Movie Mom

Movie Mom

All reviews by Title

(B) Babar and Father Christmas

Genre: Talking animals
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: All Ages
Babar and Fathe...

(D) Babe: Pig in the City

Genre: Talking animals
MPAA Rating:     Audience: 4th - 6th Grades
Families who loved the adorable and heartwarming "Babe" need to know that this sequel, co-written and directed by "Mad Max's" George Miller, is a much darker and more unsettling movie, not suitable...

(B+) Babel

Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: High School
In the Bible, the story of Babel is a cautionary tale of hubris. The whole world had a common language until God, seeing that the people were building a huge tower together, "confused their speech...

(B+) Baby Mama

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
"Baby Mama" is not just smart, warm, funny, and romantic, it is an especially welcome dose of XX chromosome humor in an Apatow-flooded XY era. Tina Fey ("30 Rock") plays Kate, a single woman who...

(D) The Back-Up Plan

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Mature High Schooler
This movie's best use could be population control. No one who sees it will want to get pregnant or raise children. It could also be used to show aspiring screenwriters what not to do. Other tha...

(D) Bad Boys II

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
The old-fashioned real-deal movie star charm of Will Smith can occasionally be glimpsed somewhere inside this overlong cacaphony of car chases, shoot-em-ups, and explosions. It is impossible not t...

(C+) Bad Company

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
This generic summer popcorn movie would be instantly forgettable if not for the sour aftertaste left by its climax, with a nuclear bomb set to explode in New York City’s Grand Central Station. W...

(A+) Bad Day at Black Rock

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: 4th - 6th Grades
Plot: John MacReedy (Spencer Tracy) gets off a train in a tiny, dusty little Western town. It is rare for any stranger to come to the town; it is the first time the train has stopped there in four ...

(D) Bad News Bears

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Here is a list of reasons to remake » Read Review

(D) Bad Santa

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
This is a movie about a very bad Santa, indeed. He's worse than bad. He's vile. He's disgusting. Billy Bob Thornton plays Willie, a department store Santa who is constantly either drunk, horrif...

(D) Bad Teacher

Genre: School
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Are you a fan of comedy based on the sole premise that it is funny to see a beautiful woman make outrageously crude and narcissistic statements?  Then go watch Sarah Silverman.  This movie will o...

(D) Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
We don't ask for much from explosion and chase movies, just some cool explosions and chases, plus some attitude, a couple of lines of snappy dialogue, an interesting bad guy, and a plot that doesn'...

(C+) Balto

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Preschool
This is the true story of the brave dog who saved the lives of Alaskan children with diphtheria when he brought medicine to them through the snow. Kevin Bacon provides the voice for the heroic cani...

(B+) Bamboozled

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Spike Lee's new movie is ambitious, provocative, complex, thoughtful, and just about review-proof. Anyone who doesn't like it could be accused of not getting it. Anyone who does like it could be ...

(B+) Bandits

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
In the grand tradition of Butch and Sundance and Hope and Crosby, we have Terry (Billy Bob Thornton) and Joe (Bruce Willis), two charming rascals in love with the same woman. They don’t want to ...

(B+) Bandslam

Genre: Musical
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: 4th - 6th Grades
A little edgier than the "High School Musical" series and a little smarter than the usual tween fare, "Bandslam" is a refreshing late-summer treat for tweens, teens, and their families from the alw...

(C+) The Banger Sisters

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
The considerable pleasures of watching Oscar-winners Susan Sarandon, Goldie Hawn, and Geoffrey Rush displaying all of their combined charm and talent are repeatedly tripped up by a lame script that...

(B+) The Bank Job

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
the_bank_job_poster.jpgAh, the pleasures of the ...

(A-) Barbershop

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
"Barbershop" is an unassuming ensemble comedy with a surprisingly gentle and heartfelt center. It is impossible not to be charmed by it.

It all takes place on one day as Calvin (Ice Cube), ...

