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genre

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quality

  • A+, A, A-
  • B+, B, B-
  • C+, C, C-
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who's watching

  • My entire family
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age range

  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
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How to be Single

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content and strong language throughout
Movie Release Date:February 12, 2016
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content and strong language throughout
Movie Release Date: February 12, 2016

Drew Barrymore — you know I love you but how does your Flower Films production company produce a film about female friendship and empowerment that barely passes the Bechdel test? And did we really need a thinly disguised remake of […]

Zoolander 2

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, a scene of exaggerated violence, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: February 12, 2016

Kind of like fashion itself, we don’t really care whether “Zoolander 2″ is any good. We go because it is silly fun. The original Zoolander, released in 2001 just after the attacks on 9/11, was based on shorts Ben Stiller […]

Touched With Fire

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:February 12, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: February 12, 2016

Movies are fascinated with mentally ill people but they usually do not do a very good job of portraying them accurately or compassionately. Too often they are serial killers (“Silence of the Lambs”). Even worse, many times they are adorable […]

Deadpool

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity
Movie Release Date:February 12, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity
Movie Release Date: February 12, 2016

Frankly, exuberantly nasty — in the nicest possible way, Deadpool is not your father’s superhero. That is, unless your father is more like “Who’s your daddy?” all snarky wisecracks, 90’s pop culture references, and joyous mayhem. Deadpool is the po-mo […]

Hail, Caesar!

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and smoking
Movie Release Date:February 5, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and smoking
Movie Release Date: February 5, 2016

The Coen brothers love old movies, and not just the classics. I remember reading an interview where they discussed their affection for “With Six You Get Eggroll,” which even Doris Day’s most fervent fans do not consider one of her […]

The Choice

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some thematic issues
Movie Release Date:February 5, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some thematic issues
Movie Release Date: February 5, 2016

Nicholas Sparks is one of the rare authors who has become a brand of his own, bigger than any of his movies. One reason is their predicability; fans know what to expect and they won’t be disappointed. The other reason […]

The Finest Hours

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of peril
Movie Release Date:January 29, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of peril
Movie Release Date: January 29, 2016

“In the Coast Guard they say you gotta go out. They don’t say you gotta come back in.” It was a big nor’easter storm off the coast of Massachusetts. It was February 1952, so communications technology was limited. And not […]

Kung Fu Panda 3

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for martial arts action and some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:January 29, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for martial arts action and some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: January 29, 2016

The only panda more “aw-worthy” than Po (Jack Black), is the National Zoo’s Tian Tian rolling in the snow.  In this third outing, the roly poly martial arts hero is still kind, humble, brave, and wiser than he knows. And, […]

Oscar Nominee: World of Tomorrow

posted by Nell Minow

“World of Tomorrow” turned up on several “best of the year” lists from movie critics. It has been nominated for an Oscar as best animated short film, and can be seen now on Vimeo (for a nominal fee) and Netflix […]

Paul Rudd Plays Quantum Chess with Stephen Hawking — And Bill and Ted Reunite!

posted by Nell Minow

Alex Winter directs, Keanu Reeves narrates (from the future!) and Paul Rudd plays quantum chess with Stephen Hawking in this delightful short film.

The Lady in the Van

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief unsettling image
Movie Release Date:January 22, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief unsettling image
Movie Release Date: January 22, 2016

What connects us to each other? What creates a sense of obligation? Why is it that we somehow find ourselves alone when we don’t want to be and with others when we don’t want to be? Are there secrets that […]

Son of Saul

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for disturbing violent content, and some graphic nudity
Movie Release Date:January 15, 2016
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for disturbing violent content, and some graphic nudity
Movie Release Date: January 15, 2016

As we move past the time when there are living witnesses to the Holocaust who can tell us their stories, we need more than ever voices like first-time writer/director László Nemes to tell the stories. I know there are those […]

Norm of the North

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild rude humor and action
Movie Release Date:January 15, 2016
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild rude humor and action
Movie Release Date: January 15, 2016

“Norm of the North” is not awful, but it is also not special, not new, not funny, and not that interesting. The script is over-plotted but under-written, with confusing detours and uneven tone. It’s as though instead of coming up […]

Smile of the Week: Gratitude Paintings

posted by Nell Minow

Anomalisa

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language
Movie Release Date:January 8, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language
Movie Release Date: January 8, 2016

The “Fregoli delusion” sometimes called the delusion of doubles, is a rare disorder that makes people believe that everyone else in the world is in fact a single person who changes appearance or is in disguise. When Michael Stone (David […]

The Revenant

posted by Nell Minow

In the 1820’s, ladies of fashion liked fur trim. And, true then as now, men like money. So frontiersmen went on trapping expeditions into the wilderness of the young country of the United States of America (played here by British […]

Dragons: Race to the Edge Season 2 on Netflix

posted by Nell Minow

Toothless and Hiccup go nose-to-nose with Skrill in an electrifying battle. Watch all the action unfold in an all-new season of Dragons: Race to the Edge on Netflix, January 8th, 2016.

New Paramount Films Available Free on YouTube

posted by Nell Minow

Now free on YouTube via The Paramount Vault: a digital cinematic collection of films sorted into Classics, Comedy, Action/Adventure, Drama, Horror, Westerns, Science Fiction, and Thrillers. Many of them are B-movies and oddities, but there are treasures for movie fans, […]

Concussion

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material including some disturbing images, and language
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material including some disturbing images, and language
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2015

It is a true story that seemed to have all the elements for a heartwarming, uplifting story about speaking truth to power, told with big stars and lots of Hollywood gloss. And yet, it does not work. In football terms, […]

Joy

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2015

Jennifer Lawrence is “Joy,” reuniting with her “American Hustle” and “Silver Linings Playbook” #squad, director David O. Russell and co-stars Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper. She plays real-life consumer products inventor and television sales mogul Joy Mangano, who lived […]

Daddy’s Home

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, crude and suggestive content, and for language
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, crude and suggestive content, and for language
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2015

It is sometimes said that competition between men is a substitute for comparing their male body parts. In “Daddy’s Home,” the men actually lower their trousers — in front of a doctor and a woman who has been married to […]

A Heartwarming Short Film: Lily and the Snowman

posted by Nell Minow

Sisters

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, and for drug use
Movie Release Date:December 18, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, and for drug use
Movie Release Date: December 18, 2015

BFFs Amy Poehler and Tina Fey clearly had a whale of a good time making this movie.  Watching it is another story, and not nearly as good. Yes, I suppose it’s fair to say that women’s humor can be as […]

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

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:December 18, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor and language
Movie Release Date: December 18, 2015

About five minutes after it began, the long-suffering Dave (Jason Lee, looking tired and oh so over this) comes home to find that the irrepressable little singing chipmunks in the midst of a wild party with a half-pipe set up […]

Adorable A Capella “Star Wars” Themes with the Movie Cast, Jimmy Fallon and the Roots

posted by Nell Minow

I love this!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Movie Release Date:December 16, 2015
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Movie Release Date: December 16, 2015

The force is strong in this thrilling new chapter in the story set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Fans will get goosebumps right from the start as the familiar logo and musical theme are followed […]

The Big Short

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language and some sexuality/nudity
Movie Release Date:December 11, 2015
A
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language and some sexuality/nudity
Movie Release Date: December 11, 2015

Director Adam McKay is so obsessed with the 2008 financial meltdown that he inserted a series of charts and graphs and statistics about it over the closing credits of the silly buddy-cop comedy, The Other Guys. Yes, there was a […]

In the Heart of the Sea

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and peril, brief startling violence, and thematic material
Movie Release Date: December 11, 2015

Herman Melville’s Moby Dick is a brilliant novel about humanity, nature, obsession, power, and pretty much everything else, with a lot of technical information about whaling thrown in for good measure and metaphor. Nathaniel Philbrick’s acclaimed book about the tragic […]

Exclusive Clip: Puss in Boots Season 2 on Netflix

posted by Nell Minow

Puss in Boots is bringing the charm in an all-new season of The Adventures of Puss in Boots from Dreamworks Animation only on Netflix, available December 11, 2015.

