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genre

  • Action
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  • Drama
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  • Musical
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction
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  • Spy
  • Thriller
  • 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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age range

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




Margin Call

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:October 21, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: October 21, 2011

Investors can make bets by promising to buy stock at a higher or lower price than the current day’s valuation.  If all goes well, they never actually have to buy the stock.  They can keep buying and selling the bets […]

Café

posted by Nell Minow

Café is about that place we all wish we could find, a coffee shop that makes its customers feel at home.  Jennifer Love Hewitt plays the girl behind the counter who provides advice and support for the regulars.  But then a […]

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 […]

The Big Year

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

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

The Way

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, drug use, and smoking
Movie Release Date:October 7, 2011
DVD Release Date:February 21, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, drug use, and smoking
Movie Release Date: October 7, 2011
DVD Release Date: February 21, 2012

In honor of this DVD Pick of the Week, I have three copies to give away.  Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “The Way” in the subject line and tell me your favorite Martin Sheen movie.  Don’t forget your […]

Real Steel

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence, intense action, and brief language
Movie Release Date:October 7, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 24, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence, intense action, and brief language
Movie Release Date: October 7, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 24, 2012

The robot has the heart and the human has to learn to feel again in this unabashedly cheesy but irresistible fairy tale about a father, a son, and robots who bash the heck out of each other in a boxing […]

Ides of March

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language
Movie Release Date:October 7, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 17, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language
Movie Release Date: October 7, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 17, 2012

Beau Willimon took his experience on the Howard Dean campaign and turned it into a play called “Farragut North,” for the Metro stop near the fancy Washington D.C. offices occupied by political consultants.  Working with George Clooney and Grant Heslov, […]

Toast

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

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

50/50

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language throughout, sexual content and some drug use
Movie Release Date:September 30, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, sexual content and some drug use
Movie Release Date: September 30, 2011

When Seth Rogen’s friend Will Reiser got a rare form of cancer at age 24, they bolstered their courage by imagining a movie that would be true to their experience.  The movies they knew about people with cancer had characters […]

Citizen Kane

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1941
DVD Release Date:September 26, 2011
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1941
DVD Release Date: September 26, 2011

“Citizen Kane” has topped more “all-time best” lists than any other movie and this 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition is a treat for passionate fans and those who still have the thrill of seeing it for the first time ahead of […]

Dolphin Tale

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:September 23, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 12, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: September 23, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 12, 2011

It won’t be available for sale until next week but I just can’t wait to feature this terrific film.  I have a copy to give away so if you’d like to enter, send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with Dolphin […]

Moneyball

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

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

Dumbo

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1941
DVD Release Date:September 19, 2011
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1941
DVD Release Date: September 19, 2011

A gorgeous new 70th anniversary “Dumbo” Blu-Ray DVD pack is the Pick of the Week. The stork delivers babies to the circus animals, including Mrs. Jumbo’s baby, an elephant with enormous ears. The other elephants laugh at him and call […]

I Don’t Know How She Does It

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

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

Warrior

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense martial arts fighting, some language, and thematic material
Movie Release Date:September 9, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 20, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense martial arts fighting, some language, and thematic material
Movie Release Date: September 9, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 20, 2011

Imagine if Rocky, instead of fighting Apollo Creed, got into the ring with another Rocky.  And they were brothers. I know, I know, but somehow it works in a surprisingly affecting story of the sons of an abusive alcoholic who […]

Family Movie Night: ‘Game Time — Tackling the Past’

posted by Nell Minow

The latest Family Movie Night, sponsored by Wal-Mart and P&G, is “Game Time: Tackling the Past,” about a pro football player named Jake (“Chuck’s” Ryan McPartlin) who has been estranged from his family.  He reluctantly returns home for the first […]

Seven Days in Utopia

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

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

The Debt

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some violence and language
Movie Release Date:August 31, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 6, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violence and language
Movie Release Date: August 31, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 6, 2011

Stories are linear.  Part of what gives them their power is that we jettison the details that are distracting or unimportant.  But real life is messy.  That may not be as compelling, but is honest.  As we are told in […]

Higher Ground

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

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

Win Win

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 22, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 22, 2011

Writer-director Tom McCarthy gives us stories of the families we choose.  In “The Station Agent” and “The Visitor” the main characters were loners who found themselves unexpectedly drawn into caring for people who were very far outside their usual circles. […]

The Hedgehog

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

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

One Day

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

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

The Help

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

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

The 5th of July

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1982
DVD Release Date:July 5, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1982
DVD Release Date: July 5, 2011

