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  • A+, A, A-
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The Big Short

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

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

Trailer: The Big Short with Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, and Christian Bale

posted by Nell Minow

There is no movie I am looking forward to this year more than “The Big Short,” based on the best book I read about the 2008 financial meltdown, written by Michael Lewis. It is directed by Adam McKay, who was […]

Before They Were Stars: Television Commercials With Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, and More

posted by Nell Minow

Phil Hall has a delightful collection of “before they were stars” television ads featuring Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, James Dean, Morgan Freeman, Matt LeBlanc, Steve Carell, and more. Here’s one I love that he left out, with pre-“Laverne and Shirley” […]

Fury

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout
Movie Release Date:October 17, 2014
DVD Release Date:January 26, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout
Movie Release Date: October 17, 2014
DVD Release Date: January 26, 2015

History, Winston Churchill reminds us, is written by the victors. But sometimes those victors have some second thoughts, more complex thoughts, about the nature of heroism, patriotism, and the spoils (in both senses) of war. And sometimes people want to […]

The Counselor

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for graphic violence, some grisly images, strong sexual content and language
Movie Release Date:October 25, 2013
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for graphic violence, some grisly images, strong sexual content and language
Movie Release Date: October 25, 2013

Cormac McCarthy’s spare, bleak, and very literary prose has made for some compelling cinema, most effectively in No Country for Old Men and The Road and the adaption of his play for an HBO movie, The Sunset Limited.  In his first original […]

World War Z

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense frightening zombie sequences, violence and disturbing images
Movie Release Date:June 21, 2013
DVD Release Date:September 17, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense frightening zombie sequences, violence and disturbing images
Movie Release Date: June 21, 2013
DVD Release Date: September 17, 2013

There are going to be a lot of superheroes on screen this summer, but none of them are as super as Gerry Lane a former investigator for the UN called back into action to fight the zombie apocalypse. No superhero […]

Movie Stars Go Bad for the NY Times Magazine

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to check out this year’s Hollywood issue of the New York Times Magazine this weekend.  Some of the year’s biggest stars try out some iconic roles in a series of photographs and short films.  Brad Pitt is Eraserhead.  […]

Happy Feet 2

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some rude humor and mild peril
Movie Release Date:November 18, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 13, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some rude humor and mild peril
Movie Release Date: November 18, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012

I loved the original Happy Feet, but five years later only liked this sequel.  It’s still a lot of fun to see dancing, singing penguins, but the meandering storyline never catches hold. In the original, a small Emperor penguin named […]

Moneyball

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some strong language
Movie Release Date:September 23, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 9, 2012
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some strong language
Movie Release Date: September 23, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 9, 2012

Brad Pitt is underrated as an actor.  But he is the best there is when it comes to calibrating the deployment of his onscreen star power, which he uses as expertly as Meryl Streep does accents.  Pitt can dial it […]

Fall Movies 2011 — Miss Piggy, Double Clooneys, Spaceys, and Lautners, the First Silent Film in 80 Years, and Brad Pitt Plays Ball

posted by Nell Minow

Summer is time for superheroes, remakes, raunchy comedies, and sequels.  As the leaves begin to fall, movies get a little more ambitious, a little edgier, a little weightier, with less CGI and a bit more depth.  But that doesn’t mean […]

The Tree of Life

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for thematic issues
Movie Release Date:June 3 2011
DVD Release Date:October 11, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic issues
Movie Release Date: June 3 2011
DVD Release Date: October 11, 2011

On those dark nights of the soul, when we consider not just life but Life, and Meaning, and our place in the cosmos, our lives don’t play out in our minds in sequence.  Images and snatches of words flicker back […]

Megamind

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for action and some language
Movie Release Date:November 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:February 22, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action and some language
Movie Release Date: November 5, 2010
DVD Release Date: February 22, 2011

Let’s get it out of the way first thing. “Megamind” would be a much more enjoyable experience if it wasn’t so close to one of this year’s brightest family pleasures, Despicable Me. Both are stories of the clash of two […]

Trailer: Megamind

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s an early peek at “Megamind” an animated superhero (and super-villain) movie featuring the voices of Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, and Brad Pitt. It looks delightful!

Inglourious Basterds

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong graphic violence, language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:August 21, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 15, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic violence, language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: August 21, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009

There is no question that writer-director Quentin Tarantino is a brilliant film-maker. But there is some question about whether he has yet made a brilliant film. No one takes a more visceral pleasure in movies than he does but there […]

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief war violence, sexual content, language and smoking
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2008
DVD Release Date:May 12, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief war violence, sexual content, language and smoking
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2008
DVD Release Date: May 12, 2009

Brad Pitt is a very fine actor (see “Twelve Monkeys” and “True Romance”) but in this epic fantasy his diligent and thoughtful performance contributes less to the film than his appearance, about two-thirds of the way through. I mean appearance […]

Burn After Reading

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence.
Movie Release Date:September 12, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 23, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence.
Movie Release Date: September 12, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 23, 2008

The Coen brothers may have achieved mainstream success with their Best Picture Oscar for No Country for Old Men, but so much for adapting prestigious literary novels that engage the essential American archetypes; they are back with another twisty, genre-tweaking […]

Coming Attractions (September 2008)

posted by Nell Minow

There’s only one movie opening up this week, “Bankok Dangerous” with Nicolas Cage. That’s everything I know about it. It isn’t screening for critics, and that means the studio is pretty sure it won’t even get one good review. But […]

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Trailer: Screenagers, a Documentary About 21st Century Kids and Their Devices
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQx2X0BXgZg[/youtube] Every parent should see "Screenagers," which explores the unprecedented challenges families face over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Insights from ...

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The People and Movies That Inspired "Hail, Caesar!"
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