Christmas Eve

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some peril, thematic elements and language
Movie Release Date:December 4, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some peril, thematic elements and language
Movie Release Date: December 4, 2015

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but the Christmas season is also the most hectic and the most fraught. Our to-do lists are overwhelming. Our expectations are even more so. And then there are the expectations […]

A Royal Night Out

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and brief drug elements
Movie Release Date:December 4, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and brief drug elements
Movie Release Date: December 4, 2015

The fantasy of royalty mingling among the commoners goes back as far as royalty itself, turning up in classic stories from the Arabian nights to Mark Twain’s Prince and The Pauper to Audrey Hepburn’s Oscar-winning Roman Holiday, and in civilian […]

The Letters

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic material including some images of human suffering
Movie Release Date:December 4, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material including some images of human suffering
Movie Release Date: December 4, 2015

Mother Teresa, the Albanian nun who devoted her life to “the poorest of the poor” in India, is one of the foremost figures of the 20th century, and on the way to being recognized as a saint by the Catholic […]

Chi-Raq

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, nudity, language, some violence and drug use
Movie Release Date:December 4, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 25, 2016
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, nudity, language, some violence and drug use
Movie Release Date: December 4, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 25, 2016

“WAKE UP!” Laurence Fishburne pleads at the end of Spike Lee’s incendiary movie, “School Daze,” not just one of Lee’s best films but one of the most important films of the 1980’s. He was not talking to his fellow students. […]

Exclusive Clip: Merry Kissmas

posted by Nell Minow

Karissa Lee Staples (“Necessary Roughness”) and Brant Daugherty (“Pretty Little Liars”) star in the cheerful romantic comedy, “Merry Kissmas,” available on Digital HD and On Demand December 1, 2015 from MarVista Digital Entertainment. Directed by Michael Feifer, the film also […]

Interview: Erin Bernhardt of “Imba Means Sing”

posted by Nell Minow

The African Children’s Choir is more than a performing group. It is a chance. Children from the direst poverty who tour with the group get to see the world. They go to school. And when they grow up, their education […]

Happy Thanksgiving! Alice’s Restaurant

posted by Nell Minow

Arlo Guthrie’s classic song, “Alice’s Restaurant,” is based on the true story of his arrest for, well, garbage.

Brooklyn

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for a scene of sexuality and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:November 25, 2015
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for a scene of sexuality and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: November 25, 2015

“Brooklyn,” based on the book by Colm Tóibín, is exquisitely lyrical, the story of a young woman who immigrates from Ireland to New York in 1952. She is sad, homesick, and lonely at first, then just as she begins to […]

Carol

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for a scene of sexuality/nudity and brief language
Movie Release Date:November 25, 215
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for a scene of sexuality/nudity and brief language
Movie Release Date: November 25, 215

The most romantic movie of the year is “Carol,” based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith, the author of Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley. But Carol, her second novel, was originally published under another title and […]

The Good Dinosaur

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for peril, action and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:November 25, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for peril, action and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: November 25, 2015

“The Good Dinosaur” is the good movie. Not the great movie. Not the especially memorable movie. Just the perfectly nice and pleasant movie, much stronger in visual splendor than in storyline. Delayed for 18 months as Disney replaced the original […]

Creed

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence, language and some sensuality
Movie Release Date:November 25, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, language and some sensuality
Movie Release Date: November 25, 2015

Rocky had to find the eye of the tiger. When we first met him back in 1976, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) was an amiable, good-hearted lug who loved his pet turtles, Cuff and Link, and if he ever saw himself […]

Minions Mini-Movie!

posted by Nell Minow

The minions are back! Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just released a Minions mini-movies online in celebration of the Minions release on Digital HD on November 24 and Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand December 8. The new mini-movie features Stuart, […]

Exclusive Clip: Bryan Greenberg in “A Year and Change”

posted by Nell Minow

After falling off the roof at a New Year’s Eve house party, Owen (Bryan Greenberg) decides that it’s time to make some wholesale changes in his life. Over the next year, he quits drinking, reconnects with his son, reignites old […]

A Short Film About What We Really See in Each Other

posted by Nell Minow

The Night Before

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for drug use and language throughout, some strong sexual content and graphic nudity
Movie Release Date:November 20, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for drug use and language throughout, some strong sexual content and graphic nudity
Movie Release Date: November 20, 2015

Seth Rogen. Not very surprising guest stars. Many mind-altering substances. Many bodily fluids and functions. Many bad choices. No ability to allow women to be funny, even with some of the best comic actresses of our time in the cast. […]

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

posted by Nell Minow

Can we all just agree that from now on we’ll try to keep it to one book/one movie? This final entry in the Hunger Games series will give the fans what they’ve been waiting for. It’s faithful to the book […]

Secret in Their Eyes

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving disturbing violent content, language and some sexual references
Movie Release Date: November 20, 2015

A girl is murdered. That girl, that crime and the man who did it are seen very differently by different people, all of whom are in law enforcement and all who have sworn to devote their professional lives to justice […]

Fully Charged — Finding Energy and Joy

posted by Nell Minow

Best-selling author Tom Rath writes books about how anyone can find more energy and joy. Now his work is explored fuller in a new documentary called “Fully Charged.” Rath and experts from academia, medicine, business, religion, and the military talk […]

An 18 Year Old Interviews Himself at 56

posted by Nell Minow

Filmmaker Stoney Emshwiller is raising money to complete a film he began when he was 18 years old — in 1977. He recorded half of an interview, wondering how his life would turn out. Now at age 56 he is […]

The 33

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for a disaster sequence and some language
Movie Release Date:November 13, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for a disaster sequence and some language
Movie Release Date: November 13, 2015

There are other numbers they could have used in the title. 121 — that is how old the Chilean Copiapó mine was when it collapsed in 2010. 2300 — that is how many feet underground the men were when it […]

My All American

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rate PG for thematic elements, language and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date:November 13, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rate PG for thematic elements, language and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date: November 13, 2015

If I wrote this review the way writer-director Angelo Pizzo wrote the script for “My All American,” it would be something like this: I saw a movie. It was about football. Freddie Steinmark worked hard and inspired his team, but […]

Spotlight

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language including sexual references
Movie Release Date:November 13, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language including sexual references
Movie Release Date: November 13, 2015

“Spotlight” is about the ultimate betrayal of trust from an institution that literally represented the Word of God to many people. And it is about whether we will continue to have institutions that serve the essential function of monitoring the […]

Trumbo

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:November 11, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: November 11, 2015

The post-WWII era was one of great relief and great fear. The Nazis had been defeated, but at the cost of bringing into the world the horror of atomic weapons. It was a certainty that the next war would be […]

