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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




I Love You, Beth Cooper

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language, some teen drinking and drug references, and brief violence
Movie Release Date:July 10, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 3, 2009
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language, some teen drinking and drug references, and brief violence
Movie Release Date: July 10, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009

Paul Rust is 28, and looks it, maybe a little older. But in “I Love You, Beth Cooper” he plays Denis Cooverman, a high school valedictorian. Jack T. Carpenter, last seen playing a college student in “Sydney White” two years […]

The Taking of Pelham 123

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence and pervasive language
Movie Release Date:June 12, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 3, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence and pervasive language
Movie Release Date: June 12, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009

This third version of the story of a hijacked New York subway car may be superfluous but it still delivers some zip thanks to Tony Scott’s music-video flash and even a bit of heft thanks to Denzel Washington. The 1974 […]

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 […]

Interview: Tinker Bell (Part 2)

posted by Nell Minow

Part 2 — from an online press briefing with “Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure” director Klay Hall and producer Sean Lurie.” And don’t forget to enter the contest for the Tinker Bell DVD and wings! Q: Can you talk […]

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor and peril
Movie Release Date:July 1, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 27, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor and peril
Movie Release Date: July 1, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 27, 2009

This third in the Ice Age series is a bit sweeter and gentler than the first two, perhaps less ambitious in scope than the first but much more engaging than the second. The 3D animation is beautifully immersive and the […]

Contest: Tinker Bell DVD and Wings!

posted by Nell Minow

One of the biggest and best giveaways ever! Five lucky families will win not just the gorgeous new Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure but a beautiful set of fairy wings to turn any child into a fairy! Send me […]

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. […]

The Proposal

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, nudity and language
Movie Release Date:June 19, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 13, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, nudity and language
Movie Release Date: June 19, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 13, 2009

Think “Taming of the Shrew Wears Prada.” Book editor Margaret (Sandra Bullock) is whip-smart and whippet-thin, ferociously competent, ruthlessly demanding, and just plain scary. When she strides into the office in her spike Christian Louboutin heels, IMs radiate through the […]

Land of the Lost

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and for language including a drug reference
Movie Release Date:June 5, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 13, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and for language including a drug reference
Movie Release Date: June 5, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 13, 2009

“Land of the Lost” features two funny actors and a criminally underused actress tramping around an alternate reality in search of comedy but not finding much for us to laugh at. Too raunchy for kids, too dull for anyone else, […]

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 […]

Anvil: The Story of Anvil

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:April 10, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 6, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: April 10, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 6, 2009

If this story wasn’t true, they’d have to invent it. Indeed, they already did. “This is Spinal Tap,” one of the most outrageous, influential, and utterly hilarious movies ever made, is a “mockumentary,” a fake documentary about a heavy metal […]

My Life in Ruins

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content
Movie Release Date:June 5, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 6, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content
Movie Release Date: June 5, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 6, 2009

Everything that made the adorable “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” so winning is missing from this tired and formulaic sitcom of a movie about an American tour guide in Greece. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” with writer/star Nia Vardalos, was […]

Imagine That

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild language and brief questionable behavior.
Movie Release Date:February 12, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 6, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild language and brief questionable behavior.
Movie Release Date: February 12, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 6, 2009

Title aside, there is not much imagination in this formulaic story of a daddy who discovers the value of his daughter’s imaginary friends — and then learns that it is his daughter who matters most of all. But I am […]

Year One

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, brief strong language and comic violence
Movie Release Date:June 19, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 6, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, brief strong language and comic violence
Movie Release Date: June 19, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 6, 2009

The two-doofus comedy probably goes back to ancient times, so why not set it there? The always-funny Michael Cera and the frequently-funny Jack Black join forces like Hope and Crosby in an only intermittently-funny movie that is just a series […]

Interview: Tiffany Thornton

posted by Nell Minow

Disney star Tiffany Thornton sings the classic “Some Day My Prince Will Come” on the spectacular new release of Disney’s very first animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It is a two=DVD set with both Blu-Ray and regular […]

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 […]

Shrink

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for drug content throughout, and pervasive language including some sexual references.
Movie Release Date:July 31, 2009
DVD Release Date:September 29, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for drug content throughout, and pervasive language including some sexual references.
Movie Release Date: July 31, 2009
DVD Release Date: September 29, 2009

“Physician, heal yourself!” Henry Carter (Kevin Spacey) is the best-selling author of a book called Happiness Now and a Los Angeles psychiatrist to glamorous and highly successful people. But he is a mess, self-medicating to the point of obliterating himself […]

The Wizard of Oz

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1939
DVD Release Date:2009
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1939
DVD Release Date: 2009

The 70th anniversary of this all-time classic is being celebrated with a beautiful new DVD release, a great chance for the family to sit down and watch what is probably the all-time greatest family film again. Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) […]

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 […]

Battle for Terra 3D

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2009
DVD Release Date:September 22, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2009
DVD Release Date: September 22, 2009

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 humans who are the aliens in this […]

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content throughout, some language and a drug reference
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2009
DVD Release Date:September 22, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content throughout, some language and a drug reference
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2009
DVD Release Date: September 22, 2009

“Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” feels like ghosts of movies past, with a been-there, seen-that feeling that goes far beyond its familiar appropriation of the structure of “A Christmas Carol.” It is not as deep as Matthew McConaughey’s dimples. He plays […]

Observe and Report

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, graphic nudity, drug use, sexual content and violence
Movie Release Date:April 10, 2009
DVD Release Date:September 22, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, graphic nudity, drug use, sexual content and violence
Movie Release Date: April 10, 2009
DVD Release Date: September 22, 2009

I have no affection for this movie but I have to admit to a grudging admiration for its willingness to be awkward, intrusive, and disturbing. A stark contrast to the similarly-themed and similarly plotted Paul Blart Mall Cop of just […]

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 […]

Contest: My Biggest Giveway Ever!

posted by Nell Minow

I have got some spectacular goodies to give away! Only one DVD per family, first-come, first-win. Oh, no! Spongebob shrunk his last pair of square pants! Without his signature trousers, will anyone know who he is? This and seven other […]

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 […]

