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Action/Adventure Archives

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genre

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quality

  • A+, A, A-
  • B+, B, B-
  • C+, C, C-
  • D+, D, D-
  • F+, F, F-

who's watching

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age range

  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
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Killers

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violent action, sexual material, and language
Movie Release Date:June 4, 2010
DVD Release Date:September 7, 2010
D
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violent action, sexual material, and language
Movie Release Date: June 4, 2010
DVD Release Date: September 7, 2010

This is not just a bad movie. It is three bad movies. “Killers” is trying to be a romantic action comedy and it fails all three times. Katherine Heigl plays Jen, on vacation in the French Riviera with her overprotective […]

MacGruber

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, violence, language and some nudity
Movie Release Date:May 21, 2010
DVD Release Date:September 7, 2010
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, violence, language and some nudity
Movie Release Date: May 21, 2010
DVD Release Date: September 7, 2010

A one-joke “Saturday Night Live” skit based on a television series that ended in 1992 has been turned into a no-joke movie that ended 99 painful minutes after it began. It is of interest only to people who think that […]

Date Night

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual and crude content throughout, language, some violence and a drug reference
Movie Release Date:April 9, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 10, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual and crude content throughout, language, some violence and a drug reference
Movie Release Date: April 9, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 10, 2010

Putting Tina Fey and Steve Carell together seems so natural it’s hard to believe that it took this long. Both are funny in part because they let us see how smart they are. The characters they play on television may […]

Kick-Ass

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong brutal violence throughout, pervasive language, sexual content, nudity and some drug use - some involving children
Movie Release Date:April 16, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 3, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong brutal violence throughout, pervasive language, sexual content, nudity and some drug use - some involving children
Movie Release Date: April 16, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 3, 2010

“Kick-Ass” revels in its transgressive, nasty brutishness, and its audience will, too. Of course, it’s one thing to have a 11-year-old girl in a comic book use very strong language and kill lots of people and it is another thing […]

Contest: Clash of the Titans

posted by Nell Minow

It’s time to release the Kracken! I have FIVE copies of “Clash of the Titans” with Sam Worthington and some amazing stunts and special effects to give away to my beloved readers. The first five to send me an email […]

Salt

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action
Movie Release Date:July 23, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action
Movie Release Date: July 23, 2010

“Salt” is the story of a CIA agent with an exemplary record who is accused by a mole of being a Russian spy, part of a cadre trained as children to infiltrate America by living normal lives until ordered into […]

Clash of the Titans

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence, some frightning images and brief sensuality
Movie Release Date:April 2, 2010
DVD Release Date:July 27, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence, some frightning images and brief sensuality
Movie Release Date: April 2, 2010
DVD Release Date: July 27, 2010

Director Louis Leterrier (the second “Hulk” movie) says that he was a big fan of the 1981 Clash of the Titans when he was a child. Perhaps that is why he has remade the wrong parts of that film. Nearly […]

Contest: James and the Giant Peach on Blu-Ray

posted by Nell Minow

This is a treat. Before he made “Coraline,” director Henry Selick made the enchanting “James and the Giant Peach,” based on Roald Dahl’s classic book and featuring the voices of Susan Sarandon, Richard Dreyfuss, and “Frazier’s” Jane Leaves. It’s now […]

The Losers

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, a scene of sensuality, and language
Movie Release Date:April 23, 2010
DVD Release Date:July 20, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, a scene of sensuality, and language
Movie Release Date: April 23, 2010
DVD Release Date: July 20, 2010

The weather is getting warmer, which means it must be time for some movies about BLOWING STUFF UP! And so we have “The Losers,” based on a comic book originally set in WWII but updated by Andy Diggle. The name […]

Cop Out

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, violence and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:February 26, 2010
DVD Release Date:July 20, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, violence and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: February 26, 2010
DVD Release Date: July 20, 2010

If you have some affection for the 1980’s-era buddy cop movies (the “Lethal Weapon” series, “Running Scared,” “48 Hours,” etc.), rent one of those. Don’t try to re-create the genre by seeing Kevin Smith’s tired re-tread, “Cop Out,” starring Bruce […]

The Bounty Hunter

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for sexual content including suggestive comments, language, and some violence
Movie Release Date:March 19, 2010
DVD Release Date:July 13, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content including suggestive comments, language, and some violence
Movie Release Date: March 19, 2010
DVD Release Date: July 13, 2010

Jennifer Aniston is a beautiful and talented woman, but this film had me thinking some very mean thoughts about her, thoughts like, “She is too old for this kind of movie” and “Probably not a good idea to make a […]

The Green Zone

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence and language
Movie Release Date:March 12, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 22, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence and language
Movie Release Date: March 12, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 22, 2010

The star and director of the last two “Bourne” movies are back and much is the same — the gritty, intimate, documentary feel, the sense of peril and dynamic staging of action, the able but conflicted leading man. But there […]

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for action violence and peril, some scary images and suggestive material, and mild language
Movie Release Date:February 12, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 22, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action violence and peril, some scary images and suggestive material, and mild language
Movie Release Date: February 12, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 22, 2010

A teenager feels like he doesn’t fit in anywhere. It all comes together when he finds out that he has inherited some special powers from the father he last saw when he was seven months old. And he soon finds […]

From Paris With Love

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, drug content, pervasive language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:February 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 8, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, drug content, pervasive language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: February 5, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 8, 2010

John Travolta loves to be bad. And so he is clearly having a blast — in both senses of the word — in this film, playing a bald guy with an earring who likes to shoot first and think later. […]

The Spy Next Door

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of action violence and some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:January 15, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 11, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of action violence and some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: January 15, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 11, 2010

Jackie Chan, the most graceful and acrobatic of men when it comes to action scenes, is also one of the most clumsy when it comes to dialogue. So it is clever to cast him as a man who is awkward […]

The Adventures of Robin Hood

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1938
DVD Release Date:2002
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1938
DVD Release Date: 2002

Errol Flynn is the definitive Robin Hood in this glorious Technicolor version of the classic story, one of the most thrillingly entertaining films of all time. King Richard the Lion-Hearted, off fighting in the Crusades, has been captured and held […]

Avatar

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking
Movie Release Date:December 18, 2009
DVD Release Date:April 20, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking
Movie Release Date: December 18, 2009
DVD Release Date: April 20, 2010

NOTE: The DVD being released this week is a stripped-down 2D version. Later this year there will be another release with many more extras. Writer-director-producer James Cameron (“Titanic,” “Terminator”) spent a record-breaking $230 million on “Avatar,” and the good news […]

Toy Story 2

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1999
DVD Release Date:March 30, 2010
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1999
DVD Release Date: March 30, 2010

Wow. WOW! “Toy Story 2″ is stunning, witty, exciting, enchanting, and very moving. Amazingly, it is even better than the sensationally entertaining original. The animation is better — the facial expressions of the main characters should qualify the animators for […]

The Men Who Stare At Goats

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, some drug content and brief nudity
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 23, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some drug content and brief nudity
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 23, 2010

“More of this is true than you would believe,” “The Men Who Stare at Goats” cheekily informs us as it opens. And while its tone is high satire, even farce, the story it tells is not hard to believe at […]

Astro Boy

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some action and peril, and brief mild language.
Movie Release Date:October 23, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 16, 2010
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some action and peril, and brief mild language.
Movie Release Date: October 23, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 16, 2010

A show of hands, everyone. If you think it’s a good idea to begin a movie for children by killing off a young boy in an industrial accident as his father looks on, raise your hand. Anyone? I didn’t think […]

2012

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense disaster sequences and some language
Movie Release Date:November 13, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 2, 2010
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense disaster sequences and some language
Movie Release Date: November 13, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 2, 2010

“2012” is yet another example of technological genius and story-telling mediocrity. Its careless, almost gleeful destruction of the entire world makes the brilliant CGI work jarring in a way the film-makers did not intend. It has the usual disaster film […]

