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genre

  • Action
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  • Drama
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  • Romance
  • Science Fiction
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  • War
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quality

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

who's watching

  • My entire family
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  • Little kids
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age range

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




Yogi Bear

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:December 17, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: December 17, 2010

Yogi Bear (voice of Dan Aykroyd) is genuinely perplexed by the suggestion that he might want to forage for food and catch fish with his paws. “Isn’t that kind of unsanitary?” He may live in the woods, but for Yogi, […]

Paul

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including sexual references, and some drug use
Movie Release Date:March 18, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 9, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including sexual references, and some drug use
Movie Release Date: March 18, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 9, 2011

Director Greg Mottola (“Superbad,” “Adventureland”) is an expert at mixing raunch and sweetness. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (“Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz”) are experts at making funny but knowing and affectionate tributes to movie genres. Together, they’ve made […]

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 […]

Morning Glory

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual content including dialogue, language, and brief drug references
Movie Release Date:November 10, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 8, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual content including dialogue, language, and brief drug references
Movie Release Date: November 10, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 8, 2011

We love those disheveled but indomitable women of the television world, from Holly Hunter in “Broadcast News” to Mary Tyler Moore in her iconic 1970’s television series, Tina Fey in “30 Rock,” and Michelle Pfeiffer in the under-appreciated “I Could […]

Take Me Home Tonight

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, sexual content, and drug use
Movie Release Date:March 4, 2011
DVD Release Date:July 19, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, sexual content, and drug use
Movie Release Date: March 4, 2011
DVD Release Date: July 19, 2011

This is the movie John Cusack never made, a loving tribute to the 1980’s and especially to the music and movies of the era from “Say Anything” to “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” “Take Me Home Tonight” doesn’t go for […]

Rango

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for rude humor, language, action, and smoking
Movie Release Date:March 4, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for rude humor, language, action, and smoking
Movie Release Date: March 4, 2011

“Rango” is a deliciously demented and slyly satiric take on westerns, which means it takes on America’s deepest myths about our identity. It is wild and strange and blessedly idiosyncratic, with a witty and heartfelt performance by Johnny Depp in […]

Hall Pass

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude and sexual humor throughout, language, some graphic nudity and drug use
Movie Release Date:February 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 13, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual humor throughout, language, some graphic nudity and drug use
Movie Release Date: February 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 13, 2011

Things have changed since the Farrelly Brothers smashed through boundaries and brought a new level of outrageous raunchiness to the screen with the box office smashes “Dumb and Dumber” and “There’s Something About Mary.” First, they inspired others like Judd […]

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 […]

Due Date

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, drug use and sexual content
Movie Release Date:November 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:February 22, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, drug use and sexual content
Movie Release Date: November 5, 2010
DVD Release Date: February 22, 2011

Two obnoxious and unlikeable people are stuck together for an excruciating cross-country road trip that is hard on them and harder on the audience.  It is such a thoroughly unpleasant journey that it forced me to reconsider my previously firm […]

Megamind

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for action and some language
Movie Release Date:November 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:February 22, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action and some language
Movie Release Date: November 5, 2010
DVD Release Date: February 22, 2011

Let’s get it out of the way first thing. “Megamind” would be a much more enjoyable experience if it wasn’t so close to one of this year’s brightest family pleasures, Despicable Me. Both are stories of the clash of two […]

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language
Movie Release Date:October 8, 2010
DVD Release Date:February 15, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language
Movie Release Date: October 8, 2010
DVD Release Date: February 15, 2011

Unpleasant people behave selfishly until it stops, rather than ends, in this latest trifle from Woody Allen, who once again manages to persuade A-list talent to help him make a C-list movie. It’s another romantic roundelay, with a divorced couple […]

Just Go With It

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for frequent crude and sexual content, partial nudity, brief drug references and language
Movie Release Date:February 11, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 6, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for frequent crude and sexual content, partial nudity, brief drug references and language
Movie Release Date: February 11, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 6, 2011

The good news: no one in this movie has sex with an old lady or gets stabbed in the foot. So Adam Sandler is making some progress. And Jennifer Aniston continues to be a lovely screen presence, with sublime comic […]

Gnomeo & Juliet

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:February 11, 2011
DVD Release Date:May 24, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: February 11, 2011
DVD Release Date: May 24, 2011

What’s in a gnome? Shakespeare’s tragic romance about the children of warring families has been adapted countless times (a high point: “West Side Story;” a low point: a recent Twitter version), as acknowledged in a cheeky opening monologue to this […]

Cedar Rapids

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude and sexual content, language and drug use
Movie Release Date:February 11, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 21, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content, language and drug use
Movie Release Date: February 11, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 21, 2011

The day after they invented cities, they invented stories about what happens when country bumpkins arrive in them. The adventures of the innocent in the big, bad metropolis have been popular for centuries. In part that is because of that […]

You Again

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief mild language and rude behavior
Movie Release Date:September 24, 2010
DVD Release Date:February 8, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild language and rude behavior
Movie Release Date: September 24, 2010
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2011

Cute people getting mired in a cute situation? Good. Cute situation getting mired in unimaginative slapstick? Not so much. This is yet another one of those movies about characters who have clearly never watched a romantic comedy. If they had, […]

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 […]

Dinner for Schmucks

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of crude and sexual content, some partial nudity and language
Movie Release Date:July 30, 2010
DVD Release Date:January 3, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of crude and sexual content, some partial nudity and language
Movie Release Date: July 30, 2010
DVD Release Date: January 3, 2011

The truest comedy is the laugh of recognition and enlightenment. You won’t find much of that in this crass and crude remake of the French film, “The Dinner Game.” What you will find instead is that easier and far less […]

The Concert

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:August 6, 2010
DVD Release Date:December 27, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: August 6, 2010
DVD Release Date: December 27, 2010

A Russian conductor, demoted to symphony hall janitor, intercepts an invitation to perform in Paris and decides that he will accept. Andreï Filipov (Aleksei Guskov) was once a celebrated conductor of the Bolshoi orchestra. But during the antisemitism of the […]

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 […]

The Other Guys

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language, violence, and some drug material
Movie Release Date:August 6, 2010
DVD Release Date:December 14, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language, violence, and some drug material
Movie Release Date: August 6, 2010
DVD Release Date: December 14, 2010

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg make an inspired buddy cop pairing in “The Other Guys,” a rare comedy based on something other than snark or irony or insults or humiliation or high concept. This is that rarest of comedies — […]

Easy A

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving teen sexuality, language and some drug material
Movie Release Date:September 17, 2010
DVD Release Date:December 14, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving teen sexuality, language and some drug material
Movie Release Date: September 17, 2010
DVD Release Date: December 14, 2010

Emma Stone finally gets the breakthrough role her fans have been waiting for in “Easy A.” This is the moment that takes her into the front rank of movie stars, sub-category: America’s sweetheart. Stone has an immediately appealing presence on […]

