Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Based on a book Archives

showing results 5 - 204 of 528

genre

  • Action
  • Animation
  • Comedy
  • Classic
  • Documentary
  • Drama
  • Epic
  • Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Musical
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction
  • Sports
  • Spy
  • Thriller
  • War
  • Western

quality

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

who's watching

  • My entire family
  • Just the grown-ups
  • Little kids
  • Big kids

age range

  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
  • 4th - 6th grade
  • Middle school
  • High school
  • Mature High schooler
  • Adult
  • All Ages




Life of Pi

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for emotional thematic content throughout and some scary action scenes and peril
Movie Release Date:November 22, 2012
DVD Release Date:March 11, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for emotional thematic content throughout and some scary action scenes and peril
Movie Release Date: November 22, 2012
DVD Release Date: March 11, 2013

“Oh God, thy sea is so great and my boat is so small.” This classic Breton fisherman’s prayer describes “Life of Pi,” Ang Lee’s exquisitely beautiful fairy tale story of an Indian boy shipwrecked with a Bengal tiger, and their […]

Silver Linings Playbook

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity
Movie Release Date:November 16, 2012
DVD Release Date:April 29, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity
Movie Release Date: November 16, 2012
DVD Release Date: April 29, 2013

When Bradley Cooper appeared on “Inside the Actors Studio,” the first graduate of the program to be featured, they showed a clip from Robert DeNiro’s appearance on the show, with then-student Cooper asking him a question about his performance in […]

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity
Movie Release Date:November 15, 2012
DVD Release Date:March 2, 2013
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity
Movie Release Date: November 15, 2012
DVD Release Date: March 2, 2013

The “Twilight” series comes to a close with the fifth film based on the four-book supernatural love story from Stephenie Meyer. This one is for the fans, with a loving farewell that includes a romantic recap series of flashbacks and […]

Anna Karenina

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some sexuality and violence
Movie Release Date:November 16, 2012
DVD Release Date:February 18, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some sexuality and violence
Movie Release Date: November 16, 2012
DVD Release Date: February 18, 2013

Director Joe Wright and his favorite star, Kiera Knightley (“Pride and Prejudice,” “Atonement”) have produced a ravishing, highly theatrical version of Leo Tolstoy’s classic “Anna Karenina.”  It is deeply romantic but has more focus on the social and political context than many […]

Interview: Director Joe Wright of “Anna Karenina”

posted by Nell Minow

I spoke to one of my favorite directors, Joe Wright (“Pride and Prejudice,” “Atonement,” “Hanna”) about his sumptuous new film, “Anna Karenina,” starring Keira Knightley. One of my favorite scenes in the film reminded me very much of one of […]

Anna Karenina on Film

posted by Nell Minow

Joe Wright’s “Anna Karenina,” with a screenplay by Tom Stoppard, opens in limited release this week, with Kiera Knightley in the title role as Tolstoy’s tragic heroine who loves not wisely but too well.  The novel has one of the […]

Skyfall

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense violent sequences throughout, some sexuality, language, and smoking
Movie Release Date:November 9, 2012
DVD Release Date:February 11, 2013
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense violent sequences throughout, some sexuality, language, and smoking
Movie Release Date: November 9, 2012
DVD Release Date: February 11, 2013

James Bond goes home in every sense in this ravishingly entertaining entry in the series.  Five decades later, it all of a sudden feels fresh, fun, and utterly engaging.  This is the best Bond in decades.We are in the middle […]

Universal Classic Monsters

posted by Nell Minow

What could be better for Halloween than the new Blu-Ray release of Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection , with deluxe editions of eight classics:  “Dracula” (1931, 75 min.), “Frankenstein” (1931, 71 min.), “The Mummy” (1932, 74 min.), “The Invisible […]

The Original Movie Vampire: Nosferatu

posted by Nell Minow

As we think about scary movies for Halloween, I wonder what the vampires in “Twilight” or “True Blood” would think of one of the earliest screen depictions of a vampire, “Nosferatu.”  If the story seems familiar, it is because they […]

Cloud Atlas

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, language, sexuality/nudity, and some drug use
Movie Release Date:October 26, 2012
DVD Release Date:May 14, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, language, sexuality/nudity, and some drug use
Movie Release Date: October 26, 2012
DVD Release Date: May 14, 2013

Six nested stories set in the past, present, and future entwine grand themes of the conflicts between those who would oppress and those who demand freedom, those who must create and those who want to repeat what is already there, […]

Alex Cross

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rate PG-13 for violence including disturbing images, sexual content, language, drug references, and nudity
Movie Release Date:October 19, 2012
DVD Release Date:February 5, 2013
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rate PG-13 for violence including disturbing images, sexual content, language, drug references, and nudity
Movie Release Date: October 19, 2012
DVD Release Date: February 5, 2013

In “Alex Cross,” Tyler Perry is called upon to: show devastating grief, show incendiary fury, make threats, throw punches, and take over a part played twice on screen by Morgan Freeman.  He is not up to any of those things. […]

Disney’s Cinderella — New Diamond Edition

posted by Nell Minow

This week, Disney’s animated classic Cinderella is being released with a glorious new Three-Disc Diamond Edition: Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy, and that glass slipper really sparkles! The classic fairy tale by Charles Perrault is lovingly and imaginatively brought to life in this […]

Pitch Perfect

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual material, language, and drug references
Movie Release Date:September 28, 2012
DVD Release Date:December 18, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual material, language, and drug references
Movie Release Date: September 28, 2012
DVD Release Date: December 18, 2012

The sensationally talented Anna Kendrick finally gets to play the lead in a story about the cutthroat world of a capella competitions.  It’s “Stomp the Yard” with singing, or  “Glee Goes to College.”  The songs are fabulously entertaining, the romance is sweet, […]

Lawless

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong, bloody violence, language, and some sexuality/nudity
Movie Release Date:August 31, 2012
DVD Release Date:November 27, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong, bloody violence, language, and some sexuality/nudity
Movie Release Date: August 31, 2012
DVD Release Date: November 27, 2012

Musician Nick Cave and director John Hillcoat are Australians who are drawn to bleak internal and external landscapes.  They worked together on “The Proposition,” a western-style and very violent crime story about brothers.  “Lawless” is another crime story about brothers, […]

The Bourne Legacy

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence and action sequences
Movie Release Date:August 10, 2012
DVD Release Date:December 10, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence and action sequences
Movie Release Date: August 10, 2012
DVD Release Date: December 10, 2012

Different spy.  Different program.  Same evil conspiracy still trying to justify the nastiest of means with the most unprovable ends.  This is “The Bourne Legacy,” the fourth in the Bourne series and the first not to star Matt Damon.  Tony […]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

posted by Nell Minow

This is the third movie based on the wildly popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. With each movie, the franchise becomes better at milking the formula that causes 4th graders to cringe with delight.  The story […]

Total Recall

posted by Nell Minow

Will the 2012 version of the story inspired by Philip K. Dick’s “We Can Remember it for You Wholesale” erase the memory of the Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi classic from 1990?  Dick’s story is about a time in the future when […]

Interview: Jade Pettyjon of the New American Girls Movie: McKenna Shoots for the Stars

posted by Nell Minow

I absolutely loved the new American Girls movie, McKenna: Shoots For The Stars.  Based on the stories about the American Girl of the Year doll for 2012, a young gymnast. So it was a treat to get to interview the […]

Savages

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong, brutal, and grisly violence, some graphic sexuality, nudity, drug use and language throughout
Movie Release Date:July 6, 2012
DVD Release Date:October 22, 2012
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong, brutal, and grisly violence, some graphic sexuality, nudity, drug use and language throughout
Movie Release Date: July 6, 2012
DVD Release Date: October 22, 2012

Oliver Stone’s new movie about drug dealers and drug users seems to assume that its audiences may be watching in an altered state of consciousness as well.  Stone has never been known for subtlety, but just to make absolutely sure […]

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence throughout and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:June 22, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence throughout and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: June 22, 2012

Now, that’s a President.  Abraham Lincoln, previously best remembered for the penny, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil War, the Gettysburg Address, the humor, the honesty, and the height, is now re-imagined with all of that plus a rail-splitting ax tipped […]

Coming Soon: American Girls’ “McKenna: Shoots for the Stars”

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s an early sneak peek at a wonderful new DVD, based on the American Girls series about McKenna, the young gymnast, and the American Girls “Girl of the Year.”

