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genre

  • Action
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quality

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

who's watching

  • My entire family
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age range

  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
  • 4th - 6th grade
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Pediatricians Say Kids Spend Too Much Time Watching Media

posted by Nell Minow

Kids spend too much time staring at screens according to recommendations released today from the American Academy of Pediatrics. “The average 8-year-old spends eight hours a day using various forms of media, and teenagers often surpass 11 hours of media […]

Some Scary Facts to Follow Screen-Free Week

posted by Nell Minow

For a look at the scope and consequences of today’s media-saturated culture on children, check out these charts and an article from Utne about the impact of nonstop corporate marketing through kids’ media. Marketing affects what children want to eat, wear, […]

Summer Activity for Kids: Memorize Poems

posted by Nell Minow

“Whose woods these are, I think I know….”  You know how I know?  My mother told me that would be a good poem to memorize when I was eight.  I still know it by heart. One of the best things you […]

Parental Alert: Pornography and Abuse on Teen Websites

posted by Nell Minow

Habbo Hotel, a popular social media website for teenagers, is reopening after suspending its interactive functions following an investigative journalist’s reports of abuse. Following Tuesday’s announcement that mobile app Skout temporarily closed its under-18 community amidst rape allegations, Finnish virtual world Habbo […]

Miss Representation

posted by Nell Minow

Every parent, educator, and teenager should watch the documentary “Miss Representation,” about the way that media shapes our perceptions of what it means to be male and female.  

Screen-Free Week April 18-24

posted by Nell Minow

It used to be called TV-Turnoff Week but that was so 1990’s.  Now it’s Screen-Free Week — one week for families to turn off the screens and reconnect with old-fashioned in-person interaction, to look each other in the eyes, spend […]

Women in Media — And Media in Crisis

posted by Nell Minow

As Katie Couric leaves her pioneering role as the first women anchor of a nightly network news broadcast, it appears that she arrived just as what was once the flagship of end-of-the-day journalism was shrinking to not much more than […]

Jonah and the Whale

posted by Nell Minow

On the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Jews study the story of Jonah and the Whale. The Jewish educational and outreach group AISH says In a certain sense it is very much the story […]

What I Read

posted by Nell Minow

The Atlantic Monthly’s website has a daily feature called “What I Read.” They invite people to tell them about their sources of information and news. If you’d like to read about my “media diet” take a look. And yes, the […]

Guess that Voiceover!

posted by Nell Minow

TV.com has a quiz to see if you can identify celebrity voices in commercials. And if you have not taken the one I posted earlier from Slate, give that a try, too. Whose voice is that? » Quiz Question Maker

‘Nerd’ Barbie?

posted by Nell Minow

While Ken is walking his little dog in Palm Beach, Barbie is crunching code as a computer engineer. Wired reports that the latest Barbie has a laptop and a bluetooth earpiece. Created in cooperation with the Society of Women Engineers […]

Vanity Fair’s Whites Only Hollywood Cover

posted by Nell Minow

I look forward to Vanity Fair’s annual Hollywood issue every year. It always has fabulous photos of today’s top talent, often in salutes to some of the classic movie stars of the past. And it always has a selection of […]

Blacking Up: Hip-Hop

posted by Nell Minow

“Where do you draw the line between influence and appropriation?” “When is it admiration and when is it mockery?” Blacking Up: Hip-Hop’s Remix of Race and Identity is a thought-provoking film by documentarian Robert Clift is a sympathetic look at […]

Another Word Goes Mainstream?

posted by Nell Minow

In my concern for the continuing coarsening of language, I last wrote about whether the term “pimp” had become acceptable for children after it was used in the PG film “G-Force.” The New York Times writes about another word that […]

Three Movies Examine Our Struggle to Understand God

posted by Nell Minow

Three new and very different movies have one thing in common — they all ask their characters and their audiences to think about the nature of God and faith. This week we have a perky romantic comedy with Ricky Gervais […]

WordGirl Interviewed by Jim Lehrer

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to Siva Vaidhyanathan for sharing this delightful interview with the newest PBS superhero, WordGirl, who keeps the world safe from bad guys and poor word choices! Here’s to vivid and grammatically correct speech, and to PBS and WorldGirl.

