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Remake Archives

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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

  • My entire family
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age range

  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
  • 4th - 6th grade
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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
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence
Movie Release Date: May 1, 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 […]

Cinderella

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

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

Annie

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild language and rude humor
Movie Release Date:December 19, 2014
DVD Release Date:March 16, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild language and rude humor
Movie Release Date: December 19, 2014
DVD Release Date: March 16, 2015

The story of the plucky little Depression-era orphan with the curly red hair has been not just re-booted but re-imagined into the world of rent-a-bikes, viral videos, DNA tests, YOLO, corporate privacy invasions, and Katy Perry tweets. There are some […]

Little Orphan Annie: From Comic Strip to Radio, Broadway, Television, and Two Movies

posted by Nell Minow

The spunky little girl with the curly red hair and a dog named Sandy began as Little Orphan Annie in 1924, created by Harold Gray.  Her pluck, self-sufficiency, and resilience caught the imagination of the Depression-era audience in the 30’s, […]

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 […]

Trailer: Hugh Jackman in “Pan”

posted by Nell Minow

Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up, has been enchanting children and their families for more than a century now. This week’s live broadcast of the Broadway musical version starred Alison Williams and Christopher Walken. And next year […]

Left Behind

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, violence/peril and brief drug content
Movie Release Date:October 3, 2014
DVD Release Date:January 5, 2015
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, violence/peril and brief drug content
Movie Release Date: October 3, 2014
DVD Release Date: January 5, 2015

“Left Behind” is being marketed as Christian entertainment, but it does not qualify in either category. It is far inferior to the modestly budgeted but sincere straight-to-DVD starring Kirk Cameron, based on the blockbuster best-selling book series by Tim LaHaye […]

The Equalizer

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong bloody violence and language throughout, including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:September 26, 2014
DVD Release Date:December 29, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody violence and language throughout, including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: September 26, 2014
DVD Release Date: December 29, 2014

The only thing nicer than having a real-life friend who could circumvent any obstacle of power or law or, you know, logic to deliver the roughest but most just of rough justice would be to have that friend be Denzel […]

Maleficent

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of fantasy action and violence, including frightening images
Movie Release Date:May 30, 2014
DVD Release Date:November 3, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of fantasy action and violence, including frightening images
Movie Release Date: May 30, 2014
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2014

What makes bad guys bad?  We’ve always been told that Sleeping Beauty was cursed at birth by a wicked fairy caught up in a jealous fury because she was not invited to the christening.  In the classic 1959 Disney animated […]

Godzilla

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence
Movie Release Date:May 16, 2014
DVD Release Date:September 16, 2014
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence
Movie Release Date: May 16, 2014
DVD Release Date: September 16, 2014

All the basic ingredients are there for a slam-bang summer monster movie.  We have people in helmets and hazmat suits running to try to get away from something scary.  We have a scientist pleading with a military officer to trust […]

Exclusive Clip: The Little Rascals Save the Day

posted by Nell Minow

The Little Rascals are back!  The beloved comedy series from the earliest days of film featured the wild adventures of Spanky, Alfalfa, Darla, Buckwheat, their dog Petey, and the rest of the gang.  On April 1, the all-new story “The […]

About Last Night

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for for sexual content, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:February 14, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for for sexual content, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: February 14, 2014

Kevin Hart, who starred in the surprisingly successful “Ride Along” just last month, is back with a much sharper, funnier comedy that is ideal for making the best use of his brash, motormouth persona. Even more important, for the first […]

The Jungle Book

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1966
DVD Release Date:February 10, 2014
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1966
DVD Release Date: February 10, 2014

The last animated film personally overseen by Walt Disney  is “The Jungle Book,” inspired by the Rudyard Kipling story of a boy abandoned in the forest who is raised by the animals.  It has some of the most endearing and […]

A Remake Planned of “The Incredible Mr. Limpet”

posted by Nell Minow

Richard Linklater (“Before Midnight,” “School of Rock”) is going to direct a remake of the Don Knotts fantasy The Incredible Mr. Limpet, made in 1964 but set in the early days of the second World War. It’s the story of […]

And NBC’s Next Live Musical Performance Will Be….Peter Pan!

posted by Nell Minow

NBC pledged to follow up it’s live production of “The Sound of Music” with another family musical and they’ve announced what the next one will be — another classic that originally starred Mary Martin, “Peter Pan.” There have been many […]