(C-) Barnyard

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
In this movie, the cows are boys. They have big pink udders and manly male voices. In fact, head cow Ben has the manliest, malest, deepest voice imaginable, that of quintessential cowpoke Sam Ell...

(D) Basic

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
It's probably not even worth explaining the premise of this sorry attempt at a thriller because the "basic"premise is to tell you one thing and then turn it upside down and then do that again abou...

(F-) Basic Instinct 2

Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Someone should tell Sharon Stone that you can't step in the same river twice. Or you can't go home again. Or that for every Godfather II there a...

(B+) The Basket

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: 4th - 6th Grades
The term "family movie" tends to evoke eye-rolling and sighs from all but the youngest kids, calling up memories of sugary stories about adorable children, cute pets, and bouncy songs. What it sho...

(B+) Batman Begins

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
Every so often, it's time to re-boot Batman.

Bob Kane created Batman in 1939. What made him different was that in an era of superheroes, he ha...

(C) Battle for Terra 3D

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: 4th - 6th Grades
The animation may be three-dimensional but the story is one-dimensional in this dull saga of humans invading an alien planet -- from the perspective of the aliens. I suppose it is actually the hum...

(C) Battle: Los Angeles

Genre: Science-Fiction
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School

Destined to be remembered primarily as yet another step toward closing the gap between games and movies, the essence of "Battle: Lost Angeles" is a lot of boom-boom and a bunch of "ooo-rah." An...

(F) Battlefield Earth

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
In the future, a race of 9-foot-tall, dreadlocked aliens called Psychlos takes over the earth following a nine-minute battle. A thousand year later, the few remaining humans are hunter-gatherers a...

(B+) Battleship

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Middle School
As if it wasn't enough of a challenge to try to create a movie based on a board game -- and a board game based on a game that is perfectly adequately played with pencil and paper -- this movie has ...

(B) Be Cool

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
"I won't say any more than I have to, if that." That's John Travolta as Chili Palmer in Get Shorty, and it's a great character, a great line, and a great movie.

Chili says it again in this...

(B+) Be Kind Rewind

Genre: Fantasy
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Middle School
be%20kind%20rewind.jpgThis charming little fairy ...

(D) Bean

Genre: Gross-out
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
One of the classic set-ups for comedy is what I refer to as the "Cat in the Hat" plot -- one or more "normal," somewhat bored characters find their lives completely (and yet somehow enjoyably) disr...

(B+) Bears

Genre:
MPAA Rating: G     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
[caption id="attachment_26852" align="alignleft" width="202"] » Read Review

(B+) Beastly

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
It's the great challenge for all the versions of "Beauty and the Beast" that no one seems able to overcome: the beast is always a far more interesting, appealing, and yes, attractive character than...

(A-) Beasts of the Southern Wild

Genre: Stories About Kids
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
A prize-winner at Cannes and Sundance, this near post-apocalyptic story of a father and daughter in a condemned part of Southern Louisiana is a stunningly assured debut by first-time feature direct...

(A+) The Beatles - Yellow Submarine

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Preschool
All is peace, love, and music in gentle Pepperland until the wicked Blue Meanies take over. The Beatles come to the rescue via the title vessel, meeting all kinds of strange and interesting charact...

(A-) Beaufort

Genre: War
MPAA Rating:     Audience: High School
'Beaufort," the first Israeli movie nominated for the best foreign film Oscar in 24 years, is a meditation on the tragic ironies that soldiers face while ending an 18-year occupation of a medieval ...

(D) Beautiful

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Minnie Driver does her best, but, sadly, she gets no help from the movie's producers (14 of them!). She gets no help from the screenwriter, whose only previous credit was Jerry Springer's "Ringmas...

(A+) A Beautiful Mind

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
A man sees what no one else can, and we call him a genius. A man sees what no one else does, and we call him crazy.

This Oscar-winner for Best Picture is a movie about a man who was both, the...

(A+) Beauty and the Beast

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: G     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
"Beauty and the Beast" is one of Disney's most beloved fairy tales and the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.  This week it is back in theaters in 3D and it looks gorgeo...