Despicable Me

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for rude humor and mild action
Movie Release Date:July 9, 2010
DVD Release Date:December 14, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for rude humor and mild action
Movie Release Date: July 9, 2010
DVD Release Date: December 14, 2010

We usually just take it for granted that the villain wants to rule the world without worrying too much about why. But one of the many charms of this utterly delightful film is that we get a glimpse that is […]

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 […]

Knight and Day

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for action violence scenes throughout and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:June 23, 2010
DVD Release Date:November 30, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for action violence scenes throughout and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: June 23, 2010
DVD Release Date: November 30, 2010

As refreshing as a cool drink of lemonade on a hot day, “Knight and Day” has just what we want from a big summer Hollywood summer movie: glamorous locations, even more glamorous movie stars, lots of crazy stunts and chases, […]

The Search for Santa Paws

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:November 23, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: November 23, 2010

The Search For Santa Paws is the latest in the wildly popular series of “buddies” films from Robert Vince (watch for an interview with him posting later today). When Santa (Richard Riehle of “Office Space”) loses his memory, he will […]

What’s Cooking?

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, brief language and a perilous situation
Movie Release Date:2000
DVD Release Date:November 21, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, brief language and a perilous situation
Movie Release Date: 2000
DVD Release Date: November 21, 2011

My favorite Thanksgiving movie is What’s Cooking? The Star-Spangled Banner plays over the credits and we see a classic Thanksgiving poster, only to find that it is on the side of a bus that carries very few passengers resembling its […]

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 […]

Lottery Ticket

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, language including a drug reference, some violence and brief underage drinking
Movie Release Date:August 20, 2010
DVD Release Date:November 16, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, language including a drug reference, some violence and brief underage drinking
Movie Release Date: August 20, 2010
DVD Release Date: November 16, 2010

This genial little fairy tale of a comedy gives us a likable hero and an irresistible fantasy. Kevin Carson (Bow Wow) is a good, honest, hard-working kid who lives with his grandmother (Loretta Devine) in the projects. He is so […]

Grown Ups

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude material including suggestive references, language and male rear nudity
Movie Release Date:June 25, 2010
DVD Release Date:November 9. 2010
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude material including suggestive references, language and male rear nudity
Movie Release Date: June 25, 2010
DVD Release Date: November 9. 2010

Adam Sandler fans would do well to re-watch “The Wedding Singer” or “Happy Gilmore” rather than suffer through this excruciating mess of gross-out humor, eww-inspiring vulgarity, and soppy sentimentality. My mother always likes me to say something nice, so I’ll […]

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 […]

Toy Story 3

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:June 18, 2010
DVD Release Date:November 2, 2010
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: June 18, 2010
DVD Release Date: November 2, 2010

You won’t just forget you are watching an animated movie; you will forget you are watching a movie. That is how completely we enter this wonderful world, and how reluctantly we leave it. “Toy Story 3″ has more honest, acutely […]

Going the Distance

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content including dialogue, language throughout, some drug use and brief nudity
Movie Release Date:September 3, 2010
DVD Release Date:October 26, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content including dialogue, language throughout, some drug use and brief nudity
Movie Release Date: September 3, 2010
DVD Release Date: October 26, 2010

Even in the era of Skype and Foursquare, it is hard to stay connected when one half of a couple is in New York and the other half is in California. Erin (Drew Barrymore) and Garrett (real-life on-and-off beau Justin […]

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 […]

Giveaway: 25th Anniversary ‘Back to the Future’

posted by Nell Minow

Go back in time with a sumptuous new 25th anniversary Blu-ray or DVD of the “Back to the Future” trilogy. Even Doc Brown could not have imagined that a quarter-century after Marty McFly got to meet his parents as teenagers […]

Monster House

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for scary images and sequences, thematic elements, some crude humor and brief language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:October 1, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for scary images and sequences, thematic elements, some crude humor and brief language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: October 1, 2012

My DVD pick this week is one of my favorites for Halloween. “Honey, I’m home” takes on a cheerfully creepy new meaning in “Monster House,” a fresh, fun, and deliciously scary animated film produced by Robert Zemeckis (“Back to the […]

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 […]

Get Him to the Greek

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong sexual content and drug use throughout, and pervasive language
Movie Release Date:June 4, 2010
DVD Release Date:September 28, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content and drug use throughout, and pervasive language
Movie Release Date: June 4, 2010
DVD Release Date: September 28, 2010

“English rock stars don’t die,” explains record company CEO Sergio (Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, who almost steals the film with a slyly witty performance). He has evidence: Keith and Mick are still with us, and even the guys from Led […]

The Pirates of Penzance

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G

Celebrate “Talk Like a Pirate Day” by talking like these delightful rascals! February 29 (Leap Day) comes only once every four years, a calendrical adjustment that is of the utmost importance in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. It […]

Killers

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

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

MacGruber

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

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

The Rocker

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for drug and sexual references, nudity and language.
Movie Release Date:August 20, 2008
DVD Release Date:January 27, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for drug and sexual references, nudity and language.
Movie Release Date: August 20, 2008
DVD Release Date: January 27, 2009

Emma Stone’s breakthrough role in next week’s “Easy A” makes this a good time to look at some of her earlier work. She is terrific in this story of a high school rock group. Pete Best, who was famously kicked […]

Camp Rock 2

posted by Nell Minow

The Jonas Brothers are back with a sequel to their popular “Camp Rock.” Returning to jam with the JoBros are Demi Lovato and “Step Up 3D” star Alyson Stoner. Will there be romance? Will there be music? Will there be […]

A Goofy Teacher

posted by Nell Minow

Happy back to school week!

Marmaduke

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some rude humor and language
Movie Release Date:June 4, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 31, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some rude humor and language
Movie Release Date: June 4, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 31, 2010

Those who come to “Marmaduke” eager for the humor that comes from the intestinal distress of others don’t have to wait too long. The first of many instances of doggy-doo jokes comes about three minutes into the film. Marmaduke has […]

The Pajama Game

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1957
DVD Release Date:August 29, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1957
DVD Release Date: August 29, 2011

Labor Day is a good time to see this musical about the romance between a representative of the union (Doris Day) and a representative of management (John Raitt). It has the good sense to keep the plot out of the […]

The Back-Up Plan

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, including references, some crude material, and language
Movie Release Date:April 23, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 24, 2010
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, including references, some crude material, and language
Movie Release Date: April 23, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 24, 2010

This movie’s best use could be population control. No one who sees it will want to get pregnant or raise children. It could also be used to show aspiring screenwriters what not to do. Other than that, I can’t think […]

City Island

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, smoking, and language
Movie Release Date:April 26, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 24, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, smoking, and language
Movie Release Date: April 26, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 24, 2010

