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genre

  • Action
  • Animation
  • Comedy
  • Classic
  • Documentary
  • Drama
  • Epic
  • Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Musical
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction
  • Sports
  • Spy
  • Thriller
  • War
  • Western

quality

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

who's watching

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

age range

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




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

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

Nothing Like the Holidays

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

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

The Dark Knight

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and some menace.
Movie Release Date:July 18, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 9, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and some menace.
Movie Release Date: July 18, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 9, 2008

“Dark” is right. Christopher Nolan’s sequel to his Batman Begins is not only dark; it is searing and disturbing. The bad guys are very, very bad. These are not guys who do bad things because that is the only way […]

Cadillac Records

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

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

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

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

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

The Duchess

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

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

‘Gabriel Over the White House’ — The President Finds God

posted by Nell Minow

A little-seen 1933 film called “Gabriel Over the White House” has some themes that are particularly resonant in this time of unprecedented economic uncertainty and this historic Presidential campaign. Walter Houston (father of director John Huston and grandfather of actress […]

The Women

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

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

Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys

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

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

Towelhead

posted by Nell Minow

Alicia Erian’s semi-autobiographical novel about a young girl coming of age has been brought to the screen by writer/director Alan Ball, whose “American Beauty” and “Six Feet Under” explored the darker side of sunny suburban streets. This is the story […]

Traitor

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense violent sequences, thematic material and brief language
Movie Release Date:August 27, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense violent sequences, thematic material and brief language
Movie Release Date: August 27, 2008

A timely story, some welcome complexity, and a compelling performance elevate this story of terrorism above the usual bang-bang. Don Cheadle plays Samir, a person of interest being tracked by the authorities for his possible involvement in terrorist activities. He […]

The Longshots

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

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

List: The Top 25 Law Movies

posted by Nell Minow

The magazine published by the American Bar Association has assembled a list of the 25 best movies about the law, with another 25 on the list of runners-up. I am a lawyer from a family of lawyers and we all […]

12 Angry Men

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:July 29, 1957
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: July 29, 1957

Twelve jurors, hot and tired after a six-day murder trial, file into the jury room. They begin with a vote — 11 vote for a guilty verdict, but one (Henry Fonda), juror Number 8, votes to acquit. The others are […]

Stop-Loss

posted by Nell Minow
B-
MPAA Rating: Rated R for graphic violence and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date:March 28, 2008
DVD Release Date:July 8, 2008
B-
MPAA Rating: Rated R for graphic violence and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date: March 28, 2008
DVD Release Date: July 8, 2008

A young soldier who has come home from Iraq is forced to rethink his ideas about heroism and patriotism when he is “stop-lossed” — informed that instead of leaving the Army he has been involuntarily assigned to another tour of […]

Vantage Point

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense violence and action, some disturbing images and brief strong language.
Movie Release Date:February 22, 2008
DVD Release Date:July 1, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense violence and action, some disturbing images and brief strong language.
Movie Release Date: February 22, 2008
DVD Release Date: July 1, 2008

A gimmicky thriller without much of a gimmick or many thrills, “Vantage Point” suffers, too, from being out of synch with its time. Its premise may be current — an assassination attempt at an anti-terrorism summit — but its tone […]

Under the Same Moon

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some mature thematic elements.
Movie Release Date:March 19, 2008
DVD Release Date:June 17, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some mature thematic elements.
Movie Release Date: March 19, 2008
DVD Release Date: June 17, 2008

As the title suggests, there is a little bit of fairy tale moondust sprinkled over this story of a nine-year-old boy who runs away from his home in Mexico to find his mother in Los Angeles. As with all fairy […]

The Other Boleyn Girl

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

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

The Bucket List

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language, including a sexual reference.
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2007
DVD Release Date:June 10, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language, including a sexual reference.
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2007
DVD Release Date: June 10, 2008

It’s The Shawshank Redemption part two, or it tries to be. It has voiceover narration by Morgan Freeman. It has an inspiring and life-affirming friendship — featuring Morgan Freeman. It just is not very good. If you’ve seen the trailer, […]

Fugitive Pieces

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some sexuality.
Movie Release Date:May 16, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some sexuality.
Movie Release Date: May 16, 2008

In this impressionistic, rose-and honey-toned memory piece, young Jacob hides from the Nazis in 1941 Poland but his parents are killed and his sister is captured. The terrified boy is discovered by a Greek archaeologist, who takes him in and […]

The Great Debaters

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for depiction of strong thematic material including violence and disturbing images, and for language and brief sexuality.
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2007
DVD Release Date:May 13, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for depiction of strong thematic material including violence and disturbing images, and for language and brief sexuality.
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2007
DVD Release Date: May 13, 2008

In 1935, the debate team from a tiny all-black college took on the top white team in the country and they won. This is that story, Oprah-fied to be sure (Winfrey’s company produced the film), but powerfully told by director […]

P.S. I Love You

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual references and brief nudity.
Movie Release Date:December 21, 2007
DVD Release Date:May 7, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual references and brief nudity.
Movie Release Date: December 21, 2007
DVD Release Date: May 7, 2008

Hillary Swank does not have the chin for romance or the rhythm for comedy. Her two Oscars were for earnest, androgynous roles (“Boys Don’t Cry” and “Million Dollar Baby”) that made the most of her strong jaw and lanky figure. […]

Charlie Wilson’s War

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

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

Juno

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

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

Smart People

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, brief teen drug and alcohol use, and for some sexuality.
Movie Release Date:April 11, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, brief teen drug and alcohol use, and for some sexuality.
Movie Release Date: April 11, 2008