(B) Beauty Shop

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
This film is less a movie than a brand extension. Speaking of which, it is as synthetic as cut-rate hair extensions and as obvious as its intrusive product placements. Beauty Shop is more

(F) Because I Said So

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Mature High Schooler
I blame "Sex and the City."

Now everyone thinks that what it takes -- or all it takes -- for a story about a bunch of women characters to work is non-stop talk about sex and shoes and a com...

(B+) Because of Winn-Dixie

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
This story of a girl, a dog, and the lessons they teach a small southern town is appealing but a bit heavy-handed, starting right at the beginning. It leads off with the sugary cliche trifecta: vo...

(B+) Bedazzled

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
The classic English comedy written in 1967 by Peter Cook and starring Cook and Dudley Moore has been Americanized. In other words, it has less deadpan humor, sly wit, and existential comedy and mo...

(B+) Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Genre: Musical
MPAA Rating: G     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Based on the book by based on the book by Mary Norton (also the author of The Borrowers," » Read Review

(B-) Bedtime Stories

Genre: Fantasy
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Once upon a time there was a movie studio that thought it could produce a hit with a performer best known for raunchy slacker comedies and a lot of money for special effects. This story does not t...

(B-) Bee Movie

Genre: Family Issues
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Preschool
Jerry Seinfeld will always be remembered for creating a brilliant and beloved television show about...nothing. His unbreakable rule was "no learning, no hugging." Popular sitcoms had always been ...

(A-) Bee Season

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
A little girl who thought she was the ordinary member of the family discovers a talent for spelling, in this thoughtful movie based on the best-seller by Myla Goldberg. But this is not a fictional...

(C) Beerfest

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
The boys of Broken Lizard have no shame. That's what their fans like about them.

There’s something quant, cute and even endearing (stick with me here) about their more innocent jokes, the...

(A-) Before Midnight

Genre: Series/Sequel
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
before midnight » Read Review

(A) Before Sunset

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Fair warning: five minutes into this film the critic checked out of my head and the fan took over. It may not be great art and it won't work for everyone, but it kept me smiling all day.

Ni...

(B+) Begin Again

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating:     Audience: High School
"It's delicate," a songwriter tells a performer who has (literally) amped up her gentle ballad into a power anthem. » Read Review

(B+) Beginners

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Oliver (Ewan McGregor) is engaged in the saddest of tasks, clearing out his late father's home, choosing what to take, what t...

(B+) Behind Enemy Lines

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
"Behind Enemy Lines" is an old-fashioned, heart-thumping, send-in-the-Marines, "I don’t care what the orders say" rescue mission story, and the most purely exciting movie of the year.

Equa...

(B+) Beijing Bicycle

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School

A classic romance always involves a certain formula: Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. Beijing Bicycle is a romance, except the love interest is a bicycle and not a girl.

...

(B) Being Flynn

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Nick Flynn was working at a Boston homeless shelter when his father, Jonathan Flynn, came in looking for a place to stay. Nick was raised by his mother and had little contact with his father except...

(A-) Being Julia

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Julia (Annette Bening) is a star who craves an audience. She thrills the paying customers in the theater night after night, but that is not enough for her anymore.

Her husband, Michael(Jere...

(B+) Believe Me

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
[caption id="attachment_30173" align="alignright" width="300"] » Read Review

(B+) Belle

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Middle School
belle-poster » Read Review

(F+) The Benchwarmers

Genre: Sports
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
Booger jokes. Potty jokes. Hit on the head jokes. Hit on the crotch jokes. And underdog characters so annoying that they have you rooting for the bullies. These guys should have stayed on the ...

(A) Bend It Like Beckham

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Spunky and easy to watch, this feel-good movie bridges the distance between old country and new with the deft touch of a David Beckham [British soccer star] penalty kick. For any girl whose athlet...

(B-) Benji: Off the Leash!