Beany and Cecil

posted by Nell Minow

Parents and some grandparents will remember the old “Beany and Cecil” show about the boy with the propeller hat and his friend the sea-sick sea serpent and their adventures in outsmarting the dastardly Dishonest John. I’m very pleased that these […]

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. […]

Nursery University

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

Ingredients: 1. Too many toddlers 2. Not enough preschools 3. Parents who will do anything for their children 4. Parents whose top priority is their children’s education 5. Parents who recognize the substantial social and educational advantages of the few […]

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1971
DVD Release Date:September 9, 2001
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1971
DVD Release Date: September 9, 2001

Based on the book by based on the book by Mary Norton (also the author of The Borrowers,” Bedknobs and Broomsticks is the story of three Cockney children evacuated from London during WWII, who are placed with Miss Eglantine Price […]

Back to School Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Last year, I made lists of great movie college professors, and high school and grade school teachers. In honor of the first week of school, here are some of my other favorite and family-friendly classroom classics: 1. The Magic School […]

Murder Mystery Classics on Film

posted by Nell Minow

TCM has come out with a terrific collection of four of the all-time best classic murder mystery movies, the TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Murder Mysteries, featuring: “The Maltese Falcon” Humphrey Bogart, Sidney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Mary Astor are […]

List: 12 Movie Heroes

posted by Nell Minow

Humanity’s earliest stories were about heroes. I’m sure that the same people who created those breathtaking cave paintings up to 25 thousand years ago sat around the campfire telling stories of people who triumphed over charging sabertooth tigers or assaults […]

State of Play

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence, language including sexual references, and brief drug content
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2009
DVD Release Date:September 1, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence, language including sexual references, and brief drug content
Movie Release Date: April 17, 2009
DVD Release Date: September 1, 2009

You need six things for a successful Washington thriller: a reporter, a Congressman, a dead girl, a choleric editor, some ugly secrets, and, for some reason, a chase inside a parking garage, not so sure why that last one seems […]

Celebrate Mary Shelley’s Birthday: Watch Frankenstein!

posted by Nell Minow

Mary Shelley, daughter of two leading intellectuals and wife of a brilliant poet, was a teenager when she was challenged to write a ghost story and came up with one of the most enduring and often-filmed scary stories of all […]

Wiseguy

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1987
DVD Release Date:August 25, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1987
DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009

“Wiseguy” was a tough, smart 1980’s television series about a cop (Ken Wahl) who goes deep undercover, starting with 18 months in prison to establish his criminal credentials. In this first season, just out on DVD, he infiltrates the organization […]

Duplicity

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:March 20, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 25, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: March 20, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009

What do Egyptian launch codes and a new frozen pizza topping have in common? They’re both secrets that are of value to both those who know it and those who want to know it. Where there are secrets, there must […]

Pete’s Dragon

posted by Nell Minow

“Pete’s Dragon,” a warm-hearted Disney musical fantasy combining live action and animation, is out on DVD today. It stars Helen Reddy (singing the Oscar-nominated song, “Candle on the Water”), Mickey Rooney, and Jim Dale (narrator of the Harry Potter audiobooks). […]

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 […]

How Well Do You Know Hannah Montana?

posted by Nell Minow

THE ULTIMATE HANNAH MONTANA MOVIE QUIZ! Sweet niblets! Think you know Miley and her new movie better than anyone in the world? Well, put yourself to the test with this ultimate Hannah Montana: The Movie quiz. These questions are toughies, […]

Super Why!

posted by Nell Minow

I am very pleased to see this delightful DVD re-issued. I love the way it encourages kids to read by bringing them inside the stories. Meet Jack and the Giant, the Three Little Pigs, Little Red Ridinghood, and the Princess […]

Comic-Con 2009: Interviews for ‘Alien Trespass’ and ‘Boondock Saints II’

posted by Nell Minow

I am a huge Eric McCormack fan and enjoyed his retro sci-fi movie Alien Trespass, so it was a special treat to get a chance to talk with him and writer/director R.W. Goodwin (of “X-Files”) at Comic-Con about the DVD […]

Chicka Chicka 123… and More Counting Fun

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:July 28, 2009
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: July 28, 2009

First-time preschoolers can get a head start, kids returning in the fall can get a refresher, and everyone in the family can have fun with this terrific new DVD of counting stories from my very favorite series by Scholastic. I […]

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 […]

I’m Through With White Girls

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:2008
DVD Release Date:2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: 2008
DVD Release Date: 2008

Another unexpected pleasure I came across on cable recently is a light romantic comedy with some shrewd and audacious commentary on race and gender, whose full title is “I’m Through with White Girls (The Inevitable Undoing of Jay Brooks).” Anthony […]

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, […]

Harry Potter: Looking Back

posted by Nell Minow

As we get ready for the new Harry Potter movie and look forward to the final two, it’s a good time to remember where it all started. Look at how young the stars were in the first film, Harry Potter […]

Knowing

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for disaster sequences, disturbing images and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:March 20, 2009
DVD Release Date:July 7, 2009
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for disaster sequences, disturbing images and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: March 20, 2009
DVD Release Date: July 7, 2009

When MIT astrophysics professor John Koestler (Nicolas Cage in one-note mournful mode) looks distracted and thoughtful as he invites his class to debate randomness vs. determinism, you don’t have to be much of a determinist to figure out that as […]

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 […]

Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:February 27, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 30, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: February 27, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 30, 2009

Jonas Brothers fans will feel like they are on stage with Joe, Nick, and Kevin in this immersive 3D concert film from the recent “Burning Up” tour. Brief backstage glimpses of the JoBros waking up, having breakfast, filming a music […]

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 […]

Secret Ballot

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2001
DVD Release Date:2002
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2001
DVD Release Date: 2002

Those who are interested in the Iranian election and protests should see this superb Iranian film that is one of the finest explorations of freedom, elections, democracy, and the rule of law I have ever watched on screen. It begins […]

The Pink Panther 2

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG for some suggestive humor, brief mild language and action
Movie Release Date:February 6, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 23, 2009
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG for some suggestive humor, brief mild language and action
Movie Release Date: February 6, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 23, 2009

I have seen taxidermy livelier than this moribund mess which further sullies the reputation of the original series of films starring Peter Sellers as well as those of everyone associated with this unwelcome sequel to the awful 2006 Pink Panther. […]

