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genre

  • Action
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  • Romance
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  • Thriller
  • War
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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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  • All Ages




For Greater Glory

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:June 1, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: June 1, 2012

In 1926, the atheist President of Mexico Plutarco Elias Calles (Rubén Blades) decided to secularize the country by edict.  He deported non-Mexican priests and prohibited the remaining priests from appearing outside of the churches in their cassocks.  Rebels fought back, at first with […]

Coriolanus

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some bloody violence
Movie Release Date:January 13, 2012
DVD Release Date:May 28, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some bloody violence
Movie Release Date: January 13, 2012
DVD Release Date: May 28, 2012

Shakespeare’s play about a Roman general who survives battle only to take on the bigger battles of politics has been brought to screen by Ralph Fiennes, who directed and stars as the title character.  Contemporary costumes and weapons and Serbian […]

Men in Black 3

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and brief suggestive content
Movie Release Date:May 25, 2012
DVD Release Date:November 27, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and brief suggestive content
Movie Release Date: May 25, 2012
DVD Release Date: November 27, 2012

Welcome back, Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones. The stars and director of one of the most creative and purely entertaining movies of the last 20 years are back for a third that does not match the original but makes up […]

Battleship

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, action, and destruction, and for language
Movie Release Date:May 18, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 28, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, action, and destruction, and for language
Movie Release Date: May 18, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 28, 2012

As if it wasn’t enough of a challenge to try to create a movie based on a board game — and a board game based on a game that is perfectly adequately played with pencil and paper — this movie […]

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, thematic elements, and language
Movie Release Date:May 18, 2012
DVD Release Date:September 11, 2012
D
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, thematic elements, and language
Movie Release Date: May 18, 2012
DVD Release Date: September 11, 2012

No matter how carefully you plan and how diligently you read books like What to Expect When You’re Expecting, pregnancy is guaranteed to be different from whatever you think it is going to be.  I wish I could say the […]

The Dictator

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, brief male nudity, language, and some violent images
Movie Release Date:May 16, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 21, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, brief male nudity, language, and some violent images
Movie Release Date: May 16, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 21, 2012

Chutzpah has never been a problem for Sasha Baron Cohen, whose previous films, based on characters he created for television, were semi-documentaries of encounters with ordinary people who did their best to accommodate his outrageously offensive behavior.  Whether he was […]

Dark Shadows

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for comic horror violence, sexual content, some drug use, language and smoking
Movie Release Date:May 11, 2012
DVD Release Date:October 2, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for comic horror violence, sexual content, some drug use, language and smoking
Movie Release Date: May 11, 2012
DVD Release Date: October 2, 2012

“Dark Shadows” tries to sink its teeth into the legendary 1960’s supernatural soap opera with both ironic distance and visceral thrills.  It can be done — see the original “Men in Black” — but wonderfully weird visuals from director Tim Burton […]

Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:May 5, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: May 5, 2012

One of the most daring rescue missions of the post WWII era was the Raid on Entebbe in 1976.  Terrorist groups called the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the German Revolutionary Cells hijacked an Air France plane […]

The Avengers

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout and a mild drug reference
Movie Release Date:May 4, 2012
DVD Release Date:September 24, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout and a mild drug reference
Movie Release Date: May 4, 2012
DVD Release Date: September 24, 2012

“The Dirty Dozen.” “The Bad News Bears.” “The A-Team.” “The Expendables.” Stories about a mixed group of badass tough guys who have trouble with authority but learn to work together are second only to stories about loners taking on The […]

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action, rude humor, and some language
Movie Release Date:April 27, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 27, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action, rude humor, and some language
Movie Release Date: April 27, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 27, 2012

The Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) enjoys his life of adventure on the high seas, but there are a few problems. His crew is having a spirited debate about the best part of pirating – is it the cutlasses, the looting, […]

The Five-Year Engagement

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content and language throughout
Movie Release Date:April 27, 2012
DVD Release Date:September 4, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content and language throughout
Movie Release Date: April 27, 2012
DVD Release Date: September 4, 2012

