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genre

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

quality

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

who's watching

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

age range

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




The Breakfast Club — 30 Years Later

posted by Nell Minow

“The Breakfast Club,” is one of the best of the John Hughes films about teenagers. No American filmmaker portrayed the lives of contemporary teenagers with as much affection, sensitivity, and understanding as Hughes, with Molly Ringwald the very best of […]

The DUFF

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual material throughout, some language and teen partying
Movie Release Date:February 20, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual material throughout, some language and teen partying
Movie Release Date: February 20, 2015

A haiku has 17 syllables. A limerick has five lines. An omelet is made from eggs. And a teen romantic comedy will have our characters visit the mall, a locker room, a classroom, and the school bathroom. There will be […]

Spare Parts

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language and violence
Movie Release Date:January 16, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language and violence
Movie Release Date: January 16, 2015

It really happened. Four undocumented high school kids from the poorest of communities took on the most brilliant engineering students from the country’s top colleges in a robotics competition and won. The contest results were one in a million, but […]

Interview: Todd and Jedd Wider about the Bullying Documentary “Mentor”

posted by Nell Minow

Producers Todd and Jedd Wider generously took time to answer my questions about their documentary, “Mentor,” the story of two teenagers who committed suicide following relentless bullying. The film, which received Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 […]

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 […]

Contest

posted by Nell Minow

“Contest” more than makes up for some first-time-filmmaker shortcomings with its sincerity and unexpected strengths in the storyline and cinematography. Tommy (Danny Flaherty) is a high school loner, often bullied by the swim team jocks led by Matt (Kenton Duty). […]

Admission

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language and some sexual material
Movie Release Date:March 22, 2013
DVD Release Date:July 9, 2013
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language and some sexual material
Movie Release Date: March 22, 2013
DVD Release Date: July 9, 2013

Tina Fey and Paul Rudd seem perfect for each other. The characters they play in this movie are not as persuasive.  Fey is so much better than the adorkable rom-com role assigned to her here and Rudd is capable of […]

Brooklyn Castle

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:PG for some language
Movie Release Date:October 18, 2012
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: PG for some language
Movie Release Date: October 18, 2012

I.S. 318 is a below-the-poverty-line inner city junior high school.  And its students have won more national chess championships than any other in the country.  So this is a touching and inspiring story of triumph and what can be accomplished in […]

Pitch Perfect

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual material, language, and drug references
Movie Release Date:September 28, 2012
DVD Release Date:December 18, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual material, language, and drug references
Movie Release Date: September 28, 2012
DVD Release Date: December 18, 2012

The sensationally talented Anna Kendrick finally gets to play the lead in a story about the cutthroat world of a capella competitions.  It’s “Stomp the Yard” with singing, or  “Glee Goes to College.”  The songs are fabulously entertaining, the romance is sweet, […]

Won’t Back Down

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements and language
Movie Release Date:September 28, 2012
DVD Release Date:January 15, 2013
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements and language
Movie Release Date: September 28, 2012
DVD Release Date: January 15, 2013

What should have been a rousing, feel-good, “inspired by a true story” film about a mother and a teacher who take on the teacher’s union and the school board to turn around a failing elementary school benefits from strong performances […]

American Graduate Day on NYC’s Channel 13

posted by Nell Minow

American Graduate Day is a national broadcast and outreach event on Saturday, September 22 from 1-8 pm, dedicated to engaging our country around the dropout crisis. Broadcast nationally from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center, the seven-hour special highlights Community […]

Grading School Movies

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of the start of the school year, Cinema Blend grades twenty movies about school.  Note that the grades were not awarded on artistic merit but on different critera: sexiness of the hot girls and guys, awesomeness of the […]

Back to School Movie Quiz

posted by Nell Minow

As you get your school supplies ready and finish up those last assignments on the summer reading list, see if you can answer these questions about movies set in school. 1.  A tough cop goes undercover as a kindergarten teacher. […]

Thunderstruck

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild language and rude humor
Movie Release Date:August 24, 2012
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild language and rude humor
Movie Release Date: August 24, 2012