Spectre

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and languag
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 8, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and languag
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2016

I thought “Skyfall” was the best Bond film ever, from the Adele theme song to the storyline that literally brought Bond (Daniel Craig) home. “Spectre” picks up where “Skyfall” left off, M (Dame Judi Dench) dead, the headquarters destroyed, the […]

The Peanuts Movie

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2015

I admit that I approached this film with some of the same trepidation Charlie Brown approaches the football, knowing Lucy’s history of pulling it out of the way at the last second. I’m a fan of Charles Schultz’s original comic […]

Miss You Already

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2015

Friendship has the best aspects of romantic love and the best of family love, and the worst of both as well. Your friends as are close to you as anyone in the world, which means you can rely on them […]

Toy Story that Time Forgot

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2014
DVD Release Date:November 2, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2014
DVD Release Date: November 2, 2015

Pixar’s adorable 2014 Toy Story holiday special is now available on DVD/Blu-Ray. In Toy Story that Time Forgot Bonnie brings her toys to a friend’s house and then leaves them to play a videogame. Buzz, Woody, and the gang discover […]

For Halloween — Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Halloween! Watch the Silly Symphonies Skeleton Dance!

posted by Nell Minow

Burnt

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language throughout
Movie Release Date:October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 25, 2016
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout
Movie Release Date: October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 25, 2016

Tormented but brilliant chef Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) invites the sous chef he hopes to persuade to come work for him to lunch. At Burger King. They are both food snobs. She does not want to touch anything in the […]

Our Brand is Crisis

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 1, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 1, 2016

As we gear up for one of the most improbable and even outlandish Presidential campaigns in US history, we get a movie based on a real-life Presidential campaign in Bolivia, with imported American political consultants transplanting the media-savvy, scorched-earth, mud-slinging […]

Suffragette

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some intense violence, thematic elements, brief strong language and partial nudity
Movie Release Date:October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 1, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some intense violence, thematic elements, brief strong language and partial nudity
Movie Release Date: October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 1, 2016

How do you persuade politicians to give you the vote when you do not have the capacity to vote them out if they deny it? That was the problem faced by women in later 19th and early 20th century Great […]

Armor of Light

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:October 30, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: October 30, 2015

What does it truly mean to be “pro-life?” For many who consider themselves conservatives, it means to be anti-abortion. For many who consider themselves liberals, it means to be against gun violence. One leading evangelical minister, a founder of the […]

Inside Out: Behind the Scenes of Riley’s First Date

posted by Nell Minow

The cast of “Inside Out” takes us behind the scenes for the short sequel on the DVD/Blu-Ray: “Riley’s First Date.”

Toy Story of Terror

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2013
DVD Release Date:October 28, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2013
DVD Release Date: October 28, 2015

Pixar’s 21-minute “Toy Story of Terror,” made for television, is available on DVD and Blu-Ray and is a perfect Halloween treat for the whole family. The toys live with Bonnie now, and she and her mother are on a road […]

The Gilmore Girls Final Season Fans Have Hoped For Is Coming…Probably

posted by Nell Minow

It is not 100% certain yet, but it appears that “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino is getting the band back together for the last season she was deprived of when the series was on television and she left in a […]

The Last Witch Hunter

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images
Movie Release Date:October 23, 2015
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images
Movie Release Date: October 23, 2015

A witch would have to cast a spell over me to make me sit through this big, dumb, dull, dud again. And that’s too bad, because I like Vin Diesel and I can easily be put in the mood for […]

Truth

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and a brief nude photo
Movie Release Date:October 23, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 1, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and a brief nude photo
Movie Release Date: October 23, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 1, 2016

Often a movie “based on a true story” confirms and extends our understanding of what happened. This film, based on the “true story” that led to the departure of one of the most respected newsmen of all time, Dan Rather, […]

Steve Jobs

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:September 23, 2014
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: September 23, 2014

If you want a straightforward, fact-checked biography of Apple visionary Steve Jobs, watch Alex Gibney’s documentary, Steve Jobs: The Man In the Machine, or the Ashton Kutcher biopic (better than its reputation), simply titled Jobs. You can read the meticulously […]

New Online Comedy Channel from NBCUniversal

posted by Nell Minow

NBCUniversal is starting a new streaming comedy channel called Seeso for $3.99 a month. According to Variety, it will include 40 years of “SNL,” including day-after-air episodes; “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”; “Late Night with Seth Meyers”; “Parks and […]

Animated Short: The Long Spoons

posted by Nell Minow

The parable of the long spoons is beautifully told in this short video, “One Human Family, Food for All.”

Tales of Halloween

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong bloody horror violence throughout, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody horror violence throughout, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2015

True to its name, “Tales of Halloween” is a collection of ten short horror stories of the type that Boy Scouts might tell around a campfire late at night. That’s both its strength and weakness. The movie begins on Halloween […]

Bridge of Spies

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 2, 2016
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 2, 2016

Following World War II, Lord de l’Isle and Dudley was harshly criticized when he organized a legal defense fund for a Nazi general. He responded, “Had I met General Manstein during the war I would have shot him on sight. […]

Room

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2015

Jack (Jacob Tremblay) wakes up on his fifth birthday and says hello to everything in his world. Through his eyes, and his narration, we gradually come to understand that his world is so entirely circumscribed by the walls of his […]

Goosebumps

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for scary and intense creature action and images, and for some rude humor
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 25, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for scary and intense creature action and images, and for some rude humor
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 25, 2016

Screenwriters Mike White (“School of Rock”) and Darren Lemke (“Turbo,””Lost”) bring just the right blend of scary, funny, and heartwarming in this first film based on the books by tween favorite R.L. Stine, the man who put the BOO in […]

A Ballerina’s Tale

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2015

“A Ballerina’s Tale” — the title suggests a fairy story, with sugar plums and a happily ever after ending. But this documentary about Misty Copeland is a story about the brutal hard work and resolve necessary to create those exquisitely […]

The Art of More — Coming to Crackle November 19, 2015

posted by Nell Minow

An intense, one-hour drama set in the high-stakes world of New York auction houses, “The Art of More” stars Dennis Quaid, Cary Elwes, and Christian Cooke. The series follows Graham Connor (Cooke), a blue-collar young man who leverages his way […]

Big Stone Gap

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief suggestive material
Movie Release Date:October 9, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief suggestive material
Movie Release Date: October 9, 2015

Even in small towns, big things can happen. Sometimes the most famous movie star in the world stops by and makes international headlines. And even bigger things happen, too — they just don’t get into the newspapers. Adriana Trigiani’s best-selling […]

Freeheld

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, language and sexuality
Movie Release Date:October 9, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 2, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, language and sexuality
Movie Release Date: October 9, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 2, 2016

Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore), a 23-year veteran of the police force, learns that she has terminal cancer. And then she learns something even more devastating — that her registered domestic partner, Stacie Andree (Ellen Page) is not eligible for the […]

The Martian

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity
Movie Release Date:October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 11, 2016
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity
Movie Release Date: October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 11, 2016

In a crackling sharp movie about brilliant people solving very tough problems, it is endearing that the first and most important involves one of the earliest skills developed by mankind. Indeed, it is the skill that made it both possible […]

99 Homes

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual references, and a brief violent image
Movie Release Date:October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 8, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including some sexual references, and a brief violent image
Movie Release Date: October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2016

It’s not called “99 Houses” or “99 Foreclosures,” though that is how they are seen by some of the characters in the film. The banks and the predatory dealmakers may think of these buildings as “assets” or “derivatives” following the […]

The Walk

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements involving perilous situations, and for some nudity, language, brief drug references and smoking
Movie Release Date:October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 4, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements involving perilous situations, and for some nudity, language, brief drug references and smoking
Movie Release Date: October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 4, 2016

If you have vertigo or acrophobia, you will have trouble with “The Walk,” the story of Frenchman Philippe Petit’s tightrope walk between the towers of the World Trade Center. If you don’t have vertigo or acrophobia, you might have after […]

A NICU Nurse Is Thanked by the Babies She Cared For and Their Families

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to nurses everywhere.

