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Movie Mom

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(B+) Fading Gigolo

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

(A-) Fahrenheit 9/11

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
This is the movie that won the movie world's highest accolade -- a sort of international Oscar -- the Cannes Film Festival's Palme D'Or. And it is the movie that columnist Christopher Hitchens<...

(B) Failure to Launch

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
Trip (Matthew McConaughey) is a 35-year-old boat broker who happily resides in an assisted living facility where he is served fresh pancakes and bacon with warmed syrup and all of his clothes are c...

(A-) Fair Game

Genre: Spies
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Middle School
It turns out that being a spy is not glamorous at all, especially when you are the mother of twins. Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) does not get to pick up a bunch of fun gadgets from Q or change from...

(B-) Fame

Genre: Remake
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: High School
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 plai...

(B) The Family

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
the-family-movie-poster » Read Review

(B+) The Family Man

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
The grand tradition of "what if?" movies from "A Christmas Carol" to "It's a Wonderful Life" and the more recent "Passions of Mind" and "Me Myself I" show us an unhappy hero or heroine who finds ou...

(B) The Family Stone

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
If you believe the previews or have seen the poster of an aggressively extended and bejeweled ring finger, then you might presume that “The Family Stone” is going to be a light-hearted romp of ...

(C) Fanboys

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Mature High Schooler
"Fanboys" has less of a sense of humor about its subjects than they do about themselves. It is so afraid of offending the demographic that it cannot decide if it is making fun of passionate fans o...

(A+) Fantasia 2000

Genre: Talking animals
MPAA Rating: G     Audience: Preschool
Almost sixty years ago, the original "Fantasia" was released and hard as it may be to believe it now, the response was unenthusiastic. Today, images like Mickey as the Sorcerer's Apprentice, the li...

(B) Fantastic Four

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: 4th - 6th Grades
There are four of them, and they are fantastic. Idealistic scientist Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) has a reach that exceeds his grasp. Beautiful and brilliant Sue Storm (Jessica Alba) loves him bu...

(B-) Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Genre: Science-Fiction
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: 4th - 6th Grades
If not exactly meriting the term "fantastic" yet, this second installment is a slight improvement over the " » Read Review

(A-) Far From Heaven

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
The 1950’s was a time of peace and plenty, but it was also a time of conformity. It was especially inconvenient to be female, gay, or black. In “Far From Heaven,” characters struggle with a...

(D) Fascination

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Lust. Betrayal. Revenge. Greed. Murder. Somehow, all of these things become dull in the preposterous and yet decidedly un-fascinating "Fascination," a movie that plays as though the script was bei...

(C) Fast & Furious

Genre: Series/Sequel
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
How fast? How furious? Well, this fourth in the series is so zippy it doesn't even have time for "the" or "and." And how necessary? Is there any more fastness or furiousness not fully covered b...

(B) Fast & Furious 6

Genre: Series/Sequel
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Middle School
fast-and-furious-6-tank » Read Review

(D) The Fast and the Furious

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
I don’t ask for much from summer popcorn movies. Give me some car chases and explosions, some romance, and a nasty villain who meets a nastier end, and I’m happy. I had high hopes for "The Fa...

(F+) Fast Track

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Painfully overlong at under 90 minutes, "The Ex" (formerly known as "Fast Track") is a clunky, lead-footed disaster, the stunning incompetence of its script and direction only exceeded by the shock...

(B) Fat Albert

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Hey hey hey! Fat Albert is back.

The original Fat Albert was a friend of the young Bill Cosby, who turned his childhood adventures into a popular stand-up routine during his days as a comi...

(B+) Ferngully... The Last Rainforest

Genre:
MPAA Rating: G     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
An evil and destructive spirit named Hexxus (voice of Tim Curry) is imprisoned in a tree by Magi, the leader of the fairies, who believes that all humans have been destroyed. Many years later, as...

(B+) Fever Pitch

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
The only thing surprising about this completely conventional big studio date movie is that it comes from the joyfully outrageous Farrelly brothers (There's Something About Mary, Shallow Hal) and th...

(C+) Field of Dreams

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner), who grew up in New York and went to college at Berkeley, stands in the middle of his first Iowa corn crop and hears a voice say, "If you build it, he will come." He be...

(B) The Fifth Estate

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: High School
the-fifth-estate » Read Review

(D) Fighting

Genre: Sports
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
Terrence Howard's performance in "Fighting" is so bizarrely strange and awful that it occurred to me he might be hoping we didn't realize it was him. Howard plays Harvey, a street hustler who disc...