A burned-out literature professor named Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennis Quaid) has written an “unpublishable” book called The Price of Postmodernism: Epistemology, Hermeneutics and the Literary Canon. Of course it is unpublishable. Everyone knows that the part of the title that comes […]

Street Kings

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date:April 11, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date: April 11, 2008

“Street Kings” is a like a Cliff’s Notes version of Training Day not that Training Day was any special challenge to the mental muscle. Corruption is bad, we get it. At least that movie had a sizzling performance and an […]

Reservation Road

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some disturbing images.
Movie Release Date:October 26, 2007
DVD Release Date:April 8, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some disturbing images.
Movie Release Date: October 26, 2007
DVD Release Date: April 8, 2008

We’ve all done it. We know we shouldn’t. We know it is dangerous. Dwight (Mark Ruffalo) is racing to get his 10-year-old son home after a ball game went into extra innings. He is talking on the cell phone to […]

Beaufort

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

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

Arranged

posted by Nell Minow
B
DVD Release Date:March 11, 2008
B
DVD Release Date: March 11, 2008

This quiet little independent film is the story of the friendship between two New York City schoolteachers, an Orthodox Jew and a Muslim, who transcend the assumptions of those around them. They quickly realize that they have more in common […]

No Country for Old Men

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong graphic violence and some language.
Movie Release Date:November 9, 2007
DVD Release Date:March 11, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic violence and some language.
Movie Release Date: November 9, 2007
DVD Release Date: March 11, 2008

“I’m fixin to go do somethin dumbern hell but I’m goin anyways. If I don’t come back tell Mother I love her.” “Your mother’s dead Llewelyn.” “Well I’ll tell her myself then.” For the Coen brothers’ first-ever adaptation of another […]

Dan in Real Life

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some innuendo.
Movie Release Date:October 26, 2007
DVD Release Date:March 11, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some innuendo.
Movie Release Date: October 26, 2007
DVD Release Date: March 11, 2008

No one is better than Steve Carell at playing clenched. In “Dan in Real Life,” he plays a character so clenched he just about levitates off the ground. Dan is an advice columnist and a single parent. He cares for […]

Into the Wild

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

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

Charlie Bartlett

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, drug content and brief nudity.
Movie Release Date:February 22, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, drug content and brief nudity.
Movie Release Date: February 22, 2008

Charlie Bartlett (Anton Yelchin) has been kicked out of so many posh prep schools that the only thing left to try is the local public school. At first, he shows up wearing his prep school blazer and carrying an attaché […]

Rendition

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for torture/violence and language.
Movie Release Date:October 18, 2007
DVD Release Date:February 19, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for torture/violence and language.
Movie Release Date: October 18, 2007
DVD Release Date: February 19, 2008

This is America. We do not torture people. But sometimes we send prisoners suspected of ties to terrorism to places where they do torture people. That is what happens to Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally), a chemical engineer who moved to […]

We Own the Night

posted by Nell Minow

This is a curious hybrid combining contemporary language and violence with a retro set-up right out of a 1930’s James Cagney/Pat O’Brien movie and pulsating undercover law enforcement action of 1970’s films like Serpico and The French Connection. The story […]

The Martian Child

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements and mild language.
Movie Release Date:November 2, 2007
DVD Release Date:February 12, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements and mild language.
Movie Release Date: November 2, 2007
DVD Release Date: February 12, 2008

There’s nothing wrong with a little fakery now and then if it smooths out some rough spots and eliminates some distractions. But this film goes past fakery into condescending phoniness that knocks the story off its tracks. What is frustrating […]

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some strong violence and brief sexual references.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:February 5, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some strong violence and brief sexual references.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: February 5, 2008

This movie may be about one of the most famous outlaws in the days of the Wild West, but it is not a bang-bang shoot-em-up Western. It is a broody psychological Western, a lot of peering out into endless prairie […]

Rocket Science

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some sexual content and language.
Movie Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some sexual content and language.
Movie Release Date: 2007

Hal (Reece Thompson) has something say but he has a lot of trouble saying it. On the bus, he can practice asking for pizza, but when it comes to the moment and he is standing in the cafeteria line, he […]

The Water-Horse

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some action/peril, mild language and brief smoking.
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some action/peril, mild language and brief smoking.
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2007

In the grand tradition of “he followed me home — can I keep him?” movies, we have seen movies about children who are brought to adventure and understanding through dogs, horses, cats, a whale, a dolphin, dragons, geese, and an […]

Persepolis

posted by Nell Minow

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

The Kite Runner

posted by Nell Minow

This faithful adaptation of the worldwide best-seller puts a struggle for personal redemption and atonement in the context of devastating divides, ethnic, cultural, poltical, and moral, set in Afghanistan before, during, and after the Soviet invasion of 1979. Loyalty, betrayal, […]

Lions for Lambs

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:MPAA Rating: R for some war violence and language
Movie Release Date:November 9, 2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: MPAA Rating: R for some war violence and language
Movie Release Date: November 9, 2007

It is more op-ed than movie. “Lions for Lambs” is a well-meaning attempt to encapsulate and move forward one segment of our current political debates. But it is mostly speeches, not stories.