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 Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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

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

Carrie

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for bloody violence, disturbing images, language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:October 18, 2013
DVD Release Date:January 14, 2014
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for bloody violence, disturbing images, language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: October 18, 2013
DVD Release Date: January 14, 2014

The remake of “Carrie” is not a bad movie; it’s just a completely unnecessary one.  The 1976 original is a horror classic, directed by Brian de Palma and the first film based on a novel by Stephen King, just 26 years […]

Romeo & Juliet

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

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

The Snow Queen

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG
Movie Release Date:October 6, 2013
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG
Movie Release Date: October 6, 2013

It may be a coincidence that a Russian animation studio decided to make a movie based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the Snow Queen at the same time as Disney’s big-budget feature, “Frozen,” inspired by the same […]

Disney Is Making a New Live Action Cinderella Movie

posted by Nell Minow

Walt Disney Studios, which made the classic animated version of “Cinderella” in 1950, is now filming a sumptuous new live-action Cinderella film, directed by Kenneth Branagh, with Lily James (“Downton Abbey,” “Wrath of the Titans”) in the title role, Richard […]

Robin Hood

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1973
DVD Release Date:August 6, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1973
DVD Release Date: August 6, 2013

Disney is celebrating the 40th anniversary of one of its most beloved animated musicals with a gorgeous new Blu-Ray. It is based on the classic Robin Hood story of the man who robbed from the rich to give to the […]

Trailer: Romeo and Juliet

posted by Nell Minow

“Downton Abbey’s” Julian Fellowes has adapted a new version of “Romeo and Juliet,” starring “True Grit’s” Hailee Steinfeld, Damian Lewis, and Paul Giamatti, premiering in October.

The Lone Ranger

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some suggestive material
Movie Release Date:July 4, 2013
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some suggestive material
Movie Release Date: July 4, 2013

For more than a century the movies have been telling us the story of America through westerns, and each decade gets the version it deserves.  We have seen films range from the optimistic, heroic, and racially insensitive movies of the […]

Much Ado About Nothing

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

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

Man of Steel

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language
Movie Release Date: June 14, 2013

Come on, guys, can’t you give us one superhero who is not all angsty and conflicted? Director Zack Snyder, who presided over the ultimate superhero deconstruction in Watchmen, and producer/co-screenwriter Christopher Nolan, who put the cinematic “dark” in Batman’s Dark […]

The Great Gatsby

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content, smoking, partying and brief language.
Movie Release Date:May 10, 2013
DVD Release Date:August 27, 2013
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content, smoking, partying and brief language.
Movie Release Date: May 10, 2013
DVD Release Date: August 27, 2013

Kids, here’s a hint: Don’t think you can pass a sophomore English exam on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s jazz age classic and high school reading list perennial by watching this movie.  While this version of the story of a man who […]

A Remake of “Guys and Dolls” with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Channing Tatum?

posted by Nell Minow

New York Magazine’s Vulture blog says that a remake of the Frank Loesser classic musical “Guys and Dolls,” based on the stories of small-time gamblers and crooks by Damon Runyon.  The original movie starred Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons, […]

My Favorite Versions of “A Christmas Carol”

posted by Nell Minow

My favorite Christmas story is “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens and I enjoy as many versions as possible every year.  I love it in just about any of its movie incarnations. “Bah, humbugs” have been muttered by Scrooges played by […]

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 […]

Red Dawn

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of war violence and action and for language
Movie Release Date:November 21, 2012
DVD Release Date:March 5, 2013
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of war violence and action and for language
Movie Release Date: November 21, 2012
DVD Release Date: March 5, 2013

There was much to improve in the original version of “Red Dawn,” a simple-minded fantasy film about a communist invasion of small town America: the plot, which asked us to believe that Cuban and Soviet invaders would focus their attention on […]

Anna Karenina

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

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

Frankenweenie

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images, and action
Movie Release Date:October 5, 2012
DVD Release Date:January 6, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images, and action
Movie Release Date: October 5, 2012
DVD Release Date: January 6, 2013

Mary Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein was a scientist who wanted to create life.  Tim Burton’s Victor Frankenstein is a kid who just wants his dog back. Writer/director and master of the macabre Burton first developed this idea in a 1984 live […]