Contest: 10th Anniversary “Princess Diaries” Original and Sequel

posted by Nell Minow

Has it really been ten years since Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews starred in The Princess Diaries?  It is a delightful movie about an awkward teenager who discovers that she is the heir to the throne of a small but […]

Snow White and the Huntsman

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action and brief sensuality
Movie Release Date:June 1, 2012
DVD Release Date:September 11, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action and brief sensuality
Movie Release Date: June 1, 2012
DVD Release Date: September 11, 2012

Director Rupert Sanders is known for making television commercials that look like fairy tales, with angels falling from the sky for a guy who uses Axe body spray and a boy battling samurai warriors with Excalibur to sell X-Box game […]

Production Underway on “Ender’s Game”

posted by Nell Minow

Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi classic Ender’s Game is the story of a gifted child who is taken from his family at age 6 so that he can be trained to lead the Earth’s military forces against “bugger” aliens who have twice attacked […]

Men in Black 3

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and brief suggestive content
Movie Release Date:May 25, 2012
DVD Release Date:November 27, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and brief suggestive content
Movie Release Date: May 25, 2012
DVD Release Date: November 27, 2012

Welcome back, Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones. The stars and director of one of the most creative and purely entertaining movies of the last 20 years are back for a third that does not match the original but makes up […]

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, thematic elements, and language
Movie Release Date:May 18, 2012
DVD Release Date:September 11, 2012
D
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, thematic elements, and language
Movie Release Date: May 18, 2012
DVD Release Date: September 11, 2012

No matter how carefully you plan and how diligently you read books like What to Expect When You’re Expecting, pregnancy is guaranteed to be different from whatever you think it is going to be.  I wish I could say the […]

Contest: Love’s Everlasting Courage

posted by Nell Minow

I have two copies of Love’s Everlasting Courage, starring Wes Brown, Bruce Boxleitner, and Cheryl Ladd to give away. It is based on the beloved Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke. Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “Everlasting” in […]

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date:May 4, 2012
DVD Release Date:September 17, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date: May 4, 2012
DVD Release Date: September 17, 2012

A dream team ensemble cast of British acting superstars gives a predictable story of displaced retirees spark and depth in this cozy tale based on the novel These Foolish Things, by Deborah Moggach. A group of British retirees come to India […]

“It’s May!” (Camelot)

posted by Nell Minow

Vanessa Redgrave sings “It’s May” from the Lerner and Lowe musical Camelot.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action, rude humor, and some language
Movie Release Date:April 27, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 27, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action, rude humor, and some language
Movie Release Date: April 27, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 27, 2012

The Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) enjoys his life of adventure on the high seas, but there are a few problems. His crew is having a spirited debate about the best part of pirating – is it the cutlasses, the looting, […]

Mo Willems’ Pigeon and Pals: Complete Cartoon Collection, Vols. 1 & 2

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2012
DVD Release Date:April 26, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2012
DVD Release Date: April 26, 2012

My favorite series for children has a wonderful new collection: Mo Willems’ Pigeon and Pals: Complete Cartoon Collection Volumes 1 & 2.  Emmy Award winner and Sesame Street veteran Mo Willems is the author/illustrator of the delightful book series about […]

The Lucky One

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence
Movie Release Date:April 20, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 29, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence
Movie Release Date: April 20, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 29, 2012

Director Scott Hicks pours enough syrup over this film to supply an IHOP.  Every shot of the golden sunlight on the Louisiana bayou or the perfectly tousled angelic curls of the perfectly precocious angelic boy or the perfect smile of the […]

Think Like a Man

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, some crude humor, and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:April 20, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 28, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, some crude humor, and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: April 20, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 28, 2012

A gimmicky best-selling book about love, sex, and marriage has been made into a high-concept romantic comedy with an all-star cast.  “He’s Just Not That Into You”?  No, that was so 2009.  This time the inspiration is the book by […]

Blue Like Jazz

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexuality, drug and alcohol content, and some language
Movie Release Date:April 20, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 6, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexuality, drug and alcohol content, and some language
Movie Release Date: April 20, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 6, 2012

Donald Miller’s best-selling collection of essays, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality has become a crowd-financed and lightly fictionalized film about a Texas teenager from a sheltered Baptist community who goes to the famously free-thinking Reed College in Portland, Oregon. […]

Mirror Mirror

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some fantasy action and mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:March 30, 2012
DVD Release Date:June 26, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some fantasy action and mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: March 30, 2012
DVD Release Date: June 26, 2012

Director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar has found a story worthy of his ravishing visuals and the result is an enchanting update of the classic fairy tale of Snow White. Julia Roberts is clearly having a blast as the evil queen whose hostile […]

Wrath of the Titans

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action
Movie Release Date:March 30, 2012
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action
Movie Release Date: March 30, 2012

What I love best about classically trained British actors is that they are game for anything.  Whether it is a commercial for cough drops or a silly comedy they always bring their A-game.  Their timing and diction are impeccable and […]

The Hunger Games

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images -- all involving teens
Movie Release Date:March 23, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 13, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images -- all involving teens
Movie Release Date: March 23, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 13, 2012

Just as brave and loyal Katniss Everdeen is the heart of the wildly popular series of “Hunger Games” novels by Suzanne Collins, Jennifer Lawrence is the heart of this faithful adaptation.  Director Gary Ross clearly understands the book and what […]

Intro to “The Hunger Games”

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s release of “The Hunger Games” is the most anticipated film of the spring and likely to be the biggest hit since the “Twilight” series.  It is based on the first of a wildly successful trilogy of books by […]

John Carter

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action
Movie Release Date:March 9, 2012
DVD Release Date:June 5, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action
Movie Release Date: March 9, 2012
DVD Release Date: June 5, 2012

It takes a while to get going and is about half an hour too long, but “John Carter” has some spectacular visuals and well-staged action scenes.  Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author of the Tarzan novels, also wrote the John Carter: Adventures […]

Being Flynn

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for adult situations, language, nudity, and sex
Movie Release Date:March 9, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for adult situations, language, nudity, and sex
Movie Release Date: March 9, 2012

Nick Flynn was working at a Boston homeless shelter when his father, Jonathan Flynn, came in looking for a place to stay. Nick was raised by his mother and had little contact with his father except for some letters explaining […]

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for some violence and sexual content and brief language
Movie Release Date:March 9, 2012
DVD Release Date:July 17, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some violence and sexual content and brief language
Movie Release Date: March 9, 2012
DVD Release Date: July 17, 2012

Paul Torday’s satiric novel of politics, money, love, and fishing has been brought to the screen with Ewan McGregor as a government fisheries expert and Emily Blunt as an aide to a Yemeni sheik who has what seems to be […]

The Lorax

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date:March 2, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 7, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date: March 2, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 7, 2012

Adapting Dr. Seuss for a feature film is a challenge. The movies can capture his whimsical drawings and mischievous humor but they fail when they pad his storylines and jettison his rhymes.  Dr. Seuss had a genius for saying a […]

The Secret World of Arrietty

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:February 17, 2012
DVD Release Date:May 22, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: February 17, 2012
DVD Release Date: May 22, 2012

A spirited young heroine and an enchantingly beautiful setting make a story of friendship and courage beguiling in Studio Ghibli’s adaptation of Mary Norton’s popular series of “Borrower” books.  First published in the mid-1950’s, the stories are on based on […]