Where the Wild Things Are

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some adventure action and brief language
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 2, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some adventure action and brief language
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 2, 2010

Maurice Sendak’s spare, poetic, and deeply wise book has been lovingly unfolded into a movie about the child who lives in all of us, brave and fearful, generous and needy, angry and peaceful, confident and insecure, adventuresome and very glad […]

District 13: Ultimatum

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some violence, language and drug material
Movie Release Date:February 5, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violence, language and drug material
Movie Release Date: February 5, 2010

Cyril Raffaelli and David Belle make a sensationally appealing team in this follow-up to their hit film “District B13.” Belle is the creator of “parkour,” a stunt spectacular that turns an entire city into an obstacle course. It has become […]

Law Abiding Citizen

posted by Nell Minow
F
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody brutal violence and torture, a scene of rape, and pervasive language
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2009
DVD Release Date:February 2, 2010
F
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody brutal violence and torture, a scene of rape, and pervasive language
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2009
DVD Release Date: February 2, 2010

This is not just a bad film; it is a despicable one. The slim but highly profitable torture porn genre has now begun to permeate major studio films directed at a general audience and the result is this dim-witted thriller […]

Edge of Darkness

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong bloody violence and language
Movie Release Date:January 29, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody violence and language
Movie Release Date: January 29, 2010

As he continues to work through personal issues that seem to require expiation through his characters on screen, Mel Gibson, plays a Tom Craven, a Boston cop out for more than justice after his daughter is murdered. His face deeply […]

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date:January 5, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date: January 5, 2010

When things go very, very wrong in this movie, as they so often do, we get to see a series of television news broadcasts from around the world showing the destruction of various iconic monuments, as we so often do. […]

Sherlock Holmes

posted by Nell Minow

Perhaps even the great detective himself could not solve the mystery of why Sherlock Holmes holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for having been portrayed on screen than any other fictional character, with more than 75 actors in […]

District 9

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for bloody violence and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date:August 14, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 22, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for bloody violence and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date: August 14, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 22, 2009

This is the smartest alien movie in quite a while. But then movies about creatures from other planets are never about the aliens; they’re about the humans, and about what being human really means. It has cool and creepy giant […]

Inglourious Basterds

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong graphic violence, language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:August 21, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 15, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic violence, language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: August 21, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009

There is no question that writer-director Quentin Tarantino is a brilliant film-maker. But there is some question about whether he has yet made a brilliant film. No one takes a more visceral pleasure in movies than he does but there […]

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality.
Movie Release Date:July 14, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 8, 2009
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality.
Movie Release Date: July 14, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 8, 2009

In his last two movies, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) was becoming an adolescent. In this gripping and atmospheric film, based on the sixth book in the series, Harry Potter is becoming a man. He knows who he is and what […]

Terminator: Salvation

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and language
Movie Release Date:May 22, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 1, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and language
Movie Release Date: May 22, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 1, 2009

How can you have a war between humans and machines when the line between them is hard to find? In the first three Terminator movies, cyborgs from the future were sent back in time to prevent future leader of the […]

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action and brief language
Movie Release Date:May 22, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 1, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action and brief language
Movie Release Date: May 22, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 1, 2009

Everything is bigger, better, and especially funnier in this sequel to the surprise hit Night at the Museum. In the original, Larry (Ben Stiller) was an unsuccessful inventor who took at job as a security guard at New York’s Museum […]

Shorts

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date:August 21, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 24, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date: August 21, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 24, 2009

A rainbow-colored wishing rock creates comic chaos in a film from Robert Rodriguez about bullies, family communication and being very, very careful what you wish for. It is also about an army of crocodiles, a telepathic super-genius baby, and a […]

Angels & Demons

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, disturbing images and thematic material.
Movie Release Date:May 15, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 24, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, disturbing images and thematic material.
Movie Release Date: May 15, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 24, 2009

Harvard professor of Symbology Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) returns for another round of save the world heroics peppered with chases, kidnapping, murders, clues, codes, and ancient manuscripts, a beautiful and very erudite woman, murky motives, and a lot of historical, […]

Up

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some peril and action
Movie Release Date:May 29, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 11, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some peril and action
Movie Release Date: May 29, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 11, 2009

Pixar movies are beautiful to look at, but what takes your breath away is the story. They don’t rely on fairy tales or best-selling books with pre-sold stories and characters we are already attached to. And, as if challenging themselves […]

Aliens in the Attic

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for action violence, some suggestive humor and language
Movie Release Date:July 31, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 3, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action violence, some suggestive humor and language
Movie Release Date: July 31, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009

Back in the era of Saturday matinées, “Aliens in the Attic” would have been just fine sandwiched between a couple of cartoons and a newsreel, especially if about half an hour was lopped off and there was a bit more […]

The Taking of Pelham 123

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence and pervasive language
Movie Release Date:June 12, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 3, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence and pervasive language
Movie Release Date: June 12, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009

This third version of the story of a hijacked New York subway car may be superfluous but it still delivers some zip thanks to Tony Scott’s music-video flash and even a bit of heft thanks to Denzel Washington. The 1974 […]

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor and peril
Movie Release Date:July 1, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 27, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor and peril
Movie Release Date: July 1, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 27, 2009

This third in the Ice Age series is a bit sweeter and gentler than the first two, perhaps less ambitious in scope than the first but much more engaging than the second. The 3D animation is beautifully immersive and the […]

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, language, some crude and sexual material, and brief drug material
Movie Release Date:June 25, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 20, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, language, some crude and sexual material, and brief drug material
Movie Release Date: June 25, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 20, 2009

Oh, dear. #TransformerFail I truly loved the first Transformers movie. It was everything you need in a big summer explosion movie, with stupendous special effects, shot through with heart-thumping adrenaline, with just enough character and storyline to allow us to […]

Land of the Lost

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and for language including a drug reference
Movie Release Date:June 5, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 13, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and for language including a drug reference
Movie Release Date: June 5, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 13, 2009

“Land of the Lost” features two funny actors and a criminally underused actress tramping around an alternate reality in search of comedy but not finding much for us to laugh at. Too raunchy for kids, too dull for anyone else, […]

Battle for Terra 3D

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2009
DVD Release Date:September 22, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2009
DVD Release Date: September 22, 2009

The animation may be three-dimensional but the story is one-dimensional in this dull saga of humans invading an alien planet — from the perspective of the aliens. I suppose it is actually the humans who are the aliens in this […]

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and some partial nudity.
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and some partial nudity.
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2009

Sometimes the mystery is better than the solution. This is one of those times. Marvel Comics’ X-Men movie trilogy was about a group of mostly young people with special “mutant” powers who were either victimized by or exploited by “regular” […]

X Games 3D: The Movie

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for extreme sports action and accidents
Movie Release Date:August 21, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for extreme sports action and accidents
Movie Release Date: August 21, 2009

Kids, don’t try this at home. 3D is X-treme film-making and thus well suited to the X Games, hyper-intense, hyper-dangerous, hyper-what are they thinking? sports that are closer to stunts. Young men compete on skateboard, snowboard, and on dirt bikes […]

Alien Trespass

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sci-fi action and brief historical smoking
Movie Release Date:April 3, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 11, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sci-fi action and brief historical smoking
Movie Release Date: April 3, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 11, 2009

Was there ever a time when cheesy 1950’s sci-fi movies were actually scary? Is it because they are so low tech in comparison to the intense realism of CGI? Or is it just the balsa wood sets and cardboard dialog […]

Race to Witch Mountain

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of action and violence, frightening and dangerous situations, and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date:March 13, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 4, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of action and violence, frightening and dangerous situations, and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date: March 13, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 4, 2009

After an enormous train crash/explosion, a line of dialog reassures us that the engineer (played in a quick cameo by Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook) was not hurt. This is, reassuringly, a Disney movie. The entire planet may be at […]