The Kingdom

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for intense sequences of graphic brutal violence, and for language.
Movie Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for intense sequences of graphic brutal violence, and for language.
Movie Release Date: 2007

The highlight of this film is over by the time it begins. A brief credit sequence outlines the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia in provocative, trenchant terms covering the Saudi nationality of Osama Bin Laden and most 9/11 […]

Chalk

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language.
Movie Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language.
Movie Release Date: 2007

A kinder, gentler mockumentary, this black and white film’s greatest strength and weakness is its unwillingness to be too tough on the high school teachers and administrators it portrays. The writers, director, and stars of this movie are all former […]

Into the Wild

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some nudity.
Movie Release Date:2007
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some nudity.
Movie Release Date: 2007

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

Illegal Tender

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, language and some sexuality.
Movie Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, language and some sexuality.
Movie Release Date: 2007

There’s a chance, but a very slight chance that 20 years from now this could be one of those films whose pulpiness overcomes its dopiness. But I doubt it. Oh, it is fun to see Wanda de Jesus get all […]

The Nanny Diaries

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language.
Movie Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language.
Movie Release Date: 2007

Oh, we all love to feel superior to rich people, don’t we? It makes us feel so nice and smug. They may have the fancy apartments and couture, but we have a lock on authenticity and unpretentiousness, right? That’s what […]

Hairspray

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language, some suggestive content and momentary teen smoking.
Movie Release Date: 2007

I am not sure which is the more amusingly surprising — the idea that one of the most painful struggles in American history could become the subject of a light musical comedy, or the idea that it comes from one […]

Resurrecting the Champ

posted by jmiller
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief language.
Movie Release Date:2007
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief language.
Movie Release Date: 2007

Critic-turned-writer/director Rod Lurie produces old-fashioned potboilers, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. His unabashed melodramas can be refreshing in an era when very little of what we see onscreen takes on big issues or provocative positions. But this time, […]

Gracie

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief sexual content.
Movie Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief sexual content.
Movie Release Date: 2007

When it rains, baseball players go to the locker rooms and put on their street clothes, but soccer players stay on the field, according to father/coach Bryan Bowen (Dermot Mulroney). So we get not one but two high-tension moments as […]

Mr. Brooks

posted by jmiller

I have to give this film credit for embracing its craziness. This is one movie that proudly raises its freak flag high and lets it wave. But that does not mean it works. Mr. Brooks (Kevin Costner) is an upstanding […]

Georgia Rule

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content and some language.
Movie Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content and some language.
Movie Release Date: 2007

Minow rule: If Hector Elizondo barely makes an appearance in a Garry Marshall film, watch out. Or, I should say, don’t watch. Marshall wisely does his best to include the talented Elizondo in every one of his films. If the […]

Jindabyne

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for disturbing images, language and some nudity.
Movie Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for disturbing images, language and some nudity.
Movie Release Date: 2007

Parents should know that this film deals with very disturbing themes, including the discovery of the dead body of a young woman who may have been raped. There are scenes of nudity and graphic wounds. Characters drink (sometimes to excess), […]

Lucky You

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language and sexual humor.
Movie Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language and sexual humor.
Movie Release Date: 2007

Maybe if it had been made in the 1940’s or 50’s in black and white, maybe if it starred Frank Sinatra and Lee Remick, maybe if we had never seen better films like “The Hustler,” maybe this script might have […]

Knocked Up

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, drug use and language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, drug use and language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Here’s the secret for making a raunchy comedy work — it has to be sweet and even a little bit romantic. What the makers of films like American Pie and The 40-Year-Old Virgin understood is that the “oh, no, they […]

In the Land of Women

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, thematic elements and language.
Movie Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, thematic elements and language.
Movie Release Date: 2007

If you’ve see the ads with vulnerable cutie Adam Brody from “The O.C.” kissing willowy cutie Kristen Stewart (the kid in Panic Room and growing up very nicely), you probably think it must be a romantic comedy. That’s what they […]

Fracture

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some violent content.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some violent content.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

This is not a who-dun-it. It’s a will-they-be-able-to-prove-it. As in the old Columbo television series, we know from the beginning who pulled the trigger. We see Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) shoot his wife in the head because she was having […]

Disturbia

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 on appeal for sequences of terror and violence, and some sensuality.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 on appeal for sequences of terror and violence, and some sensuality.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

This nicely nifty little thriller takes Hitchcock’s classic Rear Window and updates it to the era of cell phones and webcams. Kale (Shia LeBeouf) is under house arrest for hitting a teacher. For three months, he has to wear an […]

Perfect Stranger

posted by jmiller
F+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, nudity, some disturbing violent images and language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
F+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, nudity, some disturbing violent images and language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Was Ashley Judd at the hairdresser the day this script came in? She’s usually the star of movies like this — the low-level potboiler with the plucky girl in jeopardy, and Morgan Freeman around somewhere to give some sage advice. […]

The Lookout

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, some violence and sexual content.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some violence and sexual content.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

In this tense and twisty thriller, our narrator and central figure is Chris (the stunning Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a one-time high school hockey star and dreamboat who was brain-damaged in a car crash on prom night. Now, he works as the […]

The Hoax

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language.
Movie Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language.
Movie Release Date: 2007

What is it about liars that makes them the focus of so many movies? In the past few months alone we’ve had Breech (from the same writer/director who gave us another real-life liar story, Shattered Glass) and Colour Me Kubrick: […]

The Last Mimzy

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some thematic elements, mild peril and language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some thematic elements, mild peril and language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Two children find toys that make them more intelligent and powerful and send them on an adventure in this fine story for 4th-8th graders and their families. After he plays with the toys, Noah (Chris O’Neil) doesn’t need his glasses […]

Pride

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic material, language including some racial epithets, and violence.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material, language including some racial epithets, and violence.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Like all sports stories, this is about teamwork, but the team that matters here is Terrence Howard and Bernie Mac who bring such conviction and authenticity to this story of an inner-city Pennsylvania 70’s swim team that you can smell […]

