Who's in It:
Alex Etel, Emily Watson, Ben Chaplin, David Morrissey, Brian Cox, Priyanka Xi
The Basics: Set during WWII in Scotland (A geography point that somehow manages to feel like that old Mike Myers SNL Scot-supremacist, but one that also made me fantasize about Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting showing up and yelling, "It's shite being Scottish!" Anyway, I'm rambling.), a young boy finds an egg. It hatches, and out comes a cute little E.T.-crossed-with-Free Willy creature. It's the baby Loch Ness Monster. Adventure and trouble and heartwarmth happen after that.
What's the Deal? Even though you've seen this kind of thing before, your kids probably haven't, unless you've sat them down with E.T. to help you relive your own childhood. And the good news is that this is a really sweet, well-made, sometimes frightening and even emotionally affecting movie. In fact, it should make your kids temporarily forget their Alvin and the Chipmunks mania and probably won't make you regret sitting through it yourself.
Why It's Possibly Not for Very Young Ones: The monster is kind of scary sometimes. And the people chasing the monster are also a little frightening. And it's kind of long. If they're the fidgeting kind, then they might end up getting restless.
Pedigree: It was adapted from a book by Dick King-Smith, who also wrote Babe, The Gallant Pig and directed by Jay Russell who made My Dog Skip. So you're actually in the good hands of people who've made decent kid-product before.
The Benefits of Being Set 60 Years in the Past: You're relieved of the burden of having to watch a modern screenwriter's idea of what a smart-alecky, hip, sarcastic kid character should be. It's almost a given that a retro child will be less irritating.