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genre

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quality

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

who's watching

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age range

  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
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Trailer: Sharknado 3

posted by Nell Minow

Mortdecai

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language and sexual material
Movie Release Date:January 23, 2015
DVD Release Date:May 11, 2015
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language and sexual material
Movie Release Date: January 23, 2015
DVD Release Date: May 11, 2015

There’s a lot of noise in “Mortdecai” but what I remember most is the silences where everything pauses for a moment to allow the audience to laugh without drowning out the next witty riposte. Nope, just crickets, as there was […]

Dear White People

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, sexual content and drug use
Movie Release Date:October 17, 2014
DVD Release Date:February 2, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, sexual content and drug use
Movie Release Date: October 17, 2014
DVD Release Date: February 2, 2015

Before I turn to whitesplaining this film, I will begin by suggesting that you read what Aisha Harris at Slate and what my friends and fellow critics Travis Hopson and Stephen Boone have to say first. If I did not […]

Believe Me

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:September 26, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: September 26, 2014

Will Bakke has followed his two thought-provoking documentaries on faith with a remarkably smart, funny, brave, and heartfelt first feature film that explores religion and values without ever falling into the easy conventions of many faith-based films. Bakke has a […]

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 […]

G.B.F.

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual references
Movie Release Date:2013
DVD Release Date:January 11, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual references
Movie Release Date: 2013
DVD Release Date: January 11, 2014

Writer George Northy and director Darren Stein manage to subvert and salute the traditions of the high school comedy in this smart, fresh, and funny story that shakes up the classic elements of teen movies but recognizes their eternal verities. […]

American Hustle

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and brief violence
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2013
DVD Release Date:March 18, 2014
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and brief violence
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2013
DVD Release Date: March 18, 2014

“Some of this actually happened,” the movie’s opening shot deadpans.  It is true that the United States government both threatened and paid a con man to help them con some bigger fish and then accidentally ended up conning some of […]

The Campaign

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude sexual content, language, and brief nudity
Movie Release Date:August 10, 2012
DVD Release Date:October 30, 2012
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude sexual content, language, and brief nudity
Movie Release Date: August 10, 2012
DVD Release Date: October 30, 2012

“Freedom.” “Jesus.” “America.”  And whoever you are, you are “the backbone of this country.”  This attempted political satire feels as empty as the platitudes spouted by the candidates in this R-rated comedy that, like the political system it portrays, goes […]

Rock of Ages

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, suggestive dancing, some heavy drinking, and language
Movie Release Date:June 15, 2012
DVD Release Date:October 12, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, suggestive dancing, some heavy drinking, and language
Movie Release Date: June 15, 2012
DVD Release Date: October 12, 2012

The era of big power ballads reaching to the back rows of big stadiums filled with big crowds of fans with big hair is paid big tribute in this irresistibly entertaining anthem-rock love letter to the 80’s.  Sung almost entirely by actors […]

The Dictator

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, brief male nudity, language, and some violent images
Movie Release Date:May 16, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 21, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, brief male nudity, language, and some violent images
Movie Release Date: May 16, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 21, 2012

Chutzpah has never been a problem for Sasha Baron Cohen, whose previous films, based on characters he created for television, were semi-documentaries of encounters with ordinary people who did their best to accommodate his outrageously offensive behavior.  Whether he was […]

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action, rude humor, and some language
Movie Release Date:April 27, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 27, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action, rude humor, and some language
Movie Release Date: April 27, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 27, 2012

The Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) enjoys his life of adventure on the high seas, but there are a few problems. His crew is having a spirited debate about the best part of pirating – is it the cutlasses, the looting, […]

Casa de Mi Padre

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for bloody violence, language, and some sexual content and drug use
Movie Release Date:March 16, 2012
DVD Release Date:July 17, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for bloody violence, language, and some sexual content and drug use
Movie Release Date: March 16, 2012
DVD Release Date: July 17, 2012

You think having sunny-spirited Californian Will Ferrell play the son of a Mexican rancher is not goofy enough?  How about if the entire movie is in Spanish (with subtitles)?  You want goofier?  I got your goofy right here.  The entire premise […]

Happy Leap Day!

posted by Nell Minow

Celebrate the day we observe just once every four years with The Pirates of Penzance, the delightful Gilbert and Sullivan musical about a man who thinks he is turning 21 but, because he was born on leap day, has had […]

The Joneses

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

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

The Informant!