This “Freaky Friday” with basketball keeps throwing airballs. It’s the story of Brian (Taylor Gray) a sixteen-year-old kid who wishes he could have the skills of Olympic gold medalist and NBA star Kevin Durant playing himself, not very convincingly but […]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

posted by Nell Minow

This is the third movie based on the wildly popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. With each movie, the franchise becomes better at milking the formula that causes 4th graders to cringe with delight.  The story […]

Interview: Jade Pettyjon of the New American Girls Movie: McKenna Shoots for the Stars

posted by Nell Minow

I absolutely loved the new American Girls movie, McKenna: Shoots For The Stars.  Based on the stories about the American Girl of the Year doll for 2012, a young gymnast. So it was a treat to get to interview the […]

Bully

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language
Movie Release Date:March 30, 2012
DVD Release Date:February 12, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language
Movie Release Date: March 30, 2012
DVD Release Date: February 12, 2013

This is a message for Alex.  You are a great kid.  You will be a great, happy, successful adult.  And those high school boys who torture you so brutally on the school bus every day will spend their adult lives […]

Undefeated

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language
Movie Release Date:March 2, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language
Movie Release Date: March 2, 2012

Bill Courtney, a successful white businessman, coaches an underdog football team at an inner city high school in an Oscar-winning documentary that quickly transcends the risks of sports cliché and racially treacherous noblesse oblige.  Like the wonderful “The Heart of […]

Giveaway: ‘Geek Charming’ with ‘Modern Family’ Star Sarah Hyland

posted by Nell Minow

Sarah Hyland stars in the very cute Disney Channel movie Geek Charmingas Dylan, a popular high school princess whose only aspiration is to be even more of a popular high school princess.  Matt Prokop is Josh, the “film geek” who […]

A Smile as Big as the Moon — Tonight on ABC

posted by Nell Minow

Watch ABC tonight for the heartwarming “A Smile as Big as the Moon,” with John Corbett as a teacher who brings his special needs students to space camp.  It is based on the real life story of Mike Kersjes, whose book […]

The Greening of Whitney Brown

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date:November 23, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date: November 23, 2011

A middle schooler who thinks she has it all figured out finds herself tossed from 1 percent-ville to 99-percent-land in a cute new film in limited release called “The Greening of Whitney Brown.”  Sammi Hanratty plays the title character, a […]

Bad Teacher

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, nudity, language, and some drug use
Movie Release Date:June 24, 2011
DVD Release Date:October 18, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, nudity, language, and some drug use
Movie Release Date: June 24, 2011
DVD Release Date: October 18, 2011

Are you a fan of comedy based on the sole premise that it is funny to see a beautiful woman make outrageously crude and narcissistic statements?  Then go watch Sarah Silverman.  This movie will only show you how much better  […]

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor and language
Movie Release Date:June 10, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor and language
Movie Release Date: June 10, 2011

It’s the last day of third grade and redheaded Judy Moody (Jordana Beatty) is looking forward to the greatest summer ever.  She has big plans for herself and her three best friends, a summer of dares and thrills and adventures. […]

Prom

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild language and a brief fight
Movie Release Date:April 29, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 30, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild language and a brief fight
Movie Release Date: April 29, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 30, 2011

Less engrossing than a Clearasil commercial and more synthetic than a Rebecca Black video, “Prom” is Disney’s attempt to launch a new generation of tween idols with a wholesome confection about a high school dance. But the buoyant energy of […]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor and mischief
Movie Release Date:March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 21, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor and mischief
Movie Release Date: March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 21, 2011

This is the second movie based on the wildly popular series of Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney. Last year, in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, we saw Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) begin the agonizing experience of […]

The Social Network

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug and alcohol use and language
Movie Release Date:October 1, 2010
DVD Release Date:January 11, 2011
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug and alcohol use and language
Movie Release Date: October 1, 2010
DVD Release Date: January 11, 2011

Change is not polite. The bigger the change, the more likely that it is messy and painful and ugly. Even its beginnings are often disturbingly uninspired and uninspiring. Despite what Hollywood and history books tell us, change is less often […]

Easy A

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving teen sexuality, language and some drug material
Movie Release Date:September 17, 2010
DVD Release Date:December 14, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving teen sexuality, language and some drug material
Movie Release Date: September 17, 2010
DVD Release Date: December 14, 2010