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
The dogs are cute, the intentions are good, and there's a refreshing absence of potty humor, but that's about the best that can be said about the fifth movie about loveable mutt Benji from writer/d...

(B) Beowulf

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Mature High Schooler
One of the oldest surviving stories is retold through one of the most modern of technologies in a thrilling 3-D adventure from director Robert Zemeckis. beowulf_beowulf_photo_01_lg.jpg

(B+) The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Middle School
A dream team ensemble cast of British acting superstars gives a predictable story of displaced retirees spark and depth in this cozy tale based on the novel  » Read Review

(A-) Best in Show

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Fans of offbeat humor will get a big kick out of this follow-up to "Waiting for Guffman," but there will be more appreciative, "Oh, that's funny!" comments than outright laughs.

Director Chris...

(A) The Best Years of Our Lives

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Middle School
Three men are returning home from service during WWII. Fred Derry (Dana Andrews), a bombardier, Al Stephenson (Frederic March), a middle- aged footsoldier, and Homer Parrish (Harold Russell), a sai...

(C-) Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Genre: Talking animals
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
A pampered pooch goes on an unexpected adventure but just about everything else in this movie is only too predictable. Drew Barrymore provides the voice for Chloe, a cashmere couture and diamond c...

(A-) Bewitched

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
This update of the 1960's television series that is still running on TV Land is as cute as the magical twitch of Samantha Stephens' nose. Direc...

(C) Beyond Borders

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
An important and affecting story about relief workers gets buried under a syrupy romance in "Beyond Borders," which has Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen gazing longingly at each other across starving ...

(B+) Beyond the Mat

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
This is the best documentary since "Hoop Dreams," and it is not a coincidence that it, too, is about sports. That means that it is about money, ambition, competition, dreams realized and dashed, r...

(B+) Beyond the Sea

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler

Parents should know that the movie has situations and behavior that may be upsetting to some viewers including tense and emotional confrontations. Characters drink (one abuses alcohol in res...

(B) The Bible: Now on DVD

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: 4th - 6th Grades
The hit television series is now available on DVD. “Audiences embraced The Bible...

(C+) Bicentennial Man

Genre: Science-Fiction
MPAA Rating:     Audience: 4th - 6th Grades
Think of it as Pinocchio played by C3PO from "Star Wars." Robin Williams plays "Andrew Martin," a robot who wants to be human, in this adaptation of a story and book by Isaac Asimov.

In "th...

(B+) The Big Bad Swim

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Adult
I am a bit of a softie when it comes to those movies about diverse groups of people who come together to learn something new like tap dancing ("Stepping Out" with Liza Minnelli) or ballroom dancing...

(B-) The Big Bounce

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
"Big Bounce" wants to be comic caper movie, but the real crime is inflicted on the Elmore Leonard book credited with inspiring it.

You can tell that somewhere in there there is a book with ...

(C+) Big Daddy

Genre: Gross-out
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Big Daddy" has all the unavoidable elements of an Adam Sandler film: slapstick humor, gross jokes, bodily functions galore, spectacular pratfalls and more than a sprinkling of sexual innuendo. Yet,...

(B+) Big Fat Liar

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
In this likeable family comedy, Jason Shepherd (Frankie Muniz of "Malcolm in the Middle") plays an 8th grader who relies on his easy smile and even easier lies to keep him out of trouble, with a li...

(A+) Big Fish

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: 4th - 6th Grades
"Big Fish" is the enchanting story of a father and son, but it is really the story of stories themselves. It's about all kinds of stories, from the first stories whispered by a father to a sleepy ...

(D) Big Momma's House

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
This is less a movie than a string of skits based on one concept -- Martin Lawrence in a fat suit and a dress.

It's a great concept, crossing two terrific movies: "Stakeout" and "Tootsie," w...

(C-) Big Momma's House 2

Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Middle School
The poster for this movie shows Martin Lawrence in fat-lady drag tugging at a wedgie. This is as funny as it gets.