The Vow

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for an accident scene, sexual content, partial nudity, and some language
Movie Release Date:February 10, 2012
DVD Release Date:May 8, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for an accident scene, sexual content, partial nudity, and some language
Movie Release Date: February 10, 2012
DVD Release Date: May 8, 2012

More than any other attribute, memory is what defines our identity and our connections to each other.  When a young woman’s traumatic brain injury erases her memory not just of having married her husband but even of having met him, […]

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild adventure action and brief mild language
Movie Release Date:February 10, 2012
DVD Release Date:June 4, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild adventure action and brief mild language
Movie Release Date: February 10, 2012
DVD Release Date: June 4, 2012

Like its predecessor, Journey to the Center of the Earth, this is a well-paced and highly entertaining family film made with good humor, panache, and imagination.  Josh Hutcherson returns as Sean Anderson, a teenager whose last expedition was in search […]

Giveaway: ‘Geek Charming’ with ‘Modern Family’ Star Sarah Hyland

posted by Nell Minow

Sarah Hyland stars in the very cute Disney Channel movie Geek Charmingas Dylan, a popular high school princess whose only aspiration is to be even more of a popular high school princess.  Matt Prokop is Josh, the “film geek” who […]

A Birthday List for Charles Dickens

posted by Nell Minow

Happy 200th birthday, Charles Dickens! In honor of the birthday of one of the greatest novelists of all time, Masterpiece on PBS has announced two new series based on Dickens novels:   A new “Great Expectations” miniseries starring Gillian Anderson […]

Black History Month: DVDs for Families

posted by Nell Minow

Great choices for Black History Month from Scholastic: Duke Ellington… and more stories to celebrate great figures in African American history. The DVD includes gently animated and beautifully narrated versions of four books about important figures in black history. Duke […]

Big Miracle

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language
Movie Release Date:February 3, 2012
DVD Release Date:June 18, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language
Movie Release Date: February 3, 2012
DVD Release Date: June 18, 2012

“You’re not as easy to hate as I thought,” an oil man tells an environmental activist in “Big Miracle,” the heartwarming true story of a 1987 effort to rescue three Alaskan whales. It could just as well have been said […]

One for the Money

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual references and language, some drug material and partial nudity
Movie Release Date:January 27, 2012
DVD Release Date:May 15, 2012
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual references and language, some drug material and partial nudity
Movie Release Date: January 27, 2012
DVD Release Date: May 15, 2012

Someday to be used in film schools as a textbook example of how not to adapt a best-selling novel for the screen, “One for the Money” is mis-cast, mis-scripted, and mis-directed in every category.  Janet Evanovich’s popular series of series […]

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for emotional thematic material, disturbing images, and language
Movie Release Date:January 20, 2012
DVD Release Date:March 27, 2012
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for emotional thematic material, disturbing images, and language
Movie Release Date: January 20, 2012
DVD Release Date: March 27, 2012

Jonathan Safran Foer’s acclaimed novel about a boy whose father was killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11 has been brought to the screen with great sensitivity and heart.  Newcomer Thomas Horn plays Oskar, whose ferocious intellect overwhelms his […]

Beauty and the Beast

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:January 13, 2012
DVD Release Date:2010
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: January 13, 2012
DVD Release Date: 2010

“Beauty and the Beast” is one of Disney’s most beloved fairy tales and the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.  This week it is back in theaters in 3D and it looks gorgeous.  It is […]

New Barney and Angelina Movies Available on DVD and On Demand

posted by Nell Minow

Two preschooler favorite series have new movies released this week on DVD and On Demand. Barney: I Love My Friends The big purple dinosaur and his friends learn some valuable lessons about what it means to be a friend — […]

The War Horse

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of war violence
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:April 3, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of war violence
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: April 3, 2012

The second Steven Spielberg movie of the week opens on Christmas Day, a grand epic, is big, long, ambitious, and showy.  It is a work by a master, but it is not a masterpiece.  Every detail is carefully considered.  Every […]

An Oscar-Winning Animated ‘Christmas Carol’

posted by Nell Minow

I thought I knew of — and loved — every film version of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”  But what a delight to discover a new one, and an Oscar-winning animated version by one of my favorite artists, Richard Williams (of “The […]

We Bought a Zoo

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date:December 23, 2011
DVD Release Date:April 2, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date: December 23, 2011
DVD Release Date: April 2, 2012

This is a good, old-fashioned family movie grounded in Matt Damon’s best-ever performance, inspired by the real-life story of a young widower who, without knowing a lot about animals or running a business, impulsively decided to buy a zoo. Benjamin […]

A Christmas Carol — The Top Five Versions

posted by Nell Minow

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is my favorite Christmas story and I love it in just about any of its movie incarnations. “Bah, humbugs” have been muttered by Scrooges played by top-notch dramatic actors like George C. Scott and Albert Finney, former Miss America Vanessa Williams, […]

The Adventures of Tintin

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for adventure action violence, some drunkenness and brief smoking
Movie Release Date:December 21, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 13, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for adventure action violence, some drunkenness and brief smoking
Movie Release Date: December 21, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012

Two box office champion directors and a cult favorite joined forces for a film that was a first for all of them, a 3D motion capture animated story.  It is clear that director Steven Spielberg, producer Peter Jackson (“The Lord […]

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for brutal violent contact including rape and torture, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, and language
Movie Release Date:December 20, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 20, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for brutal violent contact including rape and torture, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, and language
Movie Release Date: December 20, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 20, 2012

The late Swedish author Steig Larsson created a series of books originally titled “Men Who Hate Women” with a character who was an idealized version of himself — an investigative journalist of impeccable integrity and political correctness who effortlessly appeals […]

The Snowman: Walking in the Air

posted by Nell Minow

If you are feeling frazzled with holiday preparations, take a moment to enjoy the pure magic of this excerpt from one of the finest animated films ever made:

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequence of violence and action and some drug material
Movie Release Date:December 16, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 12, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequence of violence and action and some drug material
Movie Release Date: December 16, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 12, 2012

All Sherlockians know that the only villain who could match the most famous and celebrated of all fictional detectives is the fiendish Professor Moriarty.  As we were promised in the postscript to the first Sherlock Holmes movie from Guy Ritchie, […]

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, some sexuality/nudity, and language
Movie Release Date:December 9, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 20, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, some sexuality/nudity, and language
Movie Release Date: December 9, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 20, 2012

There are spy stories with glamor and chases and explosions and answers.  And there are spy stories like this one, murky, gritty, grubby, complicated.  The brilliant BBC miniseries version of the the book by John le Carre opened with the grim-looking Russian matryoshka […]

Babar and Father Christmas

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1986
DVD Release Date:December 4, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1986
DVD Release Date: December 4, 2011

Babar and Father Christmas is a new DVD with a charming holiday story.  The children of Babar and Celeste write to Father Christmas to invite him to their home town.  But the letter is stolen by wicked Rataxes the Rhinoceros, […]

My Week with Marilyn

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language
Movie Release Date:December 2, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 13, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language
Movie Release Date: December 2, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012

“Her skin does not reject the light.” That was impressionist painter Pierre Auguste Renoir’s answer when asked why he used one favorite model so many times.  And it describes the luminous beauty of Marilyn Monroe, who almost half a century […]

Have a Little Faith

posted by Nell Minow

Writer Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson) got a very unusual request.  A terminally ill rabbi asked if Albom would write and deliver his eulogy.  “As is often the case with […]

Hugo

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic material, some action/peril and smoking
Movie Release Date:November 23, 2011
DVD Release Date:February 27, 2012
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic material, some action/peril and smoking
Movie Release Date: November 23, 2011
DVD Release Date: February 27, 2012

Martin Scorsese’s enchanting “Hugo” is a thrillingly immersive adventure.  It is about two orphans trying to solve a mystery.  It is about the way that stories help us make sense of life.  It stretches from the very beginnings of movies […]