Disney’s Cinderella — New Diamond Edition

posted by Nell Minow

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

Steel Magnolias Remake Coming to Lifetime October 7

posted by Nell Minow

I’m very excited about the upcoming remake of “Steel Magnolias” coming to Lifetime on October 7.  Like the beloved 1989 original, it has an all-star cast with Queen Latifah, Jill Scott, Phylicia Rashad, and Alfre Woodward.  The movie was based […]

Sparkle

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving domestic abuse and drug material, and for some violence, language and smoking
Movie Release Date:August 20, 2012
DVD Release Date:November 27, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving domestic abuse and drug material, and for some violence, language and smoking
Movie Release Date: August 20, 2012
DVD Release Date: November 27, 2012

You can’t help wondering what Whitney Houston was thinking when she decided to co-produce and star in the remake of a flawed but beloved 1976 musical melodrama about a singer who becomes involved with an abusive performer and becomes addicted to drugs. […]

Total Recall

posted by Nell Minow

Will the 2012 version of the story inspired by Philip K. Dick’s “We Can Remember it for You Wholesale” erase the memory of the Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi classic from 1990?  Dick’s story is about a time in the future when […]

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 […]

The Three Stooges

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for slapstick action violence, some rude and suggestive humor including language
Movie Release Date:April 13, 2012
DVD Release Date:July 17, 2012
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for slapstick action violence, some rude and suggestive humor including language
Movie Release Date: April 13, 2012
DVD Release Date: July 17, 2012

I believe it was the great philosopher Curly Joe who first said that you cannot step in the same stream twice.  And perhaps it was Shemp who said that you can’t go home again.  Okay, that was the great ancient […]

Mirror Mirror

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

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

A New “Flintstones” from “Family Guy’s” Seth McFarlane?

posted by Nell Minow

At the SXSW festival, “Family Guy” creator Seth McFarlane told the crowd he is working on a television reboot of “The Flintstones,” a beloved 1960’s cartoon series that led to a couple of not-beloved feature films.  McFarlane told the audience […]

Contraband

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, pervasive language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:January 13, 2012
DVD Release Date:April 24, 2012
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, pervasive language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: January 13, 2012
DVD Release Date: April 24, 2012

Oh, not another one last job movie!  This remake of an Icelandic thriller, directed by the actor who played the lead role in the original, is a by-the-numbers heist, chase, and shoot-em-up.  It’s too gritty to be escapist fun and […]

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for brutal violent contact including rape and torture, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, and language
Movie Release Date:December 20, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 20, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for brutal violent contact including rape and torture, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, and language
Movie Release Date: December 20, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 20, 2012

The late Swedish author Steig Larsson created a series of books originally titled “Men Who Hate Women” with a character who was an idealized version of himself — an investigative journalist of impeccable integrity and political correctness who effortlessly appeals […]

Footloose

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

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

The Debt

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

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

The Green Hornet

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of violent action, language, sensuality, and drug content
Movie Release Date:January 14, 2011
DVD Release Date:May 3, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of violent action, language, sensuality, and drug content
Movie Release Date: January 14, 2011
DVD Release Date: May 3, 2011

Anyone here remember Van Williams? He was the star of the 1966-67 television series, “The Green Hornet.” But the only thing anyone remembers about the show today was the actor who played the title character’s martial arts and automotive expert […]

Gulliver’s Travels

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief rude humor, mild language, and action
Movie Release Date:December 22, 2010
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief rude humor, mild language, and action
Movie Release Date: December 22, 2010

A cringe-inducing catastrophe with all of the appeal of fingernails on blackboard, this movie’s first early warning sign should have been the omission of Jonathan Swift from the opening credits. I thought at first it was an arrogant oversight. Now […]

Arthur

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for alcohol use throughout, sexual content, language, and some drug references
Movie Release Date:April 8, 2011
DVD Release Date:July 12, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for alcohol use throughout, sexual content, language, and some drug references
Movie Release Date: April 8, 2011
DVD Release Date: July 12, 2011

Russell Brand takes over the title role in this unnecessary remake of the better-remembered-than-re-watched 1981 film starring Dudley Moore and the Oscar-winning Sir John Gielgud. It’s harder to find a perpetually substance-abusing hedonist funny these days than it was back […]

Jane Eyre

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

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

Colin Firth as Henry Higgins?

posted by Nell Minow

There are rumors that Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Bridget Jones’ Diary”) may be the new Professor Henry Higgins in a forthcoming remake of “My Fair Lady,” to be directed by Joe Wright (who directed the Kiera […]