(B+) The Fighting Temptations

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
You may or may not believe that gospel music saves the soul of an out of work advertising executive, but you just might believe that it saves the movie in in "The Fighting Temptations," and that mi...

(B+) Fill the Void

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: High School
A young woman about to choose the man she will marry is torn between her own desires and the wishes of her devout family, ultra-Orthodox Jews.  We know where the American version of this story wou...

(C+) The Filth and the Fury

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
More than 20 years ago, the Sex Pistols made one album, were let go by two record companies, one after only one day, and had the number one song in the UK, though it was so controversial it could n...

(D) Final Destination 2

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Not bothering with everyday movie conventions like plot, acting, or logic, this wisp of a sequel found its competitive advantage in “Final Destination” (2002) and pursued it with gleeful abando...

(F) Final Destination 3

Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: High School
It’s like deja vu, says the main character, only of something I haven’t done yet.

Wow, get out of my head, Wendy! We are barely minutes into “Final Destination 3” and already we, t...

(D) Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
In "A.I." we had a real boy, Haley Joel Osment, playing a robot. In this movie, we have computer animated figures playing real people. This is the first computer-animated movie to "star" actors. ...

(B-) The Final Season

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: 4th - 6th Grades
From the opening shots of the American flag fluttering gracefully from a barn in the Iowa morning mist, to the closing scenes of cheering crowds at the baseball field, The Final Season is one great...

(B-) Find Me Guilty

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: High School
Director Sidney Lumet revisits the themes of two of his most memorable films in this movie, but with less success. Like » Read Review

(B+) Finding Forrester

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
There is nothing more appealing to watch in a movie than one character teaching another, except perhaps when two characters teach each other. This reliable formula is well presented in this fine f...

(A+) Finding Nemo

Genre: Talking animals
MPAA Rating: G     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Pixar Studios may have the most advanced animation technology in the world, but they never forget what matters most in a movie: story, characters, imagination, and heart. "Finding Nemo" has it all...

(A+) Finding Nemo 3D

Genre: Talking animals
MPAA Rating: G     Audience: All Ages
“Finding Nemo” is an ideal choice for a 3D re-release. Its Pacific Ocean setting is majestic, immersive, not intrusive, in evoking the vast sweep of the water and bringing us into the world of ...

(B+) Finding Neverland

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
This much we know. James M. Barrie was inspired by his friendship with some fatherless boys, including one named Peter, to write one of the most enduring and beloved stories of all time, "Peter Pa...

(B-) Fired Up

Genre: Gross-out
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Yes, this is a dumb little teen sex comedy that repeatedly tries to generate hilarity with a cheer involving the initials of its title. Yes, it spends a lot of camera time focusing on tight little...

(C) Firehouse Dog

Genre: Family Issues
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Ths story about a mega-movie star dog who gets lost and finds a home with the son of a fire chief is an uncomfortable blending of three different stories that neglects the one thing we want to see ...

(B-) Firewall

Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
What can you do if you want to rob a bank and hotshot Harrison Ford has designed a foolproof security system? Well, firewalls may be unbreakable, but people are not. So, you tell him that if he d...

(C+) First Daughter

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: 4th - 6th Grades
This one is right off the conveyer belt. It's numbingly predictable due to a screenplay straight from the "how to write a script" formula book, which may be forgiveable, but it is also thuddingly ...

(B) First Descent

Genre: Sports
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Middle School
When the helicopter takes you to the snowy peaks at the end of the paved road, where “backcountry” describes a style and a philosophy as oppose to a location, you know you are about to see some...

(C) First Sunday

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
first%20sunday.jpg Ice Cube was once a member of the f...

(B+) The Five-Year Engagement

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

(B+) Flags of Our Fathers

Genre: War
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Clint Eastwood's first of two films about the WWII battle at Iwo Jima is sincere, competent, and respectful. He powerfully conveys the madness and brutality of battle and the conflicting feelings o...

(B) Flash of Genius

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Middle School
Americans do love our underdog stories and this one has the ingredients. There's a David -- an engineering professor named Robert Kearns (Greg Kinnear), who had a "flash of genius" and invented a ...

(B+) Flicka

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: 4th - 6th Grades
"No one's riding that loco thing!"

Well, of course as soon as we hear that line we know someone's going to have to ride it. And in this very fine family film, the rider will be Katy (Aliso...