Stonewall

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, language throughout, some violence and drug use
Movie Release Date:September 25, 2015
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, language throughout, some violence and drug use
Movie Release Date: September 25, 2015

In 1969, when the federal government prohibited the firing of gays and lesbians, when it was illegal for them to congregate in a bar or even to have consensual sex, when police harassment and brutality was not only permitted but […]

The Intern

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for suggestive content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:September 25, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 18, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for suggestive content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: September 25, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 18, 2016

Oh, to live in Nancy Meyers-land, where the 60’s and 70’s really are a golden age, where AARP-eligible Oscar winners go to be universally adored by bright young people, and where every sumptuously spacious but cozy home has the kitchen […]

Hotel Transylvania 2

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some scary images, action and rude humor
Movie Release Date:September 25, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 12, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some scary images, action and rude humor
Movie Release Date: September 25, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 12, 2016

Vampire Mavis (Selena Gomez) and human Jonathan (Andy Samberg) fell in love in the first “Hotel Translyvania,” and in this sequel they get married and have a baby named Dennis. He has his father’s unruly red curls. But his grandfather […]

Finders Keepers

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2015

You might not think that a documentary about two men fighting over a severed leg would be funny, touching, and insightful, but it is. You might think that it would be a carnival freak show for the age of YouTube […]

Exclusive Clip: VeggieTales Season 2 on Netflix

posted by Nell Minow

Season 2 of DreamWorks Emmy-nominated series VeggieTales in the House premieres on September 25 with 11 new episodes, exclusively on Netflix. Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber meet more lovable new characters including Tina Celerina, Callie Flower, Gary Garlic, […]

Meet the Patels

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements, brief suggestive images and incidental smoking
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements, brief suggestive images and incidental smoking
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2015

The best documentaries — and the best movies and the best stories — are fascinatingly specific but universal as well. When actor/comedian Ravi Patel agreed to let his parents, Vasant and Champa, try to find him a wife according to […]

Captive

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving violence and substance abuse
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving violence and substance abuse
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2015

Two desperate people who think they have nothing discover that there is still a lot more to lose in this fact-based story about an escaped prisoner and the woman he held captive. The story made headlines throughout the country. Ashley […]

Black Mass

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for brutal violence, language throughout, some sexual references and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2015

The most terrifying image on movie screens this year is the ice blue eyes of crime boss Jimmy “Whitey” Bulger, played by Johnny Depp in “Black Mass.” They are at once opaque, implacable, and piercing. Depp’s performance as the man […]

Everest

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense peril and disturbing images
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 18, 2016
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense peril and disturbing images
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 18, 2016

This is why we can’t have nice things. As the brief history at the beginning of “Everest” points out, the first successful group to reach the summit of the world’s tallest mountain was led by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing […]

The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence and action, some thematic elements, substance use and language
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 14, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence and action, some thematic elements, substance use and language
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 14, 2015

The first Maze Runner movie had an arresting premise and a solid structure, literally and metaphorcally. Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), with his memory wiped, arrived at a mysterious facility called The Glade, populated entirely by teenage boys. It turned out to […]

Rosh Hashanah 5776

posted by Nell Minow

A sweet new year to all who celebrate today.  May you and all you love be inscribed in the book of life.

This Man Has a Collection of 15,000 Movies

posted by Nell Minow

“I buy them by the pound.”

The Adorable BB-8 Drone from the New “Star Wars” Meets Some Adorable Puppies

posted by Nell Minow

The Transporter Refueled

posted by Nell Minow

It must be said. The refueled “Transporter” is very low octane. The original had some of the best chase scenes ever filmed and a star-making performance from Jason Statham. This reboot casts newcomer Ed Skrein who is the lower-priced spread […]

Learning to Drive

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and sexual content
Movie Release Date:September 4, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and sexual content
Movie Release Date: September 4, 2015

Katha Pollitt’s wry but bordering on scathing essay about taking her first driving lessons in her 50’s, after her partner of seven years left her for another woman has been turned into a softened but still trenchant film. Patricia Clarkson […]

A Walk in the Woods

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some sexual references
Movie Release Date:September 2, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 28, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some sexual references
Movie Release Date: September 2, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 28, 2015

It isn’t getting to that point where you most often see your friends at funerals. It isn’t feeling stale because instead of promoting a new book, he’s going on some chirpy morning show to promote a reissue of his old […]

Grandma

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some drug use
Movie Release Date:August 21, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 8, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some drug use
Movie Release Date: August 21, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2016

Lily Tomlin is cranky, feisty, tough, and utterly irresistible in this story of a grandmother who has to visit past decisions about her own life in order to help her teenage granddaughter. Tomlin plays the aptly named Elle (French for […]

We Are Your Friends

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, drug use, sexual content and some nudity
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 16, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, drug use, sexual content and some nudity
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 16, 2015

Director Max Joseph brings some of the “Catfish” sensibility to “We Are Your Friends,” with an intimate, documentary feel and a storyline about people in their 20’s who have big dreams but not much understanding about how to achieve them […]

Z for Zachariah

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for a scene of sexuality, partial nudity, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2015
DVD Release Date:October 19, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for a scene of sexuality, partial nudity, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2015
DVD Release Date: October 19, 2015

In 1959, a movie called The World, The Flesh And The Devil imagined a post-apocalyptic world with three surviving humans. In the words of the 1960’s television series, “The Mod Squad,” they could be described as “one black, one white, […]

Gurukulam

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:August 22, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: August 22, 2015

It is hard to think of a form of communication more contrary to the internal stillness and oneness of meditation than a movie. Meditation seeks to remove our minds and spirits from the distractions of the outside world to free […]

Advice From Your Elders and a Goodbye from Wiretap

posted by Nell Minow

CBC’s wonderful Wiretap podcast says goodbye after 11 years with this adorable short film featuring wisdom from elders to youngers, ages 7-93. It covers everything from taking off the training wheels to asking a girl to dance to being kind […]

Hitman: Agent 47

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sequences of strong violence, and some language
Movie Release Date:August 21, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 28, 2015
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sequences of strong violence, and some language
Movie Release Date: August 21, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 28, 2015

Maybe someday there will be a good movie based on a videogame. But there’s no evidence of that possibility in the tiresome “Hitman: Agent 47″ based on the first-person shooter Hitman Trilogy. The game keeps the player’s interest through challenges […]

Luxo Jr. — Pixar’s First Film Short Came out 29 Years Ago Today

posted by Nell Minow

Ever wonder why Pixar’s movies always begin with a desk lamp? Watch Pixar’s first computer-animated short, released 29 years ago today.