Inkheart

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG for fantasy adventure action, some scary moments and brief language
Movie Release Date:January 23, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 16, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG for fantasy adventure action, some scary moments and brief language
Movie Release Date: January 23, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 16, 2009

Inkheart is a best-selling novel by Cornelia Funke about the power of reading. There is something truly meta-magical about reading a book about reading a book, with a character who brings book characters to life. And no matter how creative […]

Crossing Over

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, some strong violence and sexuality/nudity
Movie Release Date:February 27, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 9, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, some strong violence and sexuality/nudity
Movie Release Date: February 27, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 9, 2009

A well-intentioned but ham-handed exploration of U.S. immigration policies, this movie’s message is undermined by its cardboard characters and clunky script. Like “Babel” and “Crash” it is a multi-story exploration of one theme, but it is formulaic and uninvolving. It […]

The International

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some sequences of violence and language
Movie Release Date:February 13, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 9, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some sequences of violence and language
Movie Release Date: February 13, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 9, 2009

This thriller about a multi-national bank with innumerable tentacles and immeasurable power has two problems and the worst is bad timing. It’s just a little bit more difficult these days to feel pleasurably shaken up while watching a story about […]

Fired Up

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, partial nudity, language and some teen partying
Movie Release Date:February 20, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 9, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, partial nudity, language and some teen partying
Movie Release Date: February 20, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 9, 2009

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 shorts on tight little […]

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 […]

Come ‘Home’ with a One-Time Chance to See An Amazing Documentary

posted by Nell Minow

Home is a gorgeous new documentary with a haunting musical score about the planet we live on. It is from internationally renowned French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand and produced by award-winning director Luc Besson. HOME is narrated in English by Glenn […]

Revolutionary Road

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity
Movie Release Date:December 31, 2008
DVD Release Date:June 2, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity
Movie Release Date: December 31, 2008
DVD Release Date: June 2, 2009

It may be, as Thoreau said, that “most men lead lives of quiet desperation,” but in the movies, desperation is much more likely to be loud. “Revolutionary Road” is another movie about unhappiness, phoniness, and corrosive dysfunction behind the manicured […]

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 […]

New In Town

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG for language and some suggestive material
Movie Release Date:January 30, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 26, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG for language and some suggestive material
Movie Release Date: January 30, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 26, 2009

Despite the title, there is nothing at all new about this romantic comedy, but it manages to endear itself anyway. Renée Zellweger plays uptight and ambitious Lucy Hill, an ambitious, stiletto heel-wearing executive based in Miami who thinks she can […]

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some violence, mild crude and suggestive humor, and language
Movie Release Date:January 16, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 19, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some violence, mild crude and suggestive humor, and language
Movie Release Date: January 16, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 19, 2009

Some things are so inherently funny they transcend time, language, and culture. Slipping on a banana peel. A cream pie in the face. And now we must add to the list Kevin James in a uniform riding a Segway in […]

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 […]

Bye Bye Braverman

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful Warner Archive has released another movie I remember fondly, Bye Bye Braverman. Director Sidney Lumet, showing the same feel for the city evident in his other films like “Dog Day Afternoon” and “Serpico,” made this film about four […]

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 […]

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 […]

10 Great Movie Moms

posted by Nell Minow

Re-posting from 2008–Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and children! Here are 10 great movie mothers every family should enjoy. Many were based on real-life mothers, with stories and screenplays in some cases written by their grateful families. And don’t […]

Trekkies/Galaxy Quest

posted by Nell Minow

It was a failed television series 40 years ago, but it has become something between an industry and a cult. The original “Star Trek” show lasted for four seasons but only became a hit after it was canceled and went […]

Last Chance Harvey

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date:January 16, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 5, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date: January 16, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 5, 2009

It’s wonderful to watch young people falling in love for the first time. That’s why we get to see it so often in the movies. But it is even more wonderful to see people falling in love for the last […]

Star Trek: The Enterprise Captains Interview

posted by Nell Minow

In an exclusive interview for the new Star Trek 1-6 movie box set, Whoopi Goldberg interviews the captains of the USS Enterprise, to boldly go where no interview has gone before.

Bride Wars

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG for suggestive content, language and some rude behavior
Movie Release Date:January 9, 2009
DVD Release Date:April 28, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG for suggestive content, language and some rude behavior
Movie Release Date: January 9, 2009
DVD Release Date: April 28, 2009

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 (who co-produced) and Anne Hathaway play BFFs who are sweetly supportive of […]

Hotel for Dogs

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief mild thematic elements, language and some crude humor
Movie Release Date:January 16, 2008
DVD Release Date:April 28, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild thematic elements, language and some crude humor
Movie Release Date: January 16, 2008
DVD Release Date: April 28, 2009

Cute kids + cuter dogs = one doggone cute movie. Emma Roberts (niece of Julia) stars in the movie based on the popular book by Lois Duncan about an orphaned brother and sister who rescue stray dogs. Andi (Roberts) and […]

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 […]

I Could Never Be Your Woman

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2008

Usually when a movie has a limited release with no ad support it means that test audiences hated it and the studio has decided to cut their losses. But once in a while it has nothing whatsoever to do with […]

The Spirit

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of stylized violence and action, some sexual content and brief nudity
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2008
DVD Release Date:April 14, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of stylized violence and action, some sexual content and brief nudity
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2008
DVD Release Date: April 14, 2009

If there is ever an Oscar category for best performance by an article of clothing, the red tie worn by the title character in this film would be the clear winner and the rain coat would most likely be the […]

iCarly

posted by Nell Minow

iCarly is a cute Nickelodeon series about a girl named Carly (Miranda Cosgrove) who creates her own web show called iCarly with her best friends Sam and Freddie. The series incorporates content produced by the viewers. I’ve got copies of […]

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 Stories

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor and mild language
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2008
DVD Release Date:April 7, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor and mild language
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2008
DVD Release Date: April 7, 2009

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 turn out very […]

Contest: Tale of Despereaux

posted by Nell Minow

I’m delighted to have four copies of Tale of Despereaux to give away to the first four people who send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with Despereaux in the subject line. Good luck!