A Trip to the Moon

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s release of “Hugo,” based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, is inspired by the films of George Méliès, the French magician-turned-filmmaker who pioneered the field of special effects.  “A Trip to the Moon,” made in […]

The Littlest Angel

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2011
DVD Release Date:November 23, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2011
DVD Release Date: November 23, 2011

Based on one of the top-selling children’s books of all time, The Littlest Angel is a new film based on the classic story by Charles Tazewell, first published in 1946.  A small angel cannot quite seem to fit in until a […]

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for disturbing images, violence, sexuality/partial nudity and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date:November 18, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 6, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for disturbing images, violence, sexuality/partial nudity and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date: November 18, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 6, 2012

In trying to balance the hopes of the passionately devoted fans of the Twilight series (are there any other kind?), who want to see every single word of the books up on the screen and the realities of cinematic storytelling that limit […]

The Descendants

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:November 16, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 13, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: November 16, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012

Just because he lives in Hawaii, don’t think he’s in paradise, Matt King (George Clooney) warns us.  No one is immune to life.  The first Alexander Payne film since “Sideways” gives us another damaged hero at a crossroads and as […]

The Rum Diary

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, brief drug use, and sexuality
Movie Release Date:October 28, 2011
DVD Release Date:February 14, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, brief drug use, and sexuality
Movie Release Date: October 28, 2011
DVD Release Date: February 14, 2012

22-year-old Hunter S. Thompson wrote a novel about men in their 30’s working for a Puerto Rican newspaper, equally soaked in the title libation and the brinier flavors of cynicism and failure, but it was not published until more than […]

Puss In Boots

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some adventure action and mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:October 28, 2011
DVD Release Date:February 21, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some adventure action and mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: October 28, 2011
DVD Release Date: February 21, 2012

The popular feline bandit of the “Shrek” series gets his own feature film, one that is less of a fractured fairy tale and more of a swashbuckler.  Antonio Banderas returns as the voice of Puss in Boots, the cat with […]

The Worst Witch

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1986
DVD Release Date:October 16, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1986
DVD Release Date: October 16, 2011

Thanks to my godson, Theo Leiss, for reminding me of this Halloween treat! The Worst Witch is based on a pre-Harry Potter series of books by Jill Murphy about a school for young witches.  Fairuza Balk, who would later play a […]

The Big Year

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language and some sensuality
Movie Release Date:October 14, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 31, 2012
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language and some sensuality
Movie Release Date: October 14, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 31, 2012

“The Big Year” would be a lot better if it didn’t try so hard to be The Big Movie.   This over-Hollywood-ized take on the real-life story of passionate-to-obsessed birders (don’t say “bird-watchers”) makes us wish for a documentary instead.  Everything […]

Toast

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:October 7, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: October 7, 2011

“Being normal is overrated,” a young boy’s friend assures him.  “You’ll probably turn out to be very interesting.” He was right.  British chef and food writer Nigel Slater tells his own story in “Toast”. His mother was a terrible cook. […]

Moneyball

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some strong language
Movie Release Date:September 23, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 9, 2012
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some strong language
Movie Release Date: September 23, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 9, 2012

Brad Pitt is underrated as an actor.  But he is the best there is when it comes to calibrating the deployment of his onscreen star power, which he uses as expertly as Meryl Streep does accents.  Pitt can dial it […]

I Don’t Know How She Does It

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual references throughout
Movie Release Date:September 16, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 3, 2012
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual references throughout
Movie Release Date: September 16, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 3, 2012

This film takes the most wrenching and universal dilemma of family life and turns it into a sitcom-y love letter to Sarah Jessica Parker.  Not the character she plays, the whippet-thin, stiletto-wearing financial whiz with the adorably mussed hair, but […]

Contest: Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin and More

posted by Nell Minow

I’m very excited to have a gorgeous DVD box set from the Scholastic Storybook series, my very favorite family DVDs to give away. And this one is really special, with three different collections that will inspire children to use their […]

Seven Days in Utopia

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:September 2, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 29. 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: September 2, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 29. 2011

Sports psychologist David L. Cook wrote a book called Seven Days in Utopia: Golf’s Sacred Journey about a young golfer who runs away after a meltdown at a big tournament, gets stuck in a small town, and meets a mentor who […]

Higher Ground

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language and sexual content
Movie Release Date:August 26, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language and sexual content
Movie Release Date: August 26, 2011

Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air,” “The Departed”) directed and stars in “Higher Ground,” the true story of a woman’s spiritual journey, based on Higher Ground: A Memoir of Salvation Found and Lost by Carolyn S. Briggs. It is a rare […]

The Hedgehog

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:August 19, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: August 19, 2011

It’s hard to imagine a less cinematic novel than The Elegance of the Hedgehog.  Author Muriel Barbery is a professor of philosophy, and the book reads more like a series of essays than a story.  What made it work was the […]

One Day

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity, language, some violence, and substance abuse
Movie Release Date:August 19, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 29, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity, language, some violence, and substance abuse
Movie Release Date: August 19, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 29, 2011

A gimmick that sort of worked in a novel becomes an obstacle that trips up this love story based on best-seller by David Nicholls.  It is better at telling us to care about the two characters than it is at […]

The Help

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material
Movie Release Date:August 10, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 5, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material
Movie Release Date: August 10, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 5, 2011

The book-club favorite about African-American women working as domestics in the early Civil Rights era South has been lovingly turned into a film that like its source material engages with its sensitive subject matter humbly and sincerely. Kathryn Stockett grew up […]

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense and frightening sequences of action and violence
Movie Release Date:August 5, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 13, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense and frightening sequences of action and violence
Movie Release Date: August 5, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 13, 2011

By the time they got to the line, “Take your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty ape!” I couldn’t help thinking, “Take your stinking paws off the franchise, Hollywood!”  Do we really need another apes movie? We do have […]

Winnie the Pooh

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:July 15, 2011
DVD Release Date:October 25, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: July 15, 2011
DVD Release Date: October 25, 2011

Disney’s latest film lovingly captures the magic of A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories and poems, which have been enchanting children and their parents for 85 years.  They were a sort of earlier “Toy Story,” with the adventures of Christopher Robin’s stuffed tiger, […]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images
Movie Release Date:July 15, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 8, 2011
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images
Movie Release Date: July 15, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 8, 2011

Before I tell you about this film and about how much I liked it, I want to say thank you to J.K. Rowling and Warner Brothers for the care and devotion they gave to this extraordinary story.  On the page […]

My Visit to the Set of ‘The Help’ — Coming Next Week

posted by Nell Minow

One of the biggest surprise best-sellers of the past ten years is The Help, the first novel by Jackson, Mississippi native Kathryn Stockett.  It is now one of the most eagerly anticipated movies of the year.  The story of the book […]

Gidget (3-Pack)

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:1959
DVD Release Date:July 5, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: 1959
DVD Release Date: July 5, 2011

A new DVD 3-pack of all three “Gidget” movies comes out today, and they’re worth another look, especially the 1959 original with Sandra Dee and James Darren.  Dee plays Francie, a sheltered and somewhat naive girl who thinks that it […]

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild rude humor and some language
Movie Release Date:June 17, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 6, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild rude humor and some language
Movie Release Date: June 17, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 6, 2011

It used to be that a comedian who wanted to be in movies had to make an armed services comedy.  Now, we stick them in domestic stories about daddies who need to learn that the family is more important than […]

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor and language
Movie Release Date:June 10, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor and language
Movie Release Date: June 10, 2011

It’s the last day of third grade and redheaded Judy Moody (Jordana Beatty) is looking forward to the greatest summer ever.  She has big plans for herself and her three best friends, a summer of dares and thrills and adventures. […]

The Man Who Would Be King

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1975
DVD Release Date:June 6, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1975
DVD Release Date: June 6, 2011

