IN STORES NOW
Based on the indelible 1963 Maurice Sendak children's book, this psychological fantasy from director Spike Jonze inflates the short story into a full-on adventure. Frustrated by life with his single mom (Catherine Keener), Max (Max Records) runs off to an island full of giant beasts (voiced by James Gandolfini, Lauren Ambrose and Forest Whitaker) -- and becomes their king!
With Gandolfini taking on the insecure monster Carol, some viewers will get stuck on Tony Soprano in a children's story. And the film, despite its PG rating, isn't appropriate for kids younger than 8 (young fans should stay away or risk nightmares!). It will be better appreciated by adults with a youthful spirit -- especially when Keener reunites with her son in the later scenes, which are truly touching. (Warner Home Video, $29)
-- THELMA ADAMS