Movies: When Puppets Get Political

The Motion Picture Association of America has given Team America: World Police an R rating for "graphic, crude and sexual humor, violent images and strong language--all involving puppets." That about sums up the new martial-arts musical marionette movie from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Inspired by the '60s British TV and movie series Thunderbirds, Parker and Stone have fashioned a naughty, handsome, sporadically funny pre-election recruiting poster for U.S. military values at their most myopically heroic.

Team America applies the innocent make-believe of puppets to numbingly real issues: the use of military power to fight insurgent forces and...