This filmed version of Lanford Wilson’s Fifth of July is a brilliantly acted story of the complicated relationships of a group of friends and relatives who get together over the 4th of July holiday.  It centers around the relationship of Kenneth […]

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 […]

1776

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language
Movie Release Date:1972
DVD Release Date:July 2, 2012
A
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language
Movie Release Date: 1972
DVD Release Date: July 2, 2012

Happy Independence Day!  There’s only one possible pick of the week for the 4th of July. This rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost […]

Super 8

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and some drug use
Movie Release Date:June 10, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 21, 2011
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and some drug use
Movie Release Date: June 10, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 21, 2011

A couple of kids who are deeply in love with making movies have made a movie about kids deeply in love with making movies, and it is one of the most joyously thrilling treats of the summer, a love letter […]

Beginners

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:June 10, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: June 10, 2011

Oliver (Ewan McGregor) is engaged in the saddest of tasks, clearing out his late father’s home, choosing what to take, what to give away, what no one will want.  He brings his father’s dog home with him, giving him a […]

The Man Who Would Be King

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

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

The Tree of Life

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for thematic issues
Movie Release Date:June 3 2011
DVD Release Date:October 11, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic issues
Movie Release Date: June 3 2011
DVD Release Date: October 11, 2011

On those dark nights of the soul, when we consider not just life but Life, and Meaning, and our place in the cosmos, our lives don’t play out in our minds in sequence.  Images and snatches of words flicker back […]

Drop Dead Diva: Season Two

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:May 3, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: May 3, 2011

“Drop Dead Diva’s” second season is out and it is even more fun than the first.  The delightful Brooke Elliot plays a beautiful slender model whose spirit takes over the body of Jane, an overweight but very successful lawyer.  Only […]

Mao’s Last Dancer

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

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

Jumping the Broom

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual content
Movie Release Date:May 6, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 8, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual content
Movie Release Date: May 6, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 8, 2011

Sabrina (Paula Patton) is from a wealthy, upper-class family with a mansion on Martha’s Vineyard.  Jason (Laz Alonso) is from a blue-collar family in Brooklyn.  They fall in love, he proposes, and there’s just one obstacle to their happily ever […]

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 […]

Water For Elephants

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

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

For Easter: The Gospel According to St. Matthew and more

posted by Nell Minow

Reposting for Easter — Have a blessed celebration, everyone! Ben-Hur is the traditional Easter classic, but there are some other films that beautifully illuminate the themes of this holy season. I like The Gospel of John, a very reverent re-telling […]

List: Passover Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Reposting — Hag Sameach! Passover is not just about remembering the story of the Exodus from Egypt. It is about telling the story. Thousands of years before people talked about “learning styles,” the Seder included many different ways of telling […]

The King’s Speech

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:December 17, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: December 17, 2010

One of the best movies of the year makes a king look like an underdog in the true story of a man who had to literally and metaphorically find his voice, with in a very real sense the fate of […]

Country Strong

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements involving alcohol abuse and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:January 7, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements involving alcohol abuse and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: January 7, 2011

The husband manager of the beloved country singer just out of rehab says to her, “Do I tell you how to sing, darlin’? Hmm? Have I ever told you how to sing a song?” “That ain’t the point,” she weakly […]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

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

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

Upstairs, Downstairs — Old and New

posted by Nell Minow

I loved the old PBS series “Upstairs, Downstairs,” which ran from 1971-75 on the BBC.  It was revolutionary because it gave almost-equal time to the stories of the servants (downstairs) and the wealthy Edwardian-era family they worked for (upstairs).  Jean […]

Soul Surfer

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

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

The Black Swan

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong sexual content, disturbing violent images, language and some drug use.
Movie Release Date:December 3, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 29, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, disturbing violent images, language and some drug use.
Movie Release Date: December 3, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011

Ballet is more than a profession or even an art form; it is a calling, almost a cult, that demands the ultimate commitment. Ballerinas give everything they have. Director Darren Aronofsky, always drawn to stories about obsession, now takes us […]

Fair Game

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

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

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.”) […]

How Do You Know

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content and some strong language
Movie Release Date:December 17, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content and some strong language
Movie Release Date: December 17, 2010

Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) and George Madison (Paul Rudd) are both nice people and team players. And that is why they end up on a horrible date on what is for each of them the worst night of their lives. It’s […]