Fast & Furious

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual content, language and drug references
Movie Release Date:April 3, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 28, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual content, language and drug references
Movie Release Date: April 3, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 28, 2009

How fast? How furious? Well, this fourth in the series is so zippy it doesn’t even have time for “the” or “and.” And how necessary? Is there any more fastness or furiousness not fully covered by the original The Fast […]

Watchmen

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong graphic violence, sexuality, nudity and language
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2009
DVD Release Date:July 28, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic violence, sexuality, nudity and language
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2009
DVD Release Date: July 28, 2009

This movie deserves two separate reviews. The first is for fans of the the award-winning graphic novel, a dense, complex, challenging story of superheroes and costumed crusaders with lives that are messy, dysfunctional, and bleak. You will be very satisfied […]

G-Force

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor
Movie Release Date:July 24, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor
Movie Release Date: July 24, 2009

Top voice talent and good 3D computer graphics cannot make up for the fact that this film is utterly synthetic as well as crass, loud, and vulgar. Even at a brief running time of under 90 minutes, it overstays its […]

Inkheart

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG for fantasy adventure action, some scary moments and brief language
Movie Release Date:January 23, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 16, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG for fantasy adventure action, some scary moments and brief language
Movie Release Date: January 23, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 16, 2009

Inkheart is a best-selling novel by Cornelia Funke about the power of reading. There is something truly meta-magical about reading a book about reading a book, with a character who brings book characters to life. And no matter how creative […]

Fighting

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense fight sequences, some sexuality and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:April 27, 2009
D
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense fight sequences, some sexuality and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: April 27, 2009

Terrence Howard’s performance in “Fighting” is so bizarrely strange and awful that it occurred to me he might be hoping we didn’t realize it was him. Howard plays Harvey, a street hustler who discovers Shawn, a gifted young boxer (Channing […]

Quantum of Solace

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date:November 14, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 24, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date: November 14, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 24, 2008

More like “The Bond Ultimatum,” this is the Bournization of Bond. He may still spend some time in a dinner jacket, but this Bond is not the cool, debonair spy who seldom misses and never questions. This Bond is almost […]

Transporter 3

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, some sexual content and drug material
Movie Release Date:November 26, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 10, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, some sexual content and drug material
Movie Release Date: November 26, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009

Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is in the transport business. If he accepts the job he guarantees delivery with three rules: once the deal is made, no details may be changed, no names provided by either side for deniability, and a […]

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:October 3, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 3, 2009
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: October 3, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 3, 2009

A pampered pooch goes on an unexpected adventure but just about everything else in this movie is only too predictable. Drew Barrymore provides the voice for Chloe, a cashmere couture and diamond collar-clad chihuahua. She enjoys the high life with […]

Body of Lies

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence including some torture, and for language throughout
Movie Release Date:October 10, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 17, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence including some torture, and for language throughout
Movie Release Date: October 10, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 17, 2009

Once movie spies were sleek and cool and impeccably dressed. They were devil-may-care, they had joie de vivre, they seemed to know everything, and they were unstoppable. The bad guys had endless money to spend on sociopathic sidekicks and elaborate […]

Push

posted by Nell Minow

If you add up all the recent movies about ordinary-looking people who walk among us with special hidden powers, you might conclude that there are no normal people left. The accountant next door might be a secret mutant, time traveler, […]

City of Ember

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild peril and some thematic elements.
Movie Release Date:October 10, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild peril and some thematic elements.
Movie Release Date: October 10, 2008

Under the earth’s surface for so long they have forgotten how and why they got there and even that there is another place to be, the citizens of the City of Ember have just about lost their sense of hope, […]

Eagle Eye

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and for language
Movie Release Date:September 26, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 23, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and for language
Movie Release Date: September 26, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 23, 2008

A promising premise, some intense action, and a lively appearance by Billy Bob Thornton might have been enough to squeak this one by as a summer movie but when the days grow shorter and the wind blows chill we ask […]

The Day the Earth Stood Still

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sci-fi disaster images and violence
Movie Release Date:December 12, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sci-fi disaster images and violence
Movie Release Date: December 12, 2008

In the 1951 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still, a spaceship landed in front of the Washington Monument to warn the people of earth that they were on the path to destruction. The problem then was the Cold […]

Delgo

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG for sequences of fantasy action violence
Movie Release Date:December 12, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG for sequences of fantasy action violence
Movie Release Date: December 12, 2008

The good news is that animation software is so widely available these days that just about anyone can make an animated film. That’s also the bad news. It is now too easy to produce a professional-looking film without the same […]

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for epic battle action and violence.
Movie Release Date:May 16, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 2, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for epic battle action and violence.
Movie Release Date: May 16, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 2, 2008

The Pevensie children are back in London and contemporary life seems pale and uninvolving compared to their adventures in the magical land of Narnia. As they wait for the Tube, a wall opens up and just as happened when they […]

Wanted

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, pervasive language and some sexuality.
Movie Release Date:June 28, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 2, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, pervasive language and some sexuality.
Movie Release Date: June 28, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 2, 2008

Nasty, twisted, pulpy, and brutally violent, “Wanted” is like a cross between Kill Bill, The Matrix, and The Terminator. Angelina Jolie, smokey-eyed and a little bit leaner, plays the assassin who grabs cubicle galley slave Wesley (“Atonement’s” James McAvoy) when […]

Tropic Thunder

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, violent content and drug material.
Movie Release Date:August 13, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 18, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, violent content and drug material.
Movie Release Date: August 13, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008

With constant coverage of every baby bump and trip to rehab, we all feel like show business insiders these days. And co-writer/director/star Ben Stiller makes the most of that with this pointed but ultimately sweet take on Hollywood excess. The […]

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sci-fi action violence throughout, brief language and momentary smoking.
Movie Release Date:August 13, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 11, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sci-fi action violence throughout, brief language and momentary smoking.
Movie Release Date: August 13, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008

Oh, George Lucas. Please stop diluting the franchise. This latest all-animated iteration of “Star Wars” has a relationship to the original somewhere along the lines of the relationship of a homeopathic ingredient to the ultimate concoction. It has been diluted […]

Kung Fu Panda

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of martial arts action
Movie Release Date:June 5, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 4, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of martial arts action
Movie Release Date: June 5, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 4, 2008

Po (voice of Jack Black) is a soft, sweet-natured cuddly panda. He works as a waiter in his father’s noodle shop but dreams of being a kung fu champion. He studies kung fu history and cherishes his action figures of […]

The Incredible Hulk

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some frightening sci-fi images, and brief suggestive content
Movie Release Date:June 13, 2008
DVD Release Date:October 21, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some frightening sci-fi images, and brief suggestive content
Movie Release Date: June 13, 2008
DVD Release Date: October 21, 2008

It begins with a zippy credit sequence that dispatches with the backstory Ang Lee’s lumbering 2003 version took more than an hour to slog through. And we’re off! Who cares what kind of gamma rays turned Bruce Banner into the […]

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for adventure violence and scary images
Movie Release Date:May 22, 2008
DVD Release Date:September 2, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for adventure violence and scary images
Movie Release Date: May 22, 2008
DVD Release Date: September 2, 2008

Some things are different. No more Nazis — it is now a Cold War and the guys on the other side are the Soviets. And there may be enemies at home. A harmless-looking professor could be a Red. Or maybe […]

Iron Man

posted by Nell Minow

With its first self-financed production, Marvel has produced one of the best superhero movies ever made, pure popcorn pleasure for its special effects, its story, its villain, and its hero. Director Jon Favreau, star Robert Downey Jr. and a first-class […]

Speed Racer

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of action, some violence, language and brief smoking.
Movie Release Date:May 9, 2008
DVD Release Date:September 16, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of action, some violence, language and brief smoking.
Movie Release Date: May 9, 2008
DVD Release Date: September 16, 2008