Director John Houston’s “The Man Who Would Be King,” released this week for the first time on Blu-Ray, is a magnificent spectacle, based on a story by Rudyard Kipling.  Michael Caine and Sean Connery star as British sergeants and adventurers […]

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action/adventure violence, some frightening images, sensuality and innuendo
Movie Release Date:May 20, 2011
DVD Release Date:October 18, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action/adventure violence, some frightening images, sensuality and innuendo
Movie Release Date: May 20, 2011
DVD Release Date: October 18, 2011

Jack is back. And he is doing what he does best — stealing the movie from everyone else.  Johnny Depp continues Captain Jack Sparrow’s conquest of center stage with this fourth in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, which abandons […]

Mao’s Last Dancer

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for a brief violent image, some sensuality, language, and incidental smoking
Movie Release Date:August 20, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 3, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for a brief violent image, some sensuality, language, and incidental smoking
Movie Release Date: August 20, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 3, 2011

Director Bruce Beresford, best known for “Driving Miss Daisy,” returns to the themes of cross-cultural connections in this film based on the memoir of Chinese ballet star Li Cunxin. Li (Chinese surnames appear first) was taken from his poor, rural […]

Not Easily Broken

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for sexual references and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:January 9, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 7, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual references and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: January 9, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 7, 2011

This week’s release of T.D. Jakes’ “Jumping the Broom” is a good time to take another look at his earlier film about marriage and in-laws, “Not Easily Broken.” If we believe the movies, the tough part of relationships is getting […]

Tikki-Tikki-Tembo…

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Not Rated
Movie Release Date:NA
DVD Release Date:April 26, 2011
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Movie Release Date: NA
DVD Release Date: April 26, 2011

The DVD pick of the week is Tikki-Tikki-Tembo and More Stories of Asian Heritage, another from my very favorite series for young children and their families. This one arrives in time for May’s celebration of Asian Heritage Month in May, […]

Water For Elephants

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for moments of intense violence and sexual content
Movie Release Date:April 22, 2011
DVD Release Date:2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for moments of intense violence and sexual content
Movie Release Date: April 22, 2011
DVD Release Date: 2011

According to the ringmaster of the Benzini Brothers Traveling Circus, “a circus survives on blood, sweat, pain and [excrement].”  In “Water for Elephants” we experience all of these, along with romance, danger, laughter and even a little bit of poetry.  […]

Gulliver’s Travels

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief rude humor, mild language, and action
Movie Release Date:December 22, 2010
DVD Release Date:April 19, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief rude humor, mild language, and action
Movie Release Date: December 22, 2010
DVD Release Date: April 19, 2011

A cringe-inducing catastrophe with all of the appeal of fingernails on blackboard, this movie’s first early warning sign should have been the omission of Jonathan Swift from the opening credits. I thought at first it was an arrogant oversight. Now […]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:November 18, 2010
DVD Release Date:April 12, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: November 18, 2010
DVD Release Date: April 12, 2011

Harry, Hermione, and Ron have to grow up quite literally in the gripping second-to-last installment of the “Harry Potter” movie series, based on the first half of the seventh and final book.  Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron […]

Soul Surfer

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for an intense accident sequence and some thematic material
Movie Release Date:April 8, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 2, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for an intense accident sequence and some thematic material
Movie Release Date: April 8, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 2, 2011

Bethany Hamilton (AnnaSophia Robb) tells us that as a child she spent more time wet than dry. She is the daughter of competitive surfers, home-schooled so that nothing would interfere with her training or her opportunity to go out into […]

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG some frightening images and sequences of fantasy action
Movie Release Date:December 10, 2010
DVD Release Date:April 5, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG some frightening images and sequences of fantasy action
Movie Release Date: December 10, 2010
DVD Release Date: April 5, 2011

A gallant warrior mouse and a dragon with a secret join the two youngest Pevensie children for a voyage and a quest in the third and best so far in the Narnia series. War has come to England and Edmund […]

Fair Game

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language
Movie Release Date:November 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 29, 2011
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language
Movie Release Date: November 5, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011

It turns out that being a spy is not glamorous at all, especially when you are the mother of twins. Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) does not get to pick up a bunch of fun gadgets from Q or change from […]

Tangled

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief mild violence
Movie Release Date:November 24, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild violence
Movie Release Date: November 24, 2010

Disney has taken a 200-year-old story from the Brothers Grimm and made it just modern enough, sassy without being snarky, fresh and contemporary without any po-mo air quotes. It’s the classic fairy tale of the girl with the long, long […]

Jane Eyre

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content
Movie Release Date:March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 16, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content
Movie Release Date: March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 16, 2011

Why do film-makers keep coming back to Jane Eyre? Charlotte Bronte’s story has elements of horror, mystery, revenge, romance, and morality, but it is an internal narrative, Jane’s own clear-eyed but personal view of her story (“Reader, I married him.”) […]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor and mischief
Movie Release Date:March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 21, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor and mischief
Movie Release Date: March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 21, 2011

This is the second movie based on the wildly popular series of Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney. Last year, in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, we saw Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) begin the agonizing experience of […]

The Lincoln Lawyer

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some violence, sexual content and language
Movie Release Date:March 18, 2011
DVD Release Date:July 12, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violence, sexual content and language
Movie Release Date: March 18, 2011
DVD Release Date: July 12, 2011

That’s not Lincoln as in the rail-splitting President. It’s Lincoln as in car. Mick Haller (Matthew McConaughey) is a lawyer whose office is in his car, the better to maneuver between his court appearances and his clients. He’s a criminal […]

Red Riding Hood

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence and creature terror and some sensuality
Movie Release Date:March 11, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 13, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence and creature terror and some sensuality
Movie Release Date: March 11, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 13, 2011

Oh, Grandmother, what a big, bad movie you have. So, apparently what happened here is that for whatever reason director Catherine Hardwicke did not get to make the second and third “Twilight” movies, so she decided to make a different […]

Mars Needs Moms

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for science fiction action and peril
Movie Release Date:March 11, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 9, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for science fiction action and peril
Movie Release Date: March 11, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 9, 2011

There is one perfectly charming moment in “Mars Needs Moms,” but it does not come until the closing credits, when we get some live action glimpses of the voice actors. Their faces are covered with reference dots and they are […]

The Adjustment Bureau

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexuality, and a violent image
Movie Release Date:March 4, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 21, 2011
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexuality, and a violent image
Movie Release Date: March 4, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 21, 2011

The first great movie of 2011 is thought-provoking, exciting, and swooningly romantic. Writer/director George Nolfi takes on the biggest questions of all — faith and doubt, fate and free will, God, love, the meaning of existence — with an absorbing […]

Beastly

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language including crude comments, brief violence, and some thematic material
Movie Release Date:March 4, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 28, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language including crude comments, brief violence, and some thematic material
Movie Release Date: March 4, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 28, 2011

It’s the great challenge for all the versions of “Beauty and the Beast” that no one seems able to overcome: the beast is always a far more interesting, appealing, and yes, attractive character than the good-looking but bland prince he […]

It’s Kind of a Funny Story

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic issues, sexual content, drug material and language
Movie Release Date:October 8, 2010
DVD Release Date:February 15, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic issues, sexual content, drug material and language
Movie Release Date: October 8, 2010
DVD Release Date: February 15, 2011

A stressed-out teenager impetuously checks himself into a mental hospital in this semi-autobiographical tale based on It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. It is brought to screen by the talented writer-directing team of Anna Boden and Ryan […]

Great Figures in African-American History

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2011
DVD Release Date:February 1, 2011
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2011
DVD Release Date: February 1, 2011

Another one from my favorite series that arrives in time for Black History Month — Duke Ellington… and more stories to celebrate great figures in African American history from Scholastic Storybook Treasures. The DVD includes gently animated and beautifully narrated […]