Jason Segal co-wrote and stars in the latest in a genre he helped to pioneer — the raunchy but sweet-natured romantic comedy.  Films like “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “I Love You Man” put the misunderstandings and complications of the kind […]

The Lucky One

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence
Movie Release Date:April 20, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 29, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence
Movie Release Date: April 20, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 29, 2012

Director Scott Hicks pours enough syrup over this film to supply an IHOP.  Every shot of the golden sunlight on the Louisiana bayou or the perfectly tousled angelic curls of the perfectly precocious angelic boy or the perfect smile of the […]

Think Like a Man

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, some crude humor, and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:April 20, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 28, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, some crude humor, and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: April 20, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 28, 2012

A gimmicky best-selling book about love, sex, and marriage has been made into a high-concept romantic comedy with an all-star cast.  “He’s Just Not That Into You”?  No, that was so 2009.  This time the inspiration is the book by […]

Blue Like Jazz

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexuality, drug and alcohol content, and some language
Movie Release Date:April 20, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 6, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexuality, drug and alcohol content, and some language
Movie Release Date: April 20, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 6, 2012

Donald Miller’s best-selling collection of essays, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality has become a crowd-financed and lightly fictionalized film about a Texas teenager from a sheltered Baptist community who goes to the famously free-thinking Reed College in Portland, Oregon. […]

Chimpanzee

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:April 20, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 20, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: April 20, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 20, 2012

DisneyNature’s fourth in its series of nature documentaries released for Earth Day is gorgeously photographed, heartwarming, inspiring, and adorable. It combines astonishingly vivid and intimate footage of animal life with narration that sometimes crosses the line between accessible and intrusive.  […]

The Three Stooges

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for slapstick action violence, some rude and suggestive humor including language
Movie Release Date:April 13, 2012
DVD Release Date:July 17, 2012
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for slapstick action violence, some rude and suggestive humor including language
Movie Release Date: April 13, 2012
DVD Release Date: July 17, 2012

I believe it was the great philosopher Curly Joe who first said that you cannot step in the same stream twice.  And perhaps it was Shemp who said that you can’t go home again.  Okay, that was the great ancient […]

Lockout

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: April 13, 2012

You know what was cool?  “Die Hard!”  One smart-ass guy who has a problem with authority Yippie-ky-ay-ing as he outsmarts a dozen bad guys in an LA skyscraper.  And “Under Siege,” with a smart-ass guy who has a problem with […]

Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope

posted by Nell Minow

There’s an old joke about a woman who goes to a therapist.  “Why are you here?” he asks.  “My family wants me to come because I love pancakes,” she answers.  “Well,” he says reassuringly, “that’s perfectly normal!  I love pancakes, […]

American Reunion

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude and sexual content throughout, nudity, language, brief drug use and teen drinking
Movie Release Date:April 7, 2012
DVD Release Date:July 10, 2012
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content throughout, nudity, language, brief drug use and teen drinking
Movie Release Date: April 7, 2012
DVD Release Date: July 10, 2012

The first indication of a problem with this fourth in the series that began with the ground-breaking (and pastry-breaking) “American Pie” is that stars Jason Biggs and Seann William Scott are listed as co-producers.   Very few actors understand their characters […]

Titanic 3D

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for disaster-related peril and violence, nudity, sensuality, and brief language
Movie Release Date: April 4, 2012

Classic Greek tragedies explored the theme of hubris as human characters dared to take on the attributes of the gods only to find their hopes crushed. This is a real-life story of hubris, as the ship declared to be “unsinkable” […]

Mirror Mirror

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some fantasy action and mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:March 30, 2012
DVD Release Date:June 26, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some fantasy action and mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: March 30, 2012
DVD Release Date: June 26, 2012

Director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar has found a story worthy of his ravishing visuals and the result is an enchanting update of the classic fairy tale of Snow White. Julia Roberts is clearly having a blast as the evil queen whose hostile […]