Andy and Larry Wachowski, the folks behind the Matrix trilogy, have taken the iconic but decidedly low-tech 1960’s Japanese cartoon character and put the pedal to the metal with dazzling effects and electrifying action. Do what Speed Racer does — […]

Rocketeer

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1991
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1991

In honor of my son’s birthday this week, my DVD pick is one of his childhood favorites: Rocketeer. Based on a comic book that recreated the deco feel of the pre-WWII era, this Disney movie has a 1940s feel — […]

Forbidden Kingdom

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of martial arts action and some violence.
Movie Release Date:April 19, 2008
DVD Release Date:September 9, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of martial arts action and some violence.
Movie Release Date: April 19, 2008
DVD Release Date: September 9, 2008

It’s not a good movie, but it is a lot of fun. It’s a fantasy with three things going for it: it does not take itself too seriously, it does take the action scenes seriously, and it includes both of […]

Fly Me to the Moon

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:August 13, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: August 13, 2008

Don’t try to swat that enormous insect buzzing a few inches above your popcorn. It’s a hologram-like image hovering in front of you and it is part of the movie. Yes, you have to wear the clunky glasses, but within […]

Nim’s Island

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild adventure action and brief language.
Movie Release Date:April 4, 2008
DVD Release Date:August 4, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild adventure action and brief language.
Movie Release Date: April 4, 2008
DVD Release Date: August 4, 2008

A pair of heroines on opposite sides of the world team up in an eye-filling and heart-warming story from Walden Media, the latest in its series of fine films based on popular children’s literature. Eleven year old Nim (Abigail Breslin […]

The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for adventure action and violence
Movie Release Date:August 1, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for adventure action and violence
Movie Release Date: August 1, 2008

Salt the popcorn and settle your gigantic soda in the cup-holder. Brendan Fraser is back and just as important, so are the mummies. Strictly speaking, these guys are not mummies, but they’re close enough. It’s only been nine years since […]

Batman

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Movie Release Date:1989
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Movie Release Date: 1989

The critical and box office success of The Dark Knight is a reminder to take another look at the last re-booted Batman and Joker, Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s broody re-imagining of a character then best remembered […]

Journey to the Center of the Earth

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for intense adventure action and some scary moments
Movie Release Date:July 11, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for intense adventure action and some scary moments
Movie Release Date: July 11, 2008

The most impressive achievement from Brendan Fraser and Josh Hutcherson in this 3D action -adventure is holding our attention as it feels like we are being chased by a drooling dinosaur and squirted with something really ooky. Fraser plays a […]

Independence Day

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Movie Release Date:July 4, 1996
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Movie Release Date: July 4, 1996

In this heart-thumping, slam-bang action extravaganza, aliens arrive and blow up the world’s major cities. The president (Bill Pullman) and fighter pilots (led by Will Smith) must find a way to fight back. Some kids will find this too intense […]

Vantage Point

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense violence and action, some disturbing images and brief strong language.
Movie Release Date:February 22, 2008
DVD Release Date:July 1, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense violence and action, some disturbing images and brief strong language.
Movie Release Date: February 22, 2008
DVD Release Date: July 1, 2008

A gimmicky thriller without much of a gimmick or many thrills, “Vantage Point” suffers, too, from being out of synch with its time. Its premise may be current — an assassination attempt at an anti-terrorism summit — but its tone […]

The Spiderwick Chronicles

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for scary creature action and violence, peril and some thematic elements.
Movie Release Date:February 14, 2008
DVD Release Date:June 24, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for scary creature action and violence, peril and some thematic elements.
Movie Release Date: February 14, 2008
DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008

The best-selling series of books about children who find their mysterious old house surrounded by magical creatures has been turned into a visually sumptuous treat for fans of fantasy and imagination. Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) plays twins […]

Fool’s Gold

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for action violence, some sexual material, brief nudity and language
Movie Release Date:February 8, 2008
DVD Release Date:June 17, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for action violence, some sexual material, brief nudity and language
Movie Release Date: February 8, 2008
DVD Release Date: June 17, 2008

An adventure-romance-comedy about a just-divorced couple who join forces in pursuit of sunken treasure reunited Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Despite the considerable — and well-displayed — charms of its stars, […]

Jumper

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some language and brief sexuality.
Movie Release Date:February 14, 2008
DVD Release Date:June 10, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some language and brief sexuality.
Movie Release Date: February 14, 2008
DVD Release Date: June 10, 2008

The movie “Jumper” is 88 minutes on a pogo stick, hopping from teenage cliche to teenage cliche. You like the story about the high school nerd who pines for the class beauty and is tormented by her bully boyfriend? You’re […]

Rambo

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong graphic bloody violence, sexual assaults, grisly images and language.
Movie Release Date:January 25, 2008
DVD Release Date:May 27, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic bloody violence, sexual assaults, grisly images and language.
Movie Release Date: January 25, 2008
DVD Release Date: May 27, 2008

Same “stick it to the man” story. Same stoic, emotionally damaged but still a fighting machine (mean, yes; lean, not so much) who can take on a hundred guys with guns because he is so well trained and so pure […]

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some violence and action
Movie Release Date:December 21, 2007
DVD Release Date:May 20, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some violence and action
Movie Release Date: December 21, 2007
DVD Release Date: May 20, 2008

The first movie ended with historian/treasure-hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) triumphant, with riches, a dream house, and a dream girl, historian/knockout (and conveniently named) Abigail Chase (“Troy’s” Helen Diane Kruger). He has pretty much lost all of that as […]

Cloverfield

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence, terror and disturbing images.
Movie Release Date:January 18, 2008
DVD Release Date:April 22, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, terror and disturbing images.
Movie Release Date: January 18, 2008
DVD Release Date: April 22, 2008

Stories, especially movies, are usually linear and organized in part because stories are how we make sense of the world but mostly because of the limits of time. If we are only going to give two hours of our lives […]

Street Kings

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date:April 11, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date: April 11, 2008

“Street Kings” is a like a Cliff’s Notes version of Training Day not that Training Day was any special challenge to the mental muscle. Corruption is bad, we get it. At least that movie had a sizzling performance and an […]

10,000 B.C.

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence.
Movie Release Date:March 7, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence.
Movie Release Date: March 7, 2008

If you are ten years old, a fan of video games, and have a short attention span and no knowledge of history, you will love this movie. The further you stray from these core qualifications, the less you will love […]

The Bank Job

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, nudity, violence and language.
Movie Release Date:March 7, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, nudity, violence and language.
Movie Release Date: March 7, 2008

Ah, the pleasures of the heist film. Something for nothing. Sticking it to The Man. Tricky problems solved by clever people both in the planning stages and on the spot. And, just to make it really fun, sometimes, as here, […]

Beowulf

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for intense sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sexual material and nudity
Movie Release Date:November 16, 2007
DVD Release Date:February 26, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sexual material and nudity
Movie Release Date: November 16, 2007
DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008

One of the oldest surviving stories is retold through one of the most modern of technologies in a thrilling 3-D adventure from director Robert Zemeckis.

