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Family Movie Guide

January 3, 1997

This guide includes "family films," potential blockbusters, and movies that might interest young people. Only films with G ratings are tagged as all-family fare by Hollywood. Most have stronger MPAA ratings that call for extra alertness from parents. The Family Movie Guide and the Monitor's more-comprehensive Freeze Frames movie guide appear on alternate Fridays.

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Star ratings from Monitor film critic David Sterritt precede the film credits. Those from a staff panel of at least three viewers follow the credits. Our ratings indicate the overall quality of movies, not their suitability for children.

o Forget It

* Poor

** Fair

*** Good

**** Excellent

Evita [PG]

** Directed by Alan Parker. With Madonna, Jonathan Pryce, Antonio Banderas, Jimmy Nail. Running time: 130 minutes.

PLOT Eva Peron rises from back-country squalor to fame and fortune as the wife of Argentine leader Juan Peron.

MESSAGE Eva Pern was a controversial but basically well-meaning person who lived a dramatic life in a dramatic period of history.

SEX Some implied sex and innuendo.

VIOLENCE Several scenes of social and political unrest.

PROFANITY Some vulgarities.


Michael [PG]

** Directed by Nora Ephron. With John Travolta, William Hurt, Andie MacDowell, Bob Hoskins, Jean Stapleton, Robert Pastorelli. Running time: 105 minutes. ***

PLOT Three tabloid reporters visit a rural town where an angel has taken up residence. Taking him back to Chicago, they quickly discover that he's a down-to-earth fellow with a surprising taste for profane pleasures.

MESSAGE Some of life's greatest gifts are ethereal and refined; others are earthy and even sensual.

SEX Several scenes with implied sexual activity.

VIOLENCE A barroom brawl and a comic fight between the angel and a bull.

PROFANITY Four-letter words and other vulgarities.

DRUGS/ALCOHOL Much drinking.

One Fine Day [PG]

** Directed by Michael Hoffman. With Michelle Pfeiffer, George Clooney, Mae Whitford, Charles Durning. Running time: 105 minutes. ***

PLOT Two single parents juggle each other's kids during a hectic day of schedule changes, cellular-phone mix-ups, and other complications.

MESSAGE Family responsibilities can bring people together even in the frenetic '90s.

SEX Some innuendo and sensuality.

VIOLENCE Scenes of mild danger or injury.

PROFANITY A few vulgarities.


The Preacher's Wife [PG]

** Directed by Penny Marshall. With Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, Courtney B. Vance, Gregory Hines, Jenifer Lewis, Loretta Devine. Running time: 124 minutes. ***

PLOT An angel comes to help a minister who's determined to build an imposing new church, and he almost gets sidetracked by his other project of cheering up the clergyman's neglected wife.

MESSAGE People should keep their goals focused on deep-rooted values like compassion, charity, and companionship without getting distracted by more worldly concerns.


VIOLENCE One scene shows a violent inner-city robbery.


Beavis and Butt-Head Do America [PG-13]

** Directed by Mike Judge. With the voices of Mike Judge, Robert Stack, Cloris Leachman, Eric Bogosian. Running time: 75 minutes.

PLOT Wandering into the real world because their TV set was stolen, the snickering teens leave a trail of messy misadventures from one coast to the other.

MESSAGE Teenagers are idiots, and so is everyone else.

SEX A huge amount of innuendo.

VIOLENCE Gunplay and a subplot about hired killers.