I Am Number Four

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for brief language
Movie Release Date:February 18, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for brief language
Movie Release Date: February 18, 2011

A young, handsome kid has extraordinary special powers vastly beyond the abilities of mere mortals. He is being chased by big, scary, ruthless, and relentless creatures with enormous weapons who have killed numbers One, Two, and Three. He is Number […]

Exclusive Clip from ‘Jane Eyre’

posted by Nell Minow

A new version of the classic book by Charlotte Bronte is coming to the screen. “Jane Eyre,” the story of the shy governess who loves her brooding employer, a man with a dark secret. It has been filmed many times, […]

The Eagle

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for battle scenes and some disturbing images
Movie Release Date:February 11, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 28, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for battle scenes and some disturbing images
Movie Release Date: February 11, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 28, 2011

“The Eagle” is an epic story, lavishly filmed, but empty at the core. Without a reason to care about the quest, it does not matter how skillfully the battle scenes are filmed. It is based on The Eagle of the […]

Tamara Drewe

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some sexuality
Movie Release Date:October 22, 2010
DVD Release Date:February 8, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some sexuality
Movie Release Date: October 22, 2010
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2011

You might think that in a movie called “Tamara Drewe,” the character named Tamara Drewe would be the protagonist. She isn’t. You might then think she could be the primary antagonist creating the chaos that has to be straightened out […]

Cactus Flower

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1969
DVD Release Date:April 23, 202
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1969
DVD Release Date: April 23, 202

This week’s release of Adam Sandler’s remake of “Cactus Flower” is a good reason to check out the 1969 original with Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman, and, in her Oscar-winning screen debut, Goldie Hawn. It began as a French play, adapted […]

Black History Month Treat: Lincoln and Douglass

posted by Nell Minow

My very favorite series for kids, the Scholastic Storybook Treasures, has a new gem out for Black History Month and President’s Day. It’s a collection of DVDs based on four superb history books for children including Lincoln & Douglass: An […]

Alice in Wonderland

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:N/A
Movie Release Date:1951
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: N/A
Movie Release Date: 1951

Almost 150 years ago Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson published his wildly imaginative story about Alice’s adventures down a rabbit hole. And now the wildly imaginative director Tim Burton has brought Wonderland to the 3D movie screen. It is less faithful […]

The Rite

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic material, violence, frightening images, and language including sexual references
Movie Release Date:January 28, 2011
DVD Release Date:May 20, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic material, violence, frightening images, and language including sexual references
Movie Release Date: January 28, 2011
DVD Release Date: May 20, 2011

Actors! They just can’t help themselves when a juicy part comes along. And that is why Oscar-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins finds himself in “The Rite,” an “inspired by a true story” thriller about an exorcist who struggles with his own […]

Red

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action violence and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:October 15, 2010
DVD Release Date:January 25, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action violence and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: October 15, 2010
DVD Release Date: January 25, 2011

Give me Dame Helen Mirren with a semi-automatic weapon and Morgan Freeman smiling, “We’re getting the band back together,” and I will happily settle back and enjoy the popcorn. “RED” stands for “Retired Extremely Dangerous,” and this is the designation […]

Contest: Alice in Wonderland

posted by Nell Minow

I am overjoyed to have two copies of one of my very favorite Disney classics to give away. This is the Blu-Ray/DVD 60th anniversary edition of “Alice in Wonderland.” I have loved this film since we watched it at my […]

The Social Network

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug and alcohol use and language
Movie Release Date:October 1, 2010
DVD Release Date:January 11, 2011
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug and alcohol use and language
Movie Release Date: October 1, 2010
DVD Release Date: January 11, 2011

Change is not polite. The bigger the change, the more likely that it is messy and painful and ugly. Even its beginnings are often disturbingly uninspired and uninspiring. Despite what Hollywood and history books tell us, change is less often […]

The American

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, sexual content and nudity
Movie Release Date:September 1, 2010
DVD Release Date:December 27, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, sexual content and nudity
Movie Release Date: September 1, 2010
DVD Release Date: December 27, 2010

There’s a reason so many movies give us a character who has just one last job to do before he (it’s almost always a he) can get free. It is because we can sympathize with someone despite even the most […]

Gulliver’s Travels: the Animated Feature

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1939
DVD Release Date:2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1939
DVD Release Date: 2010

In the early days of animation, Disney’s biggest rival was the studio run by the Fleischer brothers, whose Betty Boop, Popeye, and Out of the Inkwell cartoons were very popular. Their first feature, released in 1939, was “Gulliver’s Travels.” While […]

True Grit

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of western violence including disturbing images
Movie Release Date:December 22, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 7, 2011
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of western violence including disturbing images
Movie Release Date: December 22, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 7, 2011

In a remake of the John Wayne classic that is truer to the Charles Portis book, the Coen brothers have made their most sincere film yet, a western as spare and yet majestic as its unspoiled landscapes. Like all great […]

The Night Before Christmas…and More Classic Holiday Tales

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2010
DVD Release Date:2010
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2010
DVD Release Date: 2010

My very favorite DVD series for families has a wonderful holiday treat: The Night Before Christmas…and More Classic Holiday Tales. Twelve beloved family classics come to life, including the Christmas stories “The Night Before Christmas,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” […]

Giveaway: ‘Flipped’

posted by Nell Minow

I am delighted to have five copies of one of my favorite family movies of the year to give away. Flipped, directed by Rob Reiner has wonderful performances by Madeline Carroll and Callan McAuliffe in a story set in the […]

Shrek Forever After

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action, some rude humor, and brief language
Movie Release Date:May 21, 2010
DVD Release Date:December 7, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action, some rude humor, and brief language
Movie Release Date: May 21, 2010
DVD Release Date: December 7, 2010

Talk about happily ever after! “Shrek Forever After” is the best Shrek since the first one. After a third episode that proved they couldn’t take it much further by going forward, they’ve found a clever way to reboot the story […]

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for fantasy action violence, some mild rude humor, and brief language
Movie Release Date:July 14, 2010
DVD Release Date:November 30, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for fantasy action violence, some mild rude humor, and brief language
Movie Release Date: July 14, 2010
DVD Release Date: November 30, 2010

A pinch of movie magic makes this fantasy action movie a summer movie popcorn pleasure for kids and their families. The story goes back to an 18th century poem by Goethe that inspired a symphony by Paul Dukas a century […]

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense scenes of action and violence and some scenes of sensuality
Movie Release Date:June 30, 2010
DVD Release Date:November 30, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense scenes of action and violence and some scenes of sensuality
Movie Release Date: June 30, 2010
DVD Release Date: November 30, 2010

Things — and people — heat up in this third chapter in the “Twilight” saga. Bella (Kristen Stewart) begins by quoting Robert Frost’s famous poem about whether the world will end in fire or ice. That will be more than […]

Eat, Pray, Love

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexual references, and male rear nudity
Movie Release Date:August 13, 2010
DVD Release Date:November 23, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexual references, and male rear nudity
Movie Release Date: August 13, 2010
DVD Release Date: November 23, 2010

Here’s a word I never thought I would use about Ryan Murphy: safe. The guy behind the twisted pleasures of the television series “Nip/Tuck” and “Glee” has made sensationally entertaining comedy-dramas about ambition, competition, beauty, and self-expression. He has specialized […]

Flipped

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language and some thematic material
Movie Release Date:August 27, 2010
DVD Release Date:November 23, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language and some thematic material
Movie Release Date: August 27, 2010
DVD Release Date: November 23, 2010

The director of “When Harry Met Sally….” has given us a middle-school variation, an on and off love story that begins in second grade when Bryce Loski (Callan McAuliffe) and his family move in across the street from Juli Baker […]

Disney’s A Christmas Carol

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for scary sequences and images
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 16, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for scary sequences and images
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 16, 2010

Writer-director Robert Zemeckis wisely chose the most unquenchable of stories for his technological marvel. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, already filmed with everyone from Michael Caine to Patrick Stewart, George C. Scott, Vanessa Williams, and Mr. Magoo in the role […]

