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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week Archives

showing results 5 - 132 of 328

genre

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

quality

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

who's watching

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

age range

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




The Rocker

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for drug and sexual references, nudity and language.
Movie Release Date:August 20, 2008
DVD Release Date:January 27, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for drug and sexual references, nudity and language.
Movie Release Date: August 20, 2008
DVD Release Date: January 27, 2009

Emma Stone’s breakthrough role in next week’s “Easy A” makes this a good time to look at some of her earlier work. She is terrific in this story of a high school rock group. Pete Best, who was famously kicked […]

The Pajama Game

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1957
DVD Release Date:August 29, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1957
DVD Release Date: August 29, 2011

Labor Day is a good time to see this musical about the romance between a representative of the union (Doris Day) and a representative of management (John Raitt). It has the good sense to keep the plot out of the […]

City Island

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, smoking, and language
Movie Release Date:April 26, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 24, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, smoking, and language
Movie Release Date: April 26, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 24, 2010

This warm-hearted dysfunctional family comedy-drama benefits from an exceptionally strong cast, including producer Andy Garcia as the father, Julianna Margulies as the mother, and Steven Strait as the young man just released from prison who sets off a series of […]

Me and Orson Welles

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual references and smoking
Movie Release Date:November 25, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 17, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual references and smoking
Movie Release Date: November 25, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 17, 2010

“This is the story of one week in my life. I was seventeen. It was the week I slept in Orson Welles’s pajamas. It was the week I fell in love. And it was the week I changed my middle […]

Letters to God

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements
Movie Release Date:April 9, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 10, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements
Movie Release Date: April 9, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 10, 2010

Director David Nixon is dedicated to telling stories of faith and inspiration. His most recent film is “Letters to God,” inspired by the true story of a critically ill boy who wrote to God to ask for help. But the […]

Visions of Israel

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:August 10, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: August 10, 2010

From the Western Wall to the Temple Mount, “Visions of Israel” shows us breathtaking footage of this timeless land, sacred to three major religions. Stunning high-definition footage takes us to sites ancient and contemporary, providing settings of ancient history going […]

Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, some drug references, and language
Movie Release Date:2004
DVD Release Date:2004
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, some drug references, and language
Movie Release Date: 2004
DVD Release Date: 2004

This week’s release of “Ramona and Beezus” made me think of the movie where I first noticed two of its stars, Josh Duhamel and Ginnifer Goodwin: This cute romantic comedy is better than it needs to be, thanks to the […]

Hey, Hey, It’s Esther Blueburger

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 For thematic elements, language, some sexual content and brief teen smoking.
DVD Release Date: July 13, 2010

This 2008 Australian film is one of my favorites of the past few years and I am very happy that it is finally available on a US-format DVD. It’s the story of the title character, Esther Blueburger (Danielle Catanzariti), approaching […]

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for disturbing violent content including rape, grisly images, sexual material, nudity, and language
Movie Release Date:November 7, 2009
DVD Release Date:July 6, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for disturbing violent content including rape, grisly images, sexual material, nudity, and language
Movie Release Date: November 7, 2009
DVD Release Date: July 6, 2010

If you have not read any of the Millennium trilogy of novels by Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson, someone near you has. A worldwide sensation published after the death of the author, the books follow the title character, Lisbeth Salandar, a […]

1776

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1972
A
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1972

Happy Independence Day! This rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost forget that you already know how it all turned out. William Daniels is […]

Fantasia

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1940
DVD Release Date:2010
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1940
DVD Release Date: 2010

Disney’s glorious “Fantasia” and its sequel, “Fantasia 2000″ are out for a limited time in a spectacular 4-DVD blu-ray package. Considered a failure on its original release, “Fantasia’s” eight-part combination of images and music is now indisputably a classic. Musicologist […]

Toy Story

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1995
DVD Release Date:March 30, 2010
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1995
DVD Release Date: March 30, 2010

Celebrate the release of “Toy Story 3″ with another look at the original — Pixar’s first feature release was the first theatrical released animated entirely by computer. It is now available in a pristine Blu-Ray version that pops off the […]

Spellbound

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:2003
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 2003

In honor of this week’s Scripps Spelling Bee finals, every family should see this m-a-r-v-e-l-o-u-s movie about the national spelling bee because it is about so much more. It is about the strength of American diversity and the commitment of […]

Drop Dead Diva

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2009
DVD Release Date:2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2009
DVD Release Date: 2010

The Lifetime television series “Drop Dead Diva” was one of the happiest television series surprises of 2009. As it returns for a second season, the first is out on DVD and I have one copy to give away. It’s the […]