(B+) Flight

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

(B+) Flight of the Phoenix

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
This trim little adventure saga about the survivors of a plane crash in the Mongolian desert doesn't waste any time assigning heartwarming characteristics or backstories to each member of the group...

(D) Flightplan

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
It's always a bad sign in a thriller when the big reveal is greeted by hoots of derisive laughter, and that's what happened at this movie. It's an even worse sign when two-time Oscar winner Jodie F...

(C+) The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Preschool
First things first -- it is better than the original, famously troubled 1994 version that sank under the weight of too many screenwriters (reportedly over 30) and too many commercial tie-ins. This...

(B+) FLOW: For Love of Water

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Middle School
Americans take for granted our most precious and vital resource. We assume that when we turn on the tap, the water that comes out will be perfectly safe and more than plentiful, endless. And then...

(A-) Flushed Away

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Aardman has applied the sweetly demented sensibility of the "Wallace and Gromit" claymation films to their first CGI film and it is an irresistible treasure. It has their trademark intricacy of de...

(A+) Fly Away Home

Genre: For all ages
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Amy, a 13-year-old girl from New Zealand (Anna Paquin), wakes up in a hospital bed after an automobile accident to see her father, Tom (Jeff Daniels), whom she barely knows. Her mother was killed i...

(C) Fly Me to the Moon

Genre:
MPAA Rating: G     Audience: All Ages
» Read Review

(C+) Flyboys

Genre: War
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
Has this script been in a drawer somewhere since 1942?

It sure seems like it. It's "inspired" by the absorbing true story of Americans who enlisted with the French armed forces in World Wa...

(A+) The Fog of War

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
“The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara” is an intelligent documentary directed by Errol Morris and based upon an interview with Robert McNamara, who as Secretary of...

(B) Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Middle School
One of the most daring rescue missions of the post WWII era was the Raid on Entebbe in 1976. 

(C) Fool's Gold

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
fool%27s%20gold.jpgAn adventure-romance-comedy about...

(B+) Footloose

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Director Craig Brewer doesn't so much remake 1984's » Read Review

(B-) For Colored Girls

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler

Tyler Perry's films frustrate critics and commentators, who are bothered by the awkward mash-ups of high melodrama and low humor and by what many people think is an exaggerated and biased portra...

(B-) For Greater Glory

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

() For Thanksgiving: 'Pieces of April'

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience:
Another of my favorite Thanksgiving movies is » Read Review

(B) For Your Consideration

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Middle School
This is the time of year when ads, CDs, and DVDs marked "for your consideration" are sent out to members of the movie industry and to critics, in the hopes that those behind and in front of the cam...

(B-) Forbidden Kingdom

Genre: Fantasy
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Middle School
forbidden%20kingdom.jpgIt's not a good movie, bu...

(B+) Forbidden Planet

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Plot: It is the year 2200, and Commander Adams (Leslie Nielson) directs his spaceship to an earth-like planet called Altair-4 in search of a former earth colony, out of contact for many years. They...

(B-) Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
"How I Met Your Mother's" Jason Segal wrote and stars in the latest from the Apatow atelier, another raunchy comedy with a tender heart, and once again the story of a childish and helpless man who ...

(C+) The Forgotten

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
This year's most popular movie theme -- memory -- turns up once again, though this time what someone, um, forgot was the script.

Oh there are situations here, but I would not say that they ...

(D) Formula 51

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
This "Formula" is missing some key ingredients – like plot, characters, and dialogue.

Here is what it does have: the undeniably cool Samuel L. Jackson (who co-produced) in a kilt, fending ...

(C+) Four Brothers

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
We start out on the side of the four adopted brothers who reunite to find the people who murdered their mother, but they lose us in this over-violent and under-sincere story that strays from justic...

(C-) Four Christmases

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: High School
The biggest acting achievement in this film is four Oscar winners valiantly managing to hide their embarrassment in appearing in sheer holiday dreck. Its leads are not as successful. Reese Wither...

(B+) The Four Feathers

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
In what is at least the fifth filmed version of this story, a soldier ordered to war resigns his commission. He has just become engaged to a girl he adores and the concerns of a battle on the othe...

(B) Fracture

Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: High School
This is not a who-dun-it. It's a will-they-be-able-to-prove-it. As in the old » Read Review

(D) Frailty

Genre: Horror
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Many great horror movies deal with families; that is where we are all most sensitive. This uneven film exploits that vulnerability but is ultimately unsatisfying.

The film opens on a da...

(A-) Freaky Friday

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: 4th - 6th Grades
Jamie Leigh Curtis and Lindsay Lohan play a mother and teenager who switch bodies in this third version of the book by Mary Rodgers.