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

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

Funny Face

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1957
DVD Release Date:2009
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1957
DVD Release Date: 2009

My second DVD pick of the week for Valentine’s Day is the other new Audrey Hepburn release, “Funny Face,” a gorgeous musical set in Paris with Fred Astaire and songs by Gershwin. The title tune, and “How Long Has This […]

Swing Vote

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language
Movie Release Date:August 1, 2008
DVD Release Date:January 6, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language
Movie Release Date: August 1, 2008
DVD Release Date: January 6, 2009

Kevin Costner the producer severely underestimates the ability of Kevin Costner the actor to win over the audience in this tepid satire of electoral politics. Through a technical and mechanical glitch, Costner’s character, an affable loser named Bud, finds himself […]

Burn After Reading

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence.
Movie Release Date:September 12, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 23, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence.
Movie Release Date: September 12, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 23, 2008

The Coen brothers may have achieved mainstream success with their Best Picture Oscar for No Country for Old Men, but so much for adapting prestigious literary novels that engage the essential American archetypes; they are back with another twisty, genre-tweaking […]

You Don’t Mess With the Zohan

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language and nudity
Movie Release Date:June 5, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language and nudity
Movie Release Date: June 5, 2008

Somewhere inside this Adam Sandler slacker silliness there is a fierce and provocative little satire trying to get out. Sandler is so busy with his usual shtick that at times it seems that even he hardly notices the subversive political […]

Dr. Horrible — This Weekend Only!

posted by Nell Minow

Until midnight tomorrow you can watch a new three-act musical from Joss Whedon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Firefly”) online. It is the story of Dr. Horrible (a sensational Neil Patrick Harris) and his nemesis, the very manly Captain Hammer (Nathan […]

Hollywood Ending

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

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

The Truman Show

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

Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) is an insurance salesman who gradually realizes that everyone around him is part of an elaborate “show,” and that every aspect of his life has been orchestrated and broadcast throughout the world. Truman’s “ideal” suburban community […]

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

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

This movie is only slightly behind “Phantom Menace” in anticipation and excitement among kids, but parents need to know that it is very, very, very raunchy, with incessant and prolonged sexual humor. Because it is a comedy, the rating system […]

The Muse

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

The latest film by writer/director/actor Albert Brooks has him portraying Steven Phillips, a Hollywood screenwriter who is let go by the studio when a young, arrogant executive tells him he has lost his “edge.” On the advice of a friend, […]

Cats Don’t Dance

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1997
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1997

A singing, dancing cat named Danny goes to Hollywood to become a star in this colorful and energetic animated musical suitable for all but the very youngest toddlers. He finds, however, that no one in Hollywood thinks that animals can […]

Galaxy Quest

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some action violence, mild language and sensuality
Movie Release Date:1999
DVD Release Date:2000
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some action violence, mild language and sensuality
Movie Release Date: 1999
DVD Release Date: 2000

This is one of the funniest movies of the year, hilariously but affectionately skewering television sci-fi, its stars, and its fans. Not since William Shatner told Trekkers Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz to “get a life” back on Saturday Night […]

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1989
DVD Release Date:1990
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1989
DVD Release Date: 1990

In this technical marvel of a movie, human and animated actors interact seamlessly. It begins with a cartoon, loveable Roger Rabbit taking care of adorable Baby Herman, despite every kind of slapstick disaster. Then, as birdies are swimming around Roger’s […]

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