Zathura is based on the book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg. Like Van Allsburg's Jumanji, the original book is a picture book.
The Plot: Two brothers start playing a game about outer space. And, like Jumanji, the game becomes real as meteors fly by and the house takes off into space. Will the boys be able to win the game and return home?
The Good: A solid storyline. Great special effects. I liked the sibling bond between the two brothers. Arguments, jealousy, hatred, and protectiveness. I saw a couple of twists coming (but then, I also guessed the big twist in Derailed based solely on previews.)
Family viewing: Zathura is PG. It's entertaining both for adults and for kids. I went with my five year old niece, who said it was the scariest movie she ever saw. And she wanted to see it again. There were three words that the brothers used that I hope don't register on her memory: nothing that bad and its believable that the boys would speak that way (My sister said I was being oversensitive, and I said OK, as long as I don't get in trouble!) Other than that, yep its scary; but its a good kid scary in that everything ends up OK in the end. (Using that as a measure, its less scary than some Goosebumps episodes.) In a way better than Finding Nemo, where the niece kept asking "what happened to the Mommy?"