The Tale of Despereaux

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:December 19, 2008
DVD Release Date:April 7, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: December 19, 2008
DVD Release Date: April 7, 2009

The visuals are rich and inviting but a complicated three-part story makes an uneasy transition to screen for the well-loved book by Kate DiCamillo. Sigourney Weaver narrates the story, beginning with the description of a hero we will not meet […]

Doubt

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material
Movie Release Date:December 12, 2008
DVD Release Date:April 7, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material
Movie Release Date: December 12, 2008
DVD Release Date: April 7, 2009

Before movies, there were plays, and before plays there were stories told around the campfire. One of the deepest human impulses is the need to tell our stories in part because of the way they help us make sense of […]

I.O.U.S.A.

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some thematic elements.
Movie Release Date:August 22, 2008
DVD Release Date:April 7, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some thematic elements.
Movie Release Date: August 22, 2008
DVD Release Date: April 7, 2009

Two guys who are super-smart and super-rich, Warren Buffet and Pete Peterson and one guy who is just super-smart, former Comptroller General of the United States David Walker have a message for Americans — don’t spend money you don’t have. […]

Yes Man

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude sexual humor, language and brief nudity
Movie Release Date:December 19, 2008
DVD Release Date:April 7, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude sexual humor, language and brief nudity
Movie Release Date: December 19, 2008
DVD Release Date: April 7, 2009

Carrey-ologists will enjoy poring over the semiotics of “Yes Man,” in one sense a very slight variation of one of Jim Carrey’s biggest hits, 1997’s Liar Liar. In both films, he plays a divorced professional man who has in essence […]

The Big Bad Swim

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

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 (“Shall We Dance” with […]

Seven Pounds

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material, some disturbing content and a scene of sensuality
Movie Release Date:December 19, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 31, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material, some disturbing content and a scene of sensuality
Movie Release Date: December 19, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009

The way you feel about “Seven Pounds” will depend on the way you feel about the choice made by the main character at the end of the film. Some may consider it admirable and selfless but for me the choice, […]

Marley & Me

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 31, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009

Life is messy. And in this movie, that very important lesson is embodied by Marley, affectionately dubbed “the worst dog in the world” by his loving family. Jennifer (Jennifer Aniston) and John (Owen Wilson) Grogan are newlywed newspaper writers who […]

Slumdog Millionaire

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language
Movie Release Date:November 12, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 31, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language
Movie Release Date: November 12, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009

Like its title character, this film has had highly improbable success, ending up with the Best Picture Oscar for 2008. The title character is Jamal (Dev Patel) a “slumdog” orphan child who grew up in the streets of Mumbai and […]

Contest: City of Ember

posted by Nell Minow

I have two copies of City of Ember to give away to the first two people who send me an email to moviemom@moviemom.com with Ember in the subject line. Good luck!

The ‘Happily Ever After’ Ending for Willy Wonka

posted by Nell Minow

NPR has a very charming five-minute interview with the screenwriter for “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” about how he came up with the movie’s ending.

Quantum of Solace

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date:November 14, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 24, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some sexual content.
Movie Release Date: November 14, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 24, 2008

More like “The Bond Ultimatum,” this is the Bournization of Bond. He may still spend some time in a dinner jacket, but this Bond is not the cool, debonair spy who seldom misses and never questions. This Bond is almost […]

Bolt

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild action and peril
Movie Release Date:November 21, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 24, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild action and peril
Movie Release Date: November 21, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 24, 2009

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 has captured Penny’s scientist father and has […]

Gulliver’s Travels

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1939
DVD Release Date:March 10, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1939
DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009

A cringe-inducing catastrophe with all of the appeal of fingernails on blackboard, this movie’s first early warning sign should have been the omission of Jonathan Swift from the opening credits. I thought at first it was an arrogant oversight. Now […]

Rachel Getting Married

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:October 17, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 10, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: October 17, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009

Fiction is usually very linear, just because of the limits of time. The longest epic and the thickest novel don’t have enough scope to encompass extraneous detail. In real life people can’t find parking spots and fumble for correct change, […]

Transporter 3

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, some sexual content and drug material
Movie Release Date:November 26, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 10, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, some sexual content and drug material
Movie Release Date: November 26, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009

Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is in the transport business. If he accepts the job he guarantees delivery with three rules: once the deal is made, no details may be changed, no names provided by either side for deniability, and a […]

Milk

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, some sexual content and brief violence
Movie Release Date:December 5, 2008
DVD Release Date:March
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some sexual content and brief violence
Movie Release Date: December 5, 2008
DVD Release Date: March

“My name is Harvey Milk and I want to recruit you!” This disarming introduction became the trademark of the man who would become the first out gay man to hold major elective office in the United States. With this greeting, […]

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 […]

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:October 3, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 3, 2009
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: October 3, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 3, 2009

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 collar-clad chihuahua. She enjoys the high life with […]

Australia

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence, a scene of sensuality, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:November 26, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 3, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence, a scene of sensuality, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: November 26, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 3, 2009

Writer/director Baz Luhrmann is known for his surprises. In Strictly Ballroom, William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet , and Moulin Rouge! he created visual and musical mash-ups of classic and pop that achieved, sometimes apparently accidentally, some transcendence and that were […]

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 […]

Mary Poppins Contest Winners!

posted by Nell Minow

The lucky winners of the Mary Poppins 45th anniversary DVD have been notified. Many thanks to all who entered and here are the answers to the quiz: 1. Who is the author of the original book about Mary Poppins? P.L. […]

Interview: New York Noir

posted by Nell Minow

New York Noir is a documentary about the experience and influence of African-Americans in the history and culture of New York City. It will be shown on the Documentary Channel this week and it is available for purchase online. I […]

Interview: Michael Landon, Jr. of ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’

posted by Nell Minow

Michael Landon Jr.’s new film is The Velveteen Rabbit, based on the classic book by Margery Williams about the stuffed toy bunny loved so dearly that it becomes “real.” The movie opens in select cities this Friday, February 27, and […]

Contest: Mary Poppins!

posted by Nell Minow

Are you ready for a jolly holiday with Mary Poppins? Take this quiz about everyone’s favorite nanny! Send your answers to me at moviemom@moviemom.com with “Mary Poppins” in the subject line before midnight on February 25 and three random entries […]