Limitless

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving a drug, violence including disturbing images, sexuality and language
Movie Release Date:March 18, 2011
DVD Release Date:July 18, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving a drug, violence including disturbing images, sexuality and language
Movie Release Date: March 18, 2011
DVD Release Date: July 18, 2011

Most of us feel that there must be some way for us to unleash the best version of ourselves. Whole sections of bookstores, whole shelves of vitamins, dozens of infomercials, motivational speakers, and guides to personal growth, self-actualization, and personal […]

The Lincoln Lawyer

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

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

Hereafter

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including disturbing disaster and accident images, and for brief strong language
Movie Release Date:October 22, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 15, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including disturbing disaster and accident images, and for brief strong language
Movie Release Date: October 22, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 15, 2011

According to this movie the two universal human imperatives are the need to find out whether we can contact the dead and the need to use Google to do so. Can we please de-Google-ize movies? I love Google, too, but […]

The Third Testament

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:NR -- mature theme and disturbing material
DVD Release Date:March 8, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: NR -- mature theme and disturbing material
DVD Release Date: March 8, 2011

The discovery of a Third Testament leads to a mystery — a whole series of them — in this ambitious, intricately constructed film from first-time writer-director Matt Dallman. Carolyn Matthews (Amy Weins) is determined to find her husband, Jacob, who […]

The Next Three Days

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence, drug material, language, some sexuality and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:November 19, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 8, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, drug material, language, some sexuality and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: November 19, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 8, 2011

Paul Haggis loses his way in “The Next Three Days,” a labored prison escape drama that never recovers from a serious miscalculation midway through and then goes completely off the rails in the end. Russell Crowe plays a sometimes deliberate […]

Burlesque

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content including several suggestive dance routines, partial nudity, language and some thematic material
Movie Release Date:November 24, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 1, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content including several suggestive dance routines, partial nudity, language and some thematic material
Movie Release Date: November 24, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 1, 2011

Somewhere on the continuum that connects “Showgirls,” “Glitter,” and drag shows is a place for “Burlesque,” a vanity project from producer Christina Aguilera for pop star and would-be actress Christina Aguilera. That doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining. It just means […]

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 […]

The Grace Card

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:February 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 13, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: February 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 13, 2011

Anger seduces us because it fools us into feeling powerful. Anger absorbs so much energy that it helps us avoid the more complicated and painful emotions of loss, guilt, regret, and fear. And that, as “The Grace Card” shows us, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Young Mr. Lincoln

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1939
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1939

Abraham Lincoln was born 201 years ago today. This film, directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda, is an appealing look at his early law practice and his tragic romance with Ann Rutledge. Particularly exciting and moving are the […]

The Eagle

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

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

For Colored Girls

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some disturbing violence including a rape, sexual content and language
Movie Release Date:November 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:February 8, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some disturbing violence including a rape, sexual content and language
Movie Release Date: November 5, 2010
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2011

Tyler Perry’s films frustrate critics and commentators, who are bothered by the awkward mash-ups of high melodrama and low humor and by what many people think is an exaggerated and biased portrayal of men as abusive, neglectful, incompetent, and/or disloyal. […]

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 […]

Night Catches Us

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, some sexuality and violence
DVD Release Date:February 1, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some sexuality and violence
DVD Release Date: February 1, 2011

Writer-director Tanya Hamilton and two of today’s most gifted actors have produced a sensitive drama with a powerful conclusion. Night Catches Us takes on some of the most complicated and painful issues of the era that saw the struggle for […]

Conviction

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some violent images
Movie Release Date:October 15, 2010
DVD Release Date:February 1, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some violent images
Movie Release Date: October 15, 2010
DVD Release Date: February 1, 2011

Sam Rockwell gives one of the best performances of the year as Kenny Waters, a man wrongly convicted of murder for eighteen years until his sister was able to prove that he was innocent and get him released. Betty Ann […]

The Rite

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

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

Takers

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, a sexual situation/partial nudity and some language
Movie Release Date:August 27, 2010
DVD Release Date:January 18, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, a sexual situation/partial nudity and some language
Movie Release Date: August 27, 2010
DVD Release Date: January 18, 2011

Why make a movie with so many first-rate performers and give central roles to people who cannot act and have no star power on screen? For the answer, read the credits. Rap star T.I. and R&B star Chris Brown are […]

Secretariat

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date:October 8, 2010
DVD Release Date:January 25, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date: October 8, 2010
DVD Release Date: January 25, 2011

This is the story of two champions. One is the most celebrated horse of the 20th century, the only non-human athlete to be included on Sport’s Illustrated’s 1999 list of the top 100 athletes of the last hundred years for […]

