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genre

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quality

  • A+, A, A-
  • B+, B, B-
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who's watching

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age range

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Beaufort

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Unrated
Movie Release Date:March 28, 2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Movie Release Date: March 28, 2008

‘Beaufort,” the first Israeli movie nominated for the best foreign film Oscar in 24 years, is a meditation on the tragic ironies that soldiers face while ending an 18-year occupation of a medieval fortress in Lebanon. Despite their valor, the […]

The Bank Job

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

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

Into the Wild

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some nudity.
Movie Release Date:September 21, 2007
DVD Release Date:March 4, 2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some nudity.
Movie Release Date: September 21, 2007
DVD Release Date: March 4, 2008

Every one of us at times hears the call of the wild, to match the wild of the outdoors to the wild that is inside us, to leave behind all of the petty complications of civilization and test ourselves down […]

Song of Bernadette

posted by Nell Minow

The anniversary of the shrine at Lourdes is a good reminder of the lovely performance of Jennifer Jones in “Song of Bernadette,” the story of the young girl who saw “a beautiful lady” and became Saint Bernadette Soubirous.

The Hunting Party

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

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

Rudy

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1993
DVD Release Date:1994
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1993
DVD Release Date: 1994

In this true story of determination and courage, a young man from a blue collar family wants to play football for Notre Dame, despite the fact he has neither the athletic nor the academic skills. Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger (Sean Astin) […]

Persepolis

posted by Nell Minow

Marjane Satrapi brings her award-winning graphic memoir to the screen in a powerful story of growing up in Iran as the Shah was ousted and hopes for democracy were crushed by the rise of the fundamentalists. Named for the legendary […]

The Pursuit of Happyness

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:May 27, 2013
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: May 27, 2013

This week’s release of “After Earth,” starring Will Smith and his son Jaden, is a good time to take another look at their first co-starring film, based on a real-life father and son: If a man goes from homeless single […]

American Splendor

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R
Movie Release Date:2003
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R
Movie Release Date: 2003

Harvey Pekar says, “Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.” His own life is a good example. He has the most ordinary of professions – he is a file clerk in a veteran’s hospital. He lives in the most ordinary of […]

Bloody Sunday

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

On January 30, 1972, thousands of civil rights demonstrators in Derry (Londonderry), Ireland, held a rally to protest the British Government’s use of internment without due process in Northern Ireland. British military forces were ordered into the unarmed crowd to […]

Amadeus

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG (theatrical version)
Movie Release Date:1984
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG (theatrical version)
Movie Release Date: 1984

Antionio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham in an Oscar-winning performance), the court composer, should have been Mozart. He followed all the rules, worked hard, and cared deeply. Music was his life. Mozart (Tom Hulce) arrives, a bawdy, bratty, foolish boy whose […]

Chariots of Fire

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for adult situations and language
Movie Release Date:1981
DVD Release Date:July 9, 2012
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for adult situations and language
Movie Release Date: 1981
DVD Release Date: July 9, 2012

In honor of the 2012 Olympics in London, this 1981 classic and winner of the Oscar for Best Picture has been reissued. This is the true story of two athletes who raced in the 1924 Olympics, one a privileged Jewish […]

Sunrise at Campobello

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1960
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1960

“Plot: This is the story of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Ralph Bellamy), from the time he became disabled by polio to his comeback into mainstream politics, as he introduced candidate Al Smith to the Democratic convention of 1928. Discussion: Franklin, […]

A Man for All Seasons

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1966
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1966

Plot: The Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) is a man of great principle and a devout Catholic in the time of King Henry VIII. The King wants to dissolve his marriage to the queen (a Spanish princess and […]

Quiz Show

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:1994
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 1994

Plot: This true story takes place in the early days of television. One of the most popular and successful program formats was the quiz show, in which contestants competed for huge cash prizes by answering questions. Charles Van Doren (played […]

Enigma

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

One of the most important contributions to the Allied victory in World War II was a code-breaking operation that was so secret it was not revealed until 30 years later. Their deciphering of the Enigma code developed by the Germans […]

