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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: Karley Scott Collins of ‘Amish Grace’

posted by Nell Minow

Karley Scott Collins stars in Amish Grace, the real-life story about the Amish community in Nickel Mines, which responded to unthinkable tragedy with compassion and forgiveness. Five little girls were shot and killed and five others severely injured by a […]

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 […]

Billy: The Early Years Of Billy Graham

posted by Nell Minow

Before he was the best-known clergyman in America and a spiritual adviser to Presidents, Billy Graham was a young man struggling with doubt and searching for a way to be of service. This sensitive and respectful film about Billy Graham’s […]

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 […]

The First Olympics

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1986
DVD Release Date:July 21, 2012
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1986
DVD Release Date: July 21, 2012

As we prepare for the London games, I highly recommend: The First Olympics: Athens 1896, one of my very favorite sports movies ever, is a made-for-TV miniseries about the first modern-day Olympics. We take the Olympics as a given now, […]

Amelia

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some sensuality, language, thematic elements and smoking
Movie Release Date:October 23, 2009
DVD Release Date:February 2, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some sensuality, language, thematic elements and smoking
Movie Release Date: October 23, 2009
DVD Release Date: February 2, 2010

Amelia Earhart, the pioneering aviator who was lost over the Pacific, is given the big Hollywood biopic treatment in a curiously retro film that feels like it was intended for Katherine Hepburn or Susan Hayward. It is not the 1930’s […]

Passing Strange

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2009
DVD Release Date:January 12, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2009
DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010

Spike Lee’s latest movie is a film version of the Tony Award-winning musical autobiography, something between a concert and a play, about, by, and starring the one-named musician named Stew. He heads up the on-stage band, which functions somewhere between […]

Taking Woodstock

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for graphic nudity, some sexual content, drug use and language
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 15, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for graphic nudity, some sexual content, drug use and language
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009

This is a movie about what went on in the community near Woodstock while the concert that would forever be known by that name was happening. And a happening. In other words, this is a footnote movie. It tries to […]

Julie & Julia

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sensuality
Movie Release Date:August 7, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 8, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sensuality
Movie Release Date: August 7, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 8, 2009

“Julie & Julia” is — I can’t help it — a scrumptiously satisfying film about writer/director Nora Ephron’s two favorite subjects: food and marriage.It is based on two true stories. Julia Child revolutionized American notions about food with her cookbook […]

Rosa Parks Changed History on This Date

posted by Nell Minow

On Thursday December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, a seamstress and a volunteer secretary for the NAACP, was sitting in the section of a public bus reserved for black passengers. As she rode, the seats designated for white riders were filled […]

American Violet

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material, violence, drug references and language
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 13, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material, violence, drug references and language
Movie Release Date: April 17, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 13, 2009

Meet two extraordinary women — Dee Roberts, based on a real-life single mother who took on corrupt and racist law enforcement officials in Texas and Nicole Beharie, the woman who plays her, who makes one of the most thrilling feature […]

If the World Were a Village

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2009
DVD Release Date:September 8, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2009
DVD Release Date: September 8, 2009

Based on David J. Smith’s best-selling and award-winning book If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World’s People, this is an animated story about global culture that helps families understand our differences, our commonality, and our connections. […]

The Soloist

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some drug use and language
Movie Release Date:April 21, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 4, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some drug use and language
Movie Release Date: April 21, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 4, 2009

All around Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez (Robert Downey, Jr.), everything seems to be broken or breaking. The newspaper is losing readers and laying off staff. His marriage to editor Mary Weston (Catherine Keener) is over. He is estranged […]

From the Earth to the Moon

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1998
DVD Release Date:1998
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1998
DVD Release Date: 1998

The very best American miniseries I have ever seen is the HBO production from Tom Hanks, From the Earth to the Moon. Instead of a chronological run-down, each episode takes on the space race from a different angle. One gives […]

The Rookie

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

If this hadn’t really happened, Disney would have had to make it up. But a high school science teacher did tell the baseball team he coached that if they won the division title he would try out for the major […]