Happy Birthday to Votes for Women

posted by Nell Minow

It was only 95 years ago that American women first got the right to vote.

Straight Outta Compton

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language throughout, strong sexuality/nudity, violence, and drug use
Movie Release Date:August 14, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 18, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, strong sexuality/nudity, violence, and drug use
Movie Release Date: August 14, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 18, 2016

“What does NWA stand for?” asks Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti), who is offering to become the manager of a new rap group from the Compton area of Los Angeles. “No Whites Allowed?” “No,” Eric “Eazy-E” Wright answers: “N**** Wit Attitude.” […]

The Man from UNCLE

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for action violence, some suggestive content, and partial nudity
Movie Release Date:August 14, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 16, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for action violence, some suggestive content, and partial nudity
Movie Release Date: August 14, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 16, 2015

Guy Ritchie’s update of the 1960’s television spy series is sleek, sophisticated, and sexy, with lively banter, high style, and oodles of roguish retro charm. Henry Cavill (“Superman,” “The Tudors”) takes the Robert Vaughn role of Napoleon Solo, an army […]

Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements and brief language
Movie Release Date:August 14, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements and brief language
Movie Release Date: August 14, 2015

“Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism” is a cute family fantasy, based on the series of books about a spunky orphan by Georgia Byng. Raffey Cassidy, the enchanting young star who was the highlight of “Tomorrowland,” is perfectly […]

New on Netflix: Dinotrux

posted by Nell Minow

New on Netflix: Dinotrux! It’s based on the books by Chris Gall. Dinotrux are huge creatures are half dinosaur, half construction vehicle. Ty Rux is a Tyrannosaurus Trux, and his best friend Revvit is a razor-sharp Reptool. Together they fight […]

Interview: Disney Animator Dorothy McKim on the Disney Short Film Collection

posted by Nell Minow

Dorothy McKim produced one of my favorite of the recent Disney short films, “Get a Horse,” which brought old-time Mickey Mouse into the era of 3D CGI with an eye-popping, with a hilariously intricate choreography that literally jumps out of […]

Ricki and the Flash

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material, brief drug content, sexuality and language
Movie Release Date:August 7, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 23, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material, brief drug content, sexuality and language
Movie Release Date: August 7, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 23, 2015

“Aren’t you allowed to have two dreams?” The person asking the question is Ricki (as she is now known), played by Meryl Streep. She has just accused her ex-husband, Pete (Kevin Kline), of not supporting her dream of playing rock […]

The End of the Tour

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:August 7, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 9, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: August 7, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 9, 2015

Form illuminates content in this imperfect but compelling film based on the real-life audiotapes of a four day interview of author David Foster Wallace in the final days of his book tour for Infinite Jest. The subject of the interview […]

Shaun the Sheep

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for rude humor
Movie Release Date:August 7, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 23, 2015
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for rude humor
Movie Release Date: August 7, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 23, 2015

“Shaun the Sheep is another adorably quirky animated film from Aardman, the folks behind “Wallace and Gromit” and “Chicken Run.” it is a wordless pleasure about a flock of sheep who have an adventure when they get bored with their […]

Fantastic Four

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, and language
Movie Release Date:August 7, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 15, 2015
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, and language
Movie Release Date: August 7, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 15, 2015

Three things a superhero movie should not be: dreary, dull, and tedious. Three things this movie is: see if you can guess. I am a huge fan of the comic book series Fantastic Four, which I first read as a […]

Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date:July 31, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 14, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date: July 31, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 14, 2015

You think you’ve seen it before? Well, it is a familiar situation. Hitchcock had an assassin waiting in a concert hall for the right moment to shoot and our hero trying to stop it — twice, in the original “Man […]

Best of Enemies

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:July 31, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: July 31, 2015

Once upon a time, network television news was dignified, objective, and delivered in stentorian, voice-of-God tones by white, vaguely Protestant men, in half-hour increments at the dinner hour. And then, in 1968, third-ranked network ABC, unable to compete with CBS […]

Vacation

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude and sexual content and language throughout, and brief graphic nudity
Movie Release Date:July 29, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 3, 2015
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content and language throughout, and brief graphic nudity
Movie Release Date: July 29, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2015

I didn’t like the first one. I didn’t like the sequels. Keep that in mind when I tell you that I really did not like this latest in the gross-out, mean-spirited “Vacation” series, this time with the next generation going […]

The Imaginative Short Film that Inspired “Pixels”

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to my friend and fellow film critic Eddie Pasa for sharing this short film by Patrick Jean, the inspiration for this week’s “Pixels.”

Southpaw

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language throughout, and some violence
Movie Release Date:July 25, 2105
DVD Release Date:October 26, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, and some violence
Movie Release Date: July 25, 2105
DVD Release Date: October 26, 2015

Didactic and unabashedly manipulative, “Southpaw” borrows from almost every boxing movie ever made. It telegraphs every development and then, in case we missed it, tells us what just happened. The dialogue is purplish and melodramatic. The filmmaking is self-consciously arty, […]

Paper Towns

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language, drinking, sexuality and partial nudity -- all involving teens
Movie Release Date: July 25, 2015

Everyone has one. That unobtainable dream we longed for when we were first learning what it felt like to be in love. For most of us, these impossible-to-attain objects of our desire are like training wheels to keep us from […]

Pixels

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive comments
Movie Release Date:July 24, 2015
DVD Release Date:October 26, 2015
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive comments
Movie Release Date: July 24, 2015
DVD Release Date: October 26, 2015

I never thought I’d see Max Headroom or “Fantasy Island” again, much less have to explain them to someone sitting next to me who was a toddler when they were on television, but Adam Sandler is still relentlessly working his […]

Ant-Man

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Movie Release Date:July 17, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 7, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Movie Release Date: July 17, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 7, 2015

San Diego Comic-Con is known for big, loud, and splashy promotions for movies and television series, especially those featuring superheroes.  So it was a delight to come across the tiny “billboard” for “Ant-Man,” smaller than a shoebox, that was the […]

Trainwreck

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use
Movie Release Date:July 17, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 9, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use
Movie Release Date: July 17, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 9, 2015

Judd Apatow has made a bunch of raunchy comedies about man-children who have to learn to grow up and embrace the joys of intimacy and responsibility, and one raunchy comedy (“This is 40″) about a couple who have to learn […]

Minions

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for action and rude humor
Movie Release Date:July 10, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 7, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action and rude humor
Movie Release Date: July 10, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 7, 2015

The Minions should pay a little less attention to villains and a little more to penguins. Like “Madagascar’s” penguins, “Despicable Me’s” yellow minions were comic relief characters who took the lead in follow-up features. But the Minions are not quite […]

Self/Less

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, some sexuality, and language
Movie Release Date:July 10, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, some sexuality, and language
Movie Release Date: July 10, 2015

The longing for eternal life has inspired many stories, maybe most of them. What is creating a story itself if not a kind of search for immortality? Anne Rice created her series of books about vampires because the death of […]

Batkid Begins

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades

Children with cancer learn two things, we hear in this documentary about a boy who is being treated for leukemia. They learn how to fight. And, because they are surrounded by caregivers, they learn compassion. When he was two, Miles […]

Wil Wheaton Talks About His Mental Illness in a Video for UROK

posted by Nell Minow

I love the way Wil Wheaton sort of plays himself on “The Big Bang Theory.” The characters interact with him as Wil Wheaton, Wesley Crusher from “Star Trek: TNG” and star of “Stand By Me” (and “Serial Apeist 2″). But […]