The Hunting Party

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:September 7, 2007
DVD Release Date:January 22, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: September 7, 2007
DVD Release Date: January 22, 2008

Crazy times require crazy tactics. And so just because the UN can’t seem to find Bosnia’s most notorious war criminal does not mean that a gonzo journalist shouldn’t track him down for an interview. Based on a 2002 Esquire Magazine […]

Sunshine

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violent content and language.
Movie Release Date:July 17, 2007
DVD Release Date:January 8, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violent content and language.
Movie Release Date: July 17, 2007
DVD Release Date: January 8, 2008

The sun is dying. A rocket ship from earth, meaningfully named “Icarus,” failed in its mission to reboot the sun with a supercharged nuclear payload designed to “create a star within a star.” Now the earth’s last chance is Icarus […]

Shoot ‘Em Up

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:R for pervasive strong bloody violence, sexuality, and some language
Movie Release Date:September 7, 2007
DVD Release Date:January 1, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive strong bloody violence, sexuality, and some language
Movie Release Date: September 7, 2007
DVD Release Date: January 1, 2008

Writer-director Michael Davis has stripped the action movie down to its essence in a mind-blowing mash-up fueled with testosterone, adrenaline, and weapons-grade plutonium. No esoteric references in the title. No Robert McKee-mandated 10 pages at the beginning to make us […]

Stardust

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some fantasy violence and risque humor.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:December 18, 2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some fantasy violence and risque humor.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: December 18, 2007

This is an enchanting story that lives up to the promise of a “once upon a time beginning,” filled with romance, adventure, magic, and wit. It has witch sisters who need to find a fallen star to make the potion […]

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images.
Movie Release Date:July 11, 2007
DVD Release Date:December 11, 2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images.
Movie Release Date: July 11, 2007
DVD Release Date: December 11, 2007

Everything is changing again for Harry Potter. Back when Hagrid explained to him for the first time at age 11 that his parents had not died in a car crash but in a battle with an evil wizard and that […]

The Bourne Ultimatum

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence and intense sequences of action.
Movie Release Date:August 3, 2007
DVD Release Date:December 11, 2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence and intense sequences of action.
Movie Release Date: August 3, 2007
DVD Release Date: December 11, 2007

There is not much story here. The set-up was two movies ago, when a man with a gunshot wound was fished out of the water. He had no memory but when it came to the tricks of the spy trade, […]

The Golden Compass

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence.
Movie Release Date:December 5, 2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence.
Movie Release Date: December 5, 2007

Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards) is disobedient, obstinate, crafty, and skeptical. In other words, she challenges authority, she is is a creative thinker, and she is in the grand tradition of the heroes of classic adventure stories. And this is […]

Live Free or Die Hard (Die Hard 4)

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, language and a brief sexual situation
Movie Release Date:June 22, 2007
DVD Release Date:November 20, 2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, language and a brief sexual situation
Movie Release Date: June 22, 2007
DVD Release Date: November 20, 2007

It will blow the box of popcorn out of your hand.

Underdog

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for rude humor, mild language and action.
Movie Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for rude humor, mild language and action.
Movie Release Date: 2007

There may be no need to fear now that Underdog is here, but there is no reason to feel very happy, either. This live-action adaptation of the 1960’s animated television show substitutes special effects for satire. The animated series was […]

Transformers

posted by jmiller

The surprising transformation here is not from machines into enormous robots but from a modest Saturday morning cartoon based on a line of toys into 2007’s most exhilarating summer movie, able to transform audiences of all ages into 12-year-old fanboys. […]

Live Free or Die Hard

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for intense adventure action and some scary moments.
Movie Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for intense adventure action and some scary moments.
Movie Release Date: 2007

Just as Entertainment Weekly picks the 1988 Die Hard as the greatest action movie of all time, Bruce Willis comma-ti-yi-yippies it up again for NYPD’s John McClane’s fourth explosion-and-wisecrack-fest. Number three is still my favorite, but this latest installment has […]

Ratatouille

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated G
Movie Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated G
Movie Release Date: 2007

Pixar’s latest release is brilliantly animated, and a lot of fun. But it does not have a clear sense of who its audience is, and families with children who are looking for the next Finding Nemo may find themselves puzzled. […]

Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of action violence, some mild language and innuendo.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of action violence, some mild language and innuendo.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

If not exactly meriting the term “fantastic” yet, this second installment is a slight improvement over the “first” film. (“First” is in quotes because there was a legendary 1994 never-released quickie made only to preserve the studio’s rights to the […]

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action/adventure violence and some frightening images.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:December 4, 2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action/adventure violence and some frightening images.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: December 4, 2007

Even in a summer blockbuster, sometimes less is more. Especially when it comes to the story. They throw in so many plots, so many battles, so many tonal shifts, so many characters, and ultimately so many Captain Jack Sparrows that […]

Shrek the Third

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some crude humor, suggestive content and swashbuckling action.
Movie Release Date: 2007

Did you ever wonder what happens to the villains while the hero and heroine are living happily ever after? We get to find out in this third chapter in the saga of Shrek. In the previous episode, Prince Charming failed […]

Spider-Man 3

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence.
Movie Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence.
Movie Release Date: 2007

It isn’t just Spider-Man who loses his way in the third and last installment. It’s the movie. A superhero movie should have (1) cool special effects, (2) a great villain, (3) thrilling action scenes, and (4) just enough plot to […]

Next

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violent action, and some language.
Movie Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violent action, and some language.
Movie Release Date: 2007

If Philip K. Dick could have seen into the future, he would never have agreed to have his story “The Golden Man” be adapted into a movie, at least not this movie. Nicolas Cage, who also produced, plays Chris Johnson, […]

Grindhouse

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic bloody violence and gore, pervasive language, some sexuality, nudity and drug use.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

NOTE: This movie has extremely graphic, grisly, violent, and disgusting images, situations, and characters. It is not appropriate for anyone under 18 or for many adults. The positive rating is only for its intended audience, fans of this genre. Famously […]

Firehouse Dog

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of action peril, some mild crude humor and language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of action peril, some mild crude humor and language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Ths story about a mega-movie star dog who gets lost and finds a home with the son of a fire chief is an uncomfortable blending of three different stories that neglects the one thing we want to see — the […]

Meet the Robinsons

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated G
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated G
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

At times, all of us feel like strangers in the world. In Disney’s bight, colorful, CGI animated film (available in 3D in some locations), Lewis (voice of Daniel Hansen) is left on the steps of an orphanage as a baby […]

The Last Mimzy

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some thematic elements, mild peril and language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some thematic elements, mild peril and language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Two children find toys that make them more intelligent and powerful and send them on an adventure in this fine story for 4th-8th graders and their families. After he plays with the toys, Noah (Chris O’Neil) doesn’t need his glasses […]

Shooter

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong graphic violence and some language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic violence and some language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Pulitzer prize-winning film critic Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post has seen a lot of movies, both good and bad, and this film, based on his highly cinematic novel Point of Impact, shows an able, if somewhat derivative, sense of […]

TMNT

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for animated action violence, some scary cartoon images and mild language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for animated action violence, some scary cartoon images and mild language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

They’re teenagers, they’re mutants, they’re ninjas, and they’re turtles. Up from the sewers by way of some handy toxic waste, those Renaissance-named, three-fingered, ninja-fighting, pizza-eating turtle siblings are back in their first all-CGI adventure. They say funny-tough things like, “I’m […]

Hot Fuzz

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violent content including some graphic images, and language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violent content including some graphic images, and language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Those Shaun of the Dead guys are at it again. Having put a comedic stake through the heart of the zombie movie, they are now going after brainless cop films. Simon Pegg, the clueless Shaun in the last film, here […]

300

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for graphic battle sequences throughout, some sexuality and nudity.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for graphic battle sequences throughout, some sexuality and nudity.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

“Everyone will kneel to you — if you will kneel to me.” That is the offer made by a gold-dusted, multi-pierced Xerxes of Persia to King Lionidas (Gerard Butler) of Sparta in this visually sumptuous version of the battle of […]

Wild Hogs

posted by jmiller
D
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and some violence.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
D
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and some violence.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

It was almost 40 years ago that Easy Rider made a motorcycle road trip the ultimate baby boomer emblem of freedom and adventure. Now John Travolta, William H. Macy, Martin Lawrence and Tim Allen play the uneasiest of riders in […]

Ghost Rider

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for horror violence and disturbing images.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for horror violence and disturbing images.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

“Ghost Rider” needs a new ghost writer. Well, it needs something. You might not think that a movie based on a comic book about a flaming skeleton in a leather outfit who rides a (literally) hot motorcycle and has a […]