Just Go With It

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for frequent crude and sexual content, partial nudity, brief drug references and language
Movie Release Date:February 11, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 6, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for frequent crude and sexual content, partial nudity, brief drug references and language
Movie Release Date: February 11, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 6, 2011

The good news: no one in this movie has sex with an old lady or gets stabbed in the foot. So Adam Sandler is making some progress. And Jennifer Aniston continues to be a lovely screen presence, with sublime comic […]

Willow Smith to Play ‘Annie’

posted by Nell Minow

“Whip my Hair’s” Willow Smith, the daughter of mega-stars Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and sister of “Karate Kid’s” Jaden Smith is going to have a big-screen remake of her own. She will play Little Orphan Annie in the third […]

Dinner for Schmucks

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of crude and sexual content, some partial nudity and language
Movie Release Date:July 30, 2010
DVD Release Date:January 3, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of crude and sexual content, some partial nudity and language
Movie Release Date: July 30, 2010
DVD Release Date: January 3, 2011

The truest comedy is the laugh of recognition and enlightenment. You won’t find much of that in this crass and crude remake of the French film, “The Dinner Game.” What you will find instead is that easier and far less […]

Gulliver’s Travels: the Animated Feature

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

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

True Grit

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

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

The A-Team

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence throughout, language, and smoking
Movie Release Date:June 12, 2010
DVD Release Date:December 14, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence throughout, language, and smoking
Movie Release Date: June 12, 2010
DVD Release Date: December 14, 2010

I love it when a plan comes together. And I love it when a summer movie delivers all of the chases, crashes, explosions, wisecracks, and sheer exuberant fun that we have a right to expect when the weather gets warm. […]

The Tempest

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some nudity, suggestive content and scary images
Movie Release Date:December 10, 2010
DVD Release Date:September 12, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some nudity, suggestive content and scary images
Movie Release Date: December 10, 2010
DVD Release Date: September 12, 2011

Director Julie Taymor (Broadway’s “The Lion King”) has a gorgeous visual imagination and a love of spectacle, both lavishly on display in the latest version Shakespeare’s final play, the story of a sorcerer’s revenge. But she uses it to enhance, […]

Disney’s A Christmas Carol

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

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

Magnificent Obsession

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

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

Ramona and Beezus

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:July 23, 2010
DVD Release Date:November 2, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: July 23, 2010
DVD Release Date: November 2, 2010

Walden has just about mastered the art of turning the very best in children’s literature into very fine family films. It doesn’t get any better than Beverly Cleary’s marvelous series of books about Ramona Quimby and her family, and here […]

The Karate Kid

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

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

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 […]

Contest: Clash of the Titans

posted by Nell Minow

It’s time to release the Kracken! I have FIVE copies of “Clash of the Titans” with Sam Worthington and some amazing stunts and special effects to give away to my beloved readers. The first five to send me an email […]

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 […]

Alice in Wonderland

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar
Movie Release Date:March 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 1, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar
Movie Release Date: March 5, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 1, 2010

Almost 150 years ago Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson published his wildly imaginative story about Alice’s adventures down a rabbit hole. And now the wildly imaginative director Tim Burton has brought Wonderland to the 3D movie screen. It is less faithful […]

Nine

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content and smoking
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2009
DVD Release Date:April 27, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and smoking
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2009
DVD Release Date: April 27, 2010

High profile director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) has everything he needs to make his ninth movie and more. Much more. It is Italy in the early 1960’s and Guido is a glamorous celebrity, a name brand, a commodity. His production […]

Death at a Funeral

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

It feels like the world should come to a stop when someone dies, but unfortunately, it does not. And it feels like the confrontation with the eternal and the shock of grief should somehow make everyone behave, but unfortunately, it […]

Astro Boy

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some action and peril, and brief mild language.
Movie Release Date:October 23, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 16, 2010
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some action and peril, and brief mild language.
Movie Release Date: October 23, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 16, 2010

A show of hands, everyone. If you think it’s a good idea to begin a movie for children by killing off a young boy in an industrial accident as his father looks on, raise your hand. Anyone? I didn’t think […]

Everybody’s Fine

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

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

Fame

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG for thematic elements
Movie Release Date:September 25, 2009
DVD Release Date:January 12, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements
Movie Release Date: September 25, 2009
DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010

