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genre

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quality

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

who's watching

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age range

  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
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Interview: Writer/Director Tom McCarthy of the Adam Sandler Fantasy “The Cobbler”

posted by Nell Minow

I am a huge fan of writer/director Tom McCarthy (Win Win, “The Station Agent,” The Visitor), and was delighted to get a chance to talk to him about his new film, co-written with Paul Sado, “The Cobbler.”  It is a […]

Interview: Kate Fowkes on Fantasy and Fairy Tales

posted by Nell Minow

Ten years ago, would anyone have believed there would be popular fairy-tale-inspired television series both serious (Once Upon a Time, Grimm), and comic/musical (Galavant)? Why do fantasy and fairy tales mean so much to us? I asked one of my […]

Coraline

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images, some language and suggestive humor
Movie Release Date:February 6, 2009
DVD Release Date:July 14, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images, some language and suggestive humor
Movie Release Date: February 6, 2009
DVD Release Date: July 14, 2009

In the grand tradition of Alice, Dorothy, Milo, and the Pevensie children, Coraline enters a portal to a magical world that is both thrilling and terrifying, one that will both enchant her and demand her greatest resources of courage and […]

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 […]

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, […]

Delgo

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG for sequences of fantasy action violence
Movie Release Date:December 12, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG for sequences of fantasy action violence
Movie Release Date: December 12, 2008

The good news is that animation software is so widely available these days that just about anyone can make an animated film. That’s also the bad news. It is now too easy to produce a professional-looking film without the same […]

The Spiderwick Chronicles

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for scary creature action and violence, peril and some thematic elements.
Movie Release Date:February 14, 2008
DVD Release Date:June 24, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for scary creature action and violence, peril and some thematic elements.
Movie Release Date: February 14, 2008
DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008

The best-selling series of books about children who find their mysterious old house surrounded by magical creatures has been turned into a visually sumptuous treat for fans of fantasy and imagination. Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) plays twins […]

Be Kind Rewind

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual references.
Movie Release Date:February 22, 2008
DVD Release Date:June 17, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual references.
Movie Release Date: February 22, 2008
DVD Release Date: June 17, 2008

This charming little fairy tale is more than a sweet and heart-warming story; it is a thoughtful exploration of the power of stories, why we are enthralled by hearing and watching them and why we are even more captivated by […]

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:November 16, 2007
DVD Release Date:March 4, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: November 16, 2007
DVD Release Date: March 4, 2008

There’s nothing harder to get right in a movie than whimsy. And there are few clumsier crashes when it goes wrong. What could have been a charmingly whimsical children’s book becomes an arch and sugary movie, its failures of tone […]

The Water-Horse

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some action/peril, mild language and brief smoking.
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some action/peril, mild language and brief smoking.
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2007

In the grand tradition of “he followed me home — can I keep him?” movies, we have seen movies about children who are brought to adventure and understanding through dogs, horses, cats, a whale, a dolphin, dragons, geese, and an […]

The Muse

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:1999
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 1999

The latest film by writer/director/actor Albert Brooks has him portraying Steven Phillips, a Hollywood screenwriter who is let go by the studio when a young, arrogant executive tells him he has lost his “edge.” On the advice of a friend, […]

The Matrix

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:1999
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 1999

In “A Star is Born,” Kris Kristofferson sings a song that begins, “Are you a figment of my imagination or am I a figment of yours?” This is the theme of “Matrix,” heavy on special effects, striking visuals, and brooding […]

Previous Posts

Interview: Matt Mamula of Celebrity Impersonator Documentary "Just About Famous"
Matt Mamula co-directed "Just About Famous," the very entertaining new documentary about celebrity impersonators. He generously took time to talk to me about the unexpected opportunities that open up when someone looks like someone who becomes ...

posted 3:59:51pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Barak Goodman of "Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies"
Director Barak Goodman talked to me about his superb series for PBS, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, now available on DVD. The series is produced ...

posted 3:55:04pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Creativity Conference 2015: Nancy Pelosi, Snoopy, and Drones with GoPros
I had so much fun at last year's Creativity Conference that I could not imagine how they could top it this year, but they succeeded. This is ...

posted 3:07:48pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: The Little Prince
The beloved book The Little Prince has been gorgeously animated, with voices including Jeff Bridges, James Franco, and Rachel McAdams.  I love this trailer. [iframe frameborder="0" width="480" height="270" ...

posted 8:00:24am Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Samuel L. Jackson is the President in "Big Game"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKThy0cipVA ...

posted 8:00:34am Apr. 25, 2015 | read full post »

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