Wrath of the Titans

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action
Movie Release Date:March 30, 2012
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action
Movie Release Date: March 30, 2012

What I love best about classically trained British actors is that they are game for anything.  Whether it is a commercial for cough drops or a silly comedy they always bring their A-game.  Their timing and diction are impeccable and […]

The Hunger Games

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images -- all involving teens
Movie Release Date:March 23, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 13, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images -- all involving teens
Movie Release Date: March 23, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 13, 2012

Just as brave and loyal Katniss Everdeen is the heart of the wildly popular series of “Hunger Games” novels by Suzanne Collins, Jennifer Lawrence is the heart of this faithful adaptation.  Director Gary Ross clearly understands the book and what […]

21 Jump Street

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, drug material, teen drinking, and some violence
Movie Release Date:March 16, 2012
DVD Release Date:June 26, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, drug material, teen drinking, and some violence
Movie Release Date: March 16, 2012
DVD Release Date: June 26, 2012

The record on movie versions of decades-old television shows is not a pretty one.  I call them lunchbox movies because I can envision the pitch meeting with the young studio executive smiling, “Oh, I had the lunchbox for that show! […]

Casa de Mi Padre

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for bloody violence, language, and some sexual content and drug use
Movie Release Date:March 16, 2012
DVD Release Date:July 17, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for bloody violence, language, and some sexual content and drug use
Movie Release Date: March 16, 2012
DVD Release Date: July 17, 2012

You think having sunny-spirited Californian Will Ferrell play the son of a Mexican rancher is not goofy enough?  How about if the entire movie is in Spanish (with subtitles)?  You want goofier?  I got your goofy right here.  The entire premise […]

Jeff, Who Lives At Home

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual references and some drug use
Movie Release Date:March 16, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including some sexual references and some drug use
Movie Release Date: March 16, 2012

Of course Jeff (Jason Segal) lives at home.  Just about everyone lives at home; that’s what “home” means.  The thing about 30-year-old Jeff, though, is that he still lives at the home he never-quite grew up in.  He lives in […]

A Thousand Words

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual situations including dialogue, language, and some drug-related humor
Movie Release Date: March 9, 2012

“A Thousand Words” was filmed four years ago, when George W. Bush was President and a joke about the massive popularity of Hannah Montana was timely.  Four years later, it is being not so much released as exorcised as Dreamworks […]

John Carter

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action
Movie Release Date:March 9, 2012
DVD Release Date:June 5, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action
Movie Release Date: March 9, 2012
DVD Release Date: June 5, 2012

It takes a while to get going and is about half an hour too long, but “John Carter” has some spectacular visuals and well-staged action scenes.  Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author of the Tarzan novels, also wrote the John Carter: Adventures […]

Being Flynn

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for adult situations, language, nudity, and sex
Movie Release Date:March 9, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for adult situations, language, nudity, and sex
Movie Release Date: March 9, 2012

Nick Flynn was working at a Boston homeless shelter when his father, Jonathan Flynn, came in looking for a place to stay. Nick was raised by his mother and had little contact with his father except for some letters explaining […]

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for some violence and sexual content and brief language
Movie Release Date:March 9, 2012
DVD Release Date:July 17, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some violence and sexual content and brief language
Movie Release Date: March 9, 2012
DVD Release Date: July 17, 2012

Paul Torday’s satiric novel of politics, money, love, and fishing has been brought to the screen with Ewan McGregor as a government fisheries expert and Emily Blunt as an aide to a Yemeni sheik who has what seems to be […]

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements and brief smoking
Movie Release Date:March 9, 2012
DVD Release Date:July 23, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements and brief smoking
Movie Release Date: March 9, 2012
DVD Release Date: July 23, 2012

The Michelin Guide to restaurants describes the best as “worth a detour” or “worth a special journey.”  They describe a tiny ten-seat sushi restaurant in Tokyo as worth the trip to Japan.  If you want to eat there, call before […]

