Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language throughout, some sexual content and brief violence
Release Date:
October 24, 2014

 

Moms' Night Out
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action
Release Date:
May 9, 2014

John Wick
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong and bloody violence throughout, language and brief drug use
Release Date:
October 24, 2014

 

Earth to Echo
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some action and peril, and mild language
Release Date:
July 3, 2014

23 Blast
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some teen drinking
Release Date:
October 24, 2014

 

Snowpiercer
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for violence, language and drug content
Release Date:
July 2, 2014

Michael Clayton

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual dialogue.
Movie Release Date:January 25, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 19, 2008

Michael Clayton (George Clooney) spends a lot of time facing into the dark midnight of the soul, his own and others’.


Late one night and early the next morning, he does both at once as he gets a call on his cell phone in the middle of a high stakes poker game because a client of his law firm needs some help with a nasty hit and run. The client is the one who hit and ran. In the middle of the night, not knowing what to do, he calls the lawyer who does his business deals. And that lawyer calls Michael Clayton.


Clayton is a lawyer, but he does not appear in court or write wills. He is a fixer, a clean-up guy. When a client petulantly says, “I thought you were a miracle worker,” he explains that he is a janitor. He cleans up messes, the kind that lawyers in their three-piece suits and three-figure ties do not want to know about. Clayton will not break the law, but he will bend it a little. He can make some calls to the right people and say soothing words to the wrong people to smooth out the rough edges. Sometimes, the most powerful thing he can do is tell the truth to people who are used to nothing but soothing words. We see that as he explains to the hit and run driver that he will not be able to get away with trying to pretend that it did not happen.


Afterward, he drives through the quiet suburbs. It is still very early in the morning. Clayton sees some horses and gets out of his car to look at them. They seem so far from his world, so pure and filled with energy. He gazes at them, letting his head clear. And then his car explodes.


We go back a few days and find out that Clayton’s closest friend at the firm, Arthur (Tom Wilkinson) was the lead counsel on a $3 billion class action suit against the firm’s client over a pesticide that allegedly poisoned some of the farmers who used it. Arthur’s increased disgust at defending the huge corporation — and his decision to stop taking his medicine — sends him into a manic spiral. Another mess for Clayton to clean up.


But he also has his own mess to clean up. An ill-advised investment with his brother in a restaurant has left him desperate for cash. All of this makes him think about what his options are and what his priorities are.


George Clooney just keeps getting better and better. His performance here is rich and deep and layered, and seeing him work through his range of reactions is enormously moving. It provides a strong center for the legal thriller swirling around him.

Parents should know that this movie includes some violence, including murder and a reference to suicide. There are references to mental illness (and drugs to treat it), alcoholism, gambling addiction, environmental toxins, and suicide. Characters use some strong language and drink (scenes in a bar).

Michael will bend some rules but not others. How can you tell? What are the factors that guide his decisions? What is the significance to the Conquest story? Why do we see Karen practicing her speech and getting dressed?


Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy the books and films of John Grisham.

List: Five movies about presidents

posted by Nell Minow

PresidentsDay-w.jpg
Why have there been no great films about George Washington? And why are there so many films featuring Abraham Lincoln? From the John Ford classic Young Mr. Lincoln, starring Henry Fonda, to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, there is something about the tall man with the wry sense of humor that is very cinematic.
Five great movies for President’s Day:
1. Young Mr. Lincoln Long before he ran for President, we see Abe Lincoln mourn his first love and defend his first clients.
2. Independence Day Bill Pullman is a former fighter pilot who leads America and the world after an alien attack.
3. Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb This cold-war farce has Peter Sellers in three roles, including President of the United States. His conversation with his counterpart in the USSR is a masterpiece. (Some mature material).
kisses%20for%20my%20president.jpg4. “Kisses for My President” Not available on DVD or video, this all-but forgotten 1964 film features Polly Bergan as the nation’s first female President, but in this pre-feminist era its focus is on the problems faced by her husband, played by Fred McMurray. It is every bit as silly as its title suggests and you will never believe how it all gets resolved. (Guesses welcome)
5. Air Force One Harrison Ford is the President as action hero. When Air Force One is captured by terrorists, it’s a good thing that the man who played Han Solo and Indiana Jones is on hand.

Top Picks: Yo Gabba Gabba

posted by Nell Minow

Is there a more adorable television show ever than Nick Jr.’s “Yo Gabba Gabba?” I love this mash-up of movie star, viral pioneer “Numa Numa,” and good old-fashioned silly dance fun.

Trailer: Indiana Jones 4!

posted by Nell Minow

indiana%20jones.jpgOh, boy — check out the teaser trailer for “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” I was a little worried, especially when the trailer wasted time reprising the first three movies, like we don’t already know them by heart, but then we get some glimpses of the new one and it looks like it’s shaping up to be up to the level of the best of the first three. Only three months to go!

Previous Posts

Does PG-13 Mean Anything Anymore?
The Washington Post has an article about a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movies," with some disturbing conclusions about parents' ability to make good decisions about the impact some media may have on their children. This is not

posted 8:00:58am Oct. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Is E-Reading to Kids the Same as Analog Reading?
The New York Times asks, Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time? In a 2013 study, researchers found that children ages 3 to 5 whose parents read to them from an electronic book had lower reading comprehension than children whose parents used traditional books. Part of th

posted 8:00:40am Oct. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Todd and Jedd Wider about the Bullying Documentary "Mentor"
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 Woodstock Film Festival th

posted 3:56:57pm Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Clip: Tinkerbell and the Legend of the NeverBeast
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ApzHJhZz2JQ" frameborder="0"] The latest in Disney's animated Tinkerbell series adds Ginnifer Goodwin to the cast. Coming in March of 2015, it explores the ancient myth of a mysterious creature whose distant roar sparks the curiosity

posted 1:23:59pm Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: "Avatar" Villain Stephen Lang on Playing a Good Guy Coach in "23 Blast"
Stephen Lang is best known for playing the villain in "Avatar." But in "23 Blast," based on the real-life story of Travis Freeman, a high school football player who lost his vision but stayed on the team, Lang plays a good guy, the coach who encouraged and supported him. I talked to Lang about actin

posted 5:56:30am Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.