Contest: Win a DVD of the Sweet Romance, “Old Fashioned”

posted by Nell Minow

Win a copy of the sweet romance, “Old Fashioned,” from PureFlix. It set a record with the highest opening for faith film on less than 300 screens. Director and star of the film Rik Swartzwelder has said he wanted to […]

The Declaration of Independence — Happy 4th of July!

posted by Nell Minow

Magic Mike XXL

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong sexual content, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use
Movie Release Date:July 1, 2015
DVD Release Date:October 6, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use
Movie Release Date: July 1, 2015
DVD Release Date: October 6, 2015

“We’re healers,” one of the male exotic dancers, explains to another in “Magic Mike XXL.”  They’re here to bring a smile to women who have not, through tragically misguided oversight, been worshipped and adored.  They have not been ap-PRE-ciated.  They […]

Terminator Genisys

posted by Nell Minow

“I’ll be back,” Arnold Schwarzenegger said in the first “Terminator” movie. He had the title role but only 16 lines, with about a total of 80 words. But those three words have become a legend. It now appears he meant […]

Interview: Jalmari Helander and Onni Tommila of “Big Game”

posted by Nell Minow

Big Game, now in theaters and on VOD, is an exciting action movie about Oskari, a Finnish kid on a solo hunting trip, who has to save the President of the United States when he is ejected from Air Force […]

Max

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for action violence, peril, brief language and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date:June 26, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 2, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action violence, peril, brief language and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date: June 26, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 2, 2015

“Max” is a good, old-fashioned story of a boy and a dog who mend each other’s broken hearts.  It is heartwarming without getting treacly, and frank without getting too disturbing.  And it has adventure, romance, loss, and something to say […]

Big Game

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some language
Movie Release Date:June 26, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 17, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some language
Movie Release Date: June 26, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 17, 2015

Yes, it is basically “Die Hard” and “Under Siege” in the mountains of Finland, if Bruce Willis was a kid on a rite-of-passage solo hunting trip.  And instead of executive hostages in a big office building, the kid has to […]

Infinitely Polar Bear

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:June 19, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 4, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: June 19, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 4, 2016

“Infinitely Polar Bear” is the term a young girl uses in this film for bipolar disorder, the mental illness that her father struggled with as he cared for his daughters. It indicates that this sensitive, touching story reflects the perspective […]

Ted 2

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use
Movie Release Date:June 26, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 15, 2015
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use
Movie Release Date: June 26, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 15, 2015

“Subtle” is not a word that naturally comes to mind for a movie that features a bong in the shape of male genitalia (which is more powerful — the longing for weed or the ew-factor of a straight guy who […]

An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:2015
DVD Release Date:June 22, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: 2015
DVD Release Date: June 22, 2015

“Grace Stirs Up Success” is the latest in the excellent “American Girl” series, all featuring spirited young heroines confronting real-life problems, and learning some important lessons. They always include a lot of fun and a loving family, too. In this […]

Inside Out

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action
Movie Release Date:June 19, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 3, 2015
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action
Movie Release Date: June 19, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2015

Roger Ebert liked to refer to movies as an “empathy machine.” He said that the great gift of movies, more than any other art form, is the way they can put us inside the world, experiences, culture, and perspective of […]

AMC’s New All-Horror Movie Streaming Service

posted by Nell Minow

Uproxx reports that AMC has a new all-horror movie streaming service called Shudder with over 200 titles from the classics to international spook-fests, slashers, urban dread, supernatural scares, and more. You’ve been warned, but if you’re ready to be disturbed, […]

The Farewell Party

posted by Nell Minow

Israeli filmmaker Sharon Mayman says that the idea for “The Farewell Party” came from the time that his boyfriend’s grandmother, age 92, was dying, and paramedics prolonged her suffering by “fighting for her life like she was 16 years old.” […]

Jurassic World

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril.
Movie Release Date:June 11, 2015
DVD Release Date:October 20, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril.
Movie Release Date: June 11, 2015
DVD Release Date: October 20, 2015

One problem is that we really do not know very much about dinosaurs, especially live ones, and especially genetically tweaked live ones. A bigger problem is that we keep ignoring what we do know about humans. Over and over again […]

Spy

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language throughout, violence, and some sexual content including brief graphic nudity
Movie Release Date:June 5, 2015
DVD Release Date:September 8, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, violence, and some sexual content including brief graphic nudity
Movie Release Date: June 5, 2015
DVD Release Date: September 8, 2015

It is time to celebrate. Melissa McCarthy finally has the movie role she deserves. Writer/director Paul Feig, who directed her in “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat” has wisely given her center stage and allowed her to be quirky and awkward, which […]

Entourage

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, strong sexual content, nudity and some drug use
Movie Release Date:June 3, 2015
DVD Release Date:September 28, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, strong sexual content, nudity and some drug use
Movie Release Date: June 3, 2015
DVD Release Date: September 28, 2015

I sometimes muse that it might be nice to have a rule that I spend no more time writing a review of a film than the screenwriter spent writing the script.  If I had, this review could end right here, with […]

Clip: Dreamworks Dragons — Race to the Edge

posted by Nell Minow

We are delighted to be able to share a clip from Dreamwork Dragons: Race to the Edge, coming from Netflix on June 26, 2015. Hiccup stumbles upon a mysterious, ancient treasure while exploring an abandoned, booby-trapped ship.  

San Andreas

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense disaster action and mayhem throughout, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:May 30, 2015
DVD Release Date:October 12, 2015
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense disaster action and mayhem throughout, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: May 30, 2015
DVD Release Date: October 12, 2015

Another summer blockbuster-by-the-numbers, another dad who needs redemption and re-connection with his family, and the only way he can get it is via massive, catastrophic disasters lovingly created via CGI that feels more real than the emotions, characters, or dialog. […]

Aloha

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language including suggestive comments
Movie Release Date:May 30, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 23, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language including suggestive comments
Movie Release Date: May 30, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 23, 2015

Writer/director Cameron Crowe presents us with an attractive and talented but messy and compromised hero in “Aloha,” and asks us to root for him. The problem is that the film itself is attractive, talent-filled, messy, and compromised, and harder to […]

History of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier — Arlington National Cemetery

posted by Nell Minow

Tomorrowland

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements, and language
Movie Release Date:May 22, 2015
DVD Release Date:October 12, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements, and language
Movie Release Date: May 22, 2015
DVD Release Date: October 12, 2015

It begins with an argument. Frank (George Clooney) is trying to tell us the story. But he is repeatedly interrupted by someone we will learn is Casey (Britt Robertson). “Try to be a little more upbeat,” she urges him. The […]

I’ll See You in My Dreams

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual material, drug use and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:May 22, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual material, drug use and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: May 22, 2015

Blythe Danner gives a performance of exquisite sensitivity in “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” the story of a lonely widow. She plays Carol, a singer-turned teacher who retired 20 years ago after her husband died. Her friends in a […]

Alamo Drafthouse Tells Audience Members to Turn Off Their Cell Phones with Lewis Black of “Inside Out”

posted by Nell Minow

Lewis Black plays Anger in Pixar’s new film, “Inside Out.” So who better to remind the audience to TURN OFF THEIR CELL PHONES!