TMNT

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for animated action violence, some scary cartoon images and mild language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for animated action violence, some scary cartoon images and mild language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

They’re teenagers, they’re mutants, they’re ninjas, and they’re turtles. Up from the sewers by way of some handy toxic waste, those Renaissance-named, three-fingered, ninja-fighting, pizza-eating turtle siblings are back in their first all-CGI adventure. They say funny-tough things like, “I’m […]

Away From Her

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some strong language.
Movie Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some strong language.
Movie Release Date: 2007

Parents should know that this is a very sad movie with themes that may be disturbing to some audience members. Characters use brief strong language. Families who see this movie should talk about some of their own stories about losing […]

I Think I Love My Wife

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Chris Rock has often said he admires the work of Woody Allen, and in Rock’s latest film, “I Think I Love My Wife,” the comedian tries to channel a very “Allen” vibe. Like Allen, he writes, directs, and stars. And […]

Premonition

posted by jmiller
F+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violent content, disturbing images, thematic material and brief language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
F+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violent content, disturbing images, thematic material and brief language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

With little style and no substance, this low-wattage forgettable thriller plays like a rejected episode of “The Twilight Zone.” Linda (Sandra Bullock) wakes up every day in a different reality (and a different sleeping outfit — she has quite the […]

300

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for graphic battle sequences throughout, some sexuality and nudity.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for graphic battle sequences throughout, some sexuality and nudity.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

“Everyone will kneel to you — if you will kneel to me.” That is the offer made by a gold-dusted, multi-pierced Xerxes of Persia to King Lionidas (Gerard Butler) of Sparta in this visually sumptuous version of the battle of […]

Zodiac

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some strong killings, language, drug material and brief sexual images.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some strong killings, language, drug material and brief sexual images.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

We still don’t know for sure who was — or is — the California serial killer known as the Zodiac, the name he used in a series of letters he sent to San Francisco newspapers in the late 1960’s and […]

The Number 23

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, disturbing images, sexuality and language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, disturbing images, sexuality and language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

There are 23 things wrong with this movie. Or maybe there are 24. Or 165. To be honest, I lost count. Despite this film’s best efforts, it never persuaded me that there was anything special about the number 23.It began […]

Hannibal Rising

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong grisly violent content and some language/sexual references.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong grisly violent content and some language/sexual references.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

My first Hannibal Lecter was Brian Cox in Manhunter . As dazzling as Anthony Hopkins was, that’s still my favorite Hannibal portrayal. Like Hopkins, Cox showed us Lecter’s mesmerizing stillness and unnervingly penetrating mind. In both Manhunter and The Silence […]

The Namesake

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexuality/nudity, a scene of drug use, some disturbing images and brief language.
Movie Release Date:March 9, 2007
DVD Release Date:November 27, 2007
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexuality/nudity, a scene of drug use, some disturbing images and brief language.
Movie Release Date: March 9, 2007
DVD Release Date: November 27, 2007

Ashima (Indian superstar Tabu) pauses before entering the living room to meet her prospective bridegroom and his family. Their shoes have been left outside the door, according to the customs of her home in India. Ashima sees that inside the […]

The Astronaut Farmer

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic material, peril and language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material, peril and language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Once upon a time there was a farmer who wanted to build a rocket ship and orbit the earth. And there were some evil ogres who wanted to stop him. That’s the best way to describe this slight fairy tale […]

Breach

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content and language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content and language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Robert Hanssen was the head of the Soviet department in the FBI. And he was working for the enemy. Over a period of 22 years, he sold vital secrets to the Soviet and Russian governments for $1.5 million, resulting in […]

Black Snake Moan

posted by jmiller
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong sexual content, language, some violence and drug use.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, language, some violence and drug use.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Things are not going well for Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson). He has been living a life right out of a blues song. His wife left him. For his brother. And now, he has found an almost-naked young woman, badly beaten, […]

Bridge to Terabithia

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements including bullying, some peril and mild language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements including bullying, some peril and mild language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Thirty years ago, a young mother named Katherine Paterson wrote a book to console her son David after his close friend was killed in an accident. That book went on to win the Newberry, children’s publishing’s highest honor, and to […]

The Namesake

posted by jmiller
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexuality/nudity, a scene of drug use, some disturbing images and brief language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexuality/nudity, a scene of drug use, some disturbing images and brief language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Ashima (Indian superstar Tabu) pauses before entering the living room to meet her prospective bridegroom and his family. Their shoes have been left outside the door, according to the customs of her home in India. Ashima sees that inside the […]

The Messengers

posted by jmiller
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, disturbing violence and terror.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, disturbing violence and terror.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

The trailers for “The Messengers” don’t do it justice — there’s a lot more potential in this movie than appears in the Grudge– and The Omen-like snippets shown as teasers. The idea isn’t bad. It’s in living up to this […]

The Situation

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, language and a scene of sexuality.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, language and a scene of sexuality.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Parents should know that this film contains disturbing wartime violence involving military and insurgent groups. Characters are injured and killed. There are some non-explicit sexual situations. Characters drink, smoke, and use some strong language. A strength of the movie is […]

Blood and Chocolate

posted by jmiller
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence/terror, some sexuality and substance abuse.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence/terror, some sexuality and substance abuse.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

There was enthusiastic applause in the theater when the name of author Annette Curtis Klause appeared in the opening credits. The book, about a teenage girl in Maryland whose werewolf issues serve as a metaphor for the sometimes-disturbing forces in […]