Undefeated

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language
Movie Release Date:March 2, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language
Movie Release Date: March 2, 2012

Bill Courtney, a successful white businessman, coaches an underdog football team at an inner city high school in an Oscar-winning documentary that quickly transcends the risks of sports cliché and racially treacherous noblesse oblige.  Like the wonderful “The Heart of […]

The Lorax

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date:March 2, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 7, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date: March 2, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 7, 2012

Adapting Dr. Seuss for a feature film is a challenge. The movies can capture his whimsical drawings and mischievous humor but they fail when they pad his storylines and jettison his rhymes.  Dr. Seuss had a genius for saying a […]

Wanderlust

posted by Nell Minow

It is painful to watch Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd, who were superb together in “The Object of My Affection,” try to make the most from the fourth-rate Judd Apatow gross-out comedy “Wanderlust.”  It wastes a situation filled with comic […]

Act of Valor

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence including some torture, and for language
Movie Release Date:February 24, 2012
DVD Release Date:June 6, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence including some torture, and for language
Movie Release Date: February 24, 2012
DVD Release Date: June 6, 2011

The Navy SEALS approached the Bandito Brothers film-makers about telling their story, years before they became headline heroes by finding and killing Osama Bin Laden.  After spending time with the SEALS and learning about their extraordinary missions and their extraordinary devotion to their […]

The Secret World of Arrietty

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:February 17, 2012
DVD Release Date:May 22, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: February 17, 2012
DVD Release Date: May 22, 2012

A spirited young heroine and an enchantingly beautiful setting make a story of friendship and courage beguiling in Studio Ghibli’s adaptation of Mary Norton’s popular series of “Borrower” books.  First published in the mid-1950’s, the stories are on based on […]

The Vow

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for an accident scene, sexual content, partial nudity, and some language
Movie Release Date:February 10, 2012
DVD Release Date:May 8, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for an accident scene, sexual content, partial nudity, and some language
Movie Release Date: February 10, 2012
DVD Release Date: May 8, 2012

More than any other attribute, memory is what defines our identity and our connections to each other.  When a young woman’s traumatic brain injury erases her memory not just of having married her husband but even of having met him, […]

Safe House

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence throughout and some language
Movie Release Date:February 10, 2012
DVD Release Date:June 5, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence throughout and some language
Movie Release Date: February 10, 2012
DVD Release Date: June 5, 2012

Denzel Washington is the vodka and Ryan Reynolds is the orange juice in this spy story with top-notch action, middle-notch story, and bottom-notch ending, with a “surprise” plot twist that is obvious from the first 10 minutes. Apparently, the CIA […]

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild adventure action and brief mild language
Movie Release Date:February 10, 2012
DVD Release Date:June 4, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild adventure action and brief mild language
Movie Release Date: February 10, 2012
DVD Release Date: June 4, 2012

Like its predecessor, Journey to the Center of the Earth, this is a well-paced and highly entertaining family film made with good humor, panache, and imagination.  Josh Hutcherson returns as Sean Anderson, a teenager whose last expedition was in search […]

Big Miracle

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language
Movie Release Date:February 3, 2012
DVD Release Date:June 18, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language
Movie Release Date: February 3, 2012
DVD Release Date: June 18, 2012

“You’re not as easy to hate as I thought,” an oil man tells an environmental activist in “Big Miracle,” the heartwarming true story of a 1987 effort to rescue three Alaskan whales. It could just as well have been said […]

One for the Money

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual references and language, some drug material and partial nudity
Movie Release Date:January 27, 2012
DVD Release Date:May 15, 2012
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual references and language, some drug material and partial nudity
Movie Release Date: January 27, 2012
DVD Release Date: May 15, 2012

Someday to be used in film schools as a textbook example of how not to adapt a best-selling novel for the screen, “One for the Money” is mis-cast, mis-scripted, and mis-directed in every category.  Janet Evanovich’s popular series of series […]