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

Sherlock Holmes

posted by Nell Minow

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

The Taking of Pelham 123

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence and pervasive language
Movie Release Date:June 12, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 3, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence and pervasive language
Movie Release Date: June 12, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009

This third version of the story of a hijacked New York subway car may be superfluous but it still delivers some zip thanks to Tony Scott’s music-video flash and even a bit of heft thanks to Denzel Washington. The 1974 […]

Land of the Lost

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and for language including a drug reference
Movie Release Date:June 5, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 13, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and for language including a drug reference
Movie Release Date: June 5, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 13, 2009

“Land of the Lost” features two funny actors and a criminally underused actress tramping around an alternate reality in search of comedy but not finding much for us to laugh at. Too raunchy for kids, too dull for anyone else, […]

‘Harvey’ Remake Coming from Steven Spielberg

posted by Nell Minow

Steven Spielberg has announced the remake of one of Jimmy Stewart’s most beloved films, “Harvey.” It is the story of a gentle soul named Elwood P. Dowd and his invisible friend, a six-foot rabbit-ish character called a pooka. The screenplay […]

The Pink Panther 2

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG for some suggestive humor, brief mild language and action
Movie Release Date:February 6, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 23, 2009
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG for some suggestive humor, brief mild language and action
Movie Release Date: February 6, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 23, 2009

I have seen taxidermy livelier than this moribund mess which further sullies the reputation of the original series of films starring Peter Sellers as well as those of everyone associated with this unwelcome sequel to the awful 2006 Pink Panther. […]

The Day the Earth Stood Still

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sci-fi disaster images and violence
Movie Release Date:December 12, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sci-fi disaster images and violence
Movie Release Date: December 12, 2008

In the 1951 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still, a spaceship landed in front of the Washington Monument to warn the people of earth that they were on the path to destruction. The problem then was the Cold […]

The Women

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

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

The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for adventure action and violence
Movie Release Date:August 1, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for adventure action and violence
Movie Release Date: August 1, 2008

Salt the popcorn and settle your gigantic soda in the cup-holder. Brendan Fraser is back and just as important, so are the mummies. Strictly speaking, these guys are not mummies, but they’re close enough. It’s only been nine years since […]

Journey to the Center of the Earth

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for intense adventure action and some scary moments
Movie Release Date:July 11, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for intense adventure action and some scary moments
Movie Release Date: July 11, 2008

The most impressive achievement from Brendan Fraser and Josh Hutcherson in this 3D action -adventure is holding our attention as it feels like we are being chased by a drooling dinosaur and squirted with something really ooky. Fraser plays a […]

Interview with Hugh Welchman of “Peter and the Wolf”

posted by Nell Minow

Peter and the Wolf,” this year’s Oscar-winner for best short animated film will be shown on PBS this Wednesday from 8-9 Eastern Time. It is a brilliantly imaginative film and well worth setting aside some family time to watch it […]

I am Legend

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence.
Movie Release Date:December 14, 2007
DVD Release Date:March 18, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence.
Movie Release Date: December 14, 2007
DVD Release Date: March 18, 2008

Will Smith plays the last man on earth in this third movie based on Richard Matheson’s novella. Scientist Robert Neville was immune to the virus that wiped out everyone. He spends his days hunting for food in the deserted streets […]

No Reservations

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:July 27, 2007
DVD Release Date:February 12, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: July 27, 2007
DVD Release Date: February 12, 2008

It may be a three-star movie about a four-star chef, but it is still a sweet summer treat and a great date night hors d’oeuvre. Kate (Catherine Zeta Jones) just does not understand what everyone’s problem is. All she wants […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Omen

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

Director John Moore knows one thing — how to compose some compelling images with swirling white (flakes of snow, scraps of paper) and something creepy and scarlet to catch your eye. But those swirling flakes and glimpses of red have […]

The Shaggy Dog

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

An uninspired all-the-best-parts-are-in-the-trailer remake, this is a showcase for two things: Tim Allen’s mugging and some computer wizard-style special effects. The limited entertainment value of both items and a solid supporting cast are not quite enough to make up for […]

The Pink Panther

posted by jmiller
F
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for occasional crude and suggestive humor and language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
F
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for occasional crude and suggestive humor and language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Anyone remember Ted Wass? He starred in Curse of the Pink Panther. Alan Arkin (Inspector Clouseau) tried to step into the banana-slipping shoes of Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau. Roberto Benigni played the title role in Son of the Pink […]