Smokin’ Aces

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong bloody violence, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody violence, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

This is a flashy, nasty, hyper-violent story about a lot of people who are very, very interested in a snitch, magician and five time entertainer-of-the-year Buddy “Aces” Israel (Jeremy Piven). He’s about to turn state’s evidence against his long-time cronies […]

Catch and Release

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

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

Freedom Writers

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violent content, some thematic material and language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violent content, some thematic material and language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Here is the formula for movies about idealistic young teachers who go into bad neighborhoods: 1. Idealistic teacher goes into bad neighborhood and is aghast at poor conditions and cynicism of the school administration. 2. Students treat teacher with contempt […]

Notes on a Scandal

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some aberrant sexual content.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some aberrant sexual content.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Long-time teacher Barbara Covett (Judi Dench) doesn’t even pretend to care anymore. The other teachers come back from summer break with thoughtful reports — or apparently thoughtful reports — on their departments and their plans, but she turns in three […]

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

posted by jmiller
F+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for aberrant behavior involving nudity, violence, sexuality, and disturbing images.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
F+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for aberrant behavior involving nudity, violence, sexuality, and disturbing images.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

It’s an engaging idea — to make a movie about the one sense least able to be evoked by film, the sense of smell. The great triumph of the cinema is the way it unites sound, words, and images to […]

Children of Men

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence, language, some drug use and brief nudity.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, language, some drug use and brief nudity.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

“A baby is God’s opinion life should go on,” Carl Sandburg said. So, in a world where babies have stopped being born and the death of the youngest person on earth is an international tragedy, there seems to be no […]

Dreamgirls

posted by jmiller
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language, some sexuality and drug content.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language, some sexuality and drug content.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

If my movie reviews had headlines, this one’s would be: “A Star is Born.” More like a Supernova. Jennifer Hudson explodes onto screen in this incendiary production of the Broadway musical inspired by Motown and the Supremes. She is mesmerizing. […]

The Good Shepherd

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some violence, sexuality and language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violence, sexuality and language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

You can see what drew director Robert DeNiro and co-producer Francis Ford Coppola to this film about the beginnings of the CIA. It resonates with many of the same themes as their great triumph Godfather II. In both stories, men […]

Rocky Balboa

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for boxing violence and some language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for boxing violence and some language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

“You throw a big shadow,” someone tells Sylvester Stallone in his sixth appearance as heavyweight Rocky Balboa, the character he created for the Oscar-winning Rocky). And those five previous films throw a big shadow, indeed, making this slight coda seem […]

Miss Potter

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG brief mild language
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG brief mild language
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

As delicate as the title character’s watercolors, this gentle story about the author and illustrator of The Tale of Peter Rabbit very winning. Renee Zellwegger plays the quiet daughter of conventional parents who don’t quite know how to respond to […]

The Pursuit of Happyness

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

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

Blood Diamond

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence and language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence and language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

December brings us the thinking person’s thrillers — all of the explosions and shooting and close calls of a summer movie, but with a more serious purpose and a more distinguished pedigree. Like Syriana and Traffic, this is the story […]

We Are Marshall

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for emotional thematic material, a crash scene, and mild language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for emotional thematic material, a crash scene, and mild language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

At least in movies, sports are almost always about redemption, community, and triumph. Sports — like movies — provide a controlled world with boundaries within which we can work through issues that seem insurmountably complex outside the chalk lines on […]

Apocalypto

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sequences of graphic violence and disturbing images
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sequences of graphic violence and disturbing images
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

There are at least three movies here and two of them are great. There is the classic adventure saga of the hero who is trying to get home and save his family. Mel Gibson, as director, has created brilliant action […]

The Good German

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, violence and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, violence and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Director Steven Soderbergh has created a loving tribute to the films of the 1940’s that is more accomplished than effective. It is such a meticulous re-creation of the techniques and technology of the era that it seems jarring to see […]

The Holiday

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some strong language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some strong language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Amanda (Cameron Diaz) has a successful business cutting up new Hollywood releases into three-minute trailers that make the films look as enticing as possible. Writer-director Nancy Meyers essentially cuts up classic romantic comedies and reassembles them for modern consumption. The […]

Charlotte’s Web

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated G
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated G
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

E.B. White’s book, Charlotte’s Web, is a genuine classic for readers of any age, a beautifully written literary novel about loyalty and loss, friendship and the importance of a perfectly chosen word. The book began with a little girl named […]

Turistas

posted by jmiller
F+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic violence and disturbing content, sexuality, nudity, drug use and language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

The growing trend in horror is to be as disgusting as possible — the story need not be involved, as long as it includes some form of stainless-steel torture and preferably five to six young backpackers/tourists/campers/other people away from home. […]

The Nativity Story

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some violent content.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some violent content.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Jean Kerr once wrote of school Christmas pageant with a moving depiction of the nativity that consisted of two young children crossing a bare stage. They stopped briefly. Joseph said, “Mary, ’tis a cold, cold night.” “‘Tis,” she replied. And […]

Deja Vu

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and terror, disturbing images and some sensuality.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and terror, disturbing images and some sensuality.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

A heart-pounding thriller with a time-travel twist, “Deja Vu” will not leave you thinking you’ve seen it all before. Denzel Washington plays Doug Carlin, an ATF agent called in to investigate a bombing. Someone, perhaps a terrorist, has blown up […]

Opal Dream

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements, language and some violence.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements, language and some violence.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote in The Little Prince, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” That is the theme of this gentle story about a little girl whose […]

