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genre

  • Action
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quality

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

who's watching

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age range

  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
  • 4th - 6th grade
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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 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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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.” […]

V for Vendetta

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

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November, gunpowder treason and plot. I see no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.” Who says good-looking, brawny action flicks cannot also have brains to match? “V for Vendetta,” based on Alan […]

Find Me Guilty

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

Director Sidney Lumet revisits the themes of two of his most memorable films in this movie, but with less success. Like Dog Day Afternoon, it is a true story with colorful characters and both comic and tragic overtones. Like 12 […]

16 Blocks

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence, intense sequences of action, and some strong language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, intense sequences of action, and some strong language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

When a cop at a crime scene needs someone to stay with the bodies until the detectives arrive, he asks “who don’t we need?” That would be tired, slow, Jack Mosley (Bruce Willis). As soon as the other cops leave, […]

Madea’s Family Reunion

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, domestic violence, sex and drug references.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, domestic violence, sex and drug references.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

As the Borg say on “Star Trek,” “Resistance is futile.” Don’t even try to get in the way of Madea, that pistol-packing, Bible-thumping, larger than life powerhouse and force for good creation of Tyler Perry, who also plays the part. […]

Freedomland

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

This movie’s inability to live up to its potential is nearly as epic as its misleading title. In other hands, “Freedomland” might have played a jazz-like riff of personal loss and moving vignettes against the 4/4 beat of racial injustice […]

Final Destination 3

posted by jmiller
F
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong horror violence/gore, language and some nudity.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
F
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong horror violence/gore, language and some nudity.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

It’s like deja vu, says the main character, only of something I haven’t done yet. Wow, get out of my head, Wendy! We are barely minutes into “Final Destination 3” and already we, the audience, are sharing her feeling. We […]

Firewall

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

What can you do if you want to rob a bank and hotshot Harrison Ford has designed a foolproof security system? Well, firewalls may be unbreakable, but people are not. So, you tell him that if he doesn’t break into […]

Eight Below

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

The dogs rescue the humans, but will the humans rescue the dogs? Can they? A scientist (Bruce Greenwood) arrives at a National Science Foundation base in Antarctica, in search of a rare meteor. Vehicles are too heavy to take over […]

Imagine Me & You

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

Love at first sight can be thrilling, but it can very very inconvenient when it happens to a bride who is walking down the aisle at the time. Especially if the loved-at-first-sight object of affection is another woman. Rachel (Piper […]

Annapolis

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

Sincere performances and some star charisma can’t save this movie from its derivative screenplay, a retread of every “callow youth learns what it means to be a man” service drama. This movie samples An Officer and a Gentleman and Top […]

Something New

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

They are so afraid we won’t get the point that this movie has our heroine literally letting down her hair, literally putting some color into her beige world, and — in case we still don’t get it — literally having […]

The New World

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

It is beautiful to look at. Director Terrence Malick knows how to create images of stunning beauty and power. Those images are especially compelling in this story of Captain John Smith and the because they show us what it was […]

End of the Spear

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

Can you forgive the unforgiveable? Fifty years ago, five American missionaries were killed by members of the most violent culture ever studied by anthropologists, the Waodani tribe in Ecuador. The homicide rate was 60 percent. The widows and children and […]

Glory Road

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for racial issues including violence and epithets, and momentary language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for racial issues including violence and epithets, and momentary language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

A man who coaches high school girls’ basketball gets a job at a small Texas school and not only takes them to the nationals, where they defeat the long-time champions in a stunning upset, he changes the course of college […]

Tristan + Isolde

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences and some sexuality.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences and some sexuality.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Tristan and Isolde have suffered enough. This movie feels like overkill. Oh, their legend will survive. But this classic comics-style perfume commercial of a re-telling will not. The ampersand is a giveaway. “And” isn’t good enough? An ampersand is, what, […]

The Corn is Green

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:N/A
Movie Release Date:1945
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: N/A
Movie Release Date: 1945
DVD Release Date: 2006

Miss Moffat (Bette Davis), an educated and very independent woman, arrives in a small Welsh mining village in 1895 to live in a house she inherited and start a school for the miners’ children. She is told, “Down here, they’re […]

Match Point

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some sexuality.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some sexuality.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

In Stardust Memories, Woody Allen’s character refers to his mother’s cooking as putting food through the “deflavorizing machine.” His latest movie feels as though he has taken his complex and powerful Crimes and Misdemeanors abd put it through a deflavorizing […]

The Family Stone

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual content including dialogue, and drug references.
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual content including dialogue, and drug references.
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

If you believe the previews or have seen the poster of an aggressively extended and bejeweled ring finger, then you might presume that “The Family Stone” is going to be a light-hearted romp of a comedy. Boy brings home uptight […]