The Company Men

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and brief nudity
Movie Release Date:December 10, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 8, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and brief nudity
Movie Release Date: December 10, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 8, 2011

Remember all those executives George Clooney fired last year in Up in the Air? Here is their story. Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, and Tommy Lee Jones play characters who work at an enormous conglomerate and feel confident in their value […]

The Social Network

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

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

Season of the Witch

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, violence and disturbing content
Movie Release Date:January 7, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 28, 2011
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, violence and disturbing content
Movie Release Date: January 7, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 28, 2011

This is sword-and-sorcery film named after a Donovan song that features a joke swiped from “Jaws” — a priest looks balefully up at a looming demon and actually says, “We’re going to need more holy water.” It is a hopeless […]

Change of Plans — Family Movie Night on FOX

posted by Nell Minow

The latest in the WalMart and P&G-sponsored Family Movie Night series is “Change of Plans,” starring “American Idol’s” Brooke White as a free-spirited singer married to an engineer and pilot (Joe Flanigan of “Stargate Atlantis”). When her one-time best friend, […]

The American

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

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

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 […]

Rabbit Hole

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

When you suffer a devastating loss, there is the pain of missing what you once had. But there is pain that goes beyond the space circumscribed by the person who is gone. Grief is its own planet and everyone who […]

Gulliver’s Travels: the Animated Feature

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

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

True Grit

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

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

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:September 24, 2010
DVD Release Date:December 14, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: September 24, 2010
DVD Release Date: December 14, 2010

Is greed still good? Does greed still, for want of a better word, work? Twenty-three years later, Gordon Gekko is back, still played by Oscar-winner Michael Douglas and now running short on money and even shorter on what he realizes […]

Inception

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout
Movie Release Date:July 16, 2010
DVD Release Date:December 7, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout
Movie Release Date: July 16, 2010
DVD Release Date: December 7, 2010

Stop right now. I mean it, stop reading. If you have not already seen “Inception,” there is nothing I can tell you that would not diminish your experience of this film. The less you know going in, the better you […]

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 […]

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 […]

Pieces of April

posted by rkumar
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language, sensuality, drug content and images of nudity
Movie Release Date:2003
DVD Release Date:2003
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language, sensuality, drug content and images of nudity
Movie Release Date: 2003
DVD Release Date: 2003

One of my favorite Thanksgiving films is this touching story of a young woman, estranged from her family, who invites them to Thanksgiving dinner at her apartment. I love movies that don’t feel like they have to tell you everything. […]

Flipped

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

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

Disney’s A Christmas Carol

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

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

Magnificent Obsession

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

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

The Way Home

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:2010
DVD Release Date:October 26, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 2010
DVD Release Date: October 26, 2010

It is every parents’ worst fear. Look away for just a split second and a child is gone. You have to swallow the terror to create a sense of calm for those around you and help you think through the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Howl

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

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

A Christmas Snow

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
DVD Release Date:October 12, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
DVD Release Date: October 12, 2010

A snowstorm at Christmas time makes a busy woman stop and reconsider her priorities when she is stuck in her apartment with two people she has just met: a little girl who does not want to be there and a […]

The Boy Who Could Fly

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1986
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1986

In honor of Special Education Week, watch this touching film with your family: Milly (Lucy Deakins), her mother, Charlene (Bonnie Bedelia), and her brother, Louis (Fred Savage), move into a new home, still feeling bereft over the loss of the […]

The Karate Kid

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for bullying, martial arts action violence, and some mild language
Movie Release Date:June 11, 2010
DVD Release Date:October 5, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for bullying, martial arts action violence, and some mild language
Movie Release Date: June 11, 2010
DVD Release Date: October 5, 2010

“Play the pauses,” the stern, English-accented music teacher tells his violin student (Wenwen Han as Meiying). Watching, and clearly paying close attention, is Dre (Jaden Smith, son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith), just arrived in China from Detroit, […]

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2008
DVD Release Date:March 9, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2008
DVD Release Date: March 9, 2010

This tender tale of a loyal dog is inspired by a real story about a dog who has become a beloved legend in Japan and is memorialized in a popular statue. Richard Gere plays a professor who finds an abandoned […]

Never Let Me Go

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

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

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

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

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

Ushpizin: A Movie for Sukkot

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2005

Ushpizin is a quietly moving drama set in an almost-unseen world. It takes place in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem during the fall holiday of Sukkot, which falls this year on Sept 22-29. During Sukkot, families build tabernacles called […]

Amish Grace

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

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

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 […]