Flicka 2

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some reckless behavior
Movie Release Date:2010
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some reckless behavior
Movie Release Date: 2010
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010

Flicka 2 is a straight-to-DVD sequel of the most recent version of Flicka, the kid-and-a-horse story that goes back to the 1941 novel, My Friend Flicka, which inspired sequels, movies, and a 1956-57 television series. In this latest version a […]

The Adventures of Robin Hood

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1938
DVD Release Date:2002
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1938
DVD Release Date: 2002

Errol Flynn is the definitive Robin Hood in this glorious Technicolor version of the classic story, one of the most thrillingly entertaining films of all time. King Richard the Lion-Hearted, off fighting in the Crusades, has been captured and held […]

The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010

Christian families looking for wholesome and satisfying entertainment will appreciate “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry,” the story of young friends whose lives are changed through friendship with a man who does more than encourage them to study the Bible; he […]

Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2009
DVD Release Date:April 13, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2009
DVD Release Date: April 13, 2010

Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh is a documentary about a woman of incalculable courage and honor. Senesh, an idealist who hoped to help create a Jewish state in Israel, escaped from Hungary to what […]

Autism: The Musical

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:2008
DVD Release Date:2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: 2008
DVD Release Date: 2009

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, families can watch Autism – The Musical, about five families dealing with autism as they prepare for a musical performance. The film is illuminating in its depiction of the very different kids with very […]

Fantastic Mr. Fox

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for action, smoking and slang humor
Movie Release Date:November 25, 2009
DVD Release Date:February 18, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action, smoking and slang humor
Movie Release Date: November 25, 2009
DVD Release Date: February 18, 2014

Today Criterion issues a gorgeous new Blu-Ray edition of “Fantastic Mr. Fox” with lots of great behind-the-scenes extras.  Director Wes Anderson has often seemed more interested in his films’ props and sets than the characters and stories. His last movie’s […]

The Blind Side

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references
Movie Release Date:November 20, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 23, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references
Movie Release Date: November 20, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 23, 2010

“The Blind Side” is a movie about football that had its own broken field running challenge. It is the true story of Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher, a homeless black kid adopted by a wealthy white family. So, it […]

The Princess and the Frog

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:December 11, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 16, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: December 11, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 16, 2010

Disney has cooked up a yummy batch of gumbo with this blend of the past and present. “The Princess and the Frog” is a satisfying and thoroughly entertaining return to the hand-drawn animation that built the studio. Although it is […]

Where the Wild Things Are

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some adventure action and brief language
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 2, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some adventure action and brief language
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 2, 2010

Maurice Sendak’s spare, poetic, and deeply wise book has been lovingly unfolded into a movie about the child who lives in all of us, brave and fearful, generous and needy, angry and peaceful, confident and insecure, adventuresome and very glad […]

Good Hair

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language including sex and drug references, and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date:October 9, 2009
DVD Release Date:February 16, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language including sex and drug references, and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date: October 9, 2009
DVD Release Date: February 16, 2010

Chris Rock’s daughter wanted to know why she didn’t have “good hair.” And so he made this documentary as an answer, exploring the relationship between black women and their hair and hair products and processes — and how that relationship […]

The First Olympics

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1986
DVD Release Date:July 21, 2012
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1986
DVD Release Date: July 21, 2012

As we prepare for the London games, I highly recommend: The First Olympics: Athens 1896, one of my very favorite sports movies ever, is a made-for-TV miniseries about the first modern-day Olympics. We take the Olympics as a given now, […]

Once Upon a Mattress

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2005

“Once Upon a Mattress,” a musical version of “The Princess and the Pea,” is one of my favorites. Carol Burnett became a star for her portrayal of the kind-hearted but rather loud princess when it premiered on Broadway and she […]

Ice Princess

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2005
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2005

Getting ready for the Winter Olympics? Here’s a good place to start. When I tell you that this is the story of a brainy but shy girl who dreams of being a champion figure skater and that she meets up […]

Soul of the Church

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2010
DVD Release Date:January 19, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2010
DVD Release Date: January 19, 2010

This is a genuine treasure. Black History Collection: Soul of the Church is a collection of vintage broadcasts of gospel superstars of the 1960’s, taken from a Sunday morning television show called TV Gospel Time and not seen for decades. […]

Passing Strange

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2009
DVD Release Date:January 12, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2009
DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010

Spike Lee’s latest movie is a film version of the Tony Award-winning musical autobiography, something between a concert and a play, about, by, and starring the one-named musician named Stew. He heads up the on-stage band, which functions somewhere between […]

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date:January 5, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date: January 5, 2010

When things go very, very wrong in this movie, as they so often do, we get to see a series of television news broadcasts from around the world showing the destruction of various iconic monuments, as we so often do. […]