Behind the Scenes with HSM3!

posted by Nell Minow

Disney reveals the bloopers and accidents behind the scenes at “High School Musical 3: Senior Year.” It’s fun to see how the young stars bounce back from their mistakes with such good spirits and good humor. Get ready to giggle […]

Body of Lies

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence including some torture, and for language throughout
Movie Release Date:October 10, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 17, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence including some torture, and for language throughout
Movie Release Date: October 10, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 17, 2009

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 money to spend on sociopathic sidekicks and elaborate […]

The Best Political Movie?

posted by Nell Minow

This Week with George Stephanopolous is conducting a poll on the best-ever movies about politics. Visit the site to vote — and I’d like to hear your picks as well. Mine would include “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “State of […]

List: More Valentine Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Mark Jordan Legan of NPR has a great list of Valentine movies.

W.

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language including sexual references, some alcohol abuse, smoking and brief disturbing war images
Movie Release Date:October 17, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 10, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language including sexual references, some alcohol abuse, smoking and brief disturbing war images
Movie Release Date: October 17, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 10, 2009

Maybe it is just too soon, maybe we are just too used to the high-gloss satire of “Saturday Night Live” and “The Daily Show,” maybe it’s the kaleidoscopic structure, but this movie feels like a rough draft. Director Oliver Stone […]

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild crude humor
Movie Release Date:November 7, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 6, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild crude humor
Movie Release Date: November 7, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 6, 2009

The rare sequel that improves on the original, “Madagascar 2″ keeps the silliness and steps up the heart. In the first film, four zoo animals run away and after a series of adventures are sent to live in an African […]

The Secret Life of Bees

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material and some violence
Movie Release Date:October 17, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 2, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material and some violence
Movie Release Date: October 17, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 2, 2009

The beloved best-seller by Sue Monk Kidd has been brought to screen with great care, deep sincerity, and a perfect cast. Unfortunately, it is so careful, so lovingly burnished, so deliberate that it becomes sluggish, never finding the distinctive voice […]

Pride and Glory

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language and brief drug content
Movie Release Date:October 24, 2008
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language and brief drug content
Movie Release Date: October 24, 2008

A big-name cast and some big-time issues are not enough to make up for a small-time script that adds absolutely nothing new to the too-often-told tale of police corruption and family betrayal. It is as generic as its title. Four […]

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, […]

Contest: Win Your Own Space Buddies!

posted by Nell Minow

Adorable Golden Retriever puppies Rosebud, Buddha, Budderball, B-Dawg, and Mudbud return in Space Buddies, an epic adventure that takes them to the moon, to be released on DVD . Moving at warp speed, dodging asteroids and more, the Buddies and […]

City of Ember

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild peril and some thematic elements.
Movie Release Date:October 10, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild peril and some thematic elements.
Movie Release Date: October 10, 2008

Under the earth’s surface for so long they have forgotten how and why they got there and even that there is another place to be, the citizens of the City of Ember have just about lost their sense of hope, […]

Igor

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some thematic elements, scary images, action and mild language
Movie Release Date:September 19, 2008
DVD Release Date:January 20, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some thematic elements, scary images, action and mild language
Movie Release Date: September 19, 2008
DVD Release Date: January 20, 2009

In the town of Malaria, anatomy is destiny. Boy babies get their assignments at birth. Those without hunchbacks become evil scientists. Those with hunchbacks become Igors and spend their days saying, “Yes, master,” when ordered to “Throw the switch!” Malaria […]

NatureTech from the Smithsonian

posted by Nell Minow

NatureTech is a terrific new DVD series from the Smithsonian Network that shows us some of the best ideas about energy, flight, and building materials technology come from observing nature. Biomimetics is the new science of looking to nature for […]

Ghost Town

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some strong language, sexual humor and drug references
Movie Release Date:September 19, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 30, 208
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some strong language, sexual humor and drug references
Movie Release Date: September 19, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 30, 208

Bertram Pincus, D.D.S. sees dead people. And he’s very crabby about it. Bertram (Ricky Gervais, creator and star of the original British version of “The Office”) doesn’t much like any kind of people, living or dead. He likes being a […]

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 […]

Tribute: Eartha Kitt

posted by Nell Minow

Eartha Kitt, who died this week, was an electrifying performer. The warm reminiscences about her incendiary performances on and off-stage are as entertaining as the legendary actress/singer was herself. The Washington Post had Will Haygood’s hilarious recounting of the most […]

Disney Treasures: Dr. Syn, Annette, Donald 4

posted by Nell Minow

The latest set of Disney Treasures really live up to the name with some extra-special treats from the Disney vaults. Annette – 1957-1958 Season Everyone’s favorite Mousketeer was the 1950’s version of Miley Cyrus. The 1957-58 episodes featured here include […]

Eagle Eye

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and for language
Movie Release Date:September 26, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 23, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and for language
Movie Release Date: September 26, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 23, 2008

A promising premise, some intense action, and a lively appearance by Billy Bob Thornton might have been enough to squeak this one by as a summer movie but when the days grow shorter and the wind blows chill we ask […]

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 […]

Two More Neglected Christmas Classics

posted by Nell Minow

We’re No Angels (the original with Humphrey Bogart, not the remake with Sean Penn) is an off-beat Christmas story about three escaped convicts who end up solving the problems of a middle-class French family with the help of a pet […]

The Best “Christmas Carols” — from “Bah humbug” to “God bless us everyone!”

posted by Nell Minow

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is my favorite Christmas story and I love it in just about any of its movie incarnations. “Bah, humbugs” have been muttered by Scrooges played by top-notch dramatic actors like George C. Scott and Albert […]

Mamma Mia!