Exclusive Clip: Richie Rich — Coming 5/22 on Netflix

posted by Nell Minow

We are delighted to have a sneak peek at Netflix’s new Richie Rich series, premiering May 22, 2015.

American Sniper

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R for strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:January 16, 2015
DVD Release Date:May 18, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R for strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: January 16, 2015
DVD Release Date: May 18, 2015

The highest-grossing movie of 2014 is also one of the most controversial. Director Clint Eastwood and producer-star Bradley Cooper have made a more subtle and nuanced film than either the people who loved it or the people who hated it […]

Mad Max: Fury Road

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images
Movie Release Date:May 15, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images
Movie Release Date: May 15, 2015

Mad Max (Tom Hardy, taking over from Mel Gibson) stamps on a two-headed lizard and then chews its head off. And that’s just in the first minute. That master of apocalyptic junkyard anarchy, George Miller, is back, bigger, wilder, madder […]

Pitch Perfect 2

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for innuendo and language
Movie Release Date:May 15, 2015
DVD Release Date:September 21, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for innuendo and language
Movie Release Date: May 15, 2015
DVD Release Date: September 21, 2015

“Pitch Perfect 2″ is — bear with me — the musical comedy variation on the “Furious 7″ recipe for success.  The sequel jettisons any pretense of seriousness of purpose, structural logic, or psychological authenticity, joyfully tosses off any pretense of […]

Noble

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, including some violent and sexual situations
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, including some violent and sexual situations
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015

Christina Noble is an Irish woman known as “Mama Tina” to thousands of Vietnamese children and their families. Her own childhood was one of poverty, abandonment, loss, and hardship, but her resilience and determination led her to give children half […]

Hot Pursuit

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, violence, language and some drug material
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 10, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, violence, language and some drug material
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 10, 2015

Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon are both talented, beautiful actresses with savvy business acumen and strong entrepreneurial energy. Witherspoon’s accolades in 2014 included more than a Best Actress Oscar nomination for “Wild.” She also produced it, and another Oscar-nominated film, […]

Bravetown

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language, drug use and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language, drug use and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015

If only salutory intentions and one good performance could save a film so fundamentally wrongly conceived. “Bravetown” starts out as “Footloose,” veers into “Ordinary People,” and ends up as “Swing Kids,” with jaw-dropping shifts in tone and focus and total […]

The D Train

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Unrated
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015

Comedies, especially dark ones, have a lot of freedom when it comes to narrative logic, but the emotional logic still has to ring true. No matter how crazy the storyline gets, the way the characters respond to it has to […]

Ride

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some drug use
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 17, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some drug use
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 17, 2015

A surf bum named Ian (Luke Wilson) is explaining the physics of the interaction between surfboard and wave: it’s an inanimate object in an ever-changing environment. One doesn’t move. One never stops moving in powerful and highly unpredictable ways. And […]

Far from the Madding Crowd

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

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

Avengers: Age of Ultron

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action, violence and destruction, and for some suggestive comments
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2015
DVD Release Date:September 28, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action, violence and destruction, and for some suggestive comments
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2015
DVD Release Date: September 28, 2015

Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) sums it up best. Speaking pretty much to himself but also to us in the audience, he notes that he is on a floating city trying to fight off a robot army with arrows. “It doesn’t make […]

Welcome to Me

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, some graphic nudity, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, some graphic nudity, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2015

In “Welcome to Me,” Kristen Wiig plays Alice, a depressed woman diagnosed with borderline personality disorder who wins $86 million in the lottery. She uses much of it to create a one-woman television series that feature monologues about her life […]

Iris

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some strong language
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 23, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some strong language
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 23, 2015

Fashion icon nonagenarian Iris Apfel is renowned for her taste and style. But people who see this movie, the last from documentary legend Albert Maysles, will remember her for her fearlessness and life force. Along with the signature big, round, […]

The Age of Adaline

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for a suggestive comment
Movie Release Date:April 24, 2015
DVD Release Date:September 8, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for a suggestive comment
Movie Release Date: April 24, 2015
DVD Release Date: September 8, 2015

Be careful what you wish for.  You think it would be great to stay 29 forever?  Adaline (Blake Lively) finds out that it is not great to become unstuck from time, to watch everyone you love grow old and die, […]

The Water Diviner

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for war violence including some disturbing images
Movie Release Date:April 24, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for war violence including some disturbing images
Movie Release Date: April 24, 2015

Before it detours into not one, not two, but at least three preposterous Hollywood twists, “The Water Diviner” is an absorbing drama about Joshua Connor, an Australian farmer (Russell Crowe, making his directing debut as well) who travels to Turkey […]

Ebertfest 2015, Part 2

posted by Nell Minow

It was a great honor to be included on today’s panel of movie critics, along with superstars Godfrey Cheshire, Scott Foundas, Matt Zoller Seitz, Rebecca Theodore Vachon, Richard Roeper, Susan Wloszczyna, Michael Phillips, Brian Tallarico, and Sam Fragoso.

Monkey Kingdom

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2015
DVD Release Date:September 21. 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: April 17, 2015
DVD Release Date: September 21. 2015

Disneynature’s annual wild kingdom-style nature documentary is predictably adorable but surprisingly absorbing. The toque macaque monkeys of Sri Lanka live in the 12th century ruins of Polonnaruwa in a society as rigidly structured and ruthlessly enforced as a high school […]

Ex Machina

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for graphic nudity, language, sexual references and some violence
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2015
DVD Release Date:July 14, 2015
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for graphic nudity, language, sexual references and some violence
Movie Release Date: April 17, 2015
DVD Release Date: July 14, 2015

Movies about artificial intelligence or computers achieving consciousness are, of course, really about what it means to be human. When software and hardware combine to mimic or exceed human qualities in “Her,” “Chappie,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Terminator,” or the […]

True Story

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some disturbing material
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 3, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some disturbing material
Movie Release Date: April 17, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 3, 2015

A reporter in disgrace for fabricating details of a story sits across the table from an orange-jumpsuited prisoner, accused of murdering his wife and three children. They have more in common than either of them expected. They are both outcasts. […]

Other Space — New Comedy Series on Yahoo from Paul Feig

posted by Nell Minow

Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids,” “Freaks and Geeks”) has a new comedy sci-fi series called “Other Space” premiering today on Yahoo. There is a fascinating article by Stephan Rodrick in the New Yorker about one of the people who played a key […]

VeggieTales in the House — A New Series on Netflix

posted by Nell Minow

Bob, Larry and the Veggie crew are back in five all-new, 22-minute episodes of the Netflix original series VeggieTales In the House! The brand-new episodes will be available for Netflix members to watch instantly this Friday, April 17. We are delighted to be […]

Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:April 14, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: April 14, 2015

PBS’s Wild Kratts is one of my favorite series for families. I love the relationship between the two real-life Kratt brothers and their enthusiasm and sense of adventure. The episodes have a nice balance between adventure, humor, and information about […]

The Longest Ride

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action
Movie Release Date:April 10, 2015
DVD Release Date:July 14, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action
Movie Release Date: April 10, 2015
DVD Release Date: July 14, 2015

Another spring, another Nicholas Sparks movie. I don’t mind (much) that they are so rigidly formulaic. Every one of them centers on (1) water, (2) letters, and (3) somebody dying. All genre films follow some sort of formula, and we […]

Game of Chairs — Sesame Street Adorably Takes on Game of Thrones

posted by Nell Minow

Furious 7

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:April 3, 2015
DVD Release Date:September 14, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: April 3, 2015
DVD Release Date: September 14, 2015

Who would have picked the Fast & Furious series as the one that would defy the odds and just keep getting better? In part that is because the first one was not very good. And the second wasn’t either. It […]

AISH and Six13 Uptown Funk Up Passover

posted by Nell Minow

AISH made an Uptown Funk parody in honor of Passover: And so did Six13: Hag sameach!