Harsh Times

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence, language and drug use.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, language and drug use.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

If David Ayer the director paid David Ayer the screenwriter for this script, he should ask himself for some of his money back. The screenplay is awfully close to Ayer’s own Training Day, the film that won Denzel Washington his […]

A Good Year

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Plonk is a Britishism for cheap, low-quality wine — not undrinkable, by any means, just nothing special. As much could be said for this film, lightly based on the helium-weight plonk of a best-seller by Peter Mayle. Some movies begin […]

Babel

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, some graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, some graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

In the Bible, the story of Babel is a cautionary tale of hubris. The whole world had a common language until God, seeing that the people were building a huge tower together, “confused their speech.” They could no longer understand […]

Stranger Than Fiction

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some disturbing images, sexuality, brief language and nudity.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some disturbing images, sexuality, brief language and nudity.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Who among us has not leaned into the bathroom mirror as we brushed our teeth, thinking about what a narrator might be saying about us if we were in a story? “Our hero prepared for battle as though he was […]

Running With Scissors

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong language and elements of sexuality, violence and substance abuse.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong language and elements of sexuality, violence and substance abuse.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

The appeal for actors of movies about hideously dysfunctional people is obvious. They’re fun to play, and always good for awards consideration. Which script would you go for, the umpty-umpth “meet cute” romantic comedy or the one where you play […]

Catch a Fire

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving torture and abuse, violence and brief language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving torture and abuse, violence and brief language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

A sizzling performance by Derek Luke ignites this story about Patrick Chamusso, a South African oil refinery worker who became caught up in the fight against apartheid. Chamusso who did his best to stay out of trouble and care for […]

The Prestige

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence and disturbing images.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence and disturbing images.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

As if we should believe him, Hugh Jackman’s character proclaims in “The Prestige” that magicians have a “circle of trust.” “The Prestige” takes that circle of trust and twists it into a Russian roulette, with Jackman betting on black and […]

Flags of Our Fathers

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sequences of graphic war violence and carnage, and for language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sequences of graphic war violence and carnage, and for language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Clint Eastwood’s first of two films about the WWII battle at Iwo Jima is sincere, competent, and respectful. He powerfully conveys the madness and brutality of battle and the conflicting feelings of thosw who fight — dedication, loyalty, patriotism, fear, […]

Marie Antoinette

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity and innuendo.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity and innuendo.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

With this third film, we can begin to see the themes emerging in the work of writer/director Sofia Coppola. Again, she has given us the story of a sensitive, vulnerable young woman trying to find a place and some meaning […]

Flicka

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

“No one’s riding that loco thing!” Well, of course as soon as we hear that line we know someone’s going to have to ride it. And in this very fine family film, the rider will be Katy (Alison Lohman), just […]

The Grudge 2

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, disturbing images/terror/violence, and some sensuality.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, disturbing images/terror/violence, and some sensuality.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

There are two types of people who awake with an uneasy feeling on Friday the 13th: the superstitious, and those who just can’t stomach the release of another horror sequel, remake, or (in this case), sequel to a remake. But […]

Man of the Year

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language including some crude sexual references, drug related material, and brief violence.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language including some crude sexual references, drug related material, and brief violence.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

So, what if Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert decided to run for President? First of all, didn’t we already see that movie, when it was called Head of State and starred Chris Rock? (Okay, he didn’t play a comedian, but […]

The Queen

posted by jmiller
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) is feeling more triumphant than nervous as he goes to Buckingham Palace for the queen’s formal invitation to serve. He and his wife all but snicker as they consider the anachronism of royalty in the modern […]

The Departed

posted by jmiller
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong brutal violence, pervasive language, some strong sexual content and drug material.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Brilliantly acted, enthrallingly told, this vast, operatic saga centers on two men, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) and William Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), both Boston Southies. Both are pretending to be the opposite of what they really are. Both are caught between […]

The Guardian

posted by jmiller
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action/peril, brief strong language and some sensuality.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action/peril, brief strong language and some sensuality.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

“Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed the passage with you?” […]

Haven

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, drug use, sexual content and some violence.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, drug use, sexual content and some violence.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Director Frank E. Flowers’ full-length debut, “Haven,” is a study in sin. Set mostly in the Cayman Islands, the film’s characters live in a world where the stakes are high and the people are higher. It could be written off […]

The Science of Sleep

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, some sexual content and nudity.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some sexual content and nudity.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Stephane (Gael Garcia Bernal of The Motorcycle Diaries) lives across the hall from Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), though for some reason he goes to elaborate lengths to have her think he lives on the other side of town. They share more […]

Jet Li’s Fearless

posted by jmiller
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence and martial arts action throughout.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence and martial arts action throughout.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

It does not have the ravishing images of Hero but it does not have the cheesy plot of Cradle 2 the Grave, either. For his last action film, Jet Li has decided to give us a reverential biopic about Huo […]

Flyboys

posted by jmiller
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for war action violence and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for war action violence and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Has this script been in a drawer somewhere since 1942? It sure seems like it. It’s “inspired” by the absorbing true story of Americans who enlisted with the French armed forces in World War I, flying aircraft that were more […]

All the King’s Men

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:N/A
Movie Release Date:1949
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: N/A
Movie Release Date: 1949

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

Gridiron Gang

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some startling scenes of violence, mature thematic material and language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some startling scenes of violence, mature thematic material and language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

The biggest shock in this film comes at the very end. It is not a spoiler to say that there’s the usual “here’s what happened to the characters” round-up. The shocker is the reminder that the murderers and drug dealers […]