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sex-related comments.
Movie Release Date:July 18, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 16, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sex-related comments.
Movie Release Date: July 18, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 16, 2008

Go ahead, admit it. We won’t judge you. You, in the car, with the Ramones t-shirt, singing along to “Fernando” when it comes on the radio. And you, in the shower, singing “Dancing Queen” into the shampoo bottle. You, over […]

What Can Barbie Teach Us About Judaism?

posted by Nell Minow

What can the most successful doll on the planet show us about being Jewish today? A new film called The Tribe uses the story of the Jewish woman who created the Barbie and Ken dolls to explore the nature of […]

The Dark Knight

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and some menace.
Movie Release Date:July 18, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 9, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and some menace.
Movie Release Date: July 18, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 9, 2008

“Dark” is right. Christopher Nolan’s sequel to his Batman Begins is not only dark; it is searing and disturbing. The bad guys are very, very bad. These are not guys who do bad things because that is the only way […]

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 […]

Step Brothers

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude and sexual content, and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date:July 25, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 2, 2008
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content, and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date: July 25, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 2, 2008

I have an idea for a movie comedy. A writer-director has a couple of huge hits and so all the Hollywood studio hacks descend on him adoringly. “Give us your ideas,” they tell him, “Anything at all! We’ll make a […]

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for epic battle action and violence.
Movie Release Date:May 16, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 2, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for epic battle action and violence.
Movie Release Date: May 16, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 2, 2008

The Pevensie children are back in London and contemporary life seems pale and uninvolving compared to their adventures in the magical land of Narnia. As they wait for the Tube, a wall opens up and just as happened when they […]

Wanted

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, pervasive language and some sexuality.
Movie Release Date:June 28, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 2, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, pervasive language and some sexuality.
Movie Release Date: June 28, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 2, 2008

Nasty, twisted, pulpy, and brutally violent, “Wanted” is like a cross between Kill Bill, The Matrix, and The Terminator. Angelina Jolie, smokey-eyed and a little bit leaner, plays the assassin who grabs cubicle galley slave Wesley (“Atonement’s” James McAvoy) when […]

Meet Dave

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for bawdy and suggestive humor, action and some language.
Movie Release Date:July 11, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 25, 2008
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for bawdy and suggestive humor, action and some language.
Movie Release Date: July 11, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 25, 2008

It seems like Eddie Murphy wants to live in a world of his own. Increasingly, in movies like the execrable Norbit, he plays multiple parts and does his best to make sure that any parts played by other actors are […]

Hancock

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and language.
Movie Release Date:July 2, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 25, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and language.
Movie Release Date: July 2, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 25, 2008

The problem is, this is not a 4th of July movie. It is not a bad movie. It is not a good movie either. It is a flawed but interesting movie but its biggest problem is that on the 4th […]

Space Chimps

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:July 18, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 25, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: July 18, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 25, 2008

This genial animated sci-fi comedy about astronaut chimps is an unpretentious summer pleasure, an entertaining mix of adventure and comedy that even manages to find some heart. Ham III (voice of “Saturday Night Live’s” Andy Samberg) is a chimpanzee circus […]

Idol Chatter’s Comfort Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Kris Rasmussen’s comfort movie list from Idol Chatter is filled with great choices, including You’ve Got Mail (and don’t miss the two earlier versions, The Shop Around the Corner with Jimmy Stewart and In the Good Old Summertime with Judy […]

Tropic Thunder

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, violent content and drug material.
Movie Release Date:August 13, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 18, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, violent content and drug material.
Movie Release Date: August 13, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008

With constant coverage of every baby bump and trip to rehab, we all feel like show business insiders these days. And co-writer/director/star Ben Stiller makes the most of that with this pointed but ultimately sweet take on Hollywood excess. The […]

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 […]

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature material and sensuality.
Movie Release Date:August 8, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 18, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature material and sensuality.
Movie Release Date: August 8, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008

When the first five minutes of a film show us a wedding, a graduation, a pregnancy, some kisses, and two grave sites, followed by a reunion scene involving shrieking and hugging, we know we are in for an irresistible saga […]

Interview: Darby Hinton of ‘Daniel Boone’

posted by Nell Minow

Darby Hinton played Israel, the son of Daniel Boone on the classic 1960’s television series starring Fess Parker. From the moment he got on the phone to talk with me about the series and its new release on DVD he […]

Interview: Phylicia Rashad of ‘The Cosby Show’

posted by Nell Minow

One of my all-time favorite television moms was Phylicia Rashad as the ever-capable, ever-glamorous, ever-wise, and ever-beautiful Clair Huxtable, lawyer, mother of five, and wife of the ever-bemused Cliff Huxtable. It was a joy to speak with her about this […]

Dana Stevens on the Melancholy Beauty of the Charlie Brown Specials

posted by Nell Minow

Slate’s Dana Stevens has a lovely essay on “Why I love the melancholy Peanuts holiday specials,” in honor of a new holiday collection dvd set. Those specials–at least the big three: the Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas shows that were recently […]

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:July 2, 2008
DVD Release Date:October 28, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: July 2, 2008
DVD Release Date: October 28, 2008

“Kit Kittredge” is remarkable for what it is and just as remarkable for what it is not. It is wholesome but it is not sugary. It is family-friendly but it does not gloss over economic realities and family stress. It […]

Tinkerbell Speaks!

posted by Nell Minow

Disney’s new Tinkerbell DVD will let us hear Tinkerbell’s voice for the first time in her first-ever feature film. Get a sneak peek behind the scenes from this clip.

Sunday School Musical

posted by Nell Minow

Speaking of Disney’s HSM juggernaut, Faith Fims’ new DVD release “Sunday School Musical” is out this week. I have not seen it yet, but the trailer is very appealing. I love church choirs!