Emma Stone finally gets the breakthrough role her fans have been waiting for in “Easy A.” This is the moment that takes her into the front rank of movie stars, sub-category: America’s sweetheart. Stone has an immediately appealing presence on […]

Flipped

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language and some thematic material
Movie Release Date:August 27, 2010
DVD Release Date:November 23, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language and some thematic material
Movie Release Date: August 27, 2010
DVD Release Date: November 23, 2010

The director of “When Harry Met Sally….” has given us a middle-school variation, an on and off love story that begins in second grade when Bryce Loski (Callan McAuliffe) and his family move in across the street from Juli Baker […]

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 […]

List: Math Movies

posted by Nell Minow

On the first day of the first school, thousands of years ago, some student probably complained about math and said he’d never have to use it because he had an abacus. But we do use math all the time and […]

What Teachers Make

posted by Nell Minow

Ready for school? My wish for all of you is that when you get there, this is the kind of teacher you find waiting for you. He also makes teachers. Be sure to check out more from the wonderful Taylor […]

Back to School Advice from Parent to Parent

posted by Nell Minow

Common Sense Media has a very worthwhile list of back to school tips from the people who’ve been there — other parents. I especially like the idea of taking cell phones and putting them on an out-of-bedroom charger before bed […]

$100,000 Worth of Children’s Books for Seeing ‘Waiting for Superman’

posted by Nell Minow

Paramount Pictures, Participant Media and Walden Media jointly announced that global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has joined the WaitingforSuperman “Pledge Progress Meter” by committing to provide $100,000 worth of new children’s books to U.S. libraries in need once 60,000 […]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some rude humor and language
Movie Release Date:March 19, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 3, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some rude humor and language
Movie Release Date: March 19, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 3, 2010

“Middle school may be the dumbest idea ever,” says Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon), and I think he speaks for all of us. If you ask most adults whether they would rather be audited by the IRS or go back through […]

To Save a Life

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving teen suicide, teen drinking, some drug content, disturbing images and sexuality.
Movie Release Date:January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 3, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving teen suicide, teen drinking, some drug content, disturbing images and sexuality.
Movie Release Date: January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 3, 2010

Whose life does the title refer to? “To Save a Life” begins with a funeral, a tragic loss of a high school kid who committed suicide because he felt isolated and friendless. Jake (Randy Wayne), a popular senior who thinks […]

Recess: School’s Out

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:2001
DVD Release Date:2001
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 2001
DVD Release Date: 2001

Disney’s latest release, “Recess: School’s Out!” should have a brief life in theaters before moving on to a more fitting format on video. It is not “based on” the popular television series as much as it simply is an episode […]

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some scary moments and mild language
Movie Release Date:2001
DVD Release Date:July 11, 2011
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some scary moments and mild language
Movie Release Date: 2001
DVD Release Date: July 11, 2011

Prepare for the final movie in the Harry Potter series by watching the first one again: I loved it. And I can’t wait to see it again. Based of course on the international sensation, the book by J. K. Rowling, […]

Previous Posts

Interview: Matt Mamula of Celebrity Impersonator Documentary "Just About Famous"
Matt Mamula co-directed "Just About Famous," the very entertaining new documentary about celebrity impersonators. He generously took time to talk to me about the unexpected opportunities that open up when someone looks like someone who becomes ...

posted 3:59:51pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Barak Goodman of "Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies"
Director Barak Goodman talked to me about his superb series for PBS, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, now available on DVD. The series is produced ...

posted 3:55:04pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Creativity Conference 2015: Nancy Pelosi, Snoopy, and Drones with GoPros
I had so much fun at last year's Creativity Conference that I could not imagine how they could top it this year, but they succeeded. This is ...

posted 3:07:48pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: The Little Prince
The beloved book The Little Prince has been gorgeously animated, with voices including Jeff Bridges, James Franco, and Rachel McAdams.  I love this trailer. [iframe frameborder="0" width="480" height="270" ...

posted 8:00:24am Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Samuel L. Jackson is the President in "Big Game"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKThy0cipVA ...

posted 8:00:34am Apr. 25, 2015 | read full post »

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