500 Days of Summer

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual material and language
Movie Release Date:July 17, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 22, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual material and language
Movie Release Date: July 17, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 22, 2009

Like its winning hero, this movie wears its heart right on its sleeve. It lays it out for us right at the beginning, making it clear that “this is not a love story.” Oh, and it is a work of […]

The Gathering

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1977
DVD Release Date:December 15, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1977
DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009

I’m thrilled that one of my favorite Christmas movies is available on DVD for the first time from Warner Brothers. It is the Emmy-award winning The Gathering and it stars Ed Asner and Maureen Stapleton as the long-separated parents of […]

Scholastic: A Night Before Christmas (with Hannukah and Kwanzaa)

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

My very favorite series has a special family treat for the winter holidays. Clement Moore’s classic poem about Santa Claus is read by Anthony Edwards. Theodore Bikel reads “In the Month of Kisley,” a delightful Hannukah story about a poor […]

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action and brief language
Movie Release Date:May 22, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 1, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action and brief language
Movie Release Date: May 22, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 1, 2009

Everything is bigger, better, and especially funnier in this sequel to the surprise hit Night at the Museum. In the original, Larry (Ben Stiller) was an unsuccessful inventor who took at job as a security guard at New York’s Museum […]

Star Trek

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence, and brief sexual content
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 13, 2013
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence, and brief sexual content
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 13, 2013

Get ready for this week’s “Star Trek” release with another look at this splendid reboot of the 40-plus year old “Star Trek” series. By boldly going where many, many have gone before, J.J. Abrams of television’s “Lost” and “Alias” has […]

Touched by an Angel

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1994-2003
DVD Release Date:November 10, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1994-2003
DVD Release Date: November 10, 2009

Today’s special release of selected episodes from the beloved television series from Beliefnet columnist Martha Williamson is the DVD pick of the week for its compelling stories, outstanding guest appearances, and enduring message of hope and inspiration.

The Christians: The History of Christianity and Its Global Impact

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:November 3, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009

Filmed on location in more than 30 countries, this 13-episode series covers the history of Christianity from the time of Jesus through “two thousand years of persecution, politics, and power.” This DVD set has extras as well: a new introductory […]

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1998
DVD Release Date:1998
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1998
DVD Release Date: 1998

In honor of the World Series, take a look at this documentary about baseball star Hank Greenberg. Brilliant documentary-maker Aviva Kempner has created a gem of a movie to lift the spirit of anyone who cares about baseball — or […]

Maurice Sendak on DVD

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: 2008

If you saw Where the Wild Things Are this week and loved it — or if your children are too young for it but want to enjoy Sendak on film, try the Sendak collection from my favorite Scholastic Storybook series. […]

A Very Brave Witch

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: 2009

Here’s a great new DVD from my all-time favorite series, just in time for Halloween — A Very Brave Witch…and more Halloween stories. In the title story, a little witch who has been taught that humans are scary decides to […]

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1937
DVD Release Date:2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1937
DVD Release Date: 2009

Disney’s 70th anniversary release of its first animated feature film on Blu-Ray is gorgeously restored and filled with behind-the-scene extras and a wonderful opportunity to catch up with the one that is still “the fairest of them all.” Snow White […]

Monsters vs. Aliens

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sci-fi action, some crude humor and mild language
Movie Release Date:March 27, 2009
DVD Release Date:September 29, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sci-fi action, some crude humor and mild language
Movie Release Date: March 27, 2009
DVD Release Date: September 29, 2009

An expert blend of silly fun, action that is mostly more exciting than scary, a few clever barbs, and some wow-worthy visuals make “Monsters vs. Aliens” the best family film in months. “You’re glowing,” says the groom to his bride […]

Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2002
DVD Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2002
DVD Release Date: 2002

“Jonah’s” production company, Big Idea, promises “Sunday morning values, Saturday morning fun,” and in my opinion they have more than delivered on both, with a series of videos that are right up there with the best in entertainment and humor […]

Fame

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:R
Movie Release Date:1980
DVD Release Date:2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: R
Movie Release Date: 1980
DVD Release Date: 2009

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

If the World Were a Village

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2009
DVD Release Date:September 8, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2009
DVD Release Date: September 8, 2009

Based on David J. Smith’s best-selling and award-winning book If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World’s People, this is an animated story about global culture that helps families understand our differences, our commonality, and our connections. […]

Woodstock

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for drug content, nudity and language
Movie Release Date:1970
DVD Release Date:August 25, 2009
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for drug content, nudity and language
Movie Release Date: 1970
DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009

Forty years ago, it seemed for one brief moment as though a disastrous, mud-soaked music festival that attracted so many people it had a larger population than all but one city in the state could be the beginning of a […]