Magnificent Obsession

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1954
DVD Release Date:2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1954
DVD Release Date: 2009

Celebrate Rock Hudson’s birthday this week with the movie that really made him a star, a remake of a Robert Taylor movie based on a popular book by Lloyd C. Douglas, who often included religious themes in his stories. (Both […]

The Sound of Music

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1965
DVD Release Date:November 9, 2010
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1965
DVD Release Date: November 9, 2010

The Sound of Music is out in a gorgeous new 45th anniversary edition Blu-Ray/DVD combo. The beloved family musical is the fictionalized story of Maria von Trapp (Julie Andrews). It is an outstanding family film, filled with glorious music (“Do […]

Ramona and Beezus

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:July 23, 2010
DVD Release Date:November 2, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: July 23, 2010
DVD Release Date: November 2, 2010

Walden has just about mastered the art of turning the very best in children’s literature into very fine family films. It doesn’t get any better than Beverly Cleary’s marvelous series of books about Ramona Quimby and her family, and here […]

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for stylized violence, sexual content, language, and drug references
Movie Release Date:August 13, 2010
DVD Release Date:November 2, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for stylized violence, sexual content, language, and drug references
Movie Release Date: August 13, 2010
DVD Release Date: November 2, 2010

Director Edgar Wright’s latest movie is based on the popular series of graphic novels about Scott Pilgrim, an often-clueless, out of work musician who falls for a girl named Ramona and has to fight her seven evil exes in a […]

Charlie St. Cloud

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language including sexual references, an intense accident scene, and some sensuality
Movie Release Date:July 30, 2010
DVD Release Date:November 2, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language including sexual references, an intense accident scene, and some sensuality
Movie Release Date: July 30, 2010
DVD Release Date: November 2, 2010

Zac Efron makes an affecting and credible dramatic lead in “Charlie St. Cloud,” the movie Nicholas Sparks wishes he could write, based on the book by Ben Sherwood. Like Sparks’ stories, this has loss, and love, and a setting at […]

Sex and the City 2

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some strong sexual content and language
Movie Release Date:May 28, 2010
DVD Release Date:October 26, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some strong sexual content and language
Movie Release Date: May 28, 2010
DVD Release Date: October 26, 2010

After two years as Mrs. Big, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) admits that she’s feeling a bit too “Mr. and Mrs. Married.” Mr. Big (Chris Noth) wants to stay at home with take-out and cuddle while watching black and white movies […]

Howl

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:October 15, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: October 15, 2010

In the post-WWII era of peace and prosperity — and the Cold War and the blacklist and conformity — a small group of writers found much to terrify and infuriate them. “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed […]

Jonah Hex

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images, and sexual content
Movie Release Date:June 11, 2010
DVD Release Date:October 12, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images, and sexual content
Movie Release Date: June 11, 2010
DVD Release Date: October 12, 2010

Josh Brolin plays Jonah Hex, a man transformed by loss in a fantasy western set just after the Civil War, based on the series of comics and graphic novels. The war is over in the United States, but it continues […]

How to Train Your Dragon

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of intense action and some scary images, and brief mild language
Movie Release Date:March 26, 2010
DVD Release Date:October 12, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of intense action and some scary images, and brief mild language
Movie Release Date: March 26, 2010
DVD Release Date: October 12, 2010

The sheer exhilaration of flying along with our hero on the back of his new best friend, a dragon, is exceeded only by the exhilaration of top-notch film-making with a witty and heartwarming script, endearing characters, dazzling visuals, and a […]

The Secret of Moonacre

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild peril and language
Movie Release Date:2008
DVD Release Date:September 21, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild peril and language
Movie Release Date: 2008
DVD Release Date: September 21, 2010

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is often asked what book she loved most when she was a child and she always answers The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. It is the story of a little girl named Maria Merryweather […]

Never Let Me Go

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some sexuality and nudity
Movie Release Date:September 24, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some sexuality and nudity
Movie Release Date: September 24, 2010

Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel The Remains of the Day, about a butler who devoted his life to service without questioning his master’s authority or the validity of his judgment became a movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. And now his […]

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:September 24, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 12, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: September 24, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 12, 2011

Zack Snyder tries to do for feathers what he did for abs and biceps in “300” in this 3D animated adventure based on three books from the 15-book series of Ga’hoole novels by Kathryn Lansky. Every snowflake, feather, and talon […]

Robin Hood

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence including intense scenes of warfare and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:May 14, 2010
DVD Release Date:September 21, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence including intense scenes of warfare and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: May 14, 2010
DVD Release Date: September 21, 2010

If, as the Gothic calligraphy tells us as the beginning of this film, tyrants inspire heroes, then the clear implication is that heroes inspire movies. And Robin Hood, who stole from the rich to give to the poor, has been […]

Jonah and the Whale

posted by Nell Minow

On the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Jews study the story of Jonah and the Whale. The Jewish educational and outreach group AISH says In a certain sense it is very much the story […]

Amish Grace

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:March 28, 2010
DVD Release Date:September 14, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: March 28, 2010
DVD Release Date: September 14, 2010

The highest-rated Lifetime Movie Network film, “Amish Grace,” is out on DVD this week and well worth viewing. It is based on the true story of a devastating tragedy and the example of courage, compassion, and forgiveness that inspired the […]

Interview: the Stars of ‘Flipped’

posted by Nell Minow

Madeline Carroll (now 14) and Callan McAuliffe (now 15) star in a sweet story of first love called “Flipped,” based on the popular book by Wendelin Van Draanen. I spoke to them about acting in a story set three decades […]

Angelina Ballerina: Love to Dance

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:August 31, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: August 31, 2010

Angelina Ballerina: Love to Dance, the first chance to see the new CGI makeover for everyone’s favorite dancing mouse, comes out this week. I have three DVDs to give away and a special prize for everyone who writes to me. […]

Great Movie Teachers, Part 3: Grade and Middle School

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of the first day of school, I am reposting my list of some of my favorite movie teachers in elementary and middle school. Note that not all movies about kids this age are intended to be viewed by […]

Nanny McPhee Returns

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for rude homor, some language, and mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:August 20, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for rude homor, some language, and mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: August 20, 2010

For the first half of this movie, the children in the audience were completely on board, laughing when the children on screen were covered with mud and various kinds of animal poop, delighting in seeing them naughtily fighting with each […]

The Last Song

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic material, some violence, sensuality and mild language
Movie Release Date:March 31, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 17, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material, some violence, sensuality and mild language
Movie Release Date: March 31, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 17, 2010

Miley Cyrus shows us how her reach exceeds her grasp in “The Last Song,” an attempt to move past Hannah Montana. She has become Disney’s most valuable property through the force of her personality, comic timing, and way with a […]

Me and Orson Welles

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual references and smoking
Movie Release Date:November 25, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 17, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual references and smoking
Movie Release Date: November 25, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 17, 2010

“This is the story of one week in my life. I was seventeen. It was the week I slept in Orson Welles’s pajamas. It was the week I fell in love. And it was the week I changed my middle […]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some rude humor and language
Movie Release Date:March 19, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 3, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some rude humor and language
Movie Release Date: March 19, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 3, 2010

“Middle school may be the dumbest idea ever,” says Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon), and I think he speaks for all of us. If you ask most adults whether they would rather be audited by the IRS or go back through […]

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 […]

Misty

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1961
DVD Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1961
DVD Release Date: 2002

If you can’t make it to Virginia today for the annual swimming of the ponies, take a look at this faithful adaptation of the classic (and fact-based) children’s book Misty of Chincoteague, by Marguerite Henry. It is the story of […]

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for disturbing violent content including rape, grisly images, sexual material, nudity, and language
Movie Release Date:November 7, 2009
DVD Release Date:July 6, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for disturbing violent content including rape, grisly images, sexual material, nudity, and language
Movie Release Date: November 7, 2009
DVD Release Date: July 6, 2010