The Last Song

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

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

Me and Orson Welles

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

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

Interview: Jodi Lyn O’Keefe of ‘Class’

posted by Nell Minow

“Class” is a new romance premiering August 14 on the Hallmark Channel, and I spoke to its star, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (“Prison Break”), who plays a single mother struggling to take care of her son assigned to an arrogant law […]

The Joneses

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R for language, some sexual content, and teen drinking and drug use
Movie Release Date:April 16, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 10, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R for language, some sexual content, and teen drinking and drug use
Movie Release Date: April 16, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 10, 2010

Why do we want what we want? I don’t mean world peace or for our school’s team to win the NCAA championship, but why do we want a particular brand of shoe or phone or perfume? Is it because we […]

Letters to God

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements
Movie Release Date:April 9, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 10, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements
Movie Release Date: April 9, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 10, 2010

Director David Nixon is dedicated to telling stories of faith and inspiration. His most recent film is “Letters to God,” inspired by the true story of a critically ill boy who wrote to God to ask for help. But the […]

The Kids are All Right

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some teen drug and alcohol use
Movie Release Date: July 16, 2010

Life is messy, and one of the ways we try to make sense of it is through stories. With their selection of detail and events and resolution — whether a happy or a sad one — they give us a […]

Hey, Hey, It’s Esther Blueburger

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 For thematic elements, language, some sexual content and brief teen smoking.
DVD Release Date: July 13, 2010

This 2008 Australian film is one of my favorites of the past few years and I am very happy that it is finally available on a US-format DVD. It’s the story of the title character, Esther Blueburger (Danielle Catanzariti), approaching […]

Brooklyn’s Finest

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for bloody violence throughout, strong sexuality, nudity, drug content and pervasive language
Movie Release Date:March 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:July 6, 2010
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for bloody violence throughout, strong sexuality, nudity, drug content and pervasive language
Movie Release Date: March 5, 2010
DVD Release Date: July 6, 2010

This bloated, pretentious mess is the slowest action movie I can remember, weighted down with over-used characters, situations, and dialog. The dialog is over-used within the movie itself. It isn’t enough for a character to say, “I want my life […]

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

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

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

1776

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1972
A
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1972

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

The Green Zone

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence and language
Movie Release Date:March 12, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 22, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence and language
Movie Release Date: March 12, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 22, 2010

The star and director of the last two “Bourne” movies are back and much is the same — the gritty, intimate, documentary feel, the sense of peril and dynamic staging of action, the able but conflicted leading man. But there […]

Remember Me

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content, language and smoking
Movie Release Date:March 12, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 22, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content, language and smoking
Movie Release Date: March 12, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 22, 2010

Robert Pattinson has gone from brooding, adoring Bella, saving Bella, and trying not to kill anyone in the Twilight movies to “Remember Me,” a J.D. Salinger-esque tale that has him brooding, adoring Ally (played by the vampire-esquely named Emilie de […]

Shutter Island

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

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

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 Road

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

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

Flicka 2

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

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

Invictus

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date:December 11, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 11, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date: December 11, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 11, 2010

Clint Eastwood tells the story of South Africa’s triumph in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the first World Cup after the end of apartheid. The title, “Invictus” comes from the inspiring poem that Nelson Mandela shared with the team’s captain, […]

Extraordinary Measures

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic material, language and a mild suggestive moment
Movie Release Date:January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 11, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material, language and a mild suggestive moment
Movie Release Date: January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 11, 2010

Harrison Ford has his best role in years as a testy scientist who listens to classic rock as he works all night in the lab and who may just have the key to a crucial medicine for a disease that […]

The Adventures of Robin Hood

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1938
DVD Release Date:2002
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1938
DVD Release Date: 2002

Errol Flynn is the definitive Robin Hood in this glorious Technicolor version of the classic story, one of the most thrillingly entertaining films of all time. King Richard the Lion-Hearted, off fighting in the Crusades, has been captured and held […]

The Square

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence and language
Movie Release Date:May 7, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence and language
Movie Release Date: May 7, 2010

When the first 10 minutes of film introduce us to an illicit affair, a kickback scheme, and a hidden bag filled with money, we know we’re in for a twisty thriller, and “The Square” delivers. Brothers Nash and Joel Edgerton […]

Mother and Child

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexuality, brief nudity, and language
Movie Release Date:May 7, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexuality, brief nudity, and language
Movie Release Date: May 7, 2010