Hannah Montana — The Movie

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:April 9, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 18, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: April 9, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 18, 2009

Think of it this way. Hannah Montana is to Miley Stewart what Superman is to Clark Kent. Audiences of all ages but especially children and teenagers are always taken by stories of secret identities and hidden sources of power and […]

Alien Trespass

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sci-fi action and brief historical smoking
Movie Release Date:April 3, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 11, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sci-fi action and brief historical smoking
Movie Release Date: April 3, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 11, 2009

Was there ever a time when cheesy 1950’s sci-fi movies were actually scary? Is it because they are so low tech in comparison to the intense realism of CGI? Or is it just the balsa wood sets and cardboard dialog […]

Sid the Science Kid

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:August 4, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 4, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: August 4, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 4, 2009

Preschool programs focus on words and numbers and there has not been much about science. But all children are inherently scientists, endlessly curious about the world around them and constantly performing experiments and asking “why.” The Jim Henson company introduces […]

The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:PG for mild language
Movie Release Date:1998
DVD Release Date:1998
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: PG for mild language
Movie Release Date: 1998
DVD Release Date: 1998

This is a wonderful, magical movie! Based on the short story and play by Ray Bradbury (who adapted for the screen), this is the story of five poor men who pool their resources to buy one magnificent, beautiful, white suit, […]

From the Earth to the Moon

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1998
DVD Release Date:1998
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1998
DVD Release Date: 1998

The very best American miniseries I have ever seen is the HBO production from Tom Hanks, From the Earth to the Moon. Instead of a chronological run-down, each episode takes on the space race from a different angle. One gives […]

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2005

Mrs. Palfrey (Joan Plowright) did not think of herself as someone who would live in the shabby gentility of the Claremont, a residential hotel in London. We never learn the details of what brought her there or keeps her there, […]

The Rookie

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:2002
DVD Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 2002
DVD Release Date: 2002

If this hadn’t really happened, Disney would have had to make it up. But a high school science teacher did tell the baseball team he coached that if they won the division title he would try out for the major […]

Do the Right Thing

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R
Movie Release Date:1989
DVD Release Date:June 30, 2009
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R
Movie Release Date: 1989
DVD Release Date: June 30, 2009

Twenty years ago, Spike Lee made a tough, smart, and very provocative film that included an electrifying moment when the character played by Lee himself held up a trash can and aimed it at the glass window of a pizzeria […]

Paperclips

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2004
DVD Release Date:2005
A
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2004
DVD Release Date: 2005

The tragic shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC last week reminds us yet again of the importance of making sure that future generations do not just learn the statistics but truly understand the near-incomprehensible devastation of genocide and […]

Shaun the Sheep: Sheep on the Loose

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:June 9, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: June 9, 2009

The latest Shaun the Sheep movie is “Sheep on the Loose” The people who created “Wallace and Gromit” are behind this wonderful new series about a sheep who does not follow the flock — but sometimes gets the flock to […]

The Seven Little Foys

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Not Rated
Movie Release Date:1955
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Movie Release Date: 1955
DVD Release Date: 2007

Bob Hope would have turned 106 this week, and his birthday and the upcoming Father’s Day reminded me of one of my favorite of his films. It’s also one of the least characteristic because he is playing a real-life character […]

A Bug’s Life

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1998
DVD Release Date:1998
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1998
DVD Release Date: 1998

Pixar is the must successful studio in movie history, with every single one of its releases earning over $100 million. Even more impressive, every one of them is entirely original, not based on a book or classic fairy tale. I […]

Connie and Carla

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual humor and drug references
Movie Release Date:2004
DVD Release Date:2005
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual humor and drug references
Movie Release Date: 2004
DVD Release Date: 2005

Nia Vardalos captivated audiences with the unstoppably successful My Big Fat Greek Wedding and her next film opens up in a few weeks. So it is a good time to take a look at her last film, which never got […]

The Last Unicorn

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1982
DVD Release Date:2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1982
DVD Release Date: 2009

I am delighted to report that the animated version of Peter S. Beagle’s classic fairy tale has been re-mastered and re-issued — and that you can get a personalized autographed copy from the author himself. The beloved family classic, with […]

A Plumm Summer

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG

A Plumm Summer had a limited release in 2007 but is now widely available for the first time with this week’s DVD. It is based on the real-life story of a “kidnapped” puppet from a local children’s program in Montana […]

The First of May

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:G
DVD Release Date:May 7, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: G
DVD Release Date: May 7, 2008

