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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Epic/Historical Archives

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Trailer: Nicole Kidman Plays Gertrude Bell in “Queen of the Desert”

posted by Nell Minow

Nicole Kidman plays Gertrude Bell, the first woman to earn top honors in history at Oxford, fluent in six languages, and one of the great adventurers and scholars of the 20th century. Her spiritual home was the Middle East, where […]

New on DVD: Poldark

posted by Nell Minow

Winston Graham’s Poldark novels about a dashing Revolutionary war veteran inspired a very successful 1977 PBS series, now remade with “Hobbit” star Aiden Turner in the title role. It is available today on DVD.

New on DVD: Biblical Archeology of Israel

posted by Nell Minow

Alden Films presents “Biblical Archeology of Israel,” including:  ANCIENT ROOTS  — a compilation of recent discoveries in archaeological research in Israel   THE BOOK AND THE IDOL — Israel through the ages, from the stone age to biblical times   EXPLORERS […]

Far from the Madding Crowd

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 3, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 3, 2015

It may be a British costume drama based on a classic novel, but Thomas Hardy’s saga of a headstrong woman and the three marriage proposals from very different men is not the usual corsets and teacups. Far from the Madding […]

Selma

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic material including violence, a suggestive moment, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2014
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2015
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic material including violence, a suggestive moment, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2014
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2015

“Selma,” director Ava DuVernay’s film about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital at Montgomery, to make the case for the right to vote, is superb as biography, as history, and as […]

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images
Movie Release Date:December 19, 2014
DVD Release Date:March 23, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images
Movie Release Date: December 19, 2014
DVD Release Date: March 23, 2015

Visually stunning, capably presented, and utterly unnecessary, this final in the six-movie Tolkien cycle is just for the fans.  I think even Tolkien himself would cry “no mas” at this point.  Remember how the third LoTR movie had about five […]

Exodus: Gods and Kings

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence including battle sequences and intense images
Movie Release Date:December 12, 2014
DVD Release Date:March 16, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence including battle sequences and intense images
Movie Release Date: December 12, 2014
DVD Release Date: March 16, 2015

The story of Exodus is central to three of the world’s most significant religions and one of the Bible’s most cinematic stories, with a flawed but charismatic hero and a stirring story of slaves seeking freedom.  It has already been […]

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images and thematic material
Movie Release Date:November 21, 2014
DVD Release Date:March 6, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images and thematic material
Movie Release Date: November 21, 2014
DVD Release Date: March 6, 2015

It seems no different at first. While the second in the “Hunger Games” series ended with the surprise last-minute rescue of heroine Katniss Everden (Jennifer Lawrence), and the even bigger surprise that insider Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) was secretly […]

Exclusive Clip: Justin and the Knights of Valour

posted by Nell Minow

Freddie Highmore and Antonio Banderas star in the animated adventure Justin & The Knights of Valour, along with Charles Dance, Rupert Everett, Barry Humphries, Alfred Molina, Mark Strong, Julie Walters, Olivia Williams and Saoirse Ronan. I’m delighted to share an exclusive clip. […]

For Bastille Day: A Tale of Two Cities

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Bastille Day!   This is a great time to watch the classic “A Tale of Two Cities,” based on the book about the French Revolution by Charles Dickens.

Schoolhouse Rock Salutes the American Revolution

posted by Nell Minow

Walking With the Enemy

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:April 28, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: April 28, 2014

Why do we keep making movies about the Holocaust? Because we are still trying to understand one of the most shocking, inhumane tragedies in history. Because it is the essence of heightened, dramatic storylines, with the most depraved real-life villains, […]

Noah

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and brief suggestive content
Movie Release Date:March 28, 2014
DVD Release Date:July 28, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and brief suggestive content
Movie Release Date: March 28, 2014
DVD Release Date: July 28, 2014