This warm-hearted dysfunctional family comedy-drama benefits from an exceptionally strong cast, including producer Andy Garcia as the father, Julianna Margulies as the mother, and Steven Strait as the young man just released from prison who sets off a series of […]

Furry Vengeance

posted by Nell Minow
F
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG for some rude humor, mild language, and brief smoking
Movie Release Date:April 30, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 17, 2010
F
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG for some rude humor, mild language, and brief smoking
Movie Release Date: April 30, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 17, 2010

Some movies are content to settle for the lowest common denominator, combining trashy ethnic stereotypes, bathroom humor and cheesy slapstick jokes in the hope of luring audiences for a cheap laugh. But some movies aspire to go even lower. “Furry […]

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 […]

Date Night

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

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

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 […]

Cop Out

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

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

Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, some drug references, and language
Movie Release Date:2004
DVD Release Date:2004
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, some drug references, and language
Movie Release Date: 2004
DVD Release Date: 2004

This week’s release of “Ramona and Beezus” made me think of the movie where I first noticed two of its stars, Josh Duhamel and Ginnifer Goodwin: This cute romantic comedy is better than it needs to be, thanks to the […]

Our Family Wedding

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:March 12, 2010
DVD Release Date:July 13, 2010
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: March 12, 2010
DVD Release Date: July 13, 2010

As wilted as last weekend’s bridesmaid bouquet, “Our Family Wedding” manages to be offensive to African-Americans, Latinos, women, men, and sentient life forms of any kind. There may be a fine line between perpetuating stereotypes and making fun of them, […]

The Bounty Hunter

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

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

Hot Tub Time Machine

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, nudity, drug use and pervasive language
Movie Release Date:March 26, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 29, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, nudity, drug use and pervasive language
Movie Release Date: March 26, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 29, 2010

I can understand why John Cusack, producer and star of this movie, would like to find a time machine to take him back to 1986. That was the last time he was making popular movies. With the most explanatory title […]

She’s Out of My League

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and sexual content
Movie Release Date:March 12, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 22, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and sexual content
Movie Release Date: March 12, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 22, 2010

“She’s Out of My League” recognizes that raunchiness is easy, but sweetness is the challenge. Making both parts of the equation work is something of a struggle but this movie comes closer than many. The title says it all, and […]

When in Rome

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content
Movie Release Date:January 29, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 15, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content
Movie Release Date: January 29, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 15, 2010

An exceptionally strong cast makes this fantasy romantic comedy trifle pleasantly watchable despite its chick-lit conventions. Kristen Bell is Beth, the (of course) supremely competent museum “curator,” who is so devoted to her work that she has never figured out […]

Harlem Hostel

posted by Nell Minow

“Harlem Hostel” is an unpretentious little film about a group of friends who decide to turn a run-down brownstone into a youth hostel to make ends meet. At times the film looks as low-budget as its setting, but with an […]

DVD Giveaway: One Hot Summer

posted by Nell Minow

Get ready to sizzle with “One Hot Summer,” the story of a beautiful Cuban-American lawyer who is torn between her husband and an old boyfriend as she and her two best friends try to follow their hearts to love and […]

The Spy Next Door

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

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

The Tooth Fairy

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild language, some rude humor and sports action
Movie Release Date:January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild language, some rude humor and sports action
Movie Release Date: January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010

Cute kid + The Rock in a pink tutu = movie deal. After the success of The Game Plan, Dwayne Johnson (nom de wrestling: The Rock) has become the go-to guy for movies about taming the gentle giant. So once […]

It’s Complicated

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some drug content and sexuality
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2009
DVD Release Date:April 27, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some drug content and sexuality
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2009
DVD Release Date: April 27, 2010

Forget the accents. Forget the anguish, the steely resolve, the iambic pentameter. All hail Meryl Streep for what she is best at — comedy. She spins screenplay straw into movie gold, turning yet another fungible Nancy Meyers saga about a […]

Play the Game

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2009
DVD Release Date:April 27, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2009
DVD Release Date: April 27, 2010

The players get played in a romantic buddy comedy with one important distinction — one of those players is the resident of an assisted living facility who gets some assistance he was not expecting when a frisky fellow resident slips […]

Death at a Funeral

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, drug content, and some sexual humor
Movie Release Date:April 16, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, drug content, and some sexual humor
Movie Release Date: April 16, 2010

It feels like the world should come to a stop when someone dies, but unfortunately, it does not. And it feels like the confrontation with the eternal and the shock of grief should somehow make everyone behave, but unfortunately, it […]

Toy Story 2

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

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

The Men Who Stare At Goats

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

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

Did You Hear About the Morgans?

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and momentary violence
Movie Release Date:December 18, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 16, 2010
D
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and momentary violence
Movie Release Date: December 18, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 16, 2010

I have seldom seen the stars of a movie look as thoroughly uncomfortable as Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant in this drearily low-concept would-be comedy, “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” Parker plays Meryl Morgan, a Manhattan real estate […]

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 […]

Why We Laugh

posted by Nell Minow

I can’t think of a better or more purely enjoyable way to celebrate Black History Month than watching Robert Townsend’s brilliant documentary Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy. It is showing on Showtime this month and will be […]

Good Hair

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language including sex and drug references, and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date:October 9, 2009
DVD Release Date:February 16, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language including sex and drug references, and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date: October 9, 2009
DVD Release Date: February 16, 2010

Chris Rock’s daughter wanted to know why she didn’t have “good hair.” And so he made this documentary as an answer, exploring the relationship between black women and their hair and hair products and processes — and how that relationship […]

Couples Retreat

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 on appeal for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date:October 9, 2009
DVD Release Date:February 9, 2010
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 on appeal for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date: October 9, 2009
DVD Release Date: February 9, 2010

I’m guessing that what happened here is that BFFs Jon Favreau (director of Iron Man but here as an actor), Vince Vaughn, and Peter Billingsley (star of A Christmas Story-turned director) decided that it would be a lot of fun […]

Love Happens

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language including sexual references
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date:February 2, 2010
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language including sexual references
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date: February 2, 2010

Pay attention, class. Jennifer Aniston makes two kinds of movies. When she has her hair tied back, it’s usually an independent film (like last summer’s “Management”) and usually worth watching. But when her hair is loose it’s usually a big, […]

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 […]

The Invention of Lying

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language including some sexual material and a drug reference
Movie Release Date:October 2, 2009
DVD Release Date:January 19, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language including some sexual material and a drug reference
Movie Release Date: October 2, 2009
DVD Release Date: January 19, 2010

Ricky Gervais has come up with a fresh and enticing premise but — I have to be honest — it is imperfectly executed. It has the gloss of a romantic comedy because it gives us the fun of knowing that […]

Post Grad

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual situations and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:August 21, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual situations and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: August 21, 2009

There is not one single thing in this movie that you don’t see or guess from the trailer, but for some audiences that means that it will deliver just what they are looking for. Alexis Bledel plays Ryden, who thinks […]