When a Stranger Calls

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

“He is calling from within the house.” What a line! Since the original version of When a Stranger Calls came out in 1979, that sentence — packed with impending terror –has resonated with babysitters and played on their fears as […]

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 […]

Fun With Dick and Jane

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief language, some sexual humor and occasional humorous drug references.
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief language, some sexual humor and occasional humorous drug references.
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

The first “Fun with Dick and Jane” was the popular reader that millions of first graders used to sound out words like “Oh” and “Run!” Dick and Jane were perfect suburban children in an idealized world of smiling parents, sunny […]

The Producers

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

The 1968 version of The Producers was a brilliantly funny commercial flop about an outrageously offensive and atrociously appealing play that became a hit. The screenplay won an Oscar for director/writer Mel Brooks. It was fall-out-of-your-chair-gasping hilarious and a cherished […]

Alfie

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

What’s it all about, Charlie? Charles Shyer and Nancy Meyers used to be married and they used to make movies together (Baby Boom, the remakes of Father of the Bride and The Parent Trap). Now they are divorced, and they […]

Peter Pan

posted by rkumar
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for adventure action sequences and peril
Movie Release Date:2003
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2004
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for adventure action sequences and peril
Movie Release Date: 2003
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2004

Oh, the cleverness of storyteller James M. Barrie, who gave us Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Tinkerbell, a St. Bernard nanny, Tiger Lily, and the crocodile that ticks because it swallowed a clock! And oh, the cleverness of P.J. Hogan, the […]

All the King’s Men

posted by rkumar
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for an intense sequence of violence, sexual content and partial nudity
Movie Release Date:September 22, 2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for an intense sequence of violence, sexual content and partial nudity
Movie Release Date: September 22, 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

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 […]

The Sum of All Fears

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

Part of the magic of movies is the way they make us not just willing – even eager to suspend all kinds of disbelief. It isn’t just that we are willing to believe that Jet Li can knock out a […]

The Parent Trap

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

This delightful remake of the Hayley Mills classic stars Lindsay Lohan as both Hallie and Annie, twin girls separated at birth, who meet up at summer camp and decide to switch places. Lohan is utterly adorable and does a masterful […]

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 […]

Wild Wild West

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:1999
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 1999

“The Wild Wild West” has the weak, weak script. It is not unusual to see a trailer that is better than the movie, but in this case the music video is brighter, wittier, and more exciting than the movie. Will […]

Mumford

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

This is a cleverly updated version of a 1930’s movie staple — a genial small-town comedy with eccentric but endearing characters and a leading man who is not what he pretends to be. Loren Dean plays Doctor Mumford, a psychologist […]

Fantasia 2000

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2000
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2000

Almost sixty years ago, the original “Fantasia” was released and hard as it may be to believe it now, the response was unenthusiastic. Today, images like Mickey as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the little black Pegasus getting some extra help learning […]

The Haunting

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:1999
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 1999

This high-tech remake of the creepy classic is dumb and overblown, but some teenagers will have a good time with it, especially if they go in a group. Its only possible merit is that it is too silly to be […]

You’ve Got Mail

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

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

Godzilla

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sci-fi monster action/violence
Movie Release Date:1998
DVD Release Date:1998
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi monster action/violence
Movie Release Date: 1998
DVD Release Date: 1998

The classic Japanese monster film has been updated by the team that produced and directed “Stargate” and “Independence Day,” and what we get is basically “Jurassic Park” with one very, very big dinosaur. Nuclear testing has resulted in the mutation […]

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posted 3:45:10pm Jun. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: All Creatures Big and Small -- FREE for a Limited Time on Google Play
[jwvideo vid='OljUWfMd' pid='GvkPWNBE'] Martin Sheen and Amy Grant provide the voices in this animated animal adventure inspired by Noah's Ark, from Entertainment One (eOne). "All Creatures Big and Small" will be available for free for a ...

posted 3:44:16pm Jun. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Critics: Which Movies Get Childhood Right?
Thanks to Sam Adams and Indiewire for including me in their survey of critics about our favorite movies from the perspective of a child.  Here was my answer: "To Kill a Mockingbird" somehow captures the voice of the novel in allowing us to see ...

posted 11:09:45pm Jun. 29, 2015 | read full post »

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