Will Forte), that the device, which he thought had been disabled, has continued to function and is now producing animals made out of menu items. To prevent these rapidly multiplying hybrid creatures from overrunning the world, the whiz kid must return to his island-set hometown, where he abandoned the gizmo, and try to shut it down for good. He's backed up on this quest by his protective dad (voice of James Caan), his meteorologist best friend (voice of Anna Faris) and by a team of other pals (voiced by Neil Patrick Harris Andy Samberg, Terry Crews and Benjamin Bratt). Loosely based, like its 2009 predecessor, on a book by Judi and Ron Barrett, directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn's sequel serves up colorful fun while elevating friendship and teamwork over egotism and re-echoing a familiar — but nonetheless valuable — message about environmental responsibility. A few bathroom-based jokes and a couple of very mild vulgarities. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested.

"Rush" (Universal)

The 1976 Formula One racing season provides the backdrop for this fact-based drama about the rivalry between its two leading drivers: freewheeling British playboy James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and obsessively disciplined Austrian Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). Hunt's dissolute ways, only somewhat muted by his marriage to high-profile model Suzy Miller (Olivia Wilde), draw his relentlessly focused chief competitor's jealousy and resentment, despite the burgeoning of Lauda's own low-key but durable romance with a chance acquaintance (Alexandra Maria Lara). In return, Lauda's humorless Teutonic temperament becomes the target of Hunt's contempt. As the contenders spur each other on to ever more dangerous tactics, director Ron Howard skillfully ratchets up the suspense — and the foreboding. Though the folly of their shared recklessness is highlighted at the film's climax, Howard not only portrays Hunt's sexual escapades unblinkingly, but tends to glamorize them as well. Not a film for the squeamish, or those lacking in maturity and discernment. Strong sexual content — including graphic casual sexual activity, an aberrant situation, and upper female and rear nudity — drug use, gruesome medical images, brief harsh violence, an instance of highly irreverent humor, an adultery theme, about a half-dozen uses of profanity, frequent rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. 

The is a current list of CNS movie classification and MPAA ratings:

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Movie Review Capsules for September 27: "Baggage Claim" (Fox Searchlight), "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" (Columbia); "Rush" (Universal).