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. […]

The Hangover

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, sexual content including nudity, and some drug material
Movie Release Date:June 5, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 15, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, sexual content including nudity, and some drug material
Movie Release Date: June 5, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009

When things go wrong for us, it’s tragedy. When they go wrong for someone else, it’s funny. As Alan Dale says, comedy is a man in trouble. This comedy gives us four men in a lot of trouble following a […]

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, nudity, pervasive language and some drug material
Movie Release Date:August 14, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 15, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, nudity, pervasive language and some drug material
Movie Release Date: August 14, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009

“The Goods” is an unabashedly outrageous comedy about a team of hard-charging, harder-living, hardest-partying “mercenary” car salesmen who go from town to town for short-term sales promotions, racking up huge sales numbers, eating take-out, going to strip clubs, getting wasted, […]

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 […]

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

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

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

A Thanksgiving Treat

posted by Nell Minow

One of my very favorite movies begins with Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the original Miracle on 34th Street. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Best wishes to you and your families, and please know how grateful I am for the chance to be […]

Funny People

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and crude sexual humor throughout, and some sexuality
Movie Release Date:July 31, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 24, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and crude sexual humor throughout, and some sexuality
Movie Release Date: July 31, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 24, 2009

“Funny People” combines two very different movies. The first is a typically crass, shallow Judd Apatow production, saturated with childish sexual antics and slapstick humor. The second is a dark, self-aware examination of a painful and ultimately meaningless life. What […]

Bruno

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive strong and crude sexual content, graphic nudity and language
Movie Release Date:July 10, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 24, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive strong and crude sexual content, graphic nudity and language
Movie Release Date: July 10, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 24, 2009

Sacha Baron Cohen is back, and once again he has created an outrageously offensive character from another country who crosses the ocean to interact with unsuspecting Americans so that we can laugh at their reactions, which range from befuddlement to […]

Old Dogs

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:November 25, 2009
D
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: November 25, 2009

At one point in this endlessly, excruciatingly un-funny non-comedy, Dan (Robin Williams) and Charlie (John Travolta) are at a camp-out with Dan’s seven-year-old twins. Everyone agrees that it’s all about the kids. And of course there’s nothing more fun for […]

Shorts

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

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

Four Christmases

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual humor and language.
Movie Release Date:November 26, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 24, 2009
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual humor and language.
Movie Release Date: November 26, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 24, 2009

The biggest acting achievement in this film is four Oscar winners valiantly managing to hide their embarrassment in appearing in sheer holiday dreck. Its leads are not as successful. Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn cannot manage to disguise their shame […]

Up

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

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

Gentlemen Broncos

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some rude humor
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some rude humor
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2009

“Gentlemen Broncos” is about the fantasies of a 15 year old boy and it has some of the charm but all of the failings of those stories. The charm is its unguarded purity of emotion and unchecked enthusiasm for its […]

Aliens in the Attic

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

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

I Love You, Beth Cooper

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language, some teen drinking and drug references, and brief violence
Movie Release Date:July 10, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 3, 2009
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language, some teen drinking and drug references, and brief violence
Movie Release Date: July 10, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009

Paul Rust is 28, and looks it, maybe a little older. But in “I Love You, Beth Cooper” he plays Denis Cooverman, a high school valedictorian. Jack T. Carpenter, last seen playing a college student in “Sydney White” two years […]

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

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

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

The Proposal

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, nudity and language
Movie Release Date:June 19, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 13, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, nudity and language
Movie Release Date: June 19, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 13, 2009

Think “Taming of the Shrew Wears Prada.” Book editor Margaret (Sandra Bullock) is whip-smart and whippet-thin, ferociously competent, ruthlessly demanding, and just plain scary. When she strides into the office in her spike Christian Louboutin heels, IMs radiate through the […]

Land of the Lost

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

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

My Life in Ruins

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content
Movie Release Date:June 5, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 6, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content
Movie Release Date: June 5, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 6, 2009

Everything that made the adorable “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” so winning is missing from this tired and formulaic sitcom of a movie about an American tour guide in Greece. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” with writer/star Nia Vardalos, was […]

Year One

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, brief strong language and comic violence
Movie Release Date:June 19, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 6, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, brief strong language and comic violence
Movie Release Date: June 19, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 6, 2009

The two-doofus comedy probably goes back to ancient times, so why not set it there? The always-funny Michael Cera and the frequently-funny Jack Black join forces like Hope and Crosby in an only intermittently-funny movie that is just a series […]

Imagine That

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild language and brief questionable behavior.
Movie Release Date:February 12, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 6, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild language and brief questionable behavior.
Movie Release Date: February 12, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 6, 2009

Title aside, there is not much imagination in this formulaic story of a daddy who discovers the value of his daughter’s imaginary friends — and then learns that it is his daughter who matters most of all. But I am […]

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content throughout, some language and a drug reference
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2009
DVD Release Date:September 22, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content throughout, some language and a drug reference
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2009
DVD Release Date: September 22, 2009

“Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” feels like ghosts of movies past, with a been-there, seen-that feeling that goes far beyond its familiar appropriation of the structure of “A Christmas Carol.” It is not as deep as Matthew McConaughey’s dimples. He plays […]

Observe and Report

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, graphic nudity, drug use, sexual content and violence
Movie Release Date:April 10, 2009
DVD Release Date:September 22, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, graphic nudity, drug use, sexual content and violence
Movie Release Date: April 10, 2009
DVD Release Date: September 22, 2009

I have no affection for this movie but I have to admit to a grudging admiration for its willingness to be awkward, intrusive, and disturbing. A stark contrast to the similarly-themed and similarly plotted Paul Blart Mall Cop of just […]

Next Day Air

posted by Nell Minow
F
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, drug content, some violence and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2009
F
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, drug content, some violence and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2009

I was plenty offended by “Next Day Air’s” contempt for its characters. But the racism and sexism of this vile movie about dumb crooks and dumber would-be crooks and even dumber people who get mixed up with the first two […]

Extract

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, sexual references and some drug use
Movie Release Date:September 4, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, sexual references and some drug use
Movie Release Date: September 4, 2009

The fans who have been waiting for a new workplace comedy as wickedly on target as Mike Judge’s cult classic “Office Space” will have to keep waiting. Judge’s new film has no red stapler, no TPS reports coversheet problems, and […]

All About Steve

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content including innuendos
Movie Release Date:September 4, 2009
D
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content including innuendos
Movie Release Date: September 4, 2009

Somewhere deep inside this movie, like the little tiny pea in the bed of the princess, is an idea that could have been an interesting movie. Unfortunately, as with that bed of the princess, it is smothered in 20 mattresses […]

Adventureland

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, drug use and sexual references
Movie Release Date:April 3, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 25, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, drug use and sexual references
Movie Release Date: April 3, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009