Man on a Ledge

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence and brief language
Movie Release Date:January 27, 2012
DVD Release Date:May 29, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence and brief language
Movie Release Date: January 27, 2012
DVD Release Date: May 29, 2012

It wants to be a twisty-turny thriller but it is as straightforward as its title.  A man we will later know as Nick (Sam Worthington) checks into a New York hotel, orders room service (we see he has a scraped […]

Haywire

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some violence
Movie Release Date:January 20, 2012
DVD Release Date:May 1, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violence
Movie Release Date: January 20, 2012
DVD Release Date: May 1, 2012

A little bit “Rambo,” a little bit “Kill Bill” and more than a little bit “La Femme Nikita” and its imitation, “Alias,” this film can best be summarized as follows: a private contractor operative employed by the United States kicks […]

Red Tails

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sequences of war violence
Movie Release Date:January 20, 2012
DVD Release Date:May 22, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sequences of war violence
Movie Release Date: January 20, 2012
DVD Release Date: May 22, 2012

The official military documents of the 1940’s said that African-Americans were “mentally inferior” “subservient and cowards” and not fit to fly planes.  The Tuskegee Airmen of WWII proved that African-Americans were outstanding pilots.  They had to fight to be trained […]

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for emotional thematic material, disturbing images, and language
Movie Release Date:January 20, 2012
DVD Release Date:March 27, 2012
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for emotional thematic material, disturbing images, and language
Movie Release Date: January 20, 2012
DVD Release Date: March 27, 2012

Jonathan Safran Foer’s acclaimed novel about a boy whose father was killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11 has been brought to the screen with great sensitivity and heart.  Newcomer Thomas Horn plays Oskar, whose ferocious intellect overwhelms his […]

Courageous

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence and drug content
Movie Release Date:September 30, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 16, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence and drug content
Movie Release Date: September 30, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 16, 2012

Courageous is the story of men who confront danger every day as law officers but who discover that it is a bigger challenge to be good fathers and family men. Sherwood Pictures, the faith-based film production company behind “Facing the […]

Joyful Noise

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language including a sexual reference
Movie Release Date:January 13, 2012
DVD Release Date:April 30, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language including a sexual reference
Movie Release Date: January 13, 2012
DVD Release Date: April 30, 2012

Joyful indeed — this movie is pure cinematic sunshine, guaranteed to brighten the heart and gladden the spirit.  Super-divas Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah play rival gospel choir leaders in an inspiring and heart-warming story filled with love, laughter, music, […]

The Iron Lady

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violent images and brief nudity
Movie Release Date:January 13, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violent images and brief nudity
Movie Release Date: January 13, 2012

A performance by Meryl Streep of endless intelligence, skill, and sensitivity cannot keep this impressionistic portrait of Baroness Margaret Thatcher from being exactly the sort of sentimental nonsense she spent her career trying to avoid. “People don’t think anymore; they […]

Carnage

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:December 17, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 19, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: December 17, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 19, 2012

Some boys are arguing in a park but we are too far away to hear what it is about.  One of them whacks another in the face with a stick. And then we are in a spacious apartment as the […]

Contraband

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, pervasive language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:January 13, 2012
DVD Release Date:April 24, 2012
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, pervasive language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: January 13, 2012
DVD Release Date: April 24, 2012

Oh, not another one last job movie!  This remake of an Icelandic thriller, directed by the actor who played the lead role in the original, is a by-the-numbers heist, chase, and shoot-em-up.  It’s too gritty to be escapist fun and […]

Beauty and the Beast

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:January 13, 2012
DVD Release Date:2010
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: January 13, 2012
DVD Release Date: 2010

“Beauty and the Beast” is one of Disney’s most beloved fairy tales and the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.  This week it is back in theaters in 3D and it looks gorgeous.  It is […]