Interview: Ellen Besen on Visual Literacy

posted by Nell Minow

The average American child watches two to three hours of TV a day, according to the American Association of Pediatrics. And that doesn’t include the time they spend playing video games, sitting in front of the computer, and watching movies. […]

PBS Resource on Media for Parents

posted by Nell Minow

PBS has an excellent online resource for parents about the way that media shapes children’s views of the world, with separate sections for preschoolers, grade schoolers, pre-teens and teens, with tips for each age to help children understand media and […]

Is Racism Subjective?

posted by Nell Minow

I was the only white person in the elevator after the screening of Next Day Air, and as we went down to the parking lot, I asked the assembled group, none of whom I knew, whether they thought the movie […]

When Not to Watch Movies, Part 1

posted by Nell Minow

I was recently reminded of an incident I wrote about three years ago for the Chicago Tribune and it inspired me to re-post the essay: My husband, daughter and I had just settled in for lunch at one of our […]

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 Express

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic content, violence and language involving racism, and for brief sensuality.
Movie Release Date:October 10, 2008
DVD Release Date:January 20, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic content, violence and language involving racism, and for brief sensuality.
Movie Release Date: October 10, 2008
DVD Release Date: January 20, 2009

When a real-life story combines athletic excellence and civil rights breakthroughs, it has more than enough heart and drama to be good movie material. Ernie Davis was a combination of heart and pure talent who came along at just the […]

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, […]

Parenting the Facebook Generation

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to take a look at the excellent Ten Tips for Parenting the Facebook Generation from Beliefnet’s Hesham Hassaballa. Technology has made the risks and humiliations and cliquishness of the early teen years exponentially more treacherous, and these guidelines […]

Teenagers, Sex, Religion, and Media

posted by Nell Minow

The Washington Post reports on the first study to link teen pregnancies to sexual content on television. The study is being published today in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The authors found a “strong association” between teen […]

McCain and Obama for Children

posted by Nell Minow

There are very fine illustrated biographies of both candidates for children, a good way to begin a conversation about how we select our leaders and the importance of being able to disagree in a respectful and honorable manner.

Great Movie Costumes for Halloween

posted by Nell Minow

Rotten Tomatoes has some wonderful ideas for the best (and easiest) Halloween costumes inspired by movies. It includes classics like Indiana Jones and Carrie, current hits like Nurse Joker and some good ideas for friends to coordinate like Gogo Yurbari […]

Print Critics vs. Online Critics: A Cineaste Roundtable

posted by Nell Minow

Print and new media writers debate the pros and cons of writing about movies online, where everyone’s a critic in a roundtable from Cineaste, a leading publication on film. In introducing the Critical Symposium on “International Film Criticism Today” in […]

Home Movie Day

posted by Nell Minow

Home Movie Day is October 18, and everyone from Martin Scorsese to John Waters is urging all of us to participate. The Center for Home Movies collects, preserves, provides access to, and promotes understanding of home movies and amateur motion […]

‘Unorthodox’ TV Movie Filming in DC

posted by Nell Minow

The Washington Post reports that a new Hallmark Hall of Fame movie for CBS called “Unorthodox” is currently filming in Washington DC: Great to see Hollywood getting into spirituality! The crew that set up Wednesday on Georgetown’s Cambridge Place for […]

Quote of the Week: Dana Stevens on ‘Body of Lies’

posted by Nell Minow

Dana Stevens of Slate gets a little meta on “Body of Lies:” Certain moments are contractually required to happen in a movie like this: Camels will plod across the horizon as a woman’s voice wails in Arabic on the soundtrack. […]

Anything Can Happen Day Giveaway

posted by Nell Minow

If you’re as old as I am, you remember the Mickey Mouse Club’s “Anything Can Happen Day.” In that spirit, I’m going to have an anything-can-happen giveaway grab-bag. The first TEN people to send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with […]