We all have at least one, a summer when everything changes, when we first start to become the person we truly are. Every writer tries at least once to tell the story of one of these summers and the best […]

Hannah Montana — The Movie

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:April 9, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 18, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: April 9, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 18, 2009

Think of it this way. Hannah Montana is to Miley Stewart what Superman is to Clark Kent. Audiences of all ages but especially children and teenagers are always taken by stories of secret identities and hidden sources of power and […]

17 Again

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language, some sexual material and teen partying
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 11, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language, some sexual material and teen partying
Movie Release Date: April 17, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 11, 2009

There’s nothing new in the storyline, which mixes a little “Freaky Friday” with a bit of “Back to the Future,” but it is a lot of fun to watch Zac Efron take center stage with plenty of star power in […]

The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:PG for mild language
Movie Release Date:1998
DVD Release Date:1998
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: PG for mild language
Movie Release Date: 1998
DVD Release Date: 1998

This is a wonderful, magical movie! Based on the short story and play by Ray Bradbury (who adapted for the screen), this is the story of five poor men who pool their resources to buy one magnificent, beautiful, white suit, […]

G-Force

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

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

The Ugly Truth

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date:July 24, 2009
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date: July 24, 2009

There is little chemistry between co-stars Katherine Heigel and Gerard Butler in this charmless war of the sexes story, but there is even less chemistry between the two genres it tries to combine, the romantic comedy (sunny pop song over […]

Tripod: Funniest Music Video Ever

posted by Nell Minow

As I take off for Comic-Con, I want to share my all-time favorite comedy video short. Enjoy!

Web Site Story

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Entertainment Weekly for recommending this very funny update of “West Side Story” for the age of the internet. ]

Happy Birthday SpongeBob!

posted by Nell Minow

VH1 has a 10th birthday tribute to SpongeBob Suqarepants that premieres tonight. VH1 TV Shows | Music Videos | Celebrity Photos | News & Gossip I like this tribute to SpongeBob’s innocence and sincerity. The Washington Post has an article […]

The Pink Panther 2

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG for some suggestive humor, brief mild language and action
Movie Release Date:February 6, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 23, 2009
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG for some suggestive humor, brief mild language and action
Movie Release Date: February 6, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 23, 2009

I have seen taxidermy livelier than this moribund mess which further sullies the reputation of the original series of films starring Peter Sellers as well as those of everyone associated with this unwelcome sequel to the awful 2006 Pink Panther. […]

Confessions of a Shopaholic

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild language and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:February 13, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 23, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild language and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: February 13, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 23, 2009

Even the endlessly talented and infinitely adorable Isla Fisher cannot overcome the script problems in this unfrothy romantic comedy about a writer who just can’t stop shopping. As hard as they try to make her irresistable, the character she plays […]

Fired Up

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, partial nudity, language and some teen partying
Movie Release Date:February 20, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 9, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, partial nudity, language and some teen partying
Movie Release Date: February 20, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 9, 2009

Yes, this is a dumb little teen sex comedy that repeatedly tries to generate hilarity with a cheer involving the initials of its title. Yes, it spends a lot of camera time focusing on tight little shorts on tight little […]

He’s Just Not That Into You

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:February 6, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 2, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: February 6, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 2, 2009

It turns out that it all goes back to the playground. What did our moms tell us when boys teased us and knocked us down? “He only does it because he likes you!” This leads to two consequences. First, women […]

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 Bug’s Life

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1998
DVD Release Date:1998
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1998
DVD Release Date: 1998

Pixar is the must successful studio in movie history, with every single one of its releases earning over $100 million. Even more impressive, every one of them is entirely original, not based on a book or classic fairy tale. I […]

New In Town

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG for language and some suggestive material
Movie Release Date:January 30, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 26, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG for language and some suggestive material
Movie Release Date: January 30, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 26, 2009

Despite the title, there is nothing at all new about this romantic comedy, but it manages to endear itself anyway. Renée Zellweger plays uptight and ambitious Lucy Hill, an ambitious, stiletto heel-wearing executive based in Miami who thinks she can […]

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some violence, mild crude and suggestive humor, and language
Movie Release Date:January 16, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 19, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some violence, mild crude and suggestive humor, and language
Movie Release Date: January 16, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 19, 2009

Some things are so inherently funny they transcend time, language, and culture. Slipping on a banana peel. A cream pie in the face. And now we must add to the list Kevin James in a uniform riding a Segway in […]

Connie and Carla

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual humor and drug references
Movie Release Date:2004
DVD Release Date:2005
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual humor and drug references
Movie Release Date: 2004
DVD Release Date: 2005

Nia Vardalos captivated audiences with the unstoppably successful My Big Fat Greek Wedding and her next film opens up in a few weeks. So it is a good time to take a look at her last film, which never got […]

Bride Wars

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG for suggestive content, language and some rude behavior
Movie Release Date:January 9, 2009
DVD Release Date:April 28, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG for suggestive content, language and some rude behavior
Movie Release Date: January 9, 2009
DVD Release Date: April 28, 2009

Movies thrive on smackdowns. “Clash of the Titans.” “Alien vs. Predator.” “Freddy vs. Jason.” “Kramer vs. Kramer.” Rocky vs. Apollo Creed. And now, Bridezilla vs. Bridezilla. Kate Hudson (who co-produced) and Anne Hathaway play BFFs who are sweetly supportive of […]

Hotel for Dogs

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief mild thematic elements, language and some crude humor
Movie Release Date:January 16, 2008
DVD Release Date:April 28, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild thematic elements, language and some crude humor
Movie Release Date: January 16, 2008
DVD Release Date: April 28, 2009

Cute kids + cuter dogs = one doggone cute movie. Emma Roberts (niece of Julia) stars in the movie based on the popular book by Lois Duncan about an orphaned brother and sister who rescue stray dogs. Andi (Roberts) and […]

Bedtime Stories

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor and mild language
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2008
DVD Release Date:April 7, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor and mild language
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2008
DVD Release Date: April 7, 2009

Once upon a time there was a movie studio that thought it could produce a hit with a performer best known for raunchy slacker comedies and a lot of money for special effects. This story does not turn out very […]

Yes Man

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude sexual humor, language and brief nudity
Movie Release Date:December 19, 2008
DVD Release Date:April 7, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude sexual humor, language and brief nudity
Movie Release Date: December 19, 2008
DVD Release Date: April 7, 2009

Carrey-ologists will enjoy poring over the semiotics of “Yes Man,” in one sense a very slight variation of one of Jim Carrey’s biggest hits, 1997’s Liar Liar. In both films, he plays a divorced professional man who has in essence […]

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 […]

I Love You, Man

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, including crude and sexual references
Movie Release Date:March 20, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, including crude and sexual references
Movie Release Date: March 20, 2009