The Artist

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for a disturbing image and a crude gesture
Movie Release Date:January 3, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 25, 2012
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for a disturbing image and a crude gesture
Movie Release Date: January 3, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 25, 2012

“We didn’t need dialogue,” said Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) unforgettably in Billy Wilder’s classic, “Sunset Boulevard.”  “We had faces!”  Swanson herself had been a silent film star, but she is best remembered for playing the actress driven mad by being […]

The War Horse

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of war violence
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:April 3, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of war violence
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: April 3, 2012

The second Steven Spielberg movie of the week opens on Christmas Day, a grand epic, is big, long, ambitious, and showy.  It is a work by a master, but it is not a masterpiece.  Every detail is carefully considered.  Every […]

We Bought a Zoo

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date:December 23, 2011
DVD Release Date:April 2, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date: December 23, 2011
DVD Release Date: April 2, 2012

This is a good, old-fashioned family movie grounded in Matt Damon’s best-ever performance, inspired by the real-life story of a young widower who, without knowing a lot about animals or running a business, impulsively decided to buy a zoo. Benjamin […]

The Adventures of Tintin

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for adventure action violence, some drunkenness and brief smoking
Movie Release Date:December 21, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 13, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for adventure action violence, some drunkenness and brief smoking
Movie Release Date: December 21, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012

Two box office champion directors and a cult favorite joined forces for a film that was a first for all of them, a 3D motion capture animated story.  It is clear that director Steven Spielberg, producer Peter Jackson (“The Lord […]

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for brutal violent contact including rape and torture, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, and language
Movie Release Date:December 20, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 20, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for brutal violent contact including rape and torture, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, and language
Movie Release Date: December 20, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 20, 2012

The late Swedish author Steig Larsson created a series of books originally titled “Men Who Hate Women” with a character who was an idealized version of himself — an investigative journalist of impeccable integrity and political correctness who effortlessly appeals […]

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequence of violence and action and some drug material
Movie Release Date:December 16, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 12, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequence of violence and action and some drug material
Movie Release Date: December 16, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 12, 2012

All Sherlockians know that the only villain who could match the most famous and celebrated of all fictional detectives is the fiendish Professor Moriarty.  As we were promised in the postscript to the first Sherlock Holmes movie from Guy Ritchie, […]

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence
Movie Release Date:December 16, 2011
DVD Release Date:April 09, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence
Movie Release Date: December 16, 2011
DVD Release Date: April 09, 2012

The first live-action film from animation director Brad Bird (“The Iron Giant,” “The Incredibles”) is pure adrenalin rush.  It has the best stunts of the year and crackerjack mastery of pace in this fourth “Mission: Impossible” movie. More “inspired by” […]

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:December 17, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 27, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: December 17, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 27, 2012

The third in the series about the singing chipmunks and their exasperated but perpetually forgiving human father is a little brighter and sweeter than its predecessors. It tones down the slapstick and potty humor, meriting a family-friendly G rating. The […]

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, some sexuality/nudity, and language
Movie Release Date:December 9, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 20, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, some sexuality/nudity, and language
Movie Release Date: December 9, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 20, 2012

There are spy stories with glamor and chases and explosions and answers.  And there are spy stories like this one, murky, gritty, grubby, complicated.  The brilliant BBC miniseries version of the the book by John le Carre opened with the grim-looking Russian matryoshka […]

New Year’s Eve

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:December 9, 2011
DVD Release Date:May 1, 2012
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: December 9, 2011
DVD Release Date: May 1, 2012

Something seemed familiar to me as I watched Garry Marshall’s New York-based follow-up to his multi-star, multi-story LA-set romantic comedy, Valentine’s Day.  It was something that went beyond the predictability of its sitcom-ish formulas and check-list of romantic comedy conventions, […]

The Sitter

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, drug material, and some violence
Movie Release Date:December 9, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, drug material, and some violence
Movie Release Date: December 9, 2011