The Incredible Hulk

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some frightening sci-fi images, and brief suggestive content
Movie Release Date:June 13, 2008
DVD Release Date:October 21, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some frightening sci-fi images, and brief suggestive content
Movie Release Date: June 13, 2008
DVD Release Date: October 21, 2008

It begins with a zippy credit sequence that dispatches with the backstory Ang Lee’s lumbering 2003 version took more than an hour to slog through. And we’re off! Who cares what kind of gamma rays turned Bruce Banner into the […]

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 […]

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material, some disturbing images and brief smoking.
Movie Release Date:April 21, 2008
DVD Release Date:October 16, 2008
D
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material, some disturbing images and brief smoking.
Movie Release Date: April 21, 2008
DVD Release Date: October 16, 2008

There may be a good argument to make on behalf of teaching Intelligent Design in science class, but this documentary from Ben Stein does not make it. The movie itself is an example of design by faith and emotion rather […]

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 […]

The Women

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for sex-related material, language, some drug use and brief smoking
Movie Release Date:September 11, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 23, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sex-related material, language, some drug use and brief smoking
Movie Release Date: September 11, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 23, 2008

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 […]

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 […]

Vantage Point

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense violence and action, some disturbing images and brief strong language.
Movie Release Date:February 22, 2008
DVD Release Date:July 1, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense violence and action, some disturbing images and brief strong language.
Movie Release Date: February 22, 2008
DVD Release Date: July 1, 2008

A gimmicky thriller without much of a gimmick or many thrills, “Vantage Point” suffers, too, from being out of synch with its time. Its premise may be current — an assassination attempt at an anti-terrorism summit — but its tone […]

Drillbit Taylor

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude sexual references throughout, strong bullying, language, drug references and partial nudity.
Movie Release Date:March 21, 2008
DVD Release Date:July 1, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude sexual references throughout, strong bullying, language, drug references and partial nudity.
Movie Release Date: March 21, 2008
DVD Release Date: July 1, 2008

Like Adam Sandler, Judd Apatow has tried to extend his franchise, and like Sandler, the result is diluted, derivative, and disappointing. Director Steven Brill (of the truly terrible “Without a Paddle,” “Ready to Rumble,” and Sandler’s biggest flop, “Little Nicky”) […]

List: April Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Spring! Celebrate with these wonderful films, all with “April” in the title: 1. Enchanted April Four women in post-WWI London get away from winter chill when they take a villa in Italy. All of their lives are transformed through […]

Rudy

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1993
DVD Release Date:1994
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1993
DVD Release Date: 1994

In this true story of determination and courage, a young man from a blue collar family wants to play football for Notre Dame, despite the fact he has neither the athletic nor the academic skills. Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger (Sean Astin) […]

Shrek the Third

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:May 18, 2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: May 18, 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Did you ever wonder what happens to the villains while the hero and heroine are living happily ever after? We get to find out in this third chapter in the saga of Shrek. In the previous episode, Prince Charming failed […]

11th Hour

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild disturbing images and thematic elements.
Movie Release Date:November 16, 2007
DVD Release Date:April 9, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild disturbing images and thematic elements.
Movie Release Date: November 16, 2007
DVD Release Date: April 9, 2008

Leonardo DiCaprio has produced a thoughtful, important film about a vitally important subject, the devastating impact of industrial development on the fragile environment. He has assembled an impressive collection of scholars and world leaders to emphasize the precariousness of the […]

Firehouse Dog

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of action peril, some mild crude humor and language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of action peril, some mild crude humor and language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

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 — the […]

Catch and Release

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, language and some drug use.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, language and some drug use.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

For the first time, screenwriter Susannah Grant not only writes but directs with this messy romantic weepie about a woman whose fiance is killed just before the wedding. Grant is known for writing movies with strong female characters, from Disney’s […]

The Holiday

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some strong language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some strong language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

Amanda (Cameron Diaz) has a successful business cutting up new Hollywood releases into three-minute trailers that make the films look as enticing as possible. Writer-director Nancy Meyers essentially cuts up classic romantic comedies and reassembles them for modern consumption. The […]

Accepted

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language, sexual material and drug content.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language, sexual material and drug content.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Bartleby (Justin Long) has been turned down at every single college he applied to. His friends’ college plans have also turned out badly. No problem. Bartleby is a can-do Ferris Bueller type — without “Twist and Shout,” a red Ferrari, […]

Flightplan

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2005

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 Foster is out-acted by […]

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior

posted by rkumar
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2005

There are three reasons to see this movie. First: the dazzling martial arts moves of Tony Jaa, whose lightning reflexes and breathtaking gymnastics are both impressive and entertaining. Second is the authenticity. As the tagline says, this film has “no […]

America’s Heart and Soul

posted by rkumar
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:2004
DVD Release Date:June 29, 2011
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 2004
DVD Release Date: June 29, 2011

Celebrate America with this glorious love letter to our wonderful country.  If Norman Rockwell made a movie, this would be it. If “America the Beautiful” was a movie, this would be it. If America had a home move, this would […]

Freddy vs. Jason

posted by rkumar

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, […]

Freaky Friday

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some language
Movie Release Date:2003
DVD Release Date:2004
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some language
Movie Release Date: 2003
DVD Release Date: 2004

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 harried mother of two children (there […]

Finding Nemo

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2003
DVD Release Date:2004
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2003
DVD Release Date: 2004

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. It is an epic journey filled with adventure […]

Bruce Almighty

posted by rkumar
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language, sexual content and some crude humor
Movie Release Date:2003
DVD Release Date:2003
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language, sexual content and some crude humor
Movie Release Date: 2003
DVD Release Date: 2003

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 petty payback. […]

James and the Giant Peach

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1996
DVD Release Date:2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1996
DVD Release Date: 2010

This movie may be too scary for kids under six, but older children and their families, particularly fans of the Roald Dahl book, will love this spectacular musical fantasy from Tim Burton and Henry Selick (“The Nightmare Before Christmas”). James […]

Muppets From Space

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1999
DVD Release Date:2000
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1999
DVD Release Date: 2000

Like all Muppet movies, this latest entry has plenty of jokes to keep the parents happy while the kids are enjoying the story. This time, the story focuses on a question that has intrigued Muppet fans for years: exactly what […]

About Schmidt

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R
Movie Release Date:2002
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R
Movie Release Date: 2002

Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) sits at his desk as though he was standing at attention during a full-dress inspection. As he watches the clock move from 4:58 to 5:00, he is as clenched as a fist. It is Warren’s last […]

About a Boy

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Movie Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Movie Release Date: 2002

“About a Boy” is the story of a shallow man appropriately named Will Freeman (Hugh Grant) who believes, contrary to John Donne, that every man is an island. Or at least he believes that that a man can be an […]

Abandon

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Movie Release Date:2002
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Movie Release Date: 2002

Given the talent involved, it really is almost impressive how bad “Abandon” is. The movie is written by Stephen Gaghan, who last won an Oscar for “Traffic” and here makes his directing debut. The direction is poor, and the screenplay […]