A completely unnecessary sequel to a mildly amusing 2000 movie with Marti...

(B+) Big Trouble

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
If not quite as sharp as it could be, "Big Trouble" is still a sharp, funny movie. Based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Dave Berry, it has a terrific cast getting caught up in del...

(C) The Big Year

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Middle School
"The Big Year" would be a lot better if it didn't try so hard to be The Big Movie.   This over-Hollywood-ized take on the real-life story of passionate-to-obsessed birders (don't say "bird-watche...

(B+) Biker Boyz

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
It's just a bunch of music video-style motorcycle races punctuated with brief interludes that are more dramatic place-holders than story, but a top-notch cast, some flashy camera work, and attitude...

(A) Billy Elliot

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
As two 11-year-olds walk home from school, the girl casually bounces a stick along the side of a building. The building ends and, still chatting, she keeps bouncing it along the shields held up by...

(B) A Birder's Guide to Everything

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
[caption id="attachment_26338" align="alignright" width="203"] » Read Review

(A-) Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
» Read Review

(D) Birth

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
In the middle of a story that lurches from unsettling to preposterous by way of sheer ookiness, there is a moment of sheer, breathtaking bravura, shared by actress and director.

At her enga...

(C+) Birthday Girl

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
A very uneven thriller-romance is brightened by dark comedy and another magnetic performance by Nicole Kidman as the 21st century equivalent to a mail order bride. Shy bank teller John (Ben Chaplin...

(C) The Black Dahlia

Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Director Brian de Palma is all about the look and the mood and paying tribute to the classic old movies he loves. He loves them so much he crawls inside them. He imitates them like an art student...

(C+) Black Knight

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Martin Lawrence is a very funny guy who is usually a lot better than the movies around him, which tend to play as though half the script reads, "Martin enters and does funny things." This time, th...

(B+) Black Nativity

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Middle School
...</div

(C-) Black Snake Moan

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Things are not going well for Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson). He has been living a life right out of a blues song. His wife left him. For his brother.

And now, he has found an almost-naked ...

(A+) The Black Stallion

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
"Plot: ...

(B+) The Black Swan

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Adult

Ballet is more than a profession or even an art form; it is a calling, almost a cult, that demands the ultimate commitment. Ballerinas give everything they have. Director Darren Aronofsky, alw...

(D) Blade II

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
An ordinary sequel to the first Wesly Snipes vehicle, based on the Marvel Comics superhero, this bloody punch-fest lacks the charming antagonists that livened the original movie.

Wesley Snip...

(C+) Blade: Trinity

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Let’s not pretend that “Trinity”, the third chapter in the ongoing tale of a human-vampire hybrid out to kill all vampires, is a good movie and instead say it is a solid “Blade” movie - m...

(B) Blades of Glory

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
Will Ferrell seems to be working his way through every sport ever covered on ESPN. With figure skating, he has found a target-rich environment for comedy. The collision of sport and showbiz is no...

(C+) The Blair Witch Project

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
More conceptual art and marketing phenomenon than movie, "The Blair Witch Project" is poised to become the most profitable movie of all time. Directors Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick have learne...

(D) Blast From the Past

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
Brendan Fraser plays Adam, who was born in 1962, in an elaborate bomb shelter constructed by his eccentric genius of a father (Christopher Walken). His parents, mistakenly believing that a nuclear ...

(C) Blended

Genre: Gross-out
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Mature High Schooler
» Read Review

(B+) The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
There is a tap-dancing scene in the samurai film, “Zatoichi”.

For fans of the genre, using the words “samurai” and “tap-dancing” in the same sentence should capture both the ey...

(B+) Block Party

Genre: Musical
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: High School
The regal Erykah Badu takes the stage, her slender form topped with an enormous puff of hair that hangs down over her face. But the stage is outdoors on a gusty, rainy day, and all of a sudden it ...