Basically “Bad Santa” crossed with “Adventures in Babysitting,” “The Sitter” stars Jonah Hill as Noah, an ambitionless doof living with his mother who cannot be bothered to answer the phone, much less find a job. Overlong at 80 minutes, it […]

My Week with Marilyn

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language
Movie Release Date:December 2, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 13, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language
Movie Release Date: December 2, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012

“Her skin does not reject the light.” That was impressionist painter Pierre Auguste Renoir’s answer when asked why he used one favorite model so many times.  And it describes the luminous beauty of Marilyn Monroe, who almost half a century […]

Hugo

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic material, some action/peril and smoking
Movie Release Date:November 23, 2011
DVD Release Date:February 27, 2012
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic material, some action/peril and smoking
Movie Release Date: November 23, 2011
DVD Release Date: February 27, 2012

Martin Scorsese’s enchanting “Hugo” is a thrillingly immersive adventure.  It is about two orphans trying to solve a mystery.  It is about the way that stories help us make sense of life.  It stretches from the very beginnings of movies […]

Arthur Christmas

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:November 23, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 6, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: November 23, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 6, 2012

A sleigh pulled by reindeer?  That’s so five decades ago.  With the population topping seven billion and the Duggars getting ready to welcome baby number 20, Santa (Jim Broadbent) needs all the support modern technology can provide.  He may not […]

The Muppets

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:November 23, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 19, 2012
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: November 23, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 19, 2012

Let the joy be unrestrained.  The Muppets are back.  It turns out that deep inside Jason Segal, best known for raunchy Judd Apatow comedies and for playing the monogamous Marshall on “How I Met Your Mother,” is at his core […]

The Greening of Whitney Brown

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date:November 23, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date: November 23, 2011

A middle schooler who thinks she has it all figured out finds herself tossed from 1 percent-ville to 99-percent-land in a cute new film in limited release called “The Greening of Whitney Brown.”  Sammi Hanratty plays the title character, a […]

Happy Feet 2

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

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

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for disturbing images, violence, sexuality/partial nudity and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date:November 18, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 6, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for disturbing images, violence, sexuality/partial nudity and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date: November 18, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 6, 2012

In trying to balance the hopes of the passionately devoted fans of the Twilight series (are there any other kind?), who want to see every single word of the books up on the screen and the realities of cinematic storytelling that limit […]

The Descendants

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:November 16, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 13, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: November 16, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012

Just because he lives in Hawaii, don’t think he’s in paradise, Matt King (George Clooney) warns us.  No one is immune to life.  The first Alexander Payne film since “Sideways” gives us another damaged hero at a crossroads and as […]

Into the Abyss

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material and some disturbing images
Movie Release Date:November 16, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material and some disturbing images
Movie Release Date: November 16, 2011

Werner Herzog continues his exploration of the darkness and the light within the human spirit with “Into the Abyss,” a documentary about why and how we kill each other, in violation of the law and directed by it. In Texas, […]

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violence
Movie Release Date:November 4, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 7, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violence
Movie Release Date: November 4, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 7, 2012

I was pretty sure that the line between being lame and making fun of being lame was fairly distinct but in this film Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) push it so hard it almost dissolves.  We’ve all come […]

Tower Heist

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content
Movie Release Date:November 4, 2011
DVD Release Date:February 21, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content
Movie Release Date: November 4, 2011
DVD Release Date: February 21, 2012

If the Occupy Wall Street crowd decided to make it movie it would be “Tower Heist,” the story of 99%-ers stealing back from a 1% guy what he stole from them. Alan Alda has a lot of fun playing a […]

The Rum Diary

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, brief drug use, and sexuality
Movie Release Date:October 28, 2011
DVD Release Date:February 14, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, brief drug use, and sexuality
Movie Release Date: October 28, 2011
DVD Release Date: February 14, 2012

22-year-old Hunter S. Thompson wrote a novel about men in their 30’s working for a Puerto Rican newspaper, equally soaked in the title libation and the brinier flavors of cynicism and failure, but it was not published until more than […]