Bloody Sunday

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2002
DVD Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2002
DVD Release Date: 2002

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 Ireland. British military forces were ordered into the unarmed crowd to […]

The Scorpion King

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:2002
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 2002

Some very scary looking guys are about to kill a guy who would be even scarier-looking if he wasn’t tied up. But then everyone steps back in awe of a guy who steps in looking scariest of all and as […]

Quiet Man

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1952
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1952

Plot: Tall American Sean Thornton (John Wayne) arrives in Innisfree, a small, beautiful Irish village and meets Michaeleen Flynn (Barry Fitzgerald), who drives him into town. Something of a busybody, Michaeleen is very curious, and is delighted to find that […]

Houseboat

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1958
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1958

Plot: Diplomat Tom Winston (Cary Grant) returns to Washington, D.C. following the death of his estranged wife. His three children, David, Robert, and Elizabeth, have been staying with his wife’s sister, Caroline (Martha Hyer). They are hurt and resentful. He […]

The African Queen

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1951
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1951

Rose Sayer and her brother Samuel are English missionaries in 1914 German East Africa. Their rare contact with the outside world is through Charlie Allnut, who delivers their occasional mail on his steam- powered boat, The African Queen. The Germans […]

On the Waterfront

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:1954
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 1954

Plot: Based on a true story (with a less satisfying conclusion), this is the story of the men who had the courage to stand up to the corrupt longshoreman’s union. The union is controlled by Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb). […]

Changing Lanes

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2002

Most thrillers have audiences asking themselves what the characters will do next. This one will have them asking themselves what they might do in this situation, because it is a movie about how close all of us are to abandoning […]

I Know Where I’m Going

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1946
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1946

Plot: As a baby, as a five year old, as a school girl, and as a young woman, Joan Webster (Wendy Hiller) always knows exactly what she wants. And whether it is “real silk stockings” instead of synthetic or dinner […]

Hollywood Ending

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2002
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2002

Woody Allen’s films seem to get whispier and more ephemeral every year. For all its small pleasures “Hollywood Ending” is so light it nearly floats off the screen. Allen plays Val, a movie director who is brilliant but so neurotic […]

The Sword in the Stone

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Movie Release Date:1963
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
Movie Release Date: 1963

Plot: 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 […]

The Court Jester

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1956
DVD Release Date:1999
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1956
DVD Release Date: 1999

“Life could not better be” than the pure cinematic joy of this movie from the first frame to the last.  Danny Kaye has his best role as Hawkins, a follower of the Black Fox, a Robin Hood- style rebel who […]

Insomnia

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2002

Detective Dormer (Al Pacino) can’t sleep. He and his partner, Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan), are LA cops on special assignment to investigate the brutal murder of a teen-age girl in tiny Nightmute Alaska. Dormer may have been brought in for […]

Ninotchka

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1939
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1939

Plot: Three Soviet bureaucrats arrive in Paris to sell some jewels so they can buy tractors. But the former Grand Duchess Swana (Ina Claire), who lives in Paris, is outraged, because they were her jewels confiscated during the Russian revolution. […]

The Scarlet and the Black

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1983
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1983

Plot: Gregory Peck plays Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty in this true story of WWII Rome. The Vatican had diplomatic neutrality, so that no one within its borders could be arrested. O’Flaherty used the Vatican as a base of operations to save […]

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Movie Release Date:2001
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Movie Release Date: 2001

Cross “2001” with “ET” and “Blade Runner” and throw in some “Pinocchio,” some “Wizard of Oz,” some “Velveteen Rabbit” and a touch of “Our Town,” and you might have some sense of what to expect from “A.I.” It is an […]

A Man for All Seasons

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1966
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1966

Plot: The Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) is a man of great principle and a devout Catholic in the time of King Henry VIII. The King wants to dissolve his marriage to the queen (a Spanish princess and […]

Sunrise at Campobello

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1960
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1960

“Plot: This is the story of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Ralph Bellamy), from the time he became disabled by polio to his comeback into mainstream politics, as he introduced candidate Al Smith to the Democratic convention of 1928. Discussion: Franklin, […]

Panic Room

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2002

This thriller, in the claustrophobic mode of “Rear Window”, finds Meg (Jodie Foster), a recent divorcee, and her combative daughter Sarah (Kristen Stewart), trapped in the secret vault/bomb shelter/safe room set up by their apartment’s previous owner, a paranoid millionaire […]

Recess: School’s Out

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:2001
DVD Release Date:2001
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 2001
DVD Release Date: 2001

Disney’s latest release, “Recess: School’s Out!” should have a brief life in theaters before moving on to a more fitting format on video. It is not “based on” the popular television series as much as it simply is an episode […]

The Music Man

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1962
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1962

“Professor” Harold Hill (Robert Preston) is a con man posing as a salesman of band instruments and uniforms. He happens upon River City, a small town in Iowa. As the citizens explain in song, Iowa is a place of stubborn […]

I Love You Again

posted by rkumar
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1940
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1940

Prissy, stingy Larry Wilson (William Powell) bores everyone aboard ship on his way back to the United States from a business trip. When Ryan, a fellow passenger, falls overboard, Larry is accidentally knocked overboard trying to save him. Hit on […]

The Three Lives of Thomasina

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1963
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1963

Plot: The story takes place in the Scotland of 1912. Mary MacDhui (Karen Dotrice) is a little girl whose mother has died. She loves her cat Thomasina more than anything in the world. Her father Andrew (Patrick McGoohan), a veterinarian, […]

Edison, the Man

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1940
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1940

“Plot: The movie begins with a dinner in 1929 honoring the “”Golden Jubilee of Light,”” the anniversary of the invention of the electric light bulb. But the guest of honor has not yet left home. He is being interviewed by […]

The Maltese Falcon

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1941
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1941

Plot: Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) is a private detective. A woman who says her name is Ruth Wonderly (Mary Astor) comes to see him, asking for help in finding her sister. Sam sends his partner, Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan) to […]

Oliver!

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1968
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1968

Plot: This glorious musical (and Oscar-winner for Best Picture) is based on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Oliver is an orphan who so outrages the staff at the orphanage by asking for a second bowl of gruel that he is sold […]

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