Happy Passover!

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s a great Rube Goldberg-style contraption tribute to Passover from the folks at Technion. And here’s a glimpse of how they put it together.

While We’re Young

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:March 27, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: March 27, 2015

“While We’re Young” opens with an exchange from Ibsen’s “The Master Builder” about what happens when the young come knocking at the door. But it might just as well begin with the wry Amish aphorism, “We grow too soon old […]

The Woman in Gold

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:April 1, 2015
DVD Release Date:July 6, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: April 1, 2015
DVD Release Date: July 6, 2015

The very title is a form of theft. When Gustav Klimt painted the portrait that gives this film its name, he called it “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer.” She was a warm, vibrant young woman who was a vital part of […]

The Wrecking Crew

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language, thematic elements and smoking images
Movie Release Date:March 27. 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language, thematic elements and smoking images
Movie Release Date: March 27. 2015

Maybe you like Frank Sinatra and your friend likes the Mamas and Papas. Maybe you’ve argued about who is better, the Beach Boys or Simon and Garfunkel, or maybe you prefer Elvis. Each of those monumentally talented performers had a […]

Home

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date:March 27, 2015
DVD Release Date:July 27, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date: March 27, 2015
DVD Release Date: July 27, 2015

“Home” is a cute and colorful movie about an alien invasion with an important safety tip concerning one of the most destructive forces in the universe, causing utter devastation to every known life form. Yes, it is hitting the dreaded […]

Smile of the Week: Soul Pancake on the Power of Accepting Compliments

posted by Nell Minow

My very wise mother always says, “If someone pays you a compliment, don’t argue or deflect it.  Just lower your eyes and say, ‘Thank you.’”  This wonderful film from the great folks at Soul Pancake shows exactly how important that […]

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:March 20, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: March 20, 2015

Jean-Michel Cousteau begins this dazzling underwater documentary with archival footage of his father’s pioneering work in showing us life in the other two-thirds of the planet. And then he uses the latest technology to bring those flickering monotone images up […]

Insurgent

posted by Nell Minow

This second in the “Divergent” series suffers from sequel-itis. The exuberance of the premise buoyed the first episode, as we and the central character, Tris (Shailene Woodley) explored the post-apocalyptic world that divided all citizens into strictly segregated factions. But […]

Danny Collins

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, drug use and some nudity
Movie Release Date:March 20, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 29, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, drug use and some nudity
Movie Release Date: March 20, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 29, 2015

Movie stories often begin with the hero or heroine having everything and then losing it or having nothing and then finding it. But some of the best combine them both, as Writer/director Dan Fogelman (“Cars,” “Tangled,” “Crazy Stupid Love”) has […]

The Gunman

posted by Nell Minow

Stars too often produce the kind of movie they want to star in, instead of the kind of movie anyone wants to watch. Co-writer/producer/star Sean Penn is clearly trying to make The Gunman a thinking person’s thriller. You can hear […]

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
DVD Release Date:September 14, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: March 13, 2015
DVD Release Date: September 14, 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 […]

Run All Night

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence, language including sexual references, and some drug use
Movie Release Date:March 13, 2014
DVD Release Date:June 15, 2015
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, language including sexual references, and some drug use
Movie Release Date: March 13, 2014
DVD Release Date: June 15, 2015

Two guys with the understanding of what they have lost and what they have paid to be where they are that only comes with sit opposite each other, drinks on the table between them. They must, at last, reckon with […]

Tom Hanks Lip-Syncs and Dances with Carly Rae Jepsen in “I Really Like You”

posted by Nell Minow

Tom Hanks really, really, really, really, really likes Carly Rae Jepsen!

Unfinished Business

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some strong risque sexual content/graphic nudity, and for language and drug use
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 15, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some strong risque sexual content/graphic nudity, and for language and drug use
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 15, 2015

“Unfinished Business” is a story about three renegade renegades from bureaucracy going up against The Man and the importance of the individual in an era of soul-grinding corporatism. But the movie itself is clearly the product of institutional over-management, as […]

Chappie

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, language and brief nudity
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 15, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, language and brief nudity
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 15, 2015

So, basically, no one here saw “Terminator.” Or “Frankenstein.” But maybe they did see “Robocop?” Or “Short Circuit?” Writer/director Neill Blomkamp likes sci-fi allegories of social and political conflicts, as we saw in “District 9″ and “Elysium.” Here he imagines […]

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some language and suggestive comments
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date:July 14, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some language and suggestive comments
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date: July 14, 2015

A documentary called “Young @ Heart” had a choir of singers in their 80’s performing contemporary rock songs.  The very fact of their age and experience gave an unexpectedly profound meaning to the words.  And in “The Second Best Exotic […]

Merchants of Doubt

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2015

Do you remember the tobacco executives standing up before a Congressional Committee, their right hands raised, each of them swearing that they did not believe that tobacco caused cancer?  That was in 1994, three decades after the US Surgeon General’s […]

YouTube’s New Campaign for Women: #DearMe

posted by Nell Minow

What advice would you give your younger self?  In celebration of International Women’s Day, take part in YouTube’s global #DearMe initiative to inspire and empower young girls everywhere.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

posted by Nell Minow

And don’t forget the only live action film written by Dr. Seuss, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T!

A Purim Take on Uptown Funk — Shushan Funk

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Purim! May this be a year when all the Hamens of the world are vanquished. This tale, was once told In the days of Achashverosh This one needs a new girl Needs a good girl A straight masterpiece! So […]

Smile of the Week: Uptown Funk from Alex Boye and the Dancing Grannies

posted by Nell Minow

“Uptown Funk,” from Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, is covered in a sensational new video from longtime Mormon Tabernacle Choir member Alex Boyé and back-up performers ranging in age from 65-92.  According to the Choir’s website, Between all of his […]

Smile of the Week: Disney Shadows at the Mall

posted by Nell Minow

See what happens when Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Ana, Elsa, Olaf, Cinderella, Buzz Lightyear and other Disney Characters magically surprise unsuspecting shoppers with their “Disney Side.” Smooth moves, Mickey!

Mixmaster Baymax: from the “Big Hero 6″ DVD Extras

posted by Nell Minow

Big Hero 6 will be out on DVD/Blu-Ray February 24, 2015. Here’s a cute clip from the DVD extras.

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posted 3:20:05pm Feb. 12, 2016 | read full post »

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Trailer: "Criminal" with Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, and Ryan Reynolds
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posted 8:01:22am Feb. 12, 2016 | read full post »

How to be Single
Drew Barrymore -- you know I love you but how does your Flower Films production company produce a film about female friendship and empowerment that barely passes the Bechdel test? And did we really need a thinly disguised remake of "He's ...

posted 5:40:06pm Feb. 11, 2016 | read full post »

Zoolander 2
Kind of like fashion itself, we don't really care whether "Zoolander 2" is any good. We go because it is silly fun. The original Zoolander, ...

posted 5:22:04pm Feb. 11, 2016 | read full post »