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genre

  • Action
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  • Drama
  • Epic
  • Fantasy
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  • Musical
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction
  • Sports
  • Spy
  • Thriller
  • War
  • Western

quality

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

who's watching

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

age range

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




Cinderella

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:March 13, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: March 13, 2015

Here’s what’s magical — a fairy tale told in 2015 that is true to the spirit of the classic story by Charles Perrault but is still fresh and real despite the dozens of re-imaginings and the seismic shifts in culture […]

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2015

A documentary called “Young @ Heart” had a choir of singers in their 80’s performing contemporary rock songs.  The very fact of their age and experience gave an unexpectedly profound meaning to the words.  And in “The Second Best Exotic […]

The DUFF

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual material throughout, some language and teen partying
Movie Release Date:February 20, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual material throughout, some language and teen partying
Movie Release Date: February 20, 2015

A haiku has 17 syllables. A limerick has five lines. An omelet is made from eggs. And a teen romantic comedy will have our characters visit the mall, a locker room, a classroom, and the school bathroom. There will be […]

Beyond the Lights

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content including suggestive gestures, partial nudity, language and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:November 14, 2014
DVD Release Date:February 23, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content including suggestive gestures, partial nudity, language and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: November 14, 2014
DVD Release Date: February 23, 2015

“Beyond the Lights” is a welcome return to the grand traditions of movie romance, with sizzling chemistry between gorgeous, fabulously charismatic stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker. And it also has some very astute insights about family, ambition, and the […]

The Hundred Foot Journey

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements, some violence, language and brief sensuality
Movie Release Date:August 8, 2014
DVD Release Date:December 1, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements, some violence, language and brief sensuality
Movie Release Date: August 8, 2014
DVD Release Date: December 1, 2014

Shakespeare famously made fun of the notion of a sighing lover creating an ode “to his mistress’ eyebrow.” But it would take Shakespeare to do justice to Helen Mirren as a French woman of impeccable bearing who is able to […]

Begin Again

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
Movie Release Date:July 2, 2014
DVD Release Date:October 27, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
Movie Release Date: July 2, 2014
DVD Release Date: October 27, 2014

“It’s delicate,” a songwriter tells a performer who has (literally) amped up her gentle ballad into a power anthem. The songwriter is Greta (Keira Knightly) and the performer (Maroon 5’s Adam Levine) is her ex. They were together for five […]

Think Like a Man Too

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude sexual content including references, partial nudity, language and drug material
Movie Release Date:June 20, 2014
DVD Release Date:September 16, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude sexual content including references, partial nudity, language and drug material
Movie Release Date: June 20, 2014
DVD Release Date: September 16, 2014

A romantic comedy based on Steve Harvey’s book of advice for women about relationships has now led to a sequel based on finding the slightest possible premise for getting the gang back together to see if they can create some […]

The Fault in Our Stars

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexuality and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:June 6, 2014
DVD Release Date:September 15, 2014
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexuality and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: June 6, 2014
DVD Release Date: September 15, 2014

John Green’s best-selling novel, The Fault in Our Stars is the story of kids with cancer, but it is not about dying.  It is about living.  This exquisite adaptation is that rare film based on a beloved novel that does full justice […]

Chef

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, including some suggestive references
Movie Release Date:May 16, 2014
DVD Release Date:September 29. 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, including some suggestive references
Movie Release Date: May 16, 2014
DVD Release Date: September 29. 2014

You’re writer/director/actor Jon Favreau.  You’ve been making big-budget films, mostly huge blockbuster successes (“Elf,” “Iron Man”), but also a big-budget bust (Cowboys & Aliens, which I liked).  This might put you in mind of a simpler, more satisfyingly creative time […]

Happy Groundhog Day!

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s hoping for an early spring! Ali Arikan’s great essay about “Groundhog Day” is here.

Trailer: The Fault In Our Stars

posted by Nell Minow

Get out your handkerchiefs for one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year, based on John Green’s book about the teenagers who meet in a cancer support group.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some crude comments, language and action violence
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2013
DVD Release Date:April 15, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some crude comments, language and action violence
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2013
DVD Release Date: April 15, 2014

We all know what it feels like to be Walter Mitty, imagining ourselves as achievers and darers far beyond our normal lives. The original short story by James Thurber is about a middle-aged, hen-pecked man who daydreams about dashing adventures […]

About Time

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:November 1, 2013
DVD Release Date:February 3, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: November 1, 2013
DVD Release Date: February 3, 2014

Richard Curtis perfected the art of the 21st century romantic comedy in “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Notting Hill,” and “Love Actually.”  They were witty and sophisticated and had posh British accents that made them seem twice as witty and […]

Romeo & Juliet

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:October 11, 2013
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: October 11, 2013