“Noah” is a serious, thoughtful, reverent movie that, like its title character, wrestles with the big issues of morality, survivor guilt, and strengthening a connection to the divine.  It is also a big, grand adventure with drama and special effects. […]

The Grand Budapest Hotel

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, some sexual content, and violence
Movie Release Date:March 8, 2014
DVD Release Date:June 16, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some sexual content, and violence
Movie Release Date: March 8, 2014
DVD Release Date: June 16, 2014

Writer/director Wes Anderson loves precious little worlds and his movies are not just created, they are curated. There’s a reason that this film is named for its location, not its characters or plot. Anderson is the master of “saudade,” the […]

300: Rise of an Empire

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s a new term: this movie is neither a sequel nor a prequel to 300, the story of the 300 Spartans who died battling the vastly greater army of the Persians. This is a “side-quel,” a “meanwhile” story about what […]

Son of God

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense and bloody depiction of The Crucifixion, and for some sequences of violence
Movie Release Date:February 28, 2014
DVD Release Date:June 2, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense and bloody depiction of The Crucifixion, and for some sequences of violence
Movie Release Date: February 28, 2014
DVD Release Date: June 2, 2014

“Son of God,” re-cut and expanded from the popular miniseries produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, “The Bible,” tells the story of Jesus from birth to crucifixion and resurrection in a thoughtful, reverent, and dignified manner. This is a […]

Pompeii

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences, disaster-related action and brief sexual content
Movie Release Date:February 21, 2014
DVD Release Date:May 20, 2014
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences, disaster-related action and brief sexual content
Movie Release Date: February 21, 2014
DVD Release Date: May 20, 2014

In 79 AD Mount Vesuvius erupted, wiping out the city of Pompeii. Director Paul W.S. Anderson, who gave us movie versions of “Resident Evil” and “Mortal Kombat,” presents the story as a video game. If what you are looking for […]

The Monuments Men

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some images of war violence and historical smoking
Movie Release Date:February 7, 2014
DVD Release Date:May 19, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some images of war violence and historical smoking
Movie Release Date: February 7, 2014
DVD Release Date: May 19, 2014

Many years ago, my husband and I attended an art auction at which one item was a pencil drawing of a peaceful river setting, made by an Austrian art student in the early 20th century: Adolf Hitler.  The bidding opened […]

The Legend of Hercules

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense combat action and violence, and for some sensuality
Movie Release Date:January 10, 2014
DVD Release Date:April 29, 2014
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense combat action and violence, and for some sensuality
Movie Release Date: January 10, 2014
DVD Release Date: April 29, 2014

Director Renny Harlin has made a Hercules epic with drab, washed-out cinematography, poorly staged action scenes, incompetent acting, bad hair, terrible computer effects, and dialogue that lands more heavily than the title character’s punch. Even at just over 90 minutes […]

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 For extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images
Movie Release Date:December 13, 2013
DVD Release Date:April 7, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 For extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images
Movie Release Date: December 13, 2013
DVD Release Date: April 7, 2014

Everybody ups his game in this second of the three-part Peter Jackson version of J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit; or, There and Back Again.  The first one courageously tried out the new hyper-clear technology with twice as many frames per second […]

Ten Lessons from Schindler’s List

posted by Nell Minow

Steven Spielberg’s film about Oskar Schindler and the 1200 Jews he saved from being killed by the Nazis came out twenty years ago, based on the novel by Thomas Keneally (originally titled Schindler’s Ark).  Keneally happened on the story when he […]

12 Years a Slave

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence/cruelty, some nudity and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:October 18, 2013
DVD Release Date:March 3, 2014
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence/cruelty, some nudity and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: October 18, 2013
DVD Release Date: March 3, 2014

Watching “12 Years a Slave” is a shattering experience. It shatters any remaining illusions of gracious, chivalrous, Southern plantation life in the pre-Civil War era.  They were based on the late 19th century myth-making from the children of slave-owners in […]