(C-) Blood and Chocolate

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
There was enthusiastic applause in the theater when the name of author Annette Curtis Klause appeared in the opening credits. The » Read Review

(B) Blood Diamond

Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: High School
December brings us the thinking person's thrillers -- all of the explosions and shooting and close calls of a summer movie, but with a more serious purpose and a more distinguished pedigree.

(D) Blood Work

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
The presence of a Hollywood icon as an actor and director cannot overcome the predictability in the script in "Blood Work."

Clint Eastwood stars as Terry McCaleb, a veteran FBI profiler simila...

(B+) Bloody Sunday

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
On January 30, 1972, thousands of civil rights demonstrators in Derry (Londonderry), Ireland, held a rally to protest the British Government’s use of internment without due process in Northern Ir...

(C+) Blue Crush

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
If you want to ride this movie the way its heroine rides the waves, the best thing to do is bring a walkman and a really good pair of headphones and watch it while listening to your favorite assort...

(B) Blue Jasmine

Genre: Family Issues
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
Two sisters. One imagines herself living a life of ease, comfort, graciousness, and elegance that does not really exist. The other is more accepting of her lower middle class life, her carnality, h...

(C+) Blue Streak

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Martin Lawrence stars in a made-to-order story of a jewel thief who returns to the scene of the crime to retrieve his loot, only to find that the construction site where he stashed the stolen diamo...

(C) Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
Bobby Jones was a great man and a great golfer. He deserves a better movie than this one, as clumsy as its title.

Jones may be the greatest golfer who ever lived. He's the only one to win...

(B-) Body of Lies

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Once movie spies were sleek and cool and impeccably dressed. They were devil-may-care, they had joie de vivre, they seemed to know everything, and they were unstoppable. The bad guys had endless ...

(A-) Boiler Room

Genre: Family Issues
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Seth (Giovanni Ribisi) wants two things very badly. He wants to make a lot of money quickly, and he wants the respect of his father (Ron Rifkin), a federal judge. Seth drops out of college to run a...

(B) Bolt

Genre: For all ages
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Bolt (voice of John Travolta) thinks he is a super-dog. He and his "person," Penny (voice of Miley Cyrus) spend their days battling the evil, green-eyed Dr. Calico (voice of Malcolm McDowell), who...

(D) Boogeyman

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
With a storyline thinner than the protagonist’s stereotyped rich girlfriend and enough lead-heavy dialogue to sink a movie of twice the caliber, “Boogeyman” is a bloated 86 minutes of overzea...

(B) The Book Thief

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Middle School
The title character in "The Book Thief" is Liesel (Sophie Nélisse), a little girl in pre-WWII Germany.  We first see her on a train with her mother and dying younger brother.  The children were ...

(B+) Borat

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
First and foremost, let me make it clear that this movie has extremely outrageous and offensive material and is not for the faint of heart or the easily shocked, and inappropriate for sensitive or...

(B+) The Borrowers

Genre: For the Whole Family
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Mary Norton's delightful book about the tiny people who live in houses and "borrow" foraged items (thus explaining why no one can ever find anything) is charmingly translated to the screen. The art...

(C+) Bounce

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
Like "Return to Me," this is a love story that is better than its gimmick. In a variation on the "cute meet" of romantic comedies, this movie has a "buried secret that will be revealed at the wors...

(C) The Bounty Hunter

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Jennifer Aniston is a beautiful and talented woman, but this film had me thinking some very mean thoughts about her, thoughts like, "She is too old for this kind of movie" and "Probably not a good ...

(B+) The Bourne Identity

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
"The Bourne Identity" does not have much in the way of plot or characters, but it is a better-than-average guns, gadgets, and chases in interesting locations movie.

The film starts off with...

(B+) The Bourne Supremacy

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
This is a smooth thriller for grown-ups. That means it has lots of chase scenes and action scenes but the mood is dark, even grim. The dialogue is smart but not smart-alecky. No one wears a dinn...

(B+) The Bourne Ultimatum

Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
There is not much story here. The set-up was two movies ago, when a man with a gunshot wound was fished out of the water. He had no memory but when it came to the tricks of the spy trade, he had ...