Puss In Boots

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some adventure action and mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:October 28, 2011
DVD Release Date:February 21, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some adventure action and mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: October 28, 2011
DVD Release Date: February 21, 2012

The popular feline bandit of the “Shrek” series gets his own feature film, one that is less of a fractured fairy tale and more of a swashbuckler.  Antonio Banderas returns as the voice of Puss in Boots, the cat with […]

In Time

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence, some sexuality and partial nudity, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:October 28, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 31, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, some sexuality and partial nudity, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: October 28, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 31, 2012

In the future, according to this film, our currency will not be money but time.  Everyone gets 25 years.  Then the clock starts ticking down.  If you have not earned, begged, borrowed, stolen, or inherited time, you die. Everything is […]

The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:October 27, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: October 27, 2011

Documentaries made by adult children about their fathers have become a significant new genre.  My Architect is the story of Louis Kahn by the son he never publicly acknowledged.  In Tell Them Who You Are, filmmaker Mark Wexler trains his camera […]

Margin Call

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:October 21, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: October 21, 2011

Investors can make bets by promising to buy stock at a higher or lower price than the current day’s valuation.  If all goes well, they never actually have to buy the stock.  They can keep buying and selling the bets […]

The Mighty Macs

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:October 21, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: October 21, 2011

Basketball coach Cathy Rush (Carla Gugino) arrived at tiny Immaculata College in 1972, at just the right moment for her, for the team, and for the game. Restrictive rules that had “protected” female players from a full-court game had just […]

Footloose

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some teen drug and alcohol use, sexual content, violence, and language
Movie Release Date:October 14, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 6, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some teen drug and alcohol use, sexual content, violence, and language
Movie Release Date: October 14, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 6, 2012

Director Craig Brewer doesn’t so much remake 1984’s Footloose as tweak it.  At times, it feels almost identical, with small changes that are as likely to be commentary as updates.  But the most important thing this version has in common with […]

The Big Year

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language and some sensuality
Movie Release Date:October 14, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 31, 2012
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language and some sensuality
Movie Release Date: October 14, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 31, 2012

“The Big Year” would be a lot better if it didn’t try so hard to be The Big Movie.   This over-Hollywood-ized take on the real-life story of passionate-to-obsessed birders (don’t say “bird-watchers”) makes us wish for a documentary instead.  Everything […]

The Way

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, drug use, and smoking
Movie Release Date:October 7, 2011
DVD Release Date:February 21, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, drug use, and smoking
Movie Release Date: October 7, 2011
DVD Release Date: February 21, 2012

In honor of this DVD Pick of the Week, I have three copies to give away.  Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “The Way” in the subject line and tell me your favorite Martin Sheen movie.  Don’t forget your […]

Real Steel

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence, intense action, and brief language
Movie Release Date:October 7, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 24, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence, intense action, and brief language
Movie Release Date: October 7, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 24, 2012

The robot has the heart and the human has to learn to feel again in this unabashedly cheesy but irresistible fairy tale about a father, a son, and robots who bash the heck out of each other in a boxing […]

Ides of March

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language
Movie Release Date:October 7, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 17, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language
Movie Release Date: October 7, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 17, 2012

Beau Willimon took his experience on the Howard Dean campaign and turned it into a play called “Farragut North,” for the Metro stop near the fancy Washington D.C. offices occupied by political consultants.  Working with George Clooney and Grant Heslov, […]

Toast

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:October 7, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: October 7, 2011

“Being normal is overrated,” a young boy’s friend assures him.  “You’ll probably turn out to be very interesting.” He was right.  British chef and food writer Nigel Slater tells his own story in “Toast”. His mother was a terrible cook. […]

Thunder Soul

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief language and momentary historical smoking
Movie Release Date:October 6, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief language and momentary historical smoking
Movie Release Date: October 6, 2011

A real-life “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” this is the inspiring story of a dedicated teacher who transformed the lives of his students and the gathering 35 years later, when he was 92