Rumor Has It

posted by jmiller
F+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexual content, crude humor and a drug reference.
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
F+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexual content, crude humor and a drug reference.
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

In the savage satire The Player, actor/screenwriter Buck Henry makes a hilarious pitch for a sequel to The Graduate, something of a savage satire itself, though cloaked in the garb of a romantic fantasy of rebellion and authenticity. The thing […]

Brokeback Mountain

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexuality, nudity, language and some violence.
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexuality, nudity, language and some violence.
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

Director Ang Lee is a master of repressed love whether between young Taiwanese men in The Wedding Banquet, Jane Austen’s class-conscious Brits in Sense & Sensibility, duty-bound warriors in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, or even monsters and scientists in The […]

King Kong

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for frightening adventure violence and some disturbing images.
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for frightening adventure violence and some disturbing images.
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

This is not just one of the most thrilling action movies ever made – it is more like five or six of the most thrilling action movies ever made. It is not quite twice as long as the usual movie, […]

Last Holiday

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual reference.
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual reference.
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

Every night, Georgia Bird (Queen Latifah) cooks a spectacular meal, arranges everything perfectly, takes a picture of it for her “possibilities” scrapbook and then feeds it to the boy who lives next door while she microwaves a frozen diet dinner […]

Munich

posted by jmiller
A
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong graphic violence, some sexual content, nudity and language.
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
A
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic violence, some sexual content, nudity and language.
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meier said, “I can forgive them for killing my children. I cannot forgive them for forcing my children to kill theirs.” At the 1972 Olympic games in Munich, there was very little security because the Germans […]

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

posted by jmiller
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for battle sequences and frightening moments.
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for battle sequences and frightening moments.
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

The perennial children’s classic by C. S. Lewis has been lovingly, thrillingly, enchantingly, brilliantly brought to screen in this flawless adaptation of the first of the “Narnia” series. (Note for purists — yes, it is chronologically the second in the […]

Syriana

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence and language.
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence and language.
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

Most movies tell us everything and then they tell it to us again, just to make sure. Some movies, like this one, tell us too little, making us work at it, making us lean forward in our seats, fill in […]

Casanova

posted by jmiller
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some sexual content
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some sexual content
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

Mistake number one may be the title. There may be times in history when it is possible to have an appealing lead character whose primary interest in life is women, but this doesn’t seem to be it. For centuries, people […]

Rent

posted by jmiller

When thinking about a Tony- and Pulitzer-prize winning musical based on an opera, an almost-entirely-sung story about homeless artists, some of them drug addicts, some infected with the AIDS virus, the director of Mrs. Doubtfire is not the first thought […]

Flightplan

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2005

It’s always a bad sign in a thriller when the big reveal is greeted by hoots of derisive laughter, and that’s what happened at this movie. It’s an even worse sign when two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster is out-acted by […]

An Unfinished Life

posted by rkumar
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence including domestic abuse, and language.
Movie Release Date:2005
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence including domestic abuse, and language.
Movie Release Date: 2005

A bear is wandering through farms looking for something to eat. An angry and abusive man is following the woman who left him because he wants her to come back, or because he wants to hit her again, or both. […]

G

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2002
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2002

Audacious, ambitious, and provocative but uneven and ultimately unsatisfying, this long-delayed film adapts F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel of class, love, and power, The Great Gatsby, to the present. Instead of Jay Gatsby, the gangster who can’t forget the girl […]

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements, some sensuality and language.
Movie Release Date:2005
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements, some sensuality and language.
Movie Release Date: 2005

This is a story about one summer in the life of four friends, told with sincerity, heart, and a little bit of magic — the very same qualities that made the original book and its sequels a “you have to […]

Crash

posted by rkumar
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

Everyone is angry. Everyone is scared. They all feel that something that belongs to them has been taken away and they don’t know how to get it back. And in this movie, they say so. “Crash,” the winner of the […]

Sin City

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sustained strong stylized violence, nudity and sexual content including dialogue
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sustained strong stylized violence, nudity and sexual content including dialogue
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2005

Looming shadows fall starkly across rain-slick streets. A door chain jiggles because a very bad man wants to come in and hurt someone. Hookers pull guns from garter belts. Tough, tough talk comes from bruised lips that dangle cigarettes and […]

21 Grams

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2003
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2003

In “21 Grams,” a terrible collision shatters more than the lives of three people. It shatters the very narrative of the story itself. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu conveys the fractured disorientation of the three characters with clusters of brief scenes […]

Bloody Sunday

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2002
DVD Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2002
DVD Release Date: 2002

On January 30, 1972, thousands of civil rights demonstrators in Derry (Londonderry), Ireland, held a rally to protest the British Government’s use of internment without due process in Northern Ireland. British military forces were ordered into the unarmed crowd to […]

About Schmidt

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R
Movie Release Date:2002
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R
Movie Release Date: 2002

Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) sits at his desk as though he was standing at attention during a full-dress inspection. As he watches the clock move from 4:58 to 5:00, he is as clenched as a fist. It is Warren’s last […]

Panic Room

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2002

This thriller, in the claustrophobic mode of “Rear Window”, finds Meg (Jodie Foster), a recent divorcee, and her combative daughter Sarah (Kristen Stewart), trapped in the secret vault/bomb shelter/safe room set up by their apartment’s previous owner, a paranoid millionaire […]

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language and mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:1982
DVD Release Date:October 8, 2012
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language and mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: 1982
DVD Release Date: October 8, 2012

“E.T’s” 30th anniversary is being celebrated with a gorgeous new re-issue and I have one to give away.  To enter, send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with E.T in the subject line and tell me your favorite movie alien.  Don’t […]

Quiet Man

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1952
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1952

Plot: Tall American Sean Thornton (John Wayne) arrives in Innisfree, a small, beautiful Irish village and meets Michaeleen Flynn (Barry Fitzgerald), who drives him into town. Something of a busybody, Michaeleen is very curious, and is delighted to find that […]

Awakenings

posted by rkumar
A
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1990
A
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1990

Malcolm Sayer, a shy neurologist (Robin Williams), is assigned to work with patients for the first time after his research funding is cut off. His patients, all but catatonic, are in a ward called “the garden,” because their only treatment […]

Major Barbara

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1941
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1941

Plot: Major Barbara (Wendy Hiller) is a member of a mission devoted to saving souls, and she promotes temperance, non-violence, and socialism. Adolphus Cusins (Rex Harrison), a classics professor, falls in love with her, but before she accepts his proposal, […]

On the Waterfront

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:1954
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 1954

Plot: Based on a true story (with a less satisfying conclusion), this is the story of the men who had the courage to stand up to the corrupt longshoreman’s union. The union is controlled by Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb). […]

The Yearling

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1946
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1946

Plot: This quiet, thoughtful, visually striking adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings covers a year in the life of the Baxter family, post-Civil War settlers in remote Florida. The focus is on Jody (Claude Jarman, Jr.), […]

Life or Something Like It

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

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

High Noon

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1952
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1952

Plot: Marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper) marries Amy (Grace Kelly) and turns in his badge. She is a Quaker, and he has promised her to hang up his gun and become a shopkeeper. But they get word that Frank Miller […]

Deterrence

posted by rkumar
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and violence
Movie Release Date:2000
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and violence
Movie Release Date: 2000

Teens may think that it does not really matter who gets elected President. Or, they may think that the important issues in this year’s election are the domestic controversies that attract most of the coverage, like abortion and gun control. […]

Old Yeller

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1957
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1957

Plot: In 1869 Texas, Jim Coates (Fess Parker) says goodbye to his family, as he leaves for three months to sell their cattle. He tells his older son, Travis (Tommy Kirk) to take care of his mother, Katie (Dorothy McGuire) […]

Amadeus

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG (theatrical version)
Movie Release Date:1984
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG (theatrical version)
Movie Release Date: 1984

Antionio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham in an Oscar-winning performance), the court composer, should have been Mozart. He followed all the rules, worked hard, and cared deeply. Music was his life. Mozart (Tom Hulce) arrives, a bawdy, bratty, foolish boy whose […]

Passion of Mind

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

This is the movie equivalent of a juicy beach book, an old-fashioned guilty pleasure chick flick. The plot is “Sliding Doors” crossed with the fairy tale of the dancing princesses with a touch of “Truly Madly Deeply.” Demi Moore plays […]

Changing Lanes

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2002

Most thrillers have audiences asking themselves what the characters will do next. This one will have them asking themselves what they might do in this situation, because it is a movie about how close all of us are to abandoning […]

I Know Where I’m Going

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1946
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1946

Plot: As a baby, as a five year old, as a school girl, and as a young woman, Joan Webster (Wendy Hiller) always knows exactly what she wants. And whether it is “real silk stockings” instead of synthetic or dinner […]

Hollywood Ending

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2002
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2002

Woody Allen’s films seem to get whispier and more ephemeral every year. For all its small pleasures “Hollywood Ending” is so light it nearly floats off the screen. Allen plays Val, a movie director who is brilliant but so neurotic […]

All the President’s Men

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1976
DVD Release Date:June 11, 2012
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1976
DVD Release Date: June 11, 2012

This week is the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in and a good time to look at the Oscar-winning movie about the two reporters who would not give up on the story of the Watergate break-in, this is as gripping as […]

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1939
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1939

Plot: Naive Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart) is sent to Washington to serve the remaining term of a Senator who has died. The governor (Guy Kibbee), and businessman Jim Taylor (Edward Arnold) believe that Smith, the leader of a Boy Scouts-type […]

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