Defiance

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence and language
Movie Release Date:January 16, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 2, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence and language
Movie Release Date: January 16, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 2, 2009

Cowriter-director Edward Zwick, who also made “Glory,” the story of an all-black Union regiment in the Civil War, spoke to me about why it was important to tell the story of the Bielski brothers, who kept 1200 Jews hidden from […]

The Seven Little Foys

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Not Rated
Movie Release Date:1955
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Movie Release Date: 1955
DVD Release Date: 2007

Bob Hope would have turned 106 this week, and his birthday and the upcoming Father’s Day reminded me of one of my favorite of his films. It’s also one of the least characteristic because he is playing a real-life character […]

A Plumm Summer

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG

A Plumm Summer had a limited release in 2007 but is now widely available for the first time with this week’s DVD. It is based on the real-life story of a “kidnapped” puppet from a local children’s program in Montana […]

Interview: Steve Lopez of ‘The Soloist’

posted by Nell Minow

Steve Lopez thought maybe he would get a column out of the homeless man who was playing a violin with only two strings. He did get a column, and then more, and then a book, a friend, a lot of […]

Frost/Nixon

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language
Movie Release Date:December 5, 2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language
Movie Release Date: December 5, 2008

More than 30 years after he resigned from office, Richard M. Nixon has transcended politics and history and become epic. He has been portrayed on film by Anthony Hopkins, the man who won an Oscar playing Hannibal the Cannibal. And […]

Interview: Bill Haney of ‘American Violet’

posted by Nell Minow

“American Violet,” the fine new film about the real-life woman who took on corrupt and racist law enforcement officials in 2000, was written by Bill Haney. It was a very great pleasure to get to talk to him about the […]

Grey Gardens, Act III

posted by Nell Minow

What is is about the story of Grey Gardens that has been so enduringly fascinating? They have inspired a documentary film, a Broadway musical, endless articles, even a song by Rufus Wainwright. Some people think it is because the two […]

Marley & Me

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 31, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009

Life is messy. And in this movie, that very important lesson is embodied by Marley, affectionately dubbed “the worst dog in the world” by his loving family. Jennifer (Jennifer Aniston) and John (Owen Wilson) Grogan are newlywed newspaper writers who […]

Milk

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, some sexual content and brief violence
Movie Release Date:December 5, 2008
DVD Release Date:March
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some sexual content and brief violence
Movie Release Date: December 5, 2008
DVD Release Date: March

“My name is Harvey Milk and I want to recruit you!” This disarming introduction became the trademark of the man who would become the first out gay man to hold major elective office in the United States. With this greeting, […]

Changeling

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some violent and disturbing content, and language.
Movie Release Date:October 25, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violent and disturbing content, and language.
Movie Release Date: October 25, 2008

Radiantly beatific, Angelina Jolie glows with mother love in bright red lipstick and a series of divine cloche hats as Christine Collins, a devoted single mother, in this fact-based drama directed by Clint Eastwood. In 1928 Los Angeles, while she […]

Flash of Genius

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date:October 3, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 17, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date: October 3, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 17, 2009

Americans do love our underdog stories and this one has the ingredients. There’s a David — an engineering professor named Robert Kearns (Greg Kinnear), who had a “flash of genius” and invented a gadget that all the geniuses in Detroit […]

W.

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language including sexual references, some alcohol abuse, smoking and brief disturbing war images
Movie Release Date:October 17, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 10, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language including sexual references, some alcohol abuse, smoking and brief disturbing war images
Movie Release Date: October 17, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 10, 2009

Maybe it is just too soon, maybe we are just too used to the high-gloss satire of “Saturday Night Live” and “The Daily Show,” maybe it’s the kaleidoscopic structure, but this movie feels like a rough draft. Director Oliver Stone […]

The Express

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic content, violence and language involving racism, and for brief sensuality.
Movie Release Date:October 10, 2008
DVD Release Date:January 20, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic content, violence and language involving racism, and for brief sensuality.
Movie Release Date: October 10, 2008
DVD Release Date: January 20, 2009