William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is the most-filmed play of all time, with dozens of versions and variations from the sublime (the Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann versions, “West Side Story” and “Shakespeare in Love”) to the outlandish (the cute […]

Don Jon

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic sexual material and dialogue throughout, nudity, language and some drug use
Movie Release Date:September 27, 2013
DVD Release Date:December 31, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic sexual material and dialogue throughout, nudity, language and some drug use
Movie Release Date: September 27, 2013
DVD Release Date: December 31, 2013

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt has made a remarkably assured debut as writer/director, putting him in the front ranks of today’s filmmakers. Gordon-Levitt also plays the lead role, Jon, a New Jersey guy with a high and tight haircut and a spare […]

Thanks for Sharing

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and strong sexual content
Movie Release Date:September 20, 2013
DVD Release Date:January 7, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and strong sexual content
Movie Release Date: September 20, 2013
DVD Release Date: January 7, 2014

Imagine that the one thing you cannot trust yourself to be near is around you all the time, wherever you go.  As difficult as it is to recover from addiction to drugs or gambling or alcohol, at least those in […]

Charade

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1963
DVD Release Date:July 8, 2013
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1963
DVD Release Date: July 8, 2013

I’m delighted that one of the all-time great romantic thrillers is being released for the first time on Blu-Ray this week.  Director Stanley Donen out-Hitchcock’s Alfred Hitchcock with this witty, elegant, sophisticated bonbon starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant.  It […]

Trailer: Still Mine

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful James Cromwell (“Babe”) and Genevieve Bujold star in “Still Mine,” a touching love story, opening July 12.

Much Ado About Nothing

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexuality and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:June 21, 2013
DVD Release Date:October 7, 2013
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexuality and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: June 21, 2013
DVD Release Date: October 7, 2013

Joss Whedon’s take on Shakespeare’s classic tale is swanky, sexy, and sophisticated, as crisp as a dry martini poured from a silver shaker on a summer night. In many of his best-loved romantic comedies, William Shakespeare sends his mixed-up couples […]

Admission

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language and some sexual material
Movie Release Date:March 22, 2013
DVD Release Date:July 9, 2013
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language and some sexual material
Movie Release Date: March 22, 2013
DVD Release Date: July 9, 2013

Tina Fey and Paul Rudd seem perfect for each other. The characters they play in this movie are not as persuasive.  Fey is so much better than the adorkable rom-com role assigned to her here and Rudd is capable of […]

Upside Down

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence
Movie Release Date:March 15, 2013
DVD Release Date:June 25, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence
Movie Release Date: March 15, 2013
DVD Release Date: June 25, 2013

 Argentinean writer-director Juan Solanas has created a work of bracingly singular imagination that is sheer visual pleasure, with some mind-bending ideas and a deeply romantic sensibility. We are told by Adam (Jim Sturgess) that throughout the universe, there is only one solar […]

Shanghai Calling

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language including sexual references
Movie Release Date:February 20, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language including sexual references
Movie Release Date: February 20, 2013

“Shanghai Calling” is a fish out of water story filled with charm. Korean-American actor Daniel Henney plays Sam, a Chinese-American lawyer who is sent to China to work on a big project.  He does not speak Chinese and he knows […]

Beautiful Creatures

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence, scary images, and some sexual material
Movie Release Date:February 14, 2013
DVD Release Date:May 20, 2013
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, scary images, and some sexual material
Movie Release Date: February 14, 2013
DVD Release Date: May 20, 2013

In a small Southern town that feels far from everything, where everyone is “too stupid to leave or too stuck to move,” a teenage boy named Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) dreams every night of a girl he has never seen.  Ethan […]

Safe Haven

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:February 14, 2013
DVD Release Date:May 12, 2013
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: February 14, 2013
DVD Release Date: May 12, 2013

Now that best-selling author Nicholas Sparks has rung every possible variation out of his core formula: damaged hearts, pretty people, syrupy pop-song montages, buttery, sunlit cinematography, the healing powers of a body of water (and rain), the healing powers of a […]

Happy New Year!

posted by Nell Minow

Ring in the new year with this classic romance!

Anna Karenina

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

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

Disney’s Cinderella — New Diamond Edition

posted by Nell Minow

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

Step Up Revolution

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some suggestive dancing and language
Movie Release Date:July 27, 2012
DVD Release Date:November 26, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some suggestive dancing and language
Movie Release Date: July 27, 2012
DVD Release Date: November 26, 2012

A girl.  A guy.  A ragtag but devoted and immensely talented group of dancers with varied styles and talents.  Impressively toned bodies.  Breathtakingly athletic moves.  Even more breathtakingly sensuous moves. A conflict.  A misunderstanding.  A pep talk.  “We’re going to […]

Ruby Sparks

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual references and some drug use
Movie Release Date:July 27, 2012
DVD Release Date:October 29, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including some sexual references and some drug use
Movie Release Date: July 27, 2012
DVD Release Date: October 29, 2012