Cory (Dan Byrd) is not enthusiastic about meeting Dan (Tom Nowicki) and Michele (Robin O’Dell), his new foster parents. Clearly, he has already decided it makes no sense to allow himself to get close to people. He responds to their […]

Frost/Nixon

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language
Movie Release Date:December 5, 2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language
Movie Release Date: December 5, 2008

More than 30 years after he resigned from office, Richard M. Nixon has transcended politics and history and become epic. He has been portrayed on film by Anthony Hopkins, the man who won an Oscar playing Hannibal the Cannibal. And […]

Yo Gabba Gabba: New Friends

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:NR
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: NR

Has there ever been a more adorable television series than Yo Gabba Gabba? This week’s DVD pick of the Week is their latest release, “New Friends,” featuring guest star Jack Black. DJ Lance Rock, four friendly monsters and one robot […]

Bedtime for Frances

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:March 31, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009

The wonderful Scholastic series has a very special new release, Bedtime for Frances, with three animated stories about the beloved little badger. Author Russell Hoban’s Frances stories are filled with gentle humor and perceptive insights about the way children see […]

Twilight

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence and a scene of sensuality
Movie Release Date:November 21, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence and a scene of sensuality
Movie Release Date: November 21, 2008

It is in no way disrespectful to this movie to say that I enjoyed the audience reaction as much as I enjoyed what was on the screen. In a theater filled with fans who had patiently waited for over an […]

Pinocchio

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1940
DVD Release Date:March 10, 2009
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1940
DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009

This week Disney is releasing a glorious new edition of its most most gorgeous, splendid, and fully realized of all of its animation classics, the high point of painstakingly hand-painted animation, before the use of photocopiers and computers. Every detail […]

Snow Day

posted by rkumar
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Movie Release Date:2000
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
Movie Release Date: 2000

This engaging kid-eye view of “the real winter miracle” is good family fun. It has something for both littler and bigger kids and is very endurable for parents. The theme of the movie is that “anything can happen on a […]

Gustafer Yellowgold’s Mellow Fever

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:February 4, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: February 4, 2009

The third in the award-winning series of Gustafer Yellowgold is coming out on DVD March 17, featuring guest artists Lisa Loeb and Wilco’s John Stirratt and Pat Sansone. These tuneful treats from artist/songwriter Morgan Taylor are family favorites, with singable […]

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:October 24, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 17, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: October 24, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 17, 2009

Sometimes “nice” can be very high praise, and that is the way I mean it when I say that the utterly snark-free “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” is as nice as it gets. With a gossamer-weight plot line that […]

Funny Face

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

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

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:1961
DVD Release Date:January 13, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 1961
DVD Release Date: January 13, 2009

The combination of beautiful new “centennial editions” of two Audrey Hepburn classics and the prospect of Valentine’s Day in just two weeks inspired me to lead off February with two Hepburn DVDs of the week. This week, it’s Breakfast At […]

Girls Rock!

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG for thematic elements and language
Movie Release Date:March 7, 2008
DVD Release Date:January 27, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements and language
Movie Release Date: March 7, 2008
DVD Release Date: January 27, 2009

As Jack Black explains in School of Rock, rock music is about sticking it to The Man. That takes on a wider meaning when the sticking is coming from young girls. In this documentary about a music camp in Portland, […]

The History Channel Presents The Presidents

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2005

This week we observe one of the great strengths of the system created by the founding fathers, the orderly transition to a new administration. In honor of the outgoing and incoming Presidents of the United States, take a look at […]

The Lost Gods

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:January 13, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: January 13, 2009

The Lost Gods is a new DVD series from the Smithsonian about the earliest ideas about God. Filmed in 11 countries and hosted by Christy Kenneally, it explores the concepts of God as understood by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Incas, […]

Viva Las Vegas

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:1964
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: 1964

Happy birthday, Elvis! In honor of The King’s birthday this week, we present one of his best movies, the delirious Viva Las Vegas, co-starring the combustible Ann-Margret. Elvis plays a race-car driver named Lucky who meets a spirited girl named […]

The Snowman

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Not Rated
Movie Release Date:1982
DVD Release Date:1982
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Movie Release Date: 1982
DVD Release Date: 1982

Cold winter days are just right for curling up with some hot cocoa to watch DVDs filled with the pleasures of winter. And it is always wise to have some on hand for those days when it is too cold […]

Love Actually

posted by rkumar
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexuality, nudity and language
Movie Release Date:2003
DVD Release Date:2004
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexuality, nudity and language
Movie Release Date: 2003
DVD Release Date: 2004

“Love Actually” is as stuffed with goodies as the Christmas stockings for those at the very top of Santa’s “nice” list — and it is just as entertaining, too. You say you like romantic comedies with gorgeous stars, witty dialogue […]