Lee Daniels’ The Butler

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence and disturbing images, language, sexual material, thematic elements and smoking
Movie Release Date:August 16, 2013
DVD Release Date:January 13, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence and disturbing images, language, sexual material, thematic elements and smoking
Movie Release Date: August 16, 2013
DVD Release Date: January 13, 2014

Washington Post reporter Wil Haygood was covering the 2008 Obama campaign when some young black women told him that they were going to vote for America’s first major party Presidential candidate who was African-American, even though their fathers told them […]

Shakespeare’s Hollow Crown Plays Coming on DVD

posted by Nell Minow

Executive producer Sam Mendes (“American Beauty,” “Skyfall”) is presenting four stunning adaptations of some of William Shakespeare’s most revered historical plays.  The all-star cast includes Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers), Patrick Stewart (X-Men, Star Trek franchises), Jeremy Irons (Margin Call), Ben Whishaw […]

The Sword in the Stone

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1963
DVD Release Date:August 5, 2013
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1963
DVD Release Date: August 5, 2013

Disney is celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of its animated classics with a beautiful new Blu-Ray edition.  Based on The Once and Future King by T.H. White that also inspired the musical “Camelot,” “The Sword in the Stone” is the […]

Civil War Movies to Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

posted by Nell Minow

This week is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, still the greatest loss of life in American history, the turning point of the war, and the inspiration for one of the greatest speeches in history, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg […]

The Bible: Now on DVD

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:April 2, 2013
DVD Release Date:April 2, 2013
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: April 2, 2013
DVD Release Date: April 2, 2013

The hit television series is now available on DVD. “Audiences embraced The Bible in numbers and with passion we never could have anticipated,” producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett said the morning after the finale aired on Easter. “What a great […]

The Croods

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some scary action
Movie Release Date:March 22, 2013
DVD Release Date:October 1, 2013
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some scary action
Movie Release Date: March 22, 2013
DVD Release Date: October 1, 2013

I think we can all agree that at least in some respects all children are Neanderthals. It is the grand challenge of parenthood to civilize these sometimes savage little creatures by teaching them language, manners, and keeping safe.  And some […]

Phantom

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence
Movie Release Date:March 1, 2013
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence
Movie Release Date: March 1, 2013

Submarine movies are immediately gripping because they are powerful microcosms that amplify conflict.  A small group of people in very close quarters, highly trained and with an explicit mission are then completely disconnected from the rest of the world.  When […]

Jack the Giant Slayer

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense scenes of fantasy action violence, some frightening images, and brief language
Movie Release Date:March 1, 2013
DVD Release Date:June 17, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense scenes of fantasy action violence, some frightening images, and brief language
Movie Release Date: March 1, 2013
DVD Release Date: June 17, 2013

More action, more romance, more spectacle, a brave princess who wears armor and does not wait to be rescued, and lots more giants — this is a grand bedtime story 21st century-style.  As a boy, Jack (“Warm Bodies” Nicholas Hoult) […]

Celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday!

posted by Nell Minow

Celebrate the birthday of our 16th President with some of the classic movies about his life.  Reportedly, he has been portrayed more on screen than any other real-life character.         Coming soon to theaters: Saving Lincoln. Still […]

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong fantasy horror violence and gore, brief sexuality/nudity, and language
Movie Release Date:January 25, 2013
DVD Release Date:June 11, 2013
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong fantasy horror violence and gore, brief sexuality/nudity, and language
Movie Release Date: January 25, 2013
DVD Release Date: June 11, 2013

Once upon a time, a brother and sister were left in the woods by their father.  They came upon a house made of candy that turned out to be owned by a witch, who used it to lure children and […]

The Abolitionists

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
DVD Release Date:January 21, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
DVD Release Date: January 21, 2013

The new release from the PBS series “The American Experience” is a three-part story called “The Abolitionists,” the story of the fight to end slavery in the United States.  They were called radicals, agitators, and troublemakers. They thought of themselves […]

Inauguration Day

posted by Nell Minow

With all good wishes to the President, Congress, and the Senate! Check out the Washington Post’s interactive guide to all of the previous inaugurations.