The idea of bringing a dream significant other to life goes back at least as far as the ancient Greek myth of the sculptor Pygmalion, who created a statue so beautiful he fell in love with her.  Modern versions and variations include  […]

Magic Mike

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive sexual content, brief graphic nudity, language, and some drug use
Movie Release Date:June 29, 2012
DVD Release Date:October 22, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive sexual content, brief graphic nudity, language, and some drug use
Movie Release Date: June 29, 2012
DVD Release Date: October 22, 2012

You might expect a movie about strippers to be either a glossy Hollywood fantasy or a gritty, sour, documentary.  The surprise of “Magic Mike” is that it avoids both extremes with an appealing naturalness and intimacy that softens but does […]

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

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

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

Mirror Mirror

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

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

Next Stop Wonderland

posted by Nell Minow

Brad Anderson made two small romantic gems and I was delighted to see that one of them, “Next Stop Wonderland,” is now available on Netflix streaming. Hope Davis plays a nurse named Erin from Boston who has just been dumped […]

New Year’s Eve

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:December 9, 2011
DVD Release Date:May 1, 2012
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: December 9, 2011
DVD Release Date: May 1, 2012

Something seemed familiar to me as I watched Garry Marshall’s New York-based follow-up to his multi-star, multi-story LA-set romantic comedy, Valentine’s Day.  It was something that went beyond the predictability of its sitcom-ish formulas and check-list of romantic comedy conventions, […]

My Week with Marilyn

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

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

Footloose

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some teen drug and alcohol use, sexual content, violence, and language
Movie Release Date:October 14, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 6, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some teen drug and alcohol use, sexual content, violence, and language
Movie Release Date: October 14, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 6, 2012

Director Craig Brewer doesn’t so much remake 1984’s Footloose as tweak it.  At times, it feels almost identical, with small changes that are as likely to be commentary as updates.  But the most important thing this version has in common with […]

One Day

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

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

Crazy, Stupid, Love

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for coarse humor, sexual content, and language
Movie Release Date:July 29, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 1, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for coarse humor, sexual content, and language
Movie Release Date: July 29, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 1, 2011

This painful comedy about the agonies of love has some deftly observed moments and strong performances but its essential tawdriness overwhelms its efforts to be cuddly and life-affirming. Everyone is miserably in love with the wrong person.  Steve Carell plays […]

Larry Crowne

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:July 1, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 15, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: July 1, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 15, 2011

“Larry Crowne” is such a perfectly pleasant movie that it may not be until you walk toward the exit that you realize that something is missing. Until then, the good spirits of stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, clearly enjoying […]

Midnight in Paris

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and smoking
Movie Release Date:May 27, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 20, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and smoking
Movie Release Date: May 27, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 20, 2011

Woody Allen’s best film in years is a nostalgic tribute to nostalgia.  And this is one you’ll enjoy more by knowing less, so consider this entire review a spoiler alert and stop now if you want to preserve all of […]

Not Easily Broken

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

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

Jane Eyre

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

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

The Adjustment Bureau

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

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

Beastly

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

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

Love and Other Drugs

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, pervasive language, and some drug material
Movie Release Date:November 24, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 1, 2011
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, pervasive language, and some drug material
Movie Release Date: November 24, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 1, 2011

“Love and Other Drugs” is the cure for the common movie, a smart, sexy, touching romance and a thoughtful exploration of a remarkable time that illuminates some of our most vital contemporary concerns. “Ask your doctor about…” ads began appearing […]

Step Up 3D

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date:August 6, 2010
DVD Release Date:December 21, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date: August 6, 2010
DVD Release Date: December 21, 2010

“Will I be able to understand it if I never saw the first two ‘Step Up’ movies?” asked a friend. Uh, you’ll be able to understand it if you have never seen a single movie and don’t speak English. All […]

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 […]

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, […]

Eat, Pray, Love

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

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

Flipped

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

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

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

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

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

Charlie St. Cloud

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

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

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 […]

Just Wright

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some suggestive material and brief language
Movie Release Date:May 14, 2010
DVD Release Date:September 14, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some suggestive material and brief language
Movie Release Date: May 14, 2010
DVD Release Date: September 14, 2010

If you’ve seen the trailer, you know exactly what’s coming here, but there’s nothing wrong with that. After all, you know what’s coming when you combine eggs, flour, sugar, and vanilla to make a cake, and you still enjoy eating […]

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 […]

The Last Song

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

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

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 […]

Grease: The Singalong Version!