This Christmas

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for comic sexual content and some violence
Movie Release Date:November 21, 2007
DVD Release Date:November 11, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for comic sexual content and some violence
Movie Release Date: November 21, 2007
DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008

As much a tradition as indigestible fruitcake and the dogs barking “Jingle Bells,” every Christmas season brings us at least one new family holiday angst-fest, stuffed with secrets, accusations, forgiveness, food, and laughter. The best of them give us the […]

Horton Hears a Who

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:March 14, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 16, 2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: March 14, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 16, 2008

They finally got Dr. Seuss right in this warm-hearted and heart-warming story of the elephant who is “faithful 100 percent” and the world on a little speck of dust that he rescues. Jim Carrey provides the voice of Horton, an […]

The Day the Earth Stood Still

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1951
DVD Release Date:2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1951
DVD Release Date: 2008

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

A Christmas Story

posted by Nell Minow
A-
A-

There’s no better way to start off the Christmas season than this holiday classic, now celebrating its 25th anniversary and so popular that Turner Classic Movies runs it for 24 hours each year. Millions of fans can recite its lines […]

Wall•E

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:June 27, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 18, 2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: June 27, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008

700 years after the last humans left the planet they had made uninhabitable through environmental degradation, one small robot is still continuing to crunch the mountains of trash. He is a Waste Allocation Load-Lifter Earth-Class, or Wall•E. His eyes are […]

Alice Upside Down

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

Based on the popular series of books by Phylis Reynolds Naylor, this understated but sensitive and warm-hearted film is funny, touching, and wise. Middle school is miserable enough, but for Alice (Alyson Stoner) there are complications that are even more […]

High School Musical

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

This week, as the powerhouse franchise that is known as “HSM” moves from television to CD (top-seller of the year), DVD, stage show, video game, ice show, birthday party decoration theme, and now feature film theatrical release, it’s time to […]

Being Dad: Inspiration and Information for Dads to Be

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:October 7, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: October 7, 2008

40 dads, 6 experts, 9 months, and 80 minutes. Being Dad is a sort of “what to expect while SHE’s expecting,” a man-to-man welcome to fatherhood from “a guy’s point of view.” This guys talking to guys about the stuff […]

Election Collection: Schoolhouse Rock

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR

Even grown-ups are having a tough time staying on top of this year’s historic Presidential election. So we won’t tell anyone if some of the parents sit down with their kids to get a refresher on electoral politics with the […]

The Time Machine

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1960
DVD Release Date:July 8, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1960
DVD Release Date: July 8, 2014

There’s a brand-new Blu-Ray of the classic George Pal version of the H.G. Wells fantasy. A man named Wells (Rod Taylor) invents a time machine and uses it to travel to the future, where he finds a post-apocalyptic world of […]

Rocketeer

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1991
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1991

In honor of my son’s birthday this week, my DVD pick is one of his childhood favorites: Rocketeer. Based on a comic book that recreated the deco feel of the pre-WWII era, this Disney movie has a 1940s feel — […]

Apostles of Comedy

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:September 9, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: September 9, 2008

Four Christian stand-up comics join forces in this performance film that combines hilarious commentary on all of the absurdities of life with very touching glimpses of the men at home and their fellowship with each other. Anthony Griffith, Brad Stine, […]

The Women

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1939
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1939

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

Yes to Running

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:August 12, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: August 12, 2008

Grammy-award winning singer-storyteller Bill Harley has a great new concert performance DVD for families called Yes to Running: Bill Harley Live. Harley is best known for his funny and clever songs and stories for kids (with some parent-friendly lessons about […]

Adventures in Faith, Honesty, and Courage

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:August 12, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: August 12, 2008

The great “Adventures from the Book of Virtues” animated series has three new releases today: Adventures in Faith, Adventures in Honesty and Adventures in Courage. These are classic stories that have thrilled audiences through the ages because they are about […]

Corduroy…and More Stories About Caring

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:July 29, 2008
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008

My very favorite DVD series for kids is saluting the 40th anniversary of the classic book Corduroy with a beautiful new DVD version. It is the story of a toy bear who goes off in search of his missing button […]

Batman

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Movie Release Date:1989
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Movie Release Date: 1989

The critical and box office success of The Dark Knight is a reminder to take another look at the last re-booted Batman and Joker, Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s broody re-imagining of a character then best remembered […]

Mandela

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:March 21, 1997
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: March 21, 1997

Celebrate the 90th birthday this week of one of history’s greatest leaders, Nelson Mandela, with one of the fine films about his extraordinary perseverance, vision, courage, and leadership. The story of the massive social change he achieved without violence is […]

Shipwrecked

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1991
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1991