Rodrigo García, who showed great taste, restraint, and sensitivity in telling the intertwined lives of women in “Nine Stories” and “Things You Can Tell Just from Looking At Her” shows less of all three in the clunky, awkward “Mother and […]

Preacher’s Kid

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving some sexual content, violence, and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:January 29, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving some sexual content, violence, and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: January 29, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010

Former Destiny’s Child singer Letoya Luckett has the title role in this touching story of a sheltered young woman from a small town who joins a traveling gospel show. She finds her values and her faith challenged by the temptations […]

Crazy Heart

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:January 8, 2010
DVD Release Date:April 20, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: January 8, 2010
DVD Release Date: April 20, 2010

Jeff Bridges does not portray Bad Blake, a broken-down, once-successful country singer; he inhabits the role, showing us not just what is happening to the man on screen but everything, every success and every failure, every love and every loss […]

The Lovely Bones

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

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

The Greatest

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

Two gifted young women whose best work will be in other films are the reason to see this one. Carey Mulligan, so enchanting in last year’s An Education, plays a pregnant teenager in “The Greatest,” written and directed by newcomer […]

An Education

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

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

The Eclipse

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

“The Eclipse” is a moody Irish thriller about a recently widowed teacher who is a volunteer at a local literary festival. Michael (a deeply moving Ciarán Hinds) is doing his best to stay strong for his children and his father-in-law, […]

The Men Who Stare At Goats

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

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

The Princess and the Frog

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

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

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

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

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

Up in the Air

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

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

The Informant!

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

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

Everybody’s Fine

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:December 4, 2009
DVD Release Date:February 23, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: December 4, 2009
DVD Release Date: February 23, 2010

Parents try very hard to protect their children and at the same time teach them to be independent. And then we struggle to accept the consequences. That is what has happened to Frank Goode (Robert DeNiro), a recent widower preparing […]

A Serious Man

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, some sexuality/nudity and brief violence
Movie Release Date:October 9, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some sexuality/nudity and brief violence
Movie Release Date: October 9, 2009

Larry Gopnik (theater actor Michael Stuhlbarg) is a physics professor in 1967 Minneapolis. He covers a blackboard the size of a movie screen with equations, confidently lecturing his students about the uncertainty principle but outside the classroom unable to cope […]

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 […]

District 13: Ultimatum

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some violence, language and drug material
Movie Release Date:February 5, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violence, language and drug material
Movie Release Date: February 5, 2010

Cyril Raffaelli and David Belle make a sensationally appealing team in this follow-up to their hit film “District B13.” Belle is the creator of “parkour,” a stunt spectacular that turns an entire city into an obstacle course. It has become […]

Amelia

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

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

Law Abiding Citizen

posted by Nell Minow
F
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody brutal violence and torture, a scene of rape, and pervasive language
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2009
DVD Release Date:February 2, 2010
F
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody brutal violence and torture, a scene of rape, and pervasive language
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2009
DVD Release Date: February 2, 2010

This is not just a bad film; it is a despicable one. The slim but highly profitable torture porn genre has now begun to permeate major studio films directed at a general audience and the result is this dim-witted thriller […]

I Can Do Bad All By Myself

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving a sexual assault on a minor, violence, drug references and smoking
Movie Release Date:September 11, 2009
DVD Release Date:January 12, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving a sexual assault on a minor, violence, drug references and smoking
Movie Release Date: September 11, 2009
DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010

Tyler Perry’s movies are review-proof. Not just because he does not let critics see them before they are released, knowing that his audience won’t care about reviews, but because they do not lend themselves to the usual kind of analysis. […]

Sherlock Holmes

posted by Nell Minow

Perhaps even the great detective himself could not solve the mystery of why Sherlock Holmes holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for having been portrayed on screen than any other fictional character, with more than 75 actors in […]

Taking Woodstock

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

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

The Gathering

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1977
DVD Release Date:December 15, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1977
DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009

I’m thrilled that one of my favorite Christmas movies is available on DVD for the first time from Warner Brothers. It is the Emmy-award winning The Gathering and it stars Ed Asner and Maureen Stapleton as the long-separated parents of […]

A Single Man

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some disturbing images and nudity/sexual content
Movie Release Date:December 11, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some disturbing images and nudity/sexual content
Movie Release Date: December 11, 2009

Designer Tom Ford has exquisite taste, and his first movie is an exquisite movie. Based on a story by Christopher Isherwood, as adapted by Ford, it is the story of one day in the life of a British literature professor […]

Public Enemies

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for gangster violence and some language
Movie Release Date:July 1, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 8, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for gangster violence and some language
Movie Release Date: July 1, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 8, 2009