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School

It’s the one that you want! You probably already know the words, but it’s great to see them up on the big screen and it is really fun to sing along. For just one moment, we’re all students at Rydell […]

Dear John

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

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

Valentine’s Day

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual material and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date:February 12, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 18, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual material and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date: February 12, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 18, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, let the record show that the Twitter movie has arrived. “Valentine’s Day” consists of a bunch of incidents and concepts and indications that in our omni-media world are taken for stories, though all of them would fit […]

Leap Year

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sensuality and language
Movie Release Date:January 8, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sensuality and language
Movie Release Date: January 8, 2010

A movie’s premise can be implausible and still work. The audience does not have to buy into whatever it is that the hero and heroine are after long as we believe that the movie’s characters believe in it. But in […]

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 […]

The Time Traveler’s Wife

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

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

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, […]

500 Days of Summer

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual material and language
Movie Release Date:July 17, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 22, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual material and language
Movie Release Date: July 17, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 22, 2009

Like its winning hero, this movie wears its heart right on its sleeve. It lays it out for us right at the beginning, making it clear that “this is not a love story.” Oh, and it is a work of […]

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 […]

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 […]

Bandslam

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some thematic elements and mild language
Movie Release Date:August 14, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some thematic elements and mild language
Movie Release Date: August 14, 2009

A little edgier than the “High School Musical” series and a little smarter than the usual tween fare, “Bandslam” is a refreshing late-summer treat for tweens, teens, and their families from the always-welcome Walden Media, a top provider of quality […]

Adam

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material, sexual content and language
Movie Release Date:July 31, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material, sexual content and language
Movie Release Date: July 31, 2009

Adam (Hugh Dancy), appropriately shares his name with the first man because even though he lives in contemporary Manhattan, he is in a very real way new to the world. He seems at once tightly wound and untethered. When he […]

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 […]

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief war violence, sexual content, language and smoking
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2008
DVD Release Date:May 12, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief war violence, sexual content, language and smoking
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2008
DVD Release Date: May 12, 2009

Brad Pitt is a very fine actor (see “Twelve Monkeys” and “True Romance”) but in this epic fantasy his diligent and thoughtful performance contributes less to the film than his appearance, about two-thirds of the way through. I mean appearance […]

Last Chance Harvey

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date:January 16, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 5, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date: January 16, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 5, 2009

It’s wonderful to watch young people falling in love for the first time. That’s why we get to see it so often in the movies. But it is even more wonderful to see people falling in love for the last […]

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:1961
DVD Release Date:January 13, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 1961
DVD Release Date: January 13, 2009

The combination of beautiful new “centennial editions” of two Audrey Hepburn classics and the prospect of Valentine’s Day in just two weeks inspired me to lead off February with two Hepburn DVDs of the week. This week, it’s Breakfast At […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Jane Austen Book Club

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexual content, brief strong language and some drug use
Movie Release Date:October 4, 2007
DVD Release Date:2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexual content, brief strong language and some drug use
Movie Release Date: October 4, 2007
DVD Release Date: 2008

I’m pretty sure that Jane Austen never thought of including a lesbian jumping out of an airplane in any of her books, and yet somehow that scene fits in just fine in this story of six people who get together […]

Catch and Release

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, language and some drug use.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, language and some drug use.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

For the first time, screenwriter Susannah Grant not only writes but directs with this messy romantic weepie about a woman whose fiance is killed just before the wedding. Grant is known for writing movies with strong female characters, from Disney’s […]

About a Boy

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Movie Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Movie Release Date: 2002

“About a Boy” is the story of a shallow man appropriately named Will Freeman (Hugh Grant) who believes, contrary to John Donne, that every man is an island. Or at least he believes that that a man can be an […]

Singin’ in the Rain

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1952
DVD Release Date:July 16, 2012
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1952
DVD Release Date: July 16, 2012

The 60th anniversary of one of the best-loved movies of all time is being celebrated with gorgeous new DVD and Blu-Ray releases. Silent movie star Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) is paired on screen with Lina Lamont (Jean Hagan), who would […]

Life or Something Like It

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

It’s been months since we have had a good old-fashioned date movie and that makes this one particularly welcome. Angelina Jolie plays Lanie, a television news reporter in Seattle who thinks her life is just about perfect. For her, that […]

Holiday

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1938
DVD Release Date:2006
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1938
DVD Release Date: 2006

After a whirlwind romance at a ski resort, Johnny Case (Cary Grant) is on his way to meet his new fiancée, Julia Seton (Doris Nolan). Overwhelmed by the mansion at the address she gave him, he assumes she must be […]

You’ve Got Mail

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

The classic story of two enemies who discover that they are really the “dear friends” who share a loving penpal relationship is deliciously updated for the era of email. Tom Hanks plays Joe Fox, scion of a family that owns […]

Down to You

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

Teenagers, especially teenage girls, may want to see this movie, a romantic comedy staring teen dreams Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Julia Styles. Parents need to know that it contains material that they may consider inappropriate, including several explicit sexual references […]

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