(C+) Bowfinger

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin) wants desperately to make a movie, and as he approaches his 50th birthday he thinks he is running out of time. He tries to interest a studio executive in a script cal...

(A) Bowling for Columbine

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Any documentary about gun violence in America in which the single most intelligent and insightful comment is made by a guy named after a dead beauty queen and a serial killer is worth a look. Then...

(C) The Box

Genre: Fantasy
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
I loved "Donnie Darko" and was eager to listen to the DVD commentary by writer/director Richard Kelly. But I had to turn it off after the first ten minutes. Kelly explained too much, and his expl...

(B-) Boxboarders!

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
The writer of the delightful Clockstoppers has written and directed an unpretentious little comedy about a crazy "sport" ...

(A-) The Boxtrolls

Genre: Stories About Kids
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
[caption id="attachment_29985" align="alignright" width="300"] » Read Review

(B+) The Boy Who Could Fly

Genre: For the Whole Family
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
In honor of Special Education Week, watch this touching film with your family: Milly (Lucy Deakins), her mother, Charlene (Bonnie Bedelia), and her brother, Louis (Fred Savage), move into a new ho...

(A-) Boyhood

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
» Read Review

(B) Bratz

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: 4th - 6th Grades
If the "Transformers" were the snips and snails and puppy dog tails of the toys-to-movie genre of the summer of 2007, the » Read Review

(B+) The Brave Little Toaster

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
In this movie, based on a story by science-fiction author Thomas M. Disch, a group of household appliances in a summer cottage, worried about their young master, leave home to go and find him, enco...

(B+) Breach

Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
Robert Hanssen was the head of the Soviet department in the FBI. And he was working for the enemy. Over a period of 22 years, he sold vital secrets to the Soviet and Russian governments for $1.5 m...

(F+) The Break-Up

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
Someone should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission about false advertising for this film. The trailer and the ads indicate that it is a romantic comedy. But it is, in fact, neither...

(C+) Breakin' All the Rules

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Bright stars can't save this over-plotted and under-directed romantic comedy. Jamie Foxx plays Quincy, a magazine editor who is about to propose to his girlfriend when she dumps him. So he writes...

(B+) Brian's Song

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: 4th - 6th Grades
This is the true -- and heartbreaking -- story of Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers, players for the Chicago Bears, who were the first interracial roommates in pro sports, based on the memoir by Sayers...

(C) Bride Wars

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Middle School
Movies thrive on smackdowns. "Clash of the Titans." "Alien vs. Predator." "Freddy vs. Jason." "Kramer vs. Kramer." Rocky vs. Apollo Creed. And now, Bridezilla vs. Bridezilla. Kate Hudson (wh...

(B+) Bridesmaids

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
There is something intriguingly subversive in "Bridesmaids" that goes beyond the anarchy inherent in all humor and its reliable sub-category, the switch-up.  But we'll talk about those first to ge...

(B+) Bridge to Terabithia

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Thirty years ago, a young mother named Katherine Paterson wrote a book to console her son David after his close friend was killed in an accident. That book went on to win the Newberry, children's ...

(B+) Bridget Jones's Diary

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Renée Zellwegger is irresistible as Bridget Jones, in this delectable romantic comedy with some sly references to that uber-romantic comedy, Pride and Prejudice. From the opening credits, when w...

(B) Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
In the first movie, Bridget Jones (Renee Zellwegger) learned that she could be loved just as she was. Now she has to figure out whether she can love herself.

As the sequel begins, she has h...

(C+) Bring It On

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
I may sound like the Movie Grandmom here, but it is a darned shame that this smart and sassy movie has to include unnecessarily raunchy humor. Otherwise, this would be a terrific movie for kids, b...

(A-) Bringing Down the House

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
This movie falls squarely in what I call the "Cat in the Hat" genre, one of the most popular and enduring movie themes, in which a straight-laced person (A) who plays by the rules has his or her li...