If you have not read any of the Millennium trilogy of novels by Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson, someone near you has. A worldwide sensation published after the death of the author, the books follow the title character, Lisbeth Salandar, a […]

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 […]

Shutter Island

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for disturbing violent content, language and some nudity
Movie Release Date:February 19, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 8, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for disturbing violent content, language and some nudity
Movie Release Date: February 19, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 8, 2010

Dennis Lehane, author of gritty crime novels like Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone and one of the writers of “The Wire,” and director Martin Scorsese, best known for movies like “Goodfellas” and “Casino,” about wiseguys, hitmen, and omertas, have […]

Alice in Wonderland

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar
Movie Release Date:March 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 1, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar
Movie Release Date: March 5, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 1, 2010

Almost 150 years ago Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson published his wildly imaginative story about Alice’s adventures down a rabbit hole. And now the wildly imaginative director Tim Burton has brought Wonderland to the 3D movie screen. It is less faithful […]

Dear John

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sensuality and violence
Movie Release Date:February 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 25, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sensuality and violence
Movie Release Date: February 5, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 25, 2010

Nicholas Sparks writes the equivalent of comfort food, high-carb, low-nutrition, but sometimes it hits the spot. His stories usually feature relationships that are not just true and deep and loving but healing. And then, like ripping off a band-aid, he […]

The Road

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language
Movie Release Date:November 25, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 26, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language
Movie Release Date: November 25, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 26, 2010

The most terrifying moment we ever experience is the realization that we are responsible for the life of the perfect being who has turned us from people into parents. We want more than anything to keep them safe and teach […]

Flicka 2

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some reckless behavior
Movie Release Date:2010
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some reckless behavior
Movie Release Date: 2010
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010

Flicka 2 is a straight-to-DVD sequel of the most recent version of Flicka, the kid-and-a-horse story that goes back to the 1941 novel, My Friend Flicka, which inspired sequels, movies, and a 1956-57 television series. In this latest version a […]

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 […]

The Lovely Bones

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving disturbing violent content and images, and some language
Movie Release Date:December 11, 2009
DVD Release Date:April 20, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving disturbing violent content and images, and some language
Movie Release Date: December 11, 2009
DVD Release Date: April 20, 2010

Peter Jackson, whose film versions of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy could be a textbook example of how to adapt a literary work for screen, could find his latest film, “The Lovely Bones” as the example on the next […]

An Education

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving sexual content, and for smoking
Movie Release Date:October 23, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 30, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving sexual content, and for smoking
Movie Release Date: October 23, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 30, 2010

Part of the charm of “An Education,” a bittersweet coming of age story based on a brief memoir by Lynn Barber, is how much we know what its main character does not. Jenny (an incandescent Carey Mulligan) is a teenager […]

Interview: Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders of ‘How to Train Your Dragon’

posted by Nell Minow

Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders are the writer-directors behind one of the best family films of the year, “How to Train Your Dragon.” It was a very great pleasure to talk with them about adapting the popular books and the […]

Fantastic Mr. Fox

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for action, smoking and slang humor
Movie Release Date:November 25, 2009
DVD Release Date:February 18, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action, smoking and slang humor
Movie Release Date: November 25, 2009
DVD Release Date: February 18, 2014

Today Criterion issues a gorgeous new Blu-Ray edition of “Fantastic Mr. Fox” with lots of great behind-the-scenes extras.  Director Wes Anderson has often seemed more interested in his films’ props and sets than the characters and stories. His last movie’s […]

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 […]

The Blind Side

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references
Movie Release Date:November 20, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 23, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references
Movie Release Date: November 20, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 23, 2010

“The Blind Side” is a movie about football that had its own broken field running challenge. It is the true story of Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher, a homeless black kid adopted by a wealthy white family. So, it […]

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence and action
Movie Release Date:November 20, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 16, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence and action
Movie Release Date: November 20, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 16, 2010

“You’re good with weird,” a character tells Bella mid-way through “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.” That’s an understatement. In the first Twilight movie, as in the first of the series by Stephanie Meyer, high school student Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) […]

The Princess and the Frog

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:December 11, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 16, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: December 11, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 16, 2010

Disney has cooked up a yummy batch of gumbo with this blend of the past and present. “The Princess and the Frog” is a satisfying and thoroughly entertaining return to the hand-drawn animation that built the studio. Although it is […]

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for child abuse including sexual assault, and pervasive language
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 9, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for child abuse including sexual assault, and pervasive language
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 9, 2010

Claireece (newcomer Gabourey ‘Gabby’ Sidibe) is a 16-year-old, still in middle school, illiterate, pregnant with her second child. The first baby has Down Syndrome. Both pregnancies are the result of rape by her own father. She is subjected to constant […]

Up in the Air

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:December 4, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 08, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: December 4, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 08, 2010

To the list of the biggest lies of all time (“The check is in the mail,” “I’ll still respect you in the morning,” etc.) this must now be added: “All the answers are in your packet.” No, they aren’t. Many […]

Ponyo

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:August 14, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 2, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: August 14, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 2, 2010

Hayao Miyazaki has produced another trippy fantasia, this time a fish out of water story along the lines of “The Little Mermaid.” A little girl goldfish with magical powers loves a little boy and turns herself into a human, by […]

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 […]

The Informant!

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date:February 23, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date: February 23, 2010

Like some of the food made with the substances produced by the corporation at the heart of this story, this movie is pleasant but leaves a sour aftertaste. It is inspired by the real-life story of one of the most […]

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense supernatural violence and action, disturbing images, thematic elements and some language
Movie Release Date:October 23, 2009
DVD Release Date:February 23, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense supernatural violence and action, disturbing images, thematic elements and some language
Movie Release Date: October 23, 2009
DVD Release Date: February 23, 2010

Vampires are everywhere these days. There are the Romeo and Juliet-style stories of Twilight and the steamier True Blood as well as the love triangle of the CW’s Vampire Diaries. And now there is “Cirque Du Freak,” based on the […]

The Time Traveler’s Wife

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, brief disturbing images, nudity and sexuality
Movie Release Date:August 14, 2009
DVD Release Date:February 9, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, brief disturbing images, nudity and sexuality
Movie Release Date: August 14, 2009
DVD Release Date: February 9, 2010

Books and movies are two very different modes of expression. Books tend to be more subjective and internal, focusing on what the author or characters think and feel. Movies are usually better at showing what happens. Even a hugely popular […]

Contest: Emma and Cranford

posted by Nell Minow

This is a very special contest with not one but two utterly delectable DVD sets, both series based on classic books and both originally shown on PBS. Emma (2009) is based on the novel by Jane Austen (already filmed with […]

Once Upon a Mattress

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2005

“Once Upon a Mattress,” a musical version of “The Princess and the Pea,” is one of my favorites. Carol Burnett became a star for her portrayal of the kind-hearted but rather loud princess when it premiered on Broadway and she […]

Louis James Hates School

posted by Nell Minow

I love this short film based on Bill Morrison’s book about the little boy who tried to get a job without knowing how to read.

Whip It

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content including crude dialogue, language and drug material.
Movie Release Date:October 2, 2009
DVD Release Date:January 26, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content including crude dialogue, language and drug material.
Movie Release Date: October 2, 2009
DVD Release Date: January 26, 2010

Drew Barrymore has devoted more time than most people to growing up and has done it more publicly than most people, too. At age 34, she has been acting for nearly three decades. Here she makes her directing debut with […]

Youth in Revolt

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, language and drug use
Movie Release Date:January 8, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, language and drug use
Movie Release Date: January 8, 2010

Those who want to see the Michael Cera they know and love and those who want to see him do something else can both find what they are looking for in “Youth in Revolt,” based on the popular epistolary novels […]

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 […]

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 […]