Edison, the Man

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1940
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1940

“Plot: The movie begins with a dinner in 1929 honoring the “”Golden Jubilee of Light,”” the anniversary of the invention of the electric light bulb. But the guest of honor has not yet left home. He is being interviewed by […]

The Scarlet and the Black

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1983
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1983

Plot: Gregory Peck plays Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty in this true story of WWII Rome. The Vatican had diplomatic neutrality, so that no one within its borders could be arrested. O’Flaherty used the Vatican as a base of operations to save […]

On the Waterfront

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:1954
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 1954

Plot: Based on a true story (with a less satisfying conclusion), this is the story of the men who had the courage to stand up to the corrupt longshoreman’s union. The union is controlled by Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb). […]

All the King’s Men

posted by rkumar
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for an intense sequence of violence, sexual content and partial nudity
Movie Release Date:September 22, 2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for an intense sequence of violence, sexual content and partial nudity
Movie Release Date: September 22, 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Huey Long was man of gigantic proportions, an epic, almost operatic figure who rose to power as the greatest of populists, succumbed to corruption, and was murdered at age 42. His story inspired a Pulitzer Prize-winning book and an Oscar-winning […]

The Great Escape

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:1963
DVD Release Date:May 7, 2013
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: 1963
DVD Release Date: May 7, 2013

In honor of the Blu-Ray release of this classic film, it is the Pick of the Week – and I am delighted that I have one Blu-Ray to give away.  Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with Escape in the […]

Amistad

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R
Movie Release Date:1997
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R
Movie Release Date: 1997

Plot: In 1839, a group of Africans sold into slavery were being transported to the United States on a Spanish ship. Off the coast of Cuba, they escaped from their shackles and attacked the crew, leaving two crew members alive […]

All the President’s Men

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1976
DVD Release Date:June 11, 2012
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1976
DVD Release Date: June 11, 2012

This week is the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in and a good time to look at the Oscar-winning movie about the two reporters who would not give up on the story of the Watergate break-in, this is as gripping as […]

Murder by Numbers

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

In 1924 there was a murder was so shocking that it was called the crime of the century. What was chilling was the motive — not money or passion but a cool arrogance that led two wealthy young men to […]

The Insider

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

Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe), a research scientist for a tobacco company, tells “60 Minutes” to reveal that the company is more aware of the addictive properties of nicotine than its executives claimed and in fact manipulated the delivery of nicotine. […]

Playing from the Heart

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1998
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1998

This theatrical production of the real-life story of deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie is a real treasure for family viewing. As with the other productions from Globalstage, it may take some kids a while to get used to the more impressionistic […]

The Hurricane

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

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter triumphed over a brutal childhood to become a contender for the middleweight boxing championship, through pure determination. Then, wrongfully sentenced to three life terms for murders he did not commit, he used the same discipline, integrity, and […]

1776

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1972
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1972

Happy Independence Day! This rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost forget that you already know how it all turned out. William Daniels is […]

My Dog Skip

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

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

Erin Brockovich

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2000
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2000

The poster says, “She brought a small town to its feet and a huge company to its knees.” So we know where it’s all going, and just settle back to enjoy the ride. And an enjoyable ride it is, too. […]

October Sky

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1999
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1999

This true story of a boy from a small town who dreams of becoming a rocket scientist is one of the best films ever made about the thrill and hard work of science and a great family movie. In 1957 […]

Jackie Robinson Story

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1950
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1950

For Black History Month, take a look at this neglected gem about the first black baseball player to play in the major leagues. The primary appeal of this movie is that Robinson plays himself (with Ruby Dee as his wife). […]

The Straight Story

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:1999
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 1999

Do not let the G-rating and the Disney label mislead you – this is an adult movie in the old-fashioned sense of the word, meaning that its story and themes will most appeal to adults and some teens. It gets […]

Titanic

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:1997
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 1997

Classic Greek tragedies explored the theme of hubris as human characters dared to take on the attributes of the gods only to find their hopes crushed. This is a real-life story of hubris, as the ship declared to be “unsinkable” […]

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