The Astronaut Farmer

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic material, peril and language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material, peril and language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Once upon a time there was a farmer who wanted to build a rocket ship and orbit the earth. And there were some evil ogres who wanted to stop him. That’s the best way to describe this slight fairy tale […]

Bridge to Terabithia

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements including bullying, some peril and mild language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements including bullying, some peril and mild language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Thirty years ago, a young mother named Katherine Paterson wrote a book to console her son David after his close friend was killed in an accident. That book went on to win the Newberry, children’s publishing’s highest honor, and to […]

Smokin’ Aces

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong bloody violence, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody violence, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

This is a flashy, nasty, hyper-violent story about a lot of people who are very, very interested in a snitch, magician and five time entertainer-of-the-year Buddy “Aces” Israel (Jeremy Piven). He’s about to turn state’s evidence against his long-time cronies […]

The Hitcher

posted by jmiller
F+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong bloody violence, terror and language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
F+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody violence, terror and language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

John Ryder returns in this remake of the 1986 horror film, and this time he has his eyes (and knives, and guns, and fleet of constantly-changing automobiles-turned-weapons) on not the young man driving but the young woman in the passenger’s […]

Arthur and the Invisibles

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for fantasy action and brief suggestive material.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for fantasy action and brief suggestive material.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Director Luc Besson is known for his striking visuals and his mash-ups of sentimental, even corny moments with intense, graphic violence. At his best, in films like The Professional and The Fifth Element, these juxtapositions work well. But here, in […]

Code Name: Cleaner

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, crude humor and some violence.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, crude humor and some violence.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

With a script that couldn’t find 22 minutes of jokes to fill a sitcom on the USA Network, even Cedric the Entertainer can’t make this attempt at comedy anything but inert. It want to be a spy spoof. It’s a […]

Children of Men

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence, language, some drug use and brief nudity.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, language, some drug use and brief nudity.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

“A baby is God’s opinion life should go on,” Carl Sandburg said. So, in a world where babies have stopped being born and the death of the youngest person on earth is an international tragedy, there seems to be no […]

Night at the Museum

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action, language and brief rude humor.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action, language and brief rude humor.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Larry (Ben Stiller) needs a job fast. He has always dreamed of making it big, but none of his schemes have worked and as his ex-wife points out, their son Nick needs some stability. After an employment counselor (Stiller’s real-life […]

Eragon

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for fantasy violence, intense battle sequences and some frightening images.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for fantasy violence, intense battle sequences and some frightening images.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

The fact that the CGI dragon gives the best performance in this film is not going to impede the enjoyment of its intended audience, which is 9-12 year olds. It may, however, make it a bit of a long haul […]

Blood Diamond

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence and language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence and language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

December brings us the thinking person’s thrillers — all of the explosions and shooting and close calls of a summer movie, but with a more serious purpose and a more distinguished pedigree. Like Syriana and Traffic, this is the story […]

Apocalypto

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sequences of graphic violence and disturbing images
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sequences of graphic violence and disturbing images
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

There are at least three movies here and two of them are great. There is the classic adventure saga of the hero who is trying to get home and save his family. Mel Gibson, as director, has created brilliant action […]

Turistas

posted by jmiller
F+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic violence and disturbing content, sexuality, nudity, drug use and language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

The growing trend in horror is to be as disgusting as possible — the story need not be involved, as long as it includes some form of stainless-steel torture and preferably five to six young backpackers/tourists/campers/other people away from home. […]

Deja Vu

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and terror, disturbing images and some sensuality.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and terror, disturbing images and some sensuality.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

A heart-pounding thriller with a time-travel twist, “Deja Vu” will not leave you thinking you’ve seen it all before. Denzel Washington plays Doug Carlin, an ATF agent called in to investigate a bombing. Someone, perhaps a terrorist, has blown up […]

Casino Royale

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violent action, a scene of torture, sexual content and nudity.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violent action, a scene of torture, sexual content and nudity.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

They got a lot right with this new rebooted Bond, but — let me get this straight — when Bond and the Bad Guy have their big confrontation, it’s…a poker game? First things first. Daniel Craig is a great Bond, […]

Happy Feet

posted by jmiller
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild peril and rude humor.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild peril and rude humor.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

It’s official. The cutest thing on the planet is penguins singing “Boogie Wonderland.” Especially if one of them is tap-dancing. This movie is a straight shot of sunshine. I defy anyone to watch it without smiling. Just as important, I […]

Flushed Away

posted by jmiller
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for crude humor and some language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for crude humor and some language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Aardman has applied the sweetly demented sensibility of the “Wallace and Gromit” claymation films to their first CGI film and it is an irresistible treasure. It has their trademark intricacy of design, thrilling, hair’s-breadth-timing of action sequences, mastery of physical […]

Flags of Our Fathers

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sequences of graphic war violence and carnage, and for language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sequences of graphic war violence and carnage, and for language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Clint Eastwood’s first of two films about the WWII battle at Iwo Jima is sincere, competent, and respectful. He powerfully conveys the madness and brutality of battle and the conflicting feelings of thosw who fight — dedication, loyalty, patriotism, fear, […]

Flicka

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

“No one’s riding that loco thing!” Well, of course as soon as we hear that line we know someone’s going to have to ride it. And in this very fine family film, the rider will be Katy (Alison Lohman), just […]

Stormbreaker

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of action violence and some peril.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of action violence and some peril.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

I never thought I’d miss Cody Banks. But the dull and lifeless Alex Rider brought back surprisingly fond thoughts of the better-than mediocre Agent Cody Banks and the terrific first two Spy Kids. Even the lousy third one was better […]

The Guardian

posted by jmiller
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action/peril, brief strong language and some sensuality.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action/peril, brief strong language and some sensuality.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

“Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed the passage with you?” […]

Jet Li’s Fearless

posted by jmiller
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence and martial arts action throughout.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence and martial arts action throughout.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

It does not have the ravishing images of Hero but it does not have the cheesy plot of Cradle 2 the Grave, either. For his last action film, Jet Li has decided to give us a reverential biopic about Huo […]

Flyboys

posted by jmiller
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for war action violence and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for war action violence and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Has this script been in a drawer somewhere since 1942? It sure seems like it. It’s “inspired” by the absorbing true story of Americans who enlisted with the French armed forces in World War I, flying aircraft that were more […]

Open Season

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some rude humor, mild action and brief language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some rude humor, mild action and brief language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

I love CGI. I love the textures, the way every single hair and feather, every leaf and raindrop, every shiny, fuzzy, smooth, rough, soft, hard surface is perfectly perfect. But I realized, as I watched this movie, that one of […]

Everyone’s Hero

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated G
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated G
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

The indomitable spirit of Christopher Reeve shines through this little story of a boy who will not give up his quest to retrieve the baseball bat belonging to the greatest player ever, Babe Ruth. Ten-year-old Yankee Irving (that’s his name) […]

The Protector

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive strong violence and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive strong violence and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Martial arts actor Tony Jaa’s follow-up to his breakout performance, 2003’s Ong-bak, could be called Kill Bill with a conscience. The violence is so pervasive that viewers can’t help but become increasingly desensitized, and there’s a clear attention to style […]

Crank

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, sexuality, nudity and drug use.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, sexuality, nudity and drug use.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Crank — as in the highly potent and highly agitating street drug, as in cranked up, as in dizzying cuts and swoops with the camera to replicate a disorienting strung-out high followed by an even more disorienting and strung-out crash. […]

Crossover

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

This is one air ball of a movie, a talented cast and an appealing idea stranded by a clunky script. It shoots. And it shoots and shoots and shoots, but it never scores. Tech (Anthony Mackie) works in the mall, […]

Snakes on a Plane

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, a scene of sexuality and drug use, and intense sequences of terror and violence.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