Back before the days when trashy faux celebrities from tawdry reality shows merited magazine covers and “gangsta” rappers postured and pretended to be killers, there was once a romanticized fascination with actual killers with names like “Baby Face” and “Pretty […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Box

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some violence and disturbing images
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some violence and disturbing images
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2009

I loved “Donnie Darko” and was eager to listen to the DVD commentary by writer/director Richard Kelly. But I had to turn it off after the first ten minutes. Kelly explained too much, and his explanations were so mundane they […]

Shrink

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for drug content throughout, and pervasive language including some sexual references.
Movie Release Date:July 31, 2009
DVD Release Date:September 29, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for drug content throughout, and pervasive language including some sexual references.
Movie Release Date: July 31, 2009
DVD Release Date: September 29, 2009

“Physician, heal yourself!” Henry Carter (Kevin Spacey) is the best-selling author of a book called Happiness Now and a Los Angeles psychiatrist to glamorous and highly successful people. But he is a mess, self-medicating to the point of obliterating himself […]

Fame

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:R
Movie Release Date:1980
DVD Release Date:2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: R
Movie Release Date: 1980
DVD Release Date: 2009

Less a movie than a mosaic, this remake of the 1980 classic with the Oscar-winning title anthem about the high school for the performing arts has been re-imagined for the hyper-linked and just plain hyper 21st century. As in the […]

State of Play

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence, language including sexual references, and brief drug content
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2009
DVD Release Date:September 1, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence, language including sexual references, and brief drug content
Movie Release Date: April 17, 2009
DVD Release Date: September 1, 2009

You need six things for a successful Washington thriller: a reporter, a Congressman, a dead girl, a choleric editor, some ugly secrets, and, for some reason, a chase inside a parking garage, not so sure why that last one seems […]

Wiseguy

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1987
DVD Release Date:August 25, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1987
DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009

“Wiseguy” was a tough, smart 1980’s television series about a cop (Ken Wahl) who goes deep undercover, starting with 18 months in prison to establish his criminal credentials. In this first season, just out on DVD, he infiltrates the organization […]

Duplicity

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:March 20, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 25, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: March 20, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009

What do Egyptian launch codes and a new frozen pizza topping have in common? They’re both secrets that are of value to both those who know it and those who want to know it. Where there are secrets, there must […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Soloist

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

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

The Great Buck Howard

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some language including suggestive remarks, and a drug reference
Movie Release Date:March 20, 2009
DVD Release Date:July 21, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some language including suggestive remarks, and a drug reference
Movie Release Date: March 20, 2009
DVD Release Date: July 21, 2009

This story about a retro performer itself has a very retro feeling, as though it is a recently rediscovered artifact. The likable Colin Hanks plays Troy Gabel, who drops out of law school with some vague thought that he would […]

From the Earth to the Moon

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

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

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2005

Mrs. Palfrey (Joan Plowright) did not think of herself as someone who would live in the shabby gentility of the Claremont, a residential hotel in London. We never learn the details of what brought her there or keeps her there, […]

Do the Right Thing

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R
Movie Release Date:1989
DVD Release Date:June 30, 2009
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R
Movie Release Date: 1989
DVD Release Date: June 30, 2009

Twenty years ago, Spike Lee made a tough, smart, and very provocative film that included an electrifying moment when the character played by Lee himself held up a trash can and aimed it at the glass window of a pizzeria […]

Secret Ballot

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2001
DVD Release Date:2002
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2001
DVD Release Date: 2002

Those who are interested in the Iranian election and protests should see this superb Iranian film that is one of the finest explorations of freedom, elections, democracy, and the rule of law I have ever watched on screen. It begins […]

My Sister’s Keeper

posted by Nell Minow

How far would you go to save your child’s life? How far should you go? Those are the questions posed — and largely ducked — in this film based on the best-selling book, My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult. The […]

Crossing Over

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, some strong violence and sexuality/nudity
Movie Release Date:February 27, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 9, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, some strong violence and sexuality/nudity
Movie Release Date: February 27, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 9, 2009

A well-intentioned but ham-handed exploration of U.S. immigration policies, this movie’s message is undermined by its cardboard characters and clunky script. Like “Babel” and “Crash” it is a multi-story exploration of one theme, but it is formulaic and uninvolving. It […]

The International

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some sequences of violence and language
Movie Release Date:February 13, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 9, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some sequences of violence and language
Movie Release Date: February 13, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 9, 2009

This thriller about a multi-national bank with innumerable tentacles and immeasurable power has two problems and the worst is bad timing. It’s just a little bit more difficult these days to feel pleasurably shaken up while watching a story about […]

Revolutionary Road

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity
Movie Release Date:December 31, 2008
DVD Release Date:June 2, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity
Movie Release Date: December 31, 2008
DVD Release Date: June 2, 2009

It may be, as Thoreau said, that “most men lead lives of quiet desperation,” but in the movies, desperation is much more likely to be loud. “Revolutionary Road” is another movie about unhappiness, phoniness, and corrosive dysfunction behind the manicured […]

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 […]

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 […]

A Plumm Summer

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

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

Is Anybody There?