Curtis is Tess, a compassionate therapist and a loving, if...

(B-) Fred Claus

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Middle School
fredclausposter2.jpg The predictable work and family and romantic complications ens...

(B) Freddy vs. Jason

Genre: Series/Sequel
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
I hope needless to say, this extremely violent movie is only for the hard-core fans of the genre who are old enough not to be traumatized by it. Since I do not think I can be fair to these movies,...

(C) Free Birds

Genre: Talking animals
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Free birds movie » Read Review

(B-) Freedom Writers

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Middle School
Here is the formula for movies about idealistic young teachers who go into bad neighborhoods:

1. Idealistic teacher goes into bad neighborhood and is aghast at poor conditions and cynicism of...

(C+) Freedomland

Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: High School
This movie’s inability to live up to its potential is nearly as epic as its misleading title. In other hands, "Freedomland" might have played a jazz-like riff of personal loss and moving vignett...

(B+) Frequency

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Every moment, we face a thousand seemingly inconsequential choices that can have the most profound impact on our lives and those around us. In "Frequency," a fireman gets a message from his son, 3...

(C+) Friday After Next

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
This third in Ice Cube’s “Friday” series has something to offend everyone, with highly politically incorrect jokes in just about every category. On the other hand, it is better than the last ...

(A) Friday Night Lights

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Middle School
On the very first day of pre-season practice, Coach Gary Gaines (Billy Bob Thornton) tells his team, the Permian High Panthers of Odessa, Texas, that he expects them to be perfect. By the end of t...

(B+) Friendly Persuasion

Genre: War
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Plot: This is the story of the Birdwells, a loving Quaker family in the midst of the Civil War. Eliza (Dorothy McGuire), a devout woman, is the moral center of the family. Jess (Gary Cooper) is a t...

(B) Friends With Benefits

Genre: Romance
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
"Shut up, Katherine Heigl," says our heroine, as she passes by a wall of posters for another fungible romantic comedy that should be sued for deceptive advertising.  Jamie (Mila Kunis) is an execu...

() From Beliefnet

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience:
Dear Readers-- Due to a planned technical upgrade taking place on Wednesday June 11th, the Beliefnet Blogs will not display any new content, and commenting will be disabled. We aim to be back up an...

(C) From Justin to Kelly

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Just about everyone already knows when Justin Guarini really met Kelly Clarkson -- they were the two finalists on the wildly popular first season of "American Idol." This quickie film was rushed i...

(C) From Paris With Love

Genre: Spies
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Mature High Schooler
John Travolta loves to be bad. And so he is clearly having a blast -- in both senses of the word -- in this film, playing a bald guy with an earring who likes to shoot first and think later. As ...

(B-) From Up on Poppy Hill

Genre: Stories About Kids
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Middle School
The animated films from Japan's Studio Ghibli are adored by many American families for their lush and intricate hand-drawn animation and imaginative story lines.  But others, like me, find many of...

(A-) Frozen

Genre:
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
frozen poster » Read Review

(A-) Fruitvale Station

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: High School
The sadly timely release of Sundance award-winner "Fruitvale Station" begins with the shocking real-life cell phone footage shot in a San Francisco subway station on New Year's Eve 2008.  A young ...

(B) Fugitive Pieces

Genre:
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: High School
fugitive%20pieces.jpgIn this impressionistic, ros...

(C+) Full Frontal

Genre:
MPAA Rating:     Audience: Mature High Schooler
Somewhere on the continuum between complexity and incoherence lies the latest film from Steven Soderbergh. After big-time Hollywood critical and box office success with the glossy, classy "Erin Br...

(B-) Fun With Dick and Jane

Genre: Remake
MPAA Rating: PG-13     Audience: Middle School
The first "Fun with Dick and Jane" was the popular reader that millions of first graders used to sound out words like "Oh" and "Run!" Dick and Jane were perfect suburban children in an idealized w...

(B-) Funny People

Genre: Gross-out
MPAA Rating: R     Audience: Adult
"Funny People" combines two very different movies. The first is a typically crass, shallow Judd Apatow production, saturated with childish sexual antics and slapstick humor. The second is a dark,...

(F) Furry Vengeance

Genre: Fantasy
MPAA Rating: PG     Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Some movies are content to settle for the lowest common denominator, combining trashy ethnic stereotypes, bathroom humor and cheesy slapstick jokes in the hope of luring audiences for a cheap laugh...



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