If there’s ever an Oscar for truth in titling, it will go to “Snakes on a Plane.” As zillions of internet fans have noted for months, that says it all. This is the snakiest plane movie and the planeiest snake […]

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language, drug references and brief comic violence.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language, drug references and brief comic violence.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

When we’ve seen Will Ferrell run around naked, how much fun is it to see him run around in his underpants? The disappointment of this movie is not that we don’t see enough of Will Ferrell. It’s disappointing because what […]

The Ant Bully

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor and action.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor and action.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

A boy beset by bullies turns bully himself, going after the ants in his family’s back yard. But the ants shrink him down to their size and he learns something about ants, about empathy, about himself, and about how to […]

Miami Vice

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

The original “Miami Vice” was Michael Mann’s decade-defining television show. It ran from 1984-89 and everything about it was fresh, edgy, and influential. The t-shirt under the Armani jacket with photogenic beard stubble look, the best-selling techno-synth musical theme that […]

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

posted by jmiller
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of adventure violence, including frightening images.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of adventure violence, including frightening images.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

This is what big summer blockbuster studio movies are all about — love, honor, humor, villains evil enough to make it really satisfying when they are beaten and scary enough to keep you wondering whether it’s possible, and thrilling stunts […]

Superman Returns

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some intense action violence.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some intense action violence.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Superman has returned. In the movie, Superman (now played by Brandon Routh) comes back to earth after five years in search of his roots on the exploded planet Krypton, and the inhabitants of earth are overjoyed. In real life, Superman […]

Waist Deep

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

A standard gangsta bang-bang movie with a script like a rap song benefits from charismatic performers and smooth writing and direction by Vondie Curtis Hall, who plays it like an urban western — a strong, quiet loner takes on a […]

X-Men: The Last Stand

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action violence, some sexual content and language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action violence, some sexual content and language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

A concerned father bangs on the door of the bathroom, insisting that his son open the door. Inside, his son sobs as he tries frantically to get rid of the evidence that his body is changing in a way he […]

Over the Hedge

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some rude humor and mild comic action.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some rude humor and mild comic action.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Computer technology has always had the advantage in animation when it comes to texture and three-dimensionality, and it is superb for physical properties like “shiny” and “bouncy,” but it has lagged behind hand-drawn when it came to expressions. “Over the […]

Poseidon

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense prolonged sequences of disaster and peril.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense prolonged sequences of disaster and peril.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

This remake is so stripped down it doesn’t even have time for two of the three words of the original: this isn’t The Poseidon Adventure — it’s just “Poseidon.” If they remake it, it will be called “Pos.” Top-notch action […]

Mission Impossible III

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of frenetic violence and menace, disturbing images and some sensuality.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of frenetic violence and menace, disturbing images and some sensuality.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

At this point, the impossible mission may be finding some way to make this story work once more. That Lalo Schifrin score still jumps and in this version there is a propulsive shot of percussive adrenalin. The idea of super-spies […]

Hoot

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild bullying and brief language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild bullying and brief language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Kids take on developers to protect endangered owls in this mildly pleasant story based on the award-winning book by Carl Hiaasen. Parents will admire some of the messages — care for the environment, self-reliance, loyalty, and communication skills. But they […]

RV

posted by jmiller
F+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for crude humor, innuendo and language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
F+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for crude humor, innuendo and language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Road movies are pretty easy. Whether the people on the journey have just met and are getting to know each other or who don’t like each other and have to overcome animosity, all we ask is two things. First, we […]

The Sentinel

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some intense action violence and a scene of sensuality.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some intense action violence and a scene of sensuality.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

What this movie gets right is the dry, cynical, slightly gallows-ish humor of people who spend their lives on constant alert, knowing that 999 out of a thousand of the “suspicious” activities they check out will be nothing. They are […]

The Wild

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

“The Wild” is more like “The Mild.” But it is pleasant enough; its the timing that’s rotten. Like last year’s suprisingly successful Madagascar, this is an animated film about zoo animals who have to learn to fend for themselves in […]

Ice Age: The Meltdown

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild language and innuendo.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild language and innuendo.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Once again, as in the first Ice Age, wooly mammoth Manny (voice of Ray Romano), sloth Sid (John Leguizamo), and saber tooth tiger Diego (Denis Leary) set off on a journey. This time, they have to lead their friends out […]

V for Vendetta

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence and some language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence and some language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November, gunpowder treason and plot. I see no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.” Who says good-looking, brawny action flicks cannot also have brains to match? “V for Vendetta,” based on Alan […]

Ultraviolet

posted by jmiller
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of violent action throughout, partial nudity and language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of violent action throughout, partial nudity and language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

This movie hopes that it can distract you from its failure of imagination with the following: Throbbing techno club music-style soundtrack Sleek, towering futuristic structures The toned body of star Milla Jovovich, magnificently displayed in a variety of skin-tight, midriff-baring […]

16 Blocks

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence, intense sequences of action, and some strong language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, intense sequences of action, and some strong language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

When a cop at a crime scene needs someone to stay with the bodies until the detectives arrive, he asks “who don’t we need?” That would be tired, slow, Jack Mosley (Bruce Willis). As soon as the other cops leave, […]

Doogal

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

This tiresome animated quest story starts out uninspired but quickly becomes irritating. Half an hour into its 80 minute running time, the child behind me asked hopefully, “Is that the end?” If only. Has anyone behind this movie ever met […]

Curious George

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:Rated G
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: Rated G
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

This gentle little film about the monkey whose curiosity gets him into trouble and the man who befriends him will make 4-8-year olds very happy and give their parents a chance for a nice nap. Generations of children have loved […]

Eight Below

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some peril and brief mild language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some peril and brief mild language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

The dogs rescue the humans, but will the humans rescue the dogs? Can they? A scientist (Bruce Greenwood) arrives at a National Science Foundation base in Antarctica, in search of a rare meteor. Vehicles are too heavy to take over […]

Big Momma’s House 2

posted by jmiller
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual humor and a humorous drug reference.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual humor and a humorous drug reference.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

The poster for this movie shows Martin Lawrence in fat-lady drag tugging at a wedgie. This is as funny as it gets. A completely unnecessary sequel to a mildly amusing 2000 movie with Martin Lawrence as an FBI agent who […]

Underworld: Evolution

posted by jmiller
F+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive strong violence and gore, some sexuality/nudity and language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
F+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive strong violence and gore, some sexuality/nudity and language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

“Is that the same guy that was just sucking the blood out of the dead horse?” That was my question to the critic sitting next to me in the middle of the movie. I liked the first Underworld. I thought […]

The New World

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some intense battle sequences.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some intense battle sequences.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

It is beautiful to look at. Director Terrence Malick knows how to create images of stunning beauty and power. Those images are especially compelling in this story of Captain John Smith and the because they show us what it was […]

Tristan + Isolde

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences and some sexuality.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences and some sexuality.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Tristan and Isolde have suffered enough. This movie feels like overkill. Oh, their legend will survive. But this classic comics-style perfume commercial of a re-telling will not. The ampersand is a giveaway. “And” isn’t good enough? An ampersand is, what, […]

King Kong

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for frightening adventure violence and some disturbing images.
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for frightening adventure violence and some disturbing images.
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

This is not just one of the most thrilling action movies ever made – it is more like five or six of the most thrilling action movies ever made. It is not quite twice as long as the usual movie, […]

Cheaper by the Dozen 2

posted by jmiller
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some crude humor and mild language.
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some crude humor and mild language.
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

As synthetically generic as a “Happy Holidays” card from your realtor, this by-the-numbers pratfall-fest is, at least, a teensy bit better than the 2004 original. I’ll explain why in a moment. But first, I want to say something about montages. […]

Last Holiday

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual reference.
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual reference.
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