What is Obscene? Arthouse Films Documentary About Obscenity Trials

posted by Nell Minow

Arthouse Films, a terrific new company specializing in documentaries about art, has released an important documentary called Obscene: A Portrait of Barney Rossett and Grove Press. As was once said about another film, this one has “something to offend everyone.” […]

Interview: Tim Robbins of ‘City of Ember’

posted by Nell Minow

You are involved in such a wide range of projects as an actor, director, and activist. Why did you decide to play a supporting role in this movie for kids? It’s nice to be in a movie that is not […]

Latest ‘Twilight’ Trailer

posted by Nell Minow

Religion on ‘The Simpsons’

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to check out this terrific Beliefnet gallery from Mark I. Pinsky on the best Simpsons episodes about religions. It includes “Like Father, Like Clown” (written with the help of three rabbis, about Krusty the Clown’s exploration of his […]

The Happening

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violent and disturbing images
Movie Release Date:June 13, 2008
DVD Release Date:October 10, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violent and disturbing images
Movie Release Date: June 13, 2008
DVD Release Date: October 10, 2008

Here’s a spooky story: a talented storyteller mesmerizes his audience and then loses his way in a thicket of self-regard so that no matter how hard he tries, each of the stories he tells becomes less powerful than the one […]

Tallgrass Film Festival

posted by Nell Minow

I am thrilled to have been asked to attend the Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita, Kansas, later this month and especially looking forward to spending time with my beloved B98 buddies, Brett and Tracy and am forever grateful to them […]

Studios’ Second Thoughts on Critics

posted by Nell Minow

According to Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood has figured out that critics are important in helping audiences find good movies that are not pre-sold through familiar characters or special effects. It cites an Advertising Age article that concludes the studios are starting […]

Faerie Tale Theatre Winners!

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks very much to all who entered. I wish I had DVD sets for all of you! The winners are: Tina Mary Keely Sarah Holmer Crystal Williams-Brown Send me your addresses at moviemom@moviemom.com and I’ll put them in the mail! […]

You Don’t Mess With the Zohan

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language and nudity
Movie Release Date:June 5, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language and nudity
Movie Release Date: June 5, 2008

Somewhere inside this Adam Sandler slacker silliness there is a fierce and provocative little satire trying to get out. Sandler is so busy with his usual shtick that at times it seems that even he hardly notices the subversive political […]

Sleeping Beauty

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1958
DVD Release Date:October 7, 2014
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1958
DVD Release Date: October 7, 2014

Disney’s gorgeous “Sleeping Beauty” is out in a magnificent new Diamond edition this week. This classic should be in the library of every family and every animation fan. The King and Queen happily celebrate the birth of their daughter, Princess […]

Previous Posts

Interview: "Mike and Molly's" Billy Gardell on "Dancer and the Dame"
Billy Gardell, star of television's Mike & Molly, talked to me about his new film, Dancer & The Dame. He plays Rick Dancer. "He was once like a ...

posted 3:31:07pm May. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: The Search for Freedom
[iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/121174641" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"] This new documentary tells the stories of the athletes who seek the freedom that comes from living in the moment and doing what makes us feel the ...

posted 12:19:02pm May. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Win a Daniel Tiger Book and DVD!
Daniel Tiger loves being outside and spending time with his family and friends. In these eight stories, he learns about swimming ...

posted 8:00:48am May. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Behind the Scenes: Jurassic World
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EEmOyR33-Uk" frameborder="0"] Here's a great sneak peek inside "Jurassic World," coming to theaters on June 12, 2015. ...

posted 4:10:08pm May. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Tribute: Anne Meara
Today we mourn the loss of actress/comedian Anne Meara, wife of Jerry Stiller and mother of actor/director Ben Stiller. Stiller and Meara were a comedy team who appeared frequently on the Ed Sullivan show. Their humor often focused on their ...

posted 1:25:55pm May. 25, 2015 | read full post »

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