The Family Filmgoer

By Jane Horwitz

Special to The Washington Post

BABY GENIUSES (PG, 93 minutes)

There's nothing cute in this charmless, gimmicky kiddie comedy in which the tykes talk like characters in "Ally McBeal." Kids under 6 or 8 might be scared by bad guys in pursuit of the smart-talking toddlers. One baby is separated from his parents and cries miserably. The PG rating reflects mild sexual innuendo, poopy-diaper jokes and other crass dialogue put in the babies' mouths.

Two chilly child development experts (Kathleen Turner and Christopher Lloyd) are studying orphaned babies, trying to crack their gibberish, which they suspect contains the Key to All Knowledge. The good guys (Kim Cattrall and Peter MacNicol) run a day-care center and discover the experiment. The babies' precocious lip and body movements are ill-concealed computerized effects.