Django Unchained

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong graphic violence throughout, a vicious fight, language, and some nudity
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2012
DVD Release Date:April 16, 2013
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic violence throughout, a vicious fight, language, and some nudity
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2012
DVD Release Date: April 16, 2013

How do you solve a problem like Tarantino? The prodigiously talented writer/director is a master of style, sensation, and a uniquely muscular kind of cinematic storytelling that builds on a stunning ability to mash up high and low art in […]

Les Misérables

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for suggestive and sensual material, violence, and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2012
DVD Release Date:March 22, 2013
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for suggestive and sensual material, violence, and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2012
DVD Release Date: March 22, 2013

Fair warning: I seem to be impervious to the appeal of “Les Misérables.”  I was not a fan of the stage show or the songs, but I understand that it is the most popular musical of all time, and I […]

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images
Movie Release Date:December 14, 2012
DVD Release Date:November 4, 2013
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images
Movie Release Date: December 14, 2012
DVD Release Date: November 4, 2013

As the second in the Hobbit trilogy is about to be released, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition).  Director Peter Jackson returns to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth for this “Lord of the Rings” prequel, the adventure of young Bilbo […]

Lincoln

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:November 9, 2012
DVD Release Date:March 25, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: November 9, 2012
DVD Release Date: March 25, 2013

The first question about big, prestige films like “Lincoln” is always where it falls on what I call the spinach scale.  Will I tell people to see it because it is entertaining or because it is good for them.  For […]

Cloud Atlas

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, language, sexuality/nudity, and some drug use
Movie Release Date:October 26, 2012
DVD Release Date:May 14, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, language, sexuality/nudity, and some drug use
Movie Release Date: October 26, 2012
DVD Release Date: May 14, 2013

Six nested stories set in the past, present, and future entwine grand themes of the conflicts between those who would oppress and those who demand freedom, those who must create and those who want to repeat what is already there, […]

Snow White and the Huntsman

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action and brief sensuality
Movie Release Date:June 1, 2012
DVD Release Date:September 11, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action and brief sensuality
Movie Release Date: June 1, 2012
DVD Release Date: September 11, 2012

Director Rupert Sanders is known for making television commercials that look like fairy tales, with angels falling from the sky for a guy who uses Axe body spray and a boy battling samurai warriors with Excalibur to sell X-Box game […]

For Greater Glory

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:June 1, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: June 1, 2012

In 1926, the atheist President of Mexico Plutarco Elias Calles (Rubén Blades) decided to secularize the country by edict.  He deported non-Mexican priests and prohibited the remaining priests from appearing outside of the churches in their cassocks.  Rebels fought back, at first with […]

“It’s May!” (Camelot)

posted by Nell Minow

Vanessa Redgrave sings “It’s May” from the Lerner and Lowe musical Camelot.

Titanic 3D

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for disaster-related peril and violence, nudity, sensuality, and brief language
Movie Release Date: April 4, 2012

Classic Greek tragedies explored the theme of hubris as human characters dared to take on the attributes of the gods only to find their hopes crushed. This is a real-life story of hubris, as the ship declared to be “unsinkable” […]

Wrath of the Titans

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action
Movie Release Date:March 30, 2012
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action
Movie Release Date: March 30, 2012

What I love best about classically trained British actors is that they are game for anything.  Whether it is a commercial for cough drops or a silly comedy they always bring their A-game.  Their timing and diction are impeccable and […]

Red Tails

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sequences of war violence
Movie Release Date:January 20, 2012
DVD Release Date:May 22, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sequences of war violence
Movie Release Date: January 20, 2012
DVD Release Date: May 22, 2012

The official military documents of the 1940’s said that African-Americans were “mentally inferior” “subservient and cowards” and not fit to fly planes.  The Tuskegee Airmen of WWII proved that African-Americans were outstanding pilots.  They had to fight to be trained […]