A Norwegian boy named Hakon (Stian Smestad) is being pushed around by some bullies. He warns them that his father will take care of them when he gets back from sea, and they tell him his father owes so much […]

The Sword in the Stone

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1963
DVD Release Date:June 17, 2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1963
DVD Release Date: June 17, 2008

Based on the book by T.H. White, this is the story of the early years of King Arthur. Nicknamed “Wart,” the future King Arthur is squire to a knight when he meets Merlin the magician, who promises to take on […]

Diary of a Spider

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:May 27, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: May 27, 2008

As I have said many times, my very favorite DVDs for kids are the Scholastic Storybook Series of great children’s books. The latest is Diary of a Spider… and More Cute Critter Stories. The title story is just what it […]

Bedazzled (both versions)

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sex-related humor, language and some drug content
Movie Release Date:2000
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sex-related humor, language and some drug content
Movie Release Date: 2000

This week, both versions of the Faustian comedy Bedazzled are being released in one DVD and both are worth watching. The 1967 original, directed by Stanley Donen (“Singin’ in the Rain”) and starring British comedy duo Peter Cook and Dudley […]

Women and Spirituality: The Goddess Trilogy

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:NR
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: NR

Women & Spirituality is a three-part series about the power of the sacred feminine in mythological, historical and cultural contexts. Part 1, Goddess Remembered, examines goddess-based pre-historic societies, linking the loss of goddess-centered societies to environmental degradation. The second, The […]

The Great Race

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
Movie Release Date:July 1, 1965
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
Movie Release Date: July 1, 1965

Dedicated to “Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy,” this movie is both a spoof and a loving tribute to the silent classics, with good guys, bad guys, romance, adventure, slapstick, music, wonderful antique cars, and the biggest pie fight in history. […]

Sesame Street’s TLC Series for Military and their Families

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR

Sesame Street salutes the members of the United States Armed Forces with a series of DVDs and other educational materials and resources to help friends and families cope with absence, loss, and change. This bilingual (English and Spanish) multimedia outreach […]

Gregory’s Girl

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:May 26, 1982
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: May 26, 1982

Gregory (John Sinclair) is a gangling but amiable Scottish teenager who is mildly befuddled by just about everything, especially Dorothy (Dee Hepburn), who takes his place on the soccer team. In contrast, the girls he knows, including his ten-year-old sister, […]

The Red Balloon

posted by Nell Minow
B+
B+

Two recent films showed the influence of this classic French film about a little boy befriended by a red balloon and now the original is available on DVD for the first time. “CJ7″ from China and “The Flight of the […]

The Miracle Worker

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:May 23, 1962
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: May 23, 1962

Today is the 142nd anniversary of the birth of one of the most extraordinary teachers in American history, Annie Sullivan, who gave a little blind and deaf girl the power of language. William Gibson, who wrote two plays about the […]

Mythos from Joseph Campbell

posted by Nell Minow
B+
B+

Joseph Campbell believed there was “one great story of mankind” and he spent his life collecting the great myths and parables of world cultures and religions and showing us the connections between them. His work has influenced everyone from Hollywood […]

The Sandlot

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some language and kids chewing tobacco.
Movie Release Date:1993
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some language and kids chewing tobacco.
Movie Release Date: 1993

Happy Baseball Season! I am not sure why baseball has inspired more great movies than any other sport. There are wonderful choices for every age and interest, from musical (Damn Yankees) to fantasy (Angels in the Outfield — I prefer […]

Trevor Romain’s DVDs about Kid Problems

posted by Nell Minow
B+
B+

Trevor Romain knows how to talk to kids about the problems they think no one understands. His DVDs are a great way to begin conversations at home, in school, in Scout troops, religious groups, or in other community gatherings. They […]

Arranged

posted by Nell Minow
B
DVD Release Date:March 11, 2008
B
DVD Release Date: March 11, 2008

This quiet little independent film is the story of the friendship between two New York City schoolteachers, an Orthodox Jew and a Muslim, who transcend the assumptions of those around them. They quickly realize that they have more in common […]

The Quiet Man

posted by Nell Minow
A
A

I grew up in Chicago, a city that really knows how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. There’s the parade, of course, and every year they dye the Chicago River green. And every year WGN shows The Quiet Man, the unabashed […]

One Hundred and One Dalmatians

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1961
DVD Release Date:February 9, 2015
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1961
DVD Release Date: February 9, 2015

“One Hundred and One Dalmatians” is one of the best-loved Disney classics (and the first of its animated films to take place in a contemporary setting). There is nothing more irresistible than 99 frisky spotted puppies and there has never […]