Paul Rudd is a national treasure. His smaller roles were a highlight of movies like “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up,” and “Anchorman.” He was charming in “Clueless,” heartbreaking in “The Object of My Affection” and “The Shape of […]

Miss March

posted by Nell Minow
F
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, nudity, pervasive language and some drug use
Movie Release Date:March 13, 2009
F
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, nudity, pervasive language and some drug use
Movie Release Date: March 13, 2009

A smarmy premise becomes an unspeakably offensive movie in a mess that is not just disgusting but dull. I don’t feel I need a bath after seeing it; I feel I need an exorcism. Remember the song “Centerfold?” That’s pretty […]

Pinocchio

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1940
DVD Release Date:March 10, 2009
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1940
DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009

This week Disney is releasing a glorious new edition of its most most gorgeous, splendid, and fully realized of all of its animation classics, the high point of painstakingly hand-painted animation, before the use of photocopiers and computers. Every detail […]

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

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

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

Snow Day

posted by rkumar
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Movie Release Date:2000
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
Movie Release Date: 2000

This engaging kid-eye view of “the real winter miracle” is good family fun. It has something for both littler and bigger kids and is very endurable for parents. The theme of the movie is that “anything can happen on a […]

Fanboys

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for pervasive crude and sexual material, language and drug content
Movie Release Date:February 20, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for pervasive crude and sexual material, language and drug content
Movie Release Date: February 20, 2009

“Fanboys” has less of a sense of humor about its subjects than they do about themselves. It is so afraid of offending the demographic that it cannot decide if it is making fun of passionate fans of popular culture or […]

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:October 24, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 17, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: October 24, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 17, 2009

Sometimes “nice” can be very high praise, and that is the way I mean it when I say that the utterly snark-free “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” is as nice as it gets. With a gossamer-weight plot line that […]

Soul Men

posted by Nell Minow
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, and sexual content including nudity
Movie Release Date:November 7, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 10, 2009
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, and sexual content including nudity
Movie Release Date: November 7, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 10, 2009

If you see this movie, stay through the end credits to watch an interview with co-star Bernie Mac, who died not long after filming was completed. It is a better reminder of his gifts than the movie itself, a formulaic […]

Funny Face

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1957
DVD Release Date:2009
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1957
DVD Release Date: 2009

My second DVD pick of the week for Valentine’s Day is the other new Audrey Hepburn release, “Funny Face,” a gorgeous musical set in Paris with Fred Astaire and songs by Gershwin. The title tune, and “How Long Has This […]

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild crude humor
Movie Release Date:November 7, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 6, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild crude humor
Movie Release Date: November 7, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 6, 2009

The rare sequel that improves on the original, “Madagascar 2″ keeps the silliness and steps up the heart. In the first film, four zoo animals run away and after a series of adventures are sent to live in an African […]

Igor

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some thematic elements, scary images, action and mild language
Movie Release Date:September 19, 2008
DVD Release Date:January 20, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some thematic elements, scary images, action and mild language
Movie Release Date: September 19, 2008
DVD Release Date: January 20, 2009

In the town of Malaria, anatomy is destiny. Boy babies get their assignments at birth. Those without hunchbacks become evil scientists. Those with hunchbacks become Igors and spend their days saying, “Yes, master,” when ordered to “Throw the switch!” Malaria […]

DC-Area Screening Tickets: New in Town

posted by Nell Minow

I will be hosting a Washington DC-area screening of the new Renee Zellwegger-Harry Connick, Jr. romantic comedy, “New In Town” later this month and have tickets for the first five people to send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com

Swing Vote

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language
Movie Release Date:August 1, 2008
DVD Release Date:January 6, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language
Movie Release Date: August 1, 2008
DVD Release Date: January 6, 2009

Kevin Costner the producer severely underestimates the ability of Kevin Costner the actor to win over the audience in this tepid satire of electoral politics. Through a technical and mechanical glitch, Costner’s character, an affable loser named Bud, finds himself […]

Ghost Town

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some strong language, sexual humor and drug references
Movie Release Date:September 19, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 30, 208
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some strong language, sexual humor and drug references
Movie Release Date: September 19, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 30, 208

Bertram Pincus, D.D.S. sees dead people. And he’s very crabby about it. Bertram (Ricky Gervais, creator and star of the original British version of “The Office”) doesn’t much like any kind of people, living or dead. He likes being a […]

The Snowman

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Not Rated
Movie Release Date:1982
DVD Release Date:1982
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Movie Release Date: 1982
DVD Release Date: 1982

Cold winter days are just right for curling up with some hot cocoa to watch DVDs filled with the pleasures of winter. And it is always wise to have some on hand for those days when it is too cold […]

Burn After Reading

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence.
Movie Release Date:September 12, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 23, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence.
Movie Release Date: September 12, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 23, 2008

The Coen brothers may have achieved mainstream success with their Best Picture Oscar for No Country for Old Men, but so much for adapting prestigious literary novels that engage the essential American archetypes; they are back with another twisty, genre-tweaking […]

Love Actually

posted by rkumar
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexuality, nudity and language
Movie Release Date:2003
DVD Release Date:2004
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexuality, nudity and language
Movie Release Date: 2003
DVD Release Date: 2004

“Love Actually” is as stuffed with goodies as the Christmas stockings for those at the very top of Santa’s “nice” list — and it is just as entertaining, too. You say you like romantic comedies with gorgeous stars, witty dialogue […]

This Christmas

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for comic sexual content and some violence
Movie Release Date:November 21, 2007
DVD Release Date:November 11, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for comic sexual content and some violence
Movie Release Date: November 21, 2007
DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008

As much a tradition as indigestible fruitcake and the dogs barking “Jingle Bells,” every Christmas season brings us at least one new family holiday angst-fest, stuffed with secrets, accusations, forgiveness, food, and laughter. The best of them give us the […]

Nothing Like the Holidays

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including some sexual dialogue, and brief drug references
Movie Release Date:December 12, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including some sexual dialogue, and brief drug references
Movie Release Date: December 12, 2008

Natalie Morales of ABC Family’s The Middleman lists her three rules for a movie with Latino characters: Nobody calls anybody Papi. No dancing to salsa music. No gratuitous Spanish. By that standard, this latest entry in the dysfunctional family holiday […]

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 […]

Step Brothers

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude and sexual content, and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date:July 25, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 2, 2008
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content, and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date: July 25, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 2, 2008

I have an idea for a movie comedy. A writer-director has a couple of huge hits and so all the Hollywood studio hacks descend on him adoringly. “Give us your ideas,” they tell him, “Anything at all! We’ll make a […]

Space Chimps

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:July 18, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 25, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: July 18, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 25, 2008

This genial animated sci-fi comedy about astronaut chimps is an unpretentious summer pleasure, an entertaining mix of adventure and comedy that even manages to find some heart. Ham III (voice of “Saturday Night Live’s” Andy Samberg) is a chimpanzee circus […]