Martin Luther King: Movies to Celebrate His Legacy

posted by Nell Minow

Today we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King and every family should take time to talk about this great American leader and hero of the Civil Rights Movement. There are outstanding films and other resources for all ages. Every […]

The War Horse

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of war violence
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:April 3, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of war violence
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: April 3, 2012

The second Steven Spielberg movie of the week opens on Christmas Day, a grand epic, is big, long, ambitious, and showy.  It is a work by a master, but it is not a masterpiece.  Every detail is carefully considered.  Every […]

Hugo

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic material, some action/peril and smoking
Movie Release Date:November 23, 2011
DVD Release Date:February 27, 2012
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic material, some action/peril and smoking
Movie Release Date: November 23, 2011
DVD Release Date: February 27, 2012

Martin Scorsese’s enchanting “Hugo” is a thrillingly immersive adventure.  It is about two orphans trying to solve a mystery.  It is about the way that stories help us make sense of life.  It stretches from the very beginnings of movies […]

1776

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

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

The Man Who Would Be King

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

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

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action/adventure violence, some frightening images, sensuality and innuendo
Movie Release Date:May 20, 2011
DVD Release Date:October 18, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action/adventure violence, some frightening images, sensuality and innuendo
Movie Release Date: May 20, 2011
DVD Release Date: October 18, 2011

Jack is back. And he is doing what he does best — stealing the movie from everyone else.  Johnny Depp continues Captain Jack Sparrow’s conquest of center stage with this fourth in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, which abandons […]

The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:2003
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 2003

This week’s release of the new “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie is a good time to catch up with the original. Avast, me hearties and come hear the tale of a terrible pirate curse.   No, not the one about […]

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

posted by Nell Minow

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

List: Passover Movies

posted by Nell Minow

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

Young Mr. Lincoln

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

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

The Eagle

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

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

Movies to Celebrate the Life and Work of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

posted by Nell Minow

This weekend we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King and every family should take time to talk about this great American leader and hero of the Civil Rights Movement. There are outstanding films for all ages. Every family should […]

Season of the Witch

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

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

True Grit

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

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

Robin Hood

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence including intense scenes of warfare and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:May 14, 2010
DVD Release Date:September 21, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence including intense scenes of warfare and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: May 14, 2010
DVD Release Date: September 21, 2010

If, as the Gothic calligraphy tells us as the beginning of this film, tyrants inspire heroes, then the clear implication is that heroes inspire movies. And Robin Hood, who stole from the rich to give to the poor, has been […]

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action
Movie Release Date:May 28, 2010
DVD Release Date:September 14, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action
Movie Release Date: May 28, 2010
DVD Release Date: September 14, 2010

Roger Ebert launched a thousand blog posts with howls of protest by asserting that a video game could never be a work of art. I don’t say “never” when it comes to art, but by all evidence to this point, […]

Clash of the Titans

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence, some frightning images and brief sensuality
Movie Release Date:April 2, 2010
DVD Release Date:July 27, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence, some frightning images and brief sensuality
Movie Release Date: April 2, 2010
DVD Release Date: July 27, 2010

Director Louis Leterrier (the second “Hulk” movie) says that he was a big fan of the 1981 Clash of the Titans when he was a child. Perhaps that is why he has remade the wrong parts of that film. Nearly […]

The Declaration of Independence

posted by Nell Minow

The defining moment of our beginning as portrayed in the outstanding “John Adams” series on PBS. Let us all take inspiration from their courage and vision.