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2009

A boy whose parents turn their house into a nursing home can be expected to develop an interest in death. Ten year old Edward (“Son of Rambow’s” Bill Milner) is more than interested. He is fascinated. And that is in […]

Frost/Nixon

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

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

The Spirit

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of stylized violence and action, some sexual content and brief nudity
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2008
DVD Release Date:April 14, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of stylized violence and action, some sexual content and brief nudity
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2008
DVD Release Date: April 14, 2009

If there is ever an Oscar category for best performance by an article of clothing, the red tie worn by the title character in this film would be the clear winner and the rain coat would most likely be the […]

Doubt

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material
Movie Release Date:December 12, 2008
DVD Release Date:April 7, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material
Movie Release Date: December 12, 2008
DVD Release Date: April 7, 2009

Before movies, there were plays, and before plays there were stories told around the campfire. One of the deepest human impulses is the need to tell our stories in part because of the way they help us make sense of […]

Seven Pounds

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material, some disturbing content and a scene of sensuality
Movie Release Date:December 19, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 31, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material, some disturbing content and a scene of sensuality
Movie Release Date: December 19, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009

The way you feel about “Seven Pounds” will depend on the way you feel about the choice made by the main character at the end of the film. Some may consider it admirable and selfless but for me the choice, […]

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 […]

Spinning Into Butter

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:March 27, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: March 27, 2009

The best of intentions and a welcome willingness to engage on the touchiest issues is not enough to keep this movie from feeling more like a seminar than a story. It betrays its origins as a play, still talky and […]

Rachel Getting Married

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:October 17, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 10, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: October 17, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009

Fiction is usually very linear, just because of the limits of time. The longest epic and the thickest novel don’t have enough scope to encompass extraneous detail. In real life people can’t find parking spots and fumble for correct change, […]

Milk

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

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

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 […]

Australia

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence, a scene of sensuality, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:November 26, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 3, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence, a scene of sensuality, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: November 26, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 3, 2009

Writer/director Baz Luhrmann is known for his surprises. In Strictly Ballroom, William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet , and Moulin Rouge! he created visual and musical mash-ups of classic and pop that achieved, sometimes apparently accidentally, some transcendence and that were […]

Changeling

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

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

Flash of Genius

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

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

Body of Lies

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence including some torture, and for language throughout
Movie Release Date:October 10, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 17, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence including some torture, and for language throughout
Movie Release Date: October 10, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 17, 2009

Once movie spies were sleek and cool and impeccably dressed. They were devil-may-care, they had joie de vivre, they seemed to know everything, and they were unstoppable. The bad guys had endless money to spend on sociopathic sidekicks and elaborate […]

W.

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

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

The Secret Life of Bees

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material and some violence
Movie Release Date:October 17, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 2, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material and some violence
Movie Release Date: October 17, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 2, 2009

The beloved best-seller by Sue Monk Kidd has been brought to screen with great care, deep sincerity, and a perfect cast. Unfortunately, it is so careful, so lovingly burnished, so deliberate that it becomes sluggish, never finding the distinctive voice […]

Pride and Glory

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language and brief drug content
Movie Release Date:October 24, 2008
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language and brief drug content
Movie Release Date: October 24, 2008

A big-name cast and some big-time issues are not enough to make up for a small-time script that adds absolutely nothing new to the too-often-told tale of police corruption and family betrayal. It is as generic as its title. Four […]

Righteous Kill

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, pervasive language, some sexuality and brief drug use.
Movie Release Date:September 12, 2008
DVD Release Date:January 6, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, pervasive language, some sexuality and brief drug use.
Movie Release Date: September 12, 2008
DVD Release Date: January 6, 2009

Has there ever been a cinematic pairing as eagerly anticipated as this one? Perhaps, but I can’t think of one that has been anticipated as long. Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro were both in 1974’s “The Godfather II” but their […]

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