Fred Claus

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:November 9, 2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: November 9, 2007

The predictable work and family and romantic complications ensue, but they are dragged out and overplotted as an efficiency expert (Kevin Spacey) comes in for some bah-humbug moments, threatening to outsource the entire operation. The movie could have used an […]

Meet Dave

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for bawdy and suggestive humor, action and some language.
Movie Release Date:July 11, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 25, 2008
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for bawdy and suggestive humor, action and some language.
Movie Release Date: July 11, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 25, 2008

It seems like Eddie Murphy wants to live in a world of his own. Increasingly, in movies like the execrable Norbit, he plays multiple parts and does his best to make sure that any parts played by other actors are […]

Tropic Thunder

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

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

Wall•E

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:June 27, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 18, 2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: June 27, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008

700 years after the last humans left the planet they had made uninhabitable through environmental degradation, one small robot is still continuing to crunch the mountains of trash. He is a Waste Allocation Load-Lifter Earth-Class, or Wall•E. His eyes are […]

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature material and sensuality.
Movie Release Date:August 8, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 18, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature material and sensuality.
Movie Release Date: August 8, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008

When the first five minutes of a film show us a wedding, a graduation, a pregnancy, some kisses, and two grave sites, followed by a reunion scene involving shrieking and hugging, we know we are in for an irresistible saga […]

The Perfect Holiday

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG for language and some suggestive humor.
Movie Release Date:December 12, 2007
DVD Release Date:November 11, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG for language and some suggestive humor.
Movie Release Date: December 12, 2007
DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008

This sugarplum of a movie is held together with good intentions and paperclips, but its appealing cast and seasonal sweetness make it — if not the perfect holiday treat, a pleasantly enjoyable one, especially welcome because there are so few […]

Role Models

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

It takes some brains to make a good dumb comedy. Paul Rudd, who has been the best thing in too many films that ranged from dumb, to awful, to wildly uneven, has co-created a film that manages to insult the […]

Kung Fu Panda

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

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

Meet Me in St. Louis

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1944
DVD Release Date:2000
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1944
DVD Release Date: 2000

This episodic story of the Smith family in the St. Louis of 1903 is based on the memoirs of Sally Benson.  Its pleasures are in the period detail, the glorious songs (including standards “The Trolley Song” and “Have Yourself a […]

High School Musical

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

This week, as the powerhouse franchise that is known as “HSM” moves from television to CD (top-seller of the year), DVD, stage show, video game, ice show, birthday party decoration theme, and now feature film theatrical release, it’s time to […]

You Don’t Mess With the Zohan

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language and nudity
Movie Release Date:June 5, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language and nudity
Movie Release Date: June 5, 2008

Somewhere inside this Adam Sandler slacker silliness there is a fierce and provocative little satire trying to get out. Sandler is so busy with his usual shtick that at times it seems that even he hardly notices the subversive political […]

Sleeping Beauty

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1958
DVD Release Date:October 7, 2014
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1958
DVD Release Date: October 7, 2014

Disney’s gorgeous “Sleeping Beauty” is out in a magnificent new Diamond edition this week. This classic should be in the library of every family and every animation fan. The King and Queen happily celebrate the birth of their daughter, Princess […]

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

posted by Nell Minow

There is no question that Nick (Michael Cera) and Norah (Kat Dennings) are destined for True Love. For one thing, they have the same taste in music. Nick is still making mixes for the girl who dumped him (Alexis Dziena […]

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, language and some graphic nudity.
Movie Release Date:April 21, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, language and some graphic nudity.
Movie Release Date: April 21, 2008

“How I Met Your Mother’s” Jason Segal wrote and stars in the latest from the Apatow atelier, another raunchy comedy with a tender heart, and once again the story of a childish and helpless man who is perpetually longing for […]

Run Fatboy Run

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some rude and sexual humor, nudity, language and smoking.
Movie Release Date:March 28, 2008
DVD Release Date:September 23, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some rude and sexual humor, nudity, language and smoking.
Movie Release Date: March 28, 2008
DVD Release Date: September 23, 2008

David Schwimmer, who spent nine years deftly playing Ross on Friends seems to be trying to make a sitcom episode out of this overlong over-conventional under-funny romantic comedy. To put it in its own terms, it might make it as […]

The Women

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for sex-related material, language, some drug use and brief smoking
Movie Release Date:September 11, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 23, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sex-related material, language, some drug use and brief smoking
Movie Release Date: September 11, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 23, 2008

It isn’t so much that they have updated or re-invented the brilliantly acidic Claire Boothe Luce play that was adapted for a classic 1939 movie; they completely misunderstood it. The surface details of the original may need updating but its […]

Sex and the City

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language
Movie Release Date:May 30, 2008
DVD Release Date:September 23, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language
Movie Release Date: May 30, 2008
DVD Release Date: September 23, 2008

No spoiler alert is required before disclosing that the very appropriate and deeply satisfying fade-out at the end of this film has its four heroines happily going off into the metaphorical sunset….with each other. That is the great love story […]

Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material, sexual references and brief violence.
Movie Release Date:September 12, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material, sexual references and brief violence.
Movie Release Date: September 12, 2008

Tyler Perry’s latest film is more traditional and with a more consistent tone than his “Medea” movies, but it has his trademark trio: sincerity, spirituality, and story. And if he passes on that other “s” — subtlety, that’s all right. […]

Rolling Stone on the State of Comedy

posted by Nell Minow

The cover of the comedy issue of Rolling Stone has David Letterman, Tina Fey, and Chris Rock and the stories inside include raucous recollections of “notes,” the edits and suggestions from studio and network executives. My favorite is Mel Brooks’ […]

Made of Honor

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date:May 2, 2008
DVD Release Date:September 16, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date: May 2, 2008
DVD Release Date: September 16, 2008

“Made of Honor” has gloss and bounce and some of the core elements of a mainstream chick flick/date movie. Sexiest Man Alive runner-up in lead role? Yep, Dr. McDreamy himself. I’ve been a Patrick Dempsey fan since he did the […]

The Love Guru

posted by Nell Minow
F
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language, some comic violence and drug references.
Movie Release Date:June 20, 2008
DVD Release Date:September 16, 2008
F
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language, some comic violence and drug references.
Movie Release Date: June 20, 2008
DVD Release Date: September 16, 2008

Anyone old enough to see this movie is way too old to enjoy it. And having co-writer and star Mike Myers wink at the audience after some lame pun or potty joke doesn’t up the hilarity factor. The fact that […]

Baby Mama

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language and a drug reference.
Movie Release Date:April 25, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language and a drug reference.
Movie Release Date: April 25, 2008

“Baby Mama” is not just smart, warm, funny, and romantic, it is an especially welcome dose of XX chromosome humor in an Apatow-flooded XY era. Tina Fey (“30 Rock”) plays Kate, a single woman who has achieved a great deal […]