1776

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

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

The Adventures of Robin Hood

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

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

The Young Victoria

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild sensuality, a scene of violence, and brief incidental language and smoking
Movie Release Date:December 18, 2009
DVD Release Date:April 20, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild sensuality, a scene of violence, and brief incidental language and smoking
Movie Release Date: December 18, 2009
DVD Release Date: April 20, 2010

“The Young Victoria” is the story of a teenager who became a queen. Before she reigned for a record 63 years and gave her name to an age, she was a girl who was sheltered to the point of claustrophobia. […]

Inglourious Basterds

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong graphic violence, language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:August 21, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 15, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic violence, language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: August 21, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009

There is no question that writer-director Quentin Tarantino is a brilliant film-maker. But there is some question about whether he has yet made a brilliant film. No one takes a more visceral pleasure in movies than he does but there […]

Defiance

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence and language
Movie Release Date:January 16, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 2, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence and language
Movie Release Date: January 16, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 2, 2009

Cowriter-director Edward Zwick, who also made “Glory,” the story of an all-black Union regiment in the Civil War, spoke to me about why it was important to tell the story of the Bielski brothers, who kept 1200 Jews hidden from […]

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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

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

Australia

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

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

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for epic battle action and violence.
Movie Release Date:May 16, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 2, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for epic battle action and violence.
Movie Release Date: May 16, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 2, 2008

The Pevensie children are back in London and contemporary life seems pale and uninvolving compared to their adventures in the magical land of Narnia. As they wait for the Tube, a wall opens up and just as happened when they […]

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:July 2, 2008
DVD Release Date:October 28, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: July 2, 2008
DVD Release Date: October 28, 2008

“Kit Kittredge” is remarkable for what it is and just as remarkable for what it is not. It is wholesome but it is not sugary. It is family-friendly but it does not gloss over economic realities and family stress. It […]

The Duchess

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

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

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 […]

10,000 B.C.

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence.
Movie Release Date:March 7, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence.
Movie Release Date: March 7, 2008

If you are ten years old, a fan of video games, and have a short attention span and no knowledge of history, you will love this movie. The further you stray from these core qualifications, the less you will love […]

Song of Bernadette

posted by Nell Minow

The anniversary of the shrine at Lourdes is a good reminder of the lovely performance of Jennifer Jones in “Song of Bernadette,” the story of the young girl who saw “a beautiful lady” and became Saint Bernadette Soubirous.

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 […]

There Will Be Blood

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:R for some violence
Movie Release Date:January 4, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: R for some violence
Movie Release Date: January 4, 2008

It opens with a scorching contrast of light and darkness. Alone at the bottom of a dark pit, Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) stubbornly scratches and claws in the mud. High above, a pitiless sun bleaches a remote desert landscape. Plainview […]

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, […]

Atonement

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for disturbing war images, language and some sexuality.
Movie Release Date:December 7, 2007
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for disturbing war images, language and some sexuality.
Movie Release Date: December 7, 2007

Little toy jungle animals are lined up on the rug. Typewriter keys bang like gunshots. Briony (Saoirse Ronan) is writing a play called “The Trials of Arabella.” It is 1935 England, a dream of a summer afternoon on a sleepy […]

Love in the Time of Cholera

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content/nudity and brief language
Movie Release Date:November 16, 2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content/nudity and brief language
Movie Release Date: November 16, 2007

In the most incongruous mismatch of literature and movie treatment since Demi Moore flounced around in “The Scarlet Letter,” director Mike Newell has taken a lyrical meditation on love, patience, devotion, loss, betrayal, and fever and turned it into a […]

O Jerusalem

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some war scenes
Movie Release Date:October 17, 2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some war scenes
Movie Release Date: October 17, 2007

Good intentions often make bad movies.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Ice Age: The Meltdown

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

Once again, as in the first Ice Age, wooly mammoth Manny (voice of Ray Romano), sloth Sid (John Leguizamo), and saber tooth tiger Diego (Denis Leary) set off on a journey. This time, they have to lead their friends out […]

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 […]

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 […]

Alexander

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R
Movie Release Date:2004
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R
Movie Release Date: 2004

