MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +4

Content: +1/2

Tobey Maguire takes on the role of Marvel Comics' web-slinging hero in the latest version of SPIDER-MAN. Kirsten Dunst plays Mary Jane Watson or M J, the girl next-door that Spiderman's alter-ego, Peter Parker, falls for. Following the storyline created by Marvel Comics close enough to please most fans, the film starts with brainy Peter Parker on a high school senior field trip to Columbia University's science labs. The lab is combining DNA strands of different spiders to create a super-spider. But one of the genetically-enhanced creatures gets loose and bites Peter, transferring some active DNA material into Peter's blood. Pretty soon, Peter discovers he's put on some muscle and can throw away his glasses. He can even climb walls and feel when something's about to happen. But strangest of all, he can shoot webs out of his wrists strong enough to hold people. Trying to earn money, he enters a wrestling match as the Human Spider, but the ringmaster calls him the Amazing Spider-man. Easily winning the match, Peter gets cheated out of his winnings, so he's not in any hurry to help stop a box office thief. But when his uncle is killed, Peter puts his new powers to the test and catch up with the killer. Soon, the friendly neighborhood Spiderman is swinging around New York stopping crimes. Meanwhile, rich industrialist Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe) is working on a performance enhancer for the military, along with armor and a one-man armed glider for the battlefield. But Norman tests the enhancer on himself, ignoring his researcher's warning that one test rat went insane. After the green gas disappears, Norman discovers he has a dual personality and his other side murderously does away with competition. With the armor and glider, Norman begins to terrorize the city as the Green Goblin. The only thing standing between the Goblin and the city is Spiderman. Action fans will enjoy the rescues and battles as Spiderman struggles with the Goblin, as well as dealing with the everyday problems of earning a living.

Although the scene is often filled with fighting, most of the violence is neither graphic or gory. However, a few moments in the climatic battle may be more graphic than necessary as Spiderman takes a brutal beating. One use of "Jesus" as an exclamation, along with several mild obscenities may offend some. But with a warning about brief moments of graphic violence and impolite language, SPIDERMAN can be enjoyed by ages 10-years and older. And the message that "with great power comes great responsibility" could apply to all of us.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several times Mild 5, moderate 4

Obscene Language: Several times Other 6

Profanity: Several times Regular 1 (J); exclamatory 7 (OMG 5, OG, My Lord)

Violence: Many times - Moderate, few times severe (spider bites hand, Man has epileptic-type fit, man thrown through glass wall, punches, kicks, wrestling action, hit with chair, car wreck, sound of arm breaking, explosions, gun threats, people thrown, fall from height, blade cuts arm, impaling implied - not graphic, wall falls on armored man)

Sex: None

Nudity: Near nudity - Once (scantily clad women in wrestling arena)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (woman comments about man with 8-hands sounds like a good thing, sensuous kiss)

Drugs: None

Other: Mna told gret power brings great responsibility - just because can do something doesn't mean should do it, man cares for family, Lord's prayer said by aunt, man worries about threats to loved ones)

Running Time: 121 minutes
Intended Audience: 10 years and older

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.