(A+) Bringing Up Baby

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Plot: Shy paleontologist David Huxley (Cary Grant) is hoping for three things: a rare dinosaur bone fossil, a million dollar research grant, and his marriage to colleague Miss Swallow. Madcap heire...

(B+) Brokeback Mountain

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: High School
Director Ang Lee is a master of repressed love whether between young Taiwanese men in The Wedding Banquet, Jane Austen's class-conscious Brits in Sense & Sensibility, duty-bound warriors in Cro...

(C) Broken City

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
» Read Review

(A-) Broken Flowers

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
George Orwell said that by age 50 every man has the face he deserves. Now in Hollywood, by age 50 it's more likely that movie stars pretty much have the faces they can buy (are you listening, Cher...

(D) Broken Lizard's Club Dread

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Does the world really need a comic slasher movie? Or, to be more precise, does it need another failed attempt at one?

The would-be wild and crazy guys from would-be comedy troupe Broken Li...

(A-) Brooklyn Castle

Genre: Stories About Kids
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: All Ages
I.S. 318 is a below-the-poverty-line inner city junior high school.  And its students have won more national chess championships than any other in the country.  So this is a touching and inspiri...

(D) Brooklyn's Finest

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Adult
This bloated, pretentious mess is the slowest action movie I can remember, weighted down with over-used characters, situations, and dialog. The dialog is over-used within the movie itself. It isn...

(C+) Brother Bear

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Preschool
The most imaginative part of this latest Disney animated feature, set in the Pacific Northwest at the end of the Ice Age, is the sunlight on the glaciers. It is magnificently rendered. Other than...

(B+) Brotherhood of the Wolf

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler

Some may say that only a guy could enjoy Brotherhood of the Wolf (Le Pacte des Loupes). After all, the movie contains lots of guy elements: gore, martial-arts, and werewolves. But, there’...

(B-) The Brothers Grimm

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
Too scary for kids and too thin for anyone else, Terry Gilliam's latest movie, like his heroes' tricks, has a lot of visual flair, but no substance.

Gilliam's version of the story about the...

(B) Bruce Almighty

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Mature High Schooler
You could not ask for a better showcase for what Jim Carrey does best than this comedy about a man who is given all of God's powers and has no compunction about using them for cheap thrills and pet...

(C) Bruno

Genre: Gross-out
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Adult
Sacha Baron Cohen is back, and once again he has created an outrageously offensive character from another country who crosses the ocean to interact with unsuspecting Americans so that we can laugh ...

(C) The Bucket List

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Middle School
It's The Shawshank Redemption...

(A-) Buffalo Soldiers

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
A lot of people are going to have problems with Buffalo Soldiers because of the timing. It was written and filmed before we went to war. Now, when it is so important to support American troops and...

(B+) Bulletproof Monk

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
Here is how cool Hong Kong action superstar Chow Yun-Fat ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") is: while clearly capable of outshining just about anyone and anything in movies today, instead he manage...

(B+) Bully

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Middle School
This is a message for Alex.  You are a great kid.  You will be a great, happy, successful adult.  And those high school boys who torture you so brutally on the school bus every day will spend th...

(B-) Burlesque

Genre: Musical
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School

Somewhere on the continuum that connects "Showgirls," "Glitter," and drag shows is a place for "Burlesque," a vanity project from producer Christina Aguilera for pop star and would-be actress Ch...

(B) Burn After Reading

Genre: Spies
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Adult
The Coen brothers may have achieved mainstream success with their Best Picture Oscar for No Country for Old Men,...

(A+) Bus Stop

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Bo (Don Murray) is a rough cowboy who comes to the city for the first time with his worldlier friend, Virgil (Arthur O'Connell), to compete in a rodeo. They meet Cherie (Marilyn Monroe), a good-hea...

(D) The Butterfly Effect

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
This movie is not just pretentious twaddle. It is inept and exploitive pretentious twaddle, not even worth a "so bad it's good" video rental.

The title comes from the idea, here attributed...




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