Apostles of Comedy

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:September 9, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: September 9, 2008

Four Christian stand-up comics join forces in this performance film that combines hilarious commentary on all of the absurdities of life with very touching glimpses of the men at home and their fellowship with each other. Anthony Griffith, Brad Stine, […]

Interview: Ron Pearson of ‘Apostles of Comedy’

posted by Nell Minow

Ron Pearson of the new DVD Apostles of Comedy answered some of my questions about his tour. Pearson starred for several years on “Malcolm & Eddie,” guest starred on “The Drew Carey Show,” “Two Guys and a Girl,” “The George […]

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some partial nudity and innuendo.
Movie Release Date:March 7, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some partial nudity and innuendo.
Movie Release Date: March 7, 2008

A delicious retro romp about a failed nanny who finds her true calling when she transforms the life of a flighty singer, this film is designed around two fabulously entertaining stars, Frances McDormand and Amy Adams. McDormand is Miss Pettigrew, […]

What Happens in Vegas…

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual and crude content, and language,including a drug reference.
Movie Release Date:May 9, 2008
DVD Release Date:August 26, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual and crude content, and language,including a drug reference.
Movie Release Date: May 9, 2008
DVD Release Date: August 26, 2008

A romantic comedy needs to get us on the side of its couple as individuals and on the side of romance. This one fails by giving us characters so crude and unlikeable that even the star wattage of Cameron Diaz […]

The House Bunny

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sex-related humor, partial nudity and brief strong language.
Movie Release Date:August 23, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sex-related humor, partial nudity and brief strong language.
Movie Release Date: August 23, 2008

Being a good sport is part of what makes Anna Faris such a gifted comic actress. She has never had any hesitation about doing whatever it takes to be funny, no matter how ridiculous, embarrassing, or dangerous. Through the “Scary […]

Boxboarders!

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language, crude and sexual content, some teen partying and reckless behavior.
Movie Release Date:NA
DVD Release Date:July 29, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language, crude and sexual content, some teen partying and reckless behavior.
Movie Release Date: NA
DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008

The writer of the delightful Clockstoppers has written and directed an unpretentious little comedy about a crazy “sport” — racing boxes on wheels. It makes the most of its low budget with an easy-going good humor in this goofy but […]

Pineapple Express

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, drug use, sexual references and violence.
Movie Release Date:August 8, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, drug use, sexual references and violence.
Movie Release Date: August 8, 2008

Another week, another Apatow movie. Another Apatow movie, another story of lame, pot-smoking slackers up to all kinds of hijinks and discovering the true meaning of friendship. Sigh. Comedy is often grounded in the pleasure of seeing someone get away […]

College Road Trip

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:March 7, 2008
D
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: March 7, 2008

What bugs me the most about this movie is not that it is cynical, synthetic, exploitative, and lazy, though it is all of those things. It is not that it alternates being dull with being both painful and dull, though […]

Wall?E’s Favorite Movie: Hello Dolly

posted by Nell Minow

Wall∙E’s curiosity about the world and capacity to feel loneliness is part of what makes him such a vivid character in Pixar’s latest hit. And nothing in the film conveys those qualities more effectively than his affection for the 1969 […]

Drillbit Taylor

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude sexual references throughout, strong bullying, language, drug references and partial nudity.
Movie Release Date:March 21, 2008
DVD Release Date:July 1, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude sexual references throughout, strong bullying, language, drug references and partial nudity.
Movie Release Date: March 21, 2008
DVD Release Date: July 1, 2008

Like Adam Sandler, Judd Apatow has tried to extend his franchise, and like Sandler, the result is diluted, derivative, and disappointing. Director Steven Brill (of the truly terrible “Without a Paddle,” “Ready to Rumble,” and Sandler’s biggest flop, “Little Nicky”) […]

Definitely, Maybe

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, including some frank dialogue, language and smoking.
Movie Release Date:February 14, 2008
DVD Release Date:June 24, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, including some frank dialogue, language and smoking.
Movie Release Date: February 14, 2008
DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008

“Definitely, Maybe” is the story of the three great loves of a man’s life. That’s “story” in the literal sense, as in the bedtime story he tells his young daughter, who wants to know how he met her mother and, […]

Get Smart

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some rude humor, action violence and language
Movie Release Date:June 20, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some rude humor, action violence and language
Movie Release Date: June 20, 2008

The big-screen version of the classic 1960’s television show created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry is more than an update. It shrewdly tweaks the original, making its hero, Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) smarter and more capable than the bumbling […]

Fool’s Gold

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

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

Be Kind Rewind

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual references.
Movie Release Date:February 22, 2008
DVD Release Date:June 17, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual references.
Movie Release Date: February 22, 2008
DVD Release Date: June 17, 2008

This charming little fairy tale is more than a sweet and heart-warming story; it is a thoughtful exploration of the power of stories, why we are enthralled by hearing and watching them and why we are even more captivated by […]

Semi-Pro

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:February 29, 2008
DVD Release Date:June 3, 2008
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: February 29, 2008
DVD Release Date: June 3, 2008

“Semi-Pro” is not even semi-funny. It takes what looks like an unmissable slam dunk of a premise and turns it into a big, noisy airball of a movie without a single truly funny moment. Will Ferrell in the 1970’s — […]

The Great Race

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
Movie Release Date:July 1, 1965
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
Movie Release Date: July 1, 1965

Dedicated to “Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy,” this movie is both a spoof and a loving tribute to the silent classics, with good guys, bad guys, romance, adventure, slapstick, music, wonderful antique cars, and the biggest pie fight in history. […]

Mad Money

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual material and language, and brief drug references.
Movie Release Date:January 18, 2008
DVD Release Date:May 13, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual material and language, and brief drug references.
Movie Release Date: January 18, 2008
DVD Release Date: May 13, 2008

What force on earth is strong enough to unite an upper middle class suburban housewife, a poor African-American single mother and a young, spaced-out rock n’ roll fan living in a trailer? Why, the opportunity to steal from the government, […]

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language and drug use.
Movie Release Date:April 25, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language and drug use.
Movie Release Date: April 25, 2008

Like the effects of the marijuana laced with cocaine smoked by a world leader near the end of this movie, the sequel to Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle combines a literally dopey stoner comedy buzz with an electric […]

Juno

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexual content and language.
Movie Release Date:December 5, 2007
DVD Release Date:April 15, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexual content and language.
Movie Release Date: December 5, 2007
DVD Release Date: April 15, 2008

It’s time for the q-word again. Every year, it seems, there is some audience-favorite-quirky-little-indy — that category is now a genre of its own, like thriller and romantic comedy. 2006’s Little Miss Sunshine was called “this year’s Napoleon Dynamite. And […]

Alvin and the Chipmunks

posted by Nell Minow