Every night, Georgia Bird (Queen Latifah) cooks a spectacular meal, arranges everything perfectly, takes a picture of it for her “possibilities” scrapbook and then feeds it to the boy who lives next door while she microwaves a frozen diet dinner […]

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

posted by jmiller
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for battle sequences and frightening moments.
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for battle sequences and frightening moments.
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

The perennial children’s classic by C. S. Lewis has been lovingly, thrillingly, enchantingly, brilliantly brought to screen in this flawless adaptation of the first of the “Narnia” series. (Note for purists — yes, it is chronologically the second in the […]

Aeon Flux

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and sexual content.
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and sexual content.
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

Maybe it’s just that my expectations were so low because it was not screened for critics (meaning the studios did not think they would get even one good review), but “Aeon Flux” was not so bad. A little boring, yes, […]

Casanova

posted by jmiller
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some sexual content
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some sexual content
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

Mistake number one may be the title. There may be times in history when it is possible to have an appealing lead character whose primary interest in life is women, but this doesn’t seem to be it. For centuries, people […]

Flightplan

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2005

It’s always a bad sign in a thriller when the big reveal is greeted by hoots of derisive laughter, and that’s what happened at this movie. It’s an even worse sign when two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster is out-acted by […]

Four Brothers

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2005
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2005

We start out on the side of the four adopted brothers who reunite to find the people who murdered their mother, but they lose us in this over-violent and under-sincere story that strays from justice past revenge and into mindless […]

War of the Worlds

posted by rkumar
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for frightening scenes of sci-fi violence and disturbing images
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:November 22, 2005
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for frightening scenes of sci-fi violence and disturbing images
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: November 22, 2005

“Is it the terrorists?” a frightened child asks, because that is the scariest thing she knows. But what makes this thing scary is that it is something no one knows. It is beyond our knowledge, even beyond our imagination. Earth […]

The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl in 3-D

posted by rkumar
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:2005
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 2005

This movie spends a lot of time and energy on the importance of dreams and imagination, delivering its message in both form and content. I wish it had spent a little more time and energy on the importance of structure, […]

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior

posted by rkumar
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2005

There are three reasons to see this movie. First: the dazzling martial arts moves of Tony Jaa, whose lightning reflexes and breathtaking gymnastics are both impressive and entertaining. Second is the authenticity. As the tagline says, this film has “no […]

After the Sunset

posted by rkumar
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Movie Release Date:2004
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Movie Release Date: 2004

This movie features two of the most glorious sights on earth — Paradise Island and Salma Hayak in a bikini. Unfortunately, it keeps putting unappealing characters and a dumb story in front of them. Pierce Brosnan, in movie star scruffy […]

Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London

posted by rkumar
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:2004
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 2004

Frankie Muniz returns as junior secret agent Cody Banks in a moderately cute action comedy that will satisfy its target audience of 8-14-year-olds. Cody is the superstar of the secret CIA training camp for spy kids. He helps the camp […]

Peter Pan

posted by rkumar
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for adventure action sequences and peril
Movie Release Date:2003
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2004
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for adventure action sequences and peril
Movie Release Date: 2003
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2004

Oh, the cleverness of storyteller James M. Barrie, who gave us Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Tinkerbell, a St. Bernard nanny, Tiger Lily, and the crocodile that ticks because it swallowed a clock! And oh, the cleverness of P.J. Hogan, the […]

Finding Nemo

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2003
DVD Release Date:2004
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2003
DVD Release Date: 2004

Pixar Studios may have the most advanced animation technology in the world, but they never forget what matters most in a movie: story, characters, imagination, and heart. “Finding Nemo” has it all. It is an epic journey filled with adventure […]

Agent Cody Banks

posted by rkumar
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:2003
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 2003

I took four young teenagers to this movie and they loved it. But I was not as impressed. The idea is a cute one — but it was cuter when they did the same thing in two editions of “Spy […]

James and the Giant Peach

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1996
DVD Release Date:2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1996
DVD Release Date: 2010

This movie may be too scary for kids under six, but older children and their families, particularly fans of the Roald Dahl book, will love this spectacular musical fantasy from Tim Burton and Henry Selick (“The Nightmare Before Christmas”). James […]

Treasure Planet

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for adventure action and peril
Movie Release Date:2002
DVD Release Date:July 3, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for adventure action and peril
Movie Release Date: 2002
DVD Release Date: July 3, 2012

If “Treasure Planet” is not Disney at its best, it is still Disney at its still-pretty-much-better-than-anyone else, and well worth a look with this 10th anniversary re-release. It is based on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson story “Treasure Island,” filmed […]

Peter Pan

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1953
DVD Release Date:February 4, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1953
DVD Release Date: February 4, 2013

Disney’s latest release is a beautiful Blu-Ray of one of its animated classics, the Disney version of the Victorian classic about the boy who would never grow up. Wendy, Michael, and John Darling, three London children, meet Peter Pan, a […]

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language and mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:1982
DVD Release Date:October 8, 2012
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language and mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: 1982
DVD Release Date: October 8, 2012

“E.T’s” 30th anniversary is being celebrated with a gorgeous new re-issue and I have one to give away.  To enter, send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with E.T in the subject line and tell me your favorite movie alien.  Don’t […]

Spider-Man

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for stylized violence and action
Movie Release Date:2002
DVD Release Date:2002
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for stylized violence and action
Movie Release Date: 2002
DVD Release Date: 2002

Remember when “Superman” was released with the tagline, “You will believe a man can fly?” Well, “Spider-Man” will not only make you believe that a teenager can swing from the skyscrapers; it will almost make you believe that you are […]

Spy Kids

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:2001
DVD Release Date:August 15, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 2001
DVD Release Date: August 15, 2011

This week’s release of the fourth in the “Spy Kids” series is a good reason to revisit the original. Imagine James Bond crossed with “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and you might have an idea of what to expect […]

The Scorpion King

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:2002
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 2002

Some very scary looking guys are about to kill a guy who would be even scarier-looking if he wasn’t tied up. But then everyone steps back in awe of a guy who steps in looking scariest of all and as […]

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some scary moments and mild language
Movie Release Date:2001
DVD Release Date:July 11, 2011
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some scary moments and mild language
Movie Release Date: 2001
DVD Release Date: July 11, 2011

Prepare for the final movie in the Harry Potter series by watching the first one again: I loved it. And I can’t wait to see it again. Based of course on the international sensation, the book by J. K. Rowling, […]

The Sum of All Fears

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2002
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2002

Part of the magic of movies is the way they make us not just willing – even eager to suspend all kinds of disbelief. It isn’t just that we are willing to believe that Jet Li can knock out a […]

Panic Room

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2002

This thriller, in the claustrophobic mode of “Rear Window”, finds Meg (Jodie Foster), a recent divorcee, and her combative daughter Sarah (Kristen Stewart), trapped in the secret vault/bomb shelter/safe room set up by their apartment’s previous owner, a paranoid millionaire […]

The Court Jester

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1956
DVD Release Date:1999
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1956
DVD Release Date: 1999

“Life could not better be” than the pure cinematic joy of this movie from the first frame to the last.  Danny Kaye has his best role as Hawkins, a follower of the Black Fox, a Robin Hood- style rebel who […]

Mulan

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1998
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1998

Disney’s 1998 animated feature is based on the legend of Mulan, a Chinese girl who helps the Chinese army defeat the Mongols. After the Mongols invade, led by Shan-Yu (voice of Miguel Ferrar) every family is called upon to send […]

Chill Factor

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:1999
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 1999

This movie should come in a white box with a generic label — it is all concept and explosions, with nothing worthwhile in its plot, character, or dialogue. The concept is this: a scientist (David Paymer) working for the defense […]

My Dog Skip

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:2000
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 2000

This is a good, old-fashioned boy and his dog movie, based on the memoir of Willie Morris, who grew up in 1940’s Mississippi, a small, sleepy town of “ten thousand souls and nothing to do.” It is lyrical and very […]