Rediscovered Classic: Strange Cargo

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
DVD Release Date:February 19, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
DVD Release Date: February 19, 2008

A 1940 film starring Joan Crawford and Clark Gable and set in a penal colony is an improbable candidate for Biblical allegory, but Strange Cargo is a moving film that draws its power from an inspiring, Christ-like figure and its […]

The Pursuit of Happyness

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:May 27, 2013
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: May 27, 2013

This week’s release of “After Earth,” starring Will Smith and his son Jaden, is a good time to take another look at their first co-starring film, based on a real-life father and son: If a man goes from homeless single […]

The Lake House

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some language and a disturbing image.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some language and a disturbing image.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

In honor of Sandra Bullock’s best all-time movie opening with “The Proposal,” this week’s DVD pick is another Bullock favorite. Movie romances must have two things: an obstacle to keep the apart and a reason to root for them to […]

Stick It

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some crude remarks
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:July 29, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some crude remarks
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: July 29, 2012

If the Olympics has sparked an interest in gymnastics, take a look at this fresh, fun, funny, and smart story about a teenager “sentenced” to return to the gymnastics training she thought she had left behind.  It has all the […]

United 93

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, and some intense sequences of terror and violence
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:September 10, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, and some intense sequences of terror and violence
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: September 10, 2012

Someday the events of 9/11/01 will be distant enough that we will see some meaningful and illuminating works of art inspired by it.  That seems a long way off, but some filmmakers have taken the first steps in that direction. […]

Mary Poppins

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1964
DVD Release Date:December 09, 2013
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1964
DVD Release Date: December 09, 2013

In honor of the upcoming “Saving Mr. Banks” and the 50th anniversary of the original film, Disney is releasing a superclifragilisticexplialidocious new edition of Mary Poppins. Based on books by P.L. Travers (whose reluctance to allow a film to be […]

Chariots of Fire

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for adult situations and language
Movie Release Date:1981
DVD Release Date:July 9, 2012
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for adult situations and language
Movie Release Date: 1981
DVD Release Date: July 9, 2012

In honor of the 2012 Olympics in London, this 1981 classic and winner of the Oscar for Best Picture has been reissued. This is the true story of two athletes who raced in the 1924 Olympics, one a privileged Jewish […]

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language and mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:1982
DVD Release Date:October 8, 2012
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language and mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: 1982
DVD Release Date: October 8, 2012

“E.T’s” 30th anniversary is being celebrated with a gorgeous new re-issue and I have one to give away.  To enter, send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with E.T in the subject line and tell me your favorite movie alien.  Don’t […]

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

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

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

Singin’ in the Rain

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1952
DVD Release Date:July 16, 2012
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1952
DVD Release Date: July 16, 2012

The 60th anniversary of one of the best-loved movies of all time is being celebrated with gorgeous new DVD and Blu-Ray releases. Silent movie star Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) is paired on screen with Lina Lamont (Jean Hagan), who would […]

Peter Pan

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1953
DVD Release Date:February 4, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1953
DVD Release Date: February 4, 2013

Disney’s latest release is a beautiful Blu-Ray of one of its animated classics, the Disney version of the Victorian classic about the boy who would never grow up. Wendy, Michael, and John Darling, three London children, meet Peter Pan, a […]

Lady and the Tramp

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1955
DVD Release Date:February 6, 2012
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1955
DVD Release Date: February 6, 2012

Perfectly timed for Valentine’s Day, Disney’s romantic animated classic “Lady and the Tramp” is out this week for the first time in a Diamond DBD/Blu-Ray combo. Lady is the pampered cocker spaniel of a couple she knows as “Jim Dear” […]

The Little Mermaid

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1989
DVD Release Date:September 30, 2013
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1989
DVD Release Date: September 30, 2013

After some lackluster years, Disney came back into the top rank of animated features with this superbly entertaining musical, based loosely on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen (but with a happier ending). Ariel was the first in a […]

The Great Escape

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:1963
DVD Release Date:May 7, 2013
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: 1963
DVD Release Date: May 7, 2013

In honor of the Blu-Ray release of this classic film, it is the Pick of the Week – and I am delighted that I have one Blu-Ray to give away.  Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with Escape in the […]

Spy Kids

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:2001
DVD Release Date:August 15, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 2001
DVD Release Date: August 15, 2011

This week’s release of the fourth in the “Spy Kids” series is a good reason to revisit the original. Imagine James Bond crossed with “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and you might have an idea of what to expect […]

All the President’s Men

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1976
DVD Release Date:June 11, 2012
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1976
DVD Release Date: June 11, 2012

This week is the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in and a good time to look at the Oscar-winning movie about the two reporters who would not give up on the story of the Watergate break-in, this is as gripping as […]

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