The Last Kiss

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexuality, nudity and language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexuality, nudity and language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

A man tells his pregnant girlfriend he will marry her when she can name three couples who have been happy together for more than five years. She offers her parents and “that cute couple from the pond.” He reminds her […]

The Black Dahlia

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence, some grisly images, sexual content and language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, some grisly images, sexual content and language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Director Brian de Palma is all about the look and the mood and paying tribute to the classic old movies he loves. He loves them so much he crawls inside them. He imitates them like an art student sitting in […]

The Protector

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive strong violence and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive strong violence and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Martial arts actor Tony Jaa’s follow-up to his breakout performance, 2003’s Ong-bak, could be called Kill Bill with a conscience. The violence is so pervasive that viewers can’t help but become increasingly desensitized, and there’s a clear attention to style […]

Hollywoodland

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, some violence and sexual content.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some violence and sexual content.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Is there a more heartbreakingly unsolveable mystery than a suicide? The only person who really knows what happened is gone. Even if we find out the how, we who are left behind will always wonder why. Those who are still […]

The Wicker Man

posted by jmiller
F+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for disturbing images and violence, language and thematic issues.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
F+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for disturbing images and violence, language and thematic issues.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Fans of the original The Wicker Man appreciate the film for many reasons: Its dichotomy of paganism and Christianity, its skillful use of Celtic folk music, its eerie and overbearing ambience. Although some might find it slow, disturbing, and at […]

Crank

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, sexuality, nudity and drug use.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, sexuality, nudity and drug use.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Crank — as in the highly potent and highly agitating street drug, as in cranked up, as in dizzying cuts and swoops with the camera to replicate a disorienting strung-out high followed by an even more disorienting and strung-out crash. […]

Crossover

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

This is one air ball of a movie, a talented cast and an appealing idea stranded by a clunky script. It shoots. And it shoots and shoots and shoots, but it never scores. Tech (Anthony Mackie) works in the mall, […]

Little Miss Sunshine

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, some sex and drug content.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some sex and drug content.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

When the family in this movie learns that their van cannot be repaired in time for them to get to the Little Miss Sunshine competition, they decide to drive it as is. And that means that in order to get […]

Idlewild

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, sexuality, nudity and language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, sexuality, nudity and language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Percival, a mortician by day/speakeasy piano player by night, sleeps under an assortment of singing cuckoo clocks and serenades a lovely corpse dressed as a bride. The engraved rooster on a silver liquor flask talks to its owner, also named […]

Material Girls

posted by jmiller
F+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language and rude humor.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
F+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language and rude humor.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

The problem with a movie about rich people learning about real life that is written by rich people who have no idea about real life is that you end up with something like this — a movie about two rich […]

The Illusionist

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

This feels like a fairy tale, so I will begin: “Once upon a time…” …there was a princess who loved a commoner but was engaged to a cruel prince. The commoner and the princess played together as children, but when […]

Invincible

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sports action and some mild language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sports action and some mild language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

In this movie, a father tells his son that one great touchdown by Steve Van Buren of the Philadelphia Eagles got him through 30 years of factory work. We often identify so completely with the teams and athletes we love […]

Step Up

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, brief violence and innuendo.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, brief violence and innuendo.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

A ballet dancer needs a partner for the biggest show of the year. She sees a boy working off his community service time at her school showing some of his dance moves off to a friend. Could he do? Will […]

World Trade Center

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense and emotional content, some disturbing images and language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense and emotional content, some disturbing images and language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

September 11, 2001 was one of those days that cleave history in two, forever separating the Before and the After as irrecovably as it separated those who were lost from those who survived. As we watched it over and over […]

The Night Listener

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some disquieting sexual content.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some disquieting sexual content.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Armistad Maupin (Tales of the City) didn’t trust his own story in his adaptation of his novel inspired by something that happened to him. But what could have been a thoughtful psychological drama raising issues of identity and trust and […]

Miami Vice

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

The original “Miami Vice” was Michael Mann’s decade-defining television show. It ran from 1984-89 and everything about it was fresh, edgy, and influential. The t-shirt under the Armani jacket with photogenic beard stubble look, the best-selling techno-synth musical theme that […]

My Super Ex-Girlfriend

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, crude humor, language and brief nudity.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, crude humor, language and brief nudity.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Even with a face contorted with rage and vengeance and a voice echoing through the streets of New York as well as the theater, it’s difficult not to like Uma Thurman as the needy, controlling and manipulative Jenny Johnson/G-girl. The […]

The Devil Wears Prada

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sensuality.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sensuality.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

It is just too bad Meryl Streep is so good at drama and suffering and accents and stuff like that because that means we don’t get enough of a chance to see how brilliantly funny she is. Her under-appreciated work […]

Click

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language, crude and sex-related humor, and some drug references.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language, crude and sex-related humor, and some drug references.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Like Tom Cruise, Adam Sandler has based his career on playing shallow, callow boy-men who learn painful for him/humorous for us lessons about the importance of growing up. Those stories have enduring appeal on two levels. First, we get the […]

Waist Deep

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

A standard gangsta bang-bang movie with a script like a rap song benefits from charismatic performers and smooth writing and direction by Vondie Curtis Hall, who plays it like an urban western — a strong, quiet loner takes on a […]

The Lake House

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some language and a disturbing image.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some language and a disturbing image.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

In honor of Sandra Bullock’s best all-time movie opening with “The Proposal,” this week’s DVD pick is another Bullock favorite. Movie romances must have two things: an obstacle to keep the apart and a reason to root for them to […]