Alexander the person was great. “Alexander” the movie is not. It is a horrendously bad movie, a genuine 40-car pile-up of literally epic proportions, a three-way head-on collision of bad writing, bad acting, and bad direction. It is not just […]

The Alamo

posted by rkumar
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Movie Release Date:2004
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Movie Release Date: 2004

There is only one reason to see “The Alamo,” and it is Billy Bob Thornton. His portrayal of Davy Crockett is magnificently vibrant, fully imagined, and so breathtakingly evocative of the essence of the American hero that it may be […]

Enigma

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

One of the most important contributions to the Allied victory in World War II was a code-breaking operation that was so secret it was not revealed until 30 years later. Their deciphering of the Enigma code developed by the Germans […]

A Room With a View

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1986
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1986

Plot: Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) arrives in Italy with her strait-laced aunt Charlotte (Maggie Smith). Disappointed at not getting the room with a view they had been promised when making their reservations at the inn, they are not sure […]

The Scarlet and the Black

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1983
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1983

Plot: Gregory Peck plays Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty in this true story of WWII Rome. The Vatican had diplomatic neutrality, so that no one within its borders could be arrested. O’Flaherty used the Vatican as a base of operations to save […]

Friendly Persuasion

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1956
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1956

Plot: This is the story of the Birdwells, a loving Quaker family in the midst of the Civil War. Eliza (Dorothy McGuire), a devout woman, is the moral center of the family. Jess (Gary Cooper) is a thoughtful man, not […]

Spartacus

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:1960
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 1960

Plot: Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) is a slave in the Roman empire, about 70 years before the birth of Christ. A rebellious and proud man, he is sentenced to death for biting a guard but rescued by Biatius (Peter Ustinov), who […]

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) […]

Ninotchka

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1939
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1939

Plot: Three Soviet bureaucrats arrive in Paris to sell some jewels so they can buy tractors. But the former Grand Duchess Swana (Ina Claire), who lives in Paris, is outraged, because they were her jewels confiscated during the Russian revolution. […]

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 […]

A Man for All Seasons

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1966
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1966

Plot: The Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) is a man of great principle and a devout Catholic in the time of King Henry VIII. The King wants to dissolve his marriage to the queen (a Spanish princess and […]

The Man in the Iron Mask

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:1998
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 1998

It’s more than 20 years since the “all for one and one for all” days and the Three Musketeers and their friend D’Artagnan (Gabriel Byrne) have gone their separate ways. Athos (John Malkovich) is a loving father to his son, […]

The Cider House Rules

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:1999
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 1999

Homer Wells (Tobey Maguire) reads David Copperfield aloud to his fellow orphans, letting us know that like Copperfield, he will let us decide for ourselves whether he is the hero of his own life. Homer, twice returned by adoptive parents, […]

My Dog Skip

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:2000
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 2000

This is a good, old-fashioned boy and his dog movie, based on the memoir of Willie Morris, who grew up in 1940’s Mississippi, a small, sleepy town of “ten thousand souls and nothing to do.” It is lyrical and very […]

Snow Falling on Cedars

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:1999
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 1999

There has never been a movie more literally true to its title — this is indeed a movie with many long, loving scenes of snow falling on cedars. There are also scenes of raindrops plopping in puddles and autumn leaves […]

Mansfield Park

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:1999
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 1999

Bodices may not be ripped, but they are certainly loosened in this very liberal adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel. This is not your mother’s “Mansfield Park.” Fans of the book are warned early on that there will be some significant […]

Anna and the King

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Movie Release Date:1999
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Movie Release Date: 1999

This is the fourth movie version — and the second this year — of the story of Anna Leonowens, brought to Siam in 1864 by King Monghut to teach his children. Anna and the King end up teaching each other […]

1776

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1972
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1972

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

The Hurricane

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:1999
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 1999

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter triumphed over a brutal childhood to become a contender for the middleweight boxing championship, through pure determination. Then, wrongfully sentenced to three life terms for murders he did not commit, he used the same discipline, integrity, and […]

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