When a real-life story combines athletic excellence and civil rights breakthroughs, it has more than enough heart and drama to be good movie material. Ernie Davis was a combination of heart and pure talent who came along at just the […]

Notorious

posted by Nell Minow

Christopher George Latore Wallace lived fast, died young, and left a very big corpse. He started dealing drugs as a young kid in Brooklyn, went to prison, and was killed at age 24 in a gang-style shooting that is still […]

Interview: Director Ed Zwick of ‘Defiance’

posted by Nell Minow

Edward Zwick, the director of the new Holocaust movie “Defiance,” is well-known for both historical dramas (“Glory”) and intimate personal stories (the television series “Thirtysomething”) – and for finding the small moments in big stories and the big emotions in […]

Cadillac Records

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language and some sexuality
Movie Release Date:December 5, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language and some sexuality
Movie Release Date: December 5, 2008

In the words of Etta James, at last. At last, albeit imperfectly, the extraordinary story of the rise and fall of Chess Records has been given the loving attention it deserves. Magnificent performances and soul-shaking music make up for some […]

A Christmas Story

posted by Nell Minow
A-
A-

There’s no better way to start off the Christmas season than this holiday classic, now celebrating its 25th anniversary and so popular that Turner Classic Movies runs it for 24 hours each year. Millions of fans can recite its lines […]

Thoughts on ‘W’ as Movie, History, and Politics

posted by Nell Minow

Movie review from Dana Stevens of Slate: Neither satire nor biopic, the film is a kind of secular pageant, enacting with dogged literality the well-known stations of the cross of Bush’s life: the 40th-birthday hangover-turned-religious-conversion! The near-asphyxiation by pretzel! Mission […]

The Duchess

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, brief nudity, and thematic material
Movie Release Date:September 26, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, brief nudity, and thematic material
Movie Release Date: September 26, 2008

Kiera Knightley plays 18th century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire in this muddled but eye-filling saga of an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales, who shared her status as a fashion icon, heartbroken wife of a man in love with […]

The Longshots

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some thematic elements, mild language and brief rude humor.
Movie Release Date:August 23, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some thematic elements, mild language and brief rude humor.
Movie Release Date: August 23, 2008

A little bit of grittiness keeps this fact-based story of a girl who plays football from getting too sugary. The talented Keke Palmer of Akeelah and the Bee gives a beautifully understated, witty, and sincere performance as Jasmine, the first […]

Contest: The First Olympics

posted by Nell Minow

I am thrilled to have FIVE copies of this week’s DVD pick of the week, The First Olympics, one of my all-time favorites. This two-part television miniseries an outstanding family film about the first modern-day Olympics in 1896, exciting, touching, […]

Mandela

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:March 21, 1997
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: March 21, 1997

Celebrate the 90th birthday this week of one of history’s greatest leaders, Nelson Mandela, with one of the fine films about his extraordinary perseverance, vision, courage, and leadership. The story of the massive social change he achieved without violence is […]

The Other Boleyn Girl

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexual content and some violent images
Movie Release Date:February 29. 2008
DVD Release Date:June 10, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexual content and some violent images
Movie Release Date: February 29. 2008
DVD Release Date: June 10, 2008

Take away the sumptuous settings and Hollywood glamour and what you have here is like Henry VIII for Dummies enacted by the cast of the OC. Natalie Portman plays Anne Boleyn, who became the second of Henry VIII’s six wives […]

Charlie Wilson’s War

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong language, nudity/sexual content and some drug use.
Movie Release Date:December 21, 2007
DVD Release Date:April 22, 2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong language, nudity/sexual content and some drug use.
Movie Release Date: December 21, 2007
DVD Release Date: April 22, 2008

It is not easy to take a wealthy socialite, a powerful Congressman, and a CIA agent, have them played by three Oscar-winners, two who are genuine box office gold, and make them look like the underdogs, but in this “extraordinary […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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” […]

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 […]

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