Peaceful Warrior

posted by jmiller
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sensuality, sex references and accident scenes.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sensuality, sex references and accident scenes.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

A Prairie Home Companion

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for risque humor.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for risque humor.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Garrison Keillor’s voice is a national treasure. It is so warm, so magnetic, even hypnotic that it lulls you into a whole different dimension, an idealized past located somewhere between innocent nostalgia and ironic self-awareness, as though Norman Rockwell painted […]

The Break-Up

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

Someone should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission about false advertising for this film. The trailer and the ads indicate that it is a romantic comedy. But it is, in fact, neither romantic nor a comedy; it’s more […]

The Da Vinci Code

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for disturbing images, violence, some nudity, thematic material, brief drug references and sexual content.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

A character in this movie’s version of the Catholic organization Opus Dei explains that their mission is to follow doctrine very strictly. That was director Ron Howard’s secular mission as well with this adaptation of the world-wide best-seller. He and […]

Poseidon

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense prolonged sequences of disaster and peril.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense prolonged sequences of disaster and peril.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

This remake is so stripped down it doesn’t even have time for two of the three words of the original: this isn’t The Poseidon Adventure — it’s just “Poseidon.” If they remake it, it will be called “Pos.” Top-notch action […]

Goal!

posted by jmiller

A soccer-mad friend sat beside me in the theater, leaning over from time to time to explain what was going on in the game on the screen or point out an in-joke about the appearance of a real-life figure from […]

Stick It

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some crude remarks
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:July 29, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some crude remarks
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: July 29, 2012

If the Olympics has sparked an interest in gymnastics, take a look at this fresh, fun, funny, and smart story about a teenager “sentenced” to return to the gymnastics training she thought she had left behind.  It has all the […]

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

posted by jmiller
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

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, […]

United 93

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, and some intense sequences of terror and violence
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:September 10, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, and some intense sequences of terror and violence
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: September 10, 2012

Someday the events of 9/11/01 will be distant enough that we will see some meaningful and illuminating works of art inspired by it.  That seems a long way off, but some filmmakers have taken the first steps in that direction. […]

The Sentinel

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some intense action violence and a scene of sensuality.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some intense action violence and a scene of sensuality.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

What this movie gets right is the dry, cynical, slightly gallows-ish humor of people who spend their lives on constant alert, knowing that 999 out of a thousand of the “suspicious” activities they check out will be nothing. They are […]

Lucky Number Slevin

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence, sexuality and language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, sexuality and language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Slevin (Josh Harnett) is not having a good week. He lost his job and his girlfriend. He was mugged and his wallet and suitcase were stolen. He decided to visit a friend, who seems to have disappeared. But the door […]

ATL

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for drug content, language, sexual material and some violence.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for drug content, language, sexual material and some violence.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

The star of this movie is first-time director Chris Robinson, who took an appealing but conventional story of five friends on the brink of adulthood and made it come alive with a vibrant, pulsing, slightly cynical but ultimately hopeful tone […]

Basic Instinct 2

posted by jmiller
F-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong sexuality, nudity, violence, language and some drug content.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
F-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexuality, nudity, violence, language and some drug content.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Someone should tell Sharon Stone that you can’t step in the same river twice. Or you can’t go home again. Or that for every Godfather II there are a hundred Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloos. Anything to stop another big, boring […]

Take the Lead

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material, language and some violence.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material, language and some violence.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

It never fails. No matter how many times rap songs win the Oscar, no matter how many years have passed since Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were at the top of the box office as they danced the Carioca and […]

Inside Man

posted by jmiller
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some violent images.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some violent images.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Spike Lee’s brilliant direction and a clever and surprising script from first-timer Russell Gewirtz provide an ideal setting for four of the most watchable actors in the business in a heist film that transcends and tweaks its genre. It has […]

Akeelah and the Bee

posted by jmiller
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

“Prestidigitation.” Akeelah (Keke Palmer) has just won her school’s spelling bee and everyone is impressed and proud. But Dr. Larrabee (Laurence Fishburne), who, like Keke, grew up in Compton, pushes her further, with this long word that means magic. “Prestidigiation.” […]

Previous Posts

The Meddler
Marnie (Susan Sarandon) is the irresistible force who, just before this movie starts, meets the immovable object: devastating grief in ...

posted 11:42:17am May. 01, 2016 | read full post »

May 2016: Movies This Month
Happy May! The blockbuster movie season officially starts this week with the latest superhero movie from Marvel, and the month will end with another superhero movie as well. But we'll get some good smaller movies, too. Here's what I'm looking ...

posted 12:18:04am May. 01, 2016 | read full post »

Trailer: The Magnificent Seven (and the Earlier Versions)
Denzel Washington, Vincent D'Onofrio, Matt Bomer, Ethan Hawke, Vinnie Jones, Peter Sarsgaard, and Chris Pratt star in the remake of "The Magnificent Seven," and they've released a teaser ...

posted 3:10:55pm Apr. 29, 2016 | read full post »

Bono is Making a Film About the Psalms with Pastor Eugene Peterson
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qYx4F3bAc44" frameborder="0"] Rock star and humanitarian Bono and retired Presbyterian Pastor Eugene Peterson have teamed up to release a new documentary about the book of Psalms. ...

posted 8:00:30am Apr. 29, 2016 | read full post »

Keanu
I laughed so much and so hard at this movie that by the time it was over I had become of those Key and Peele show parking valets. I just ...

posted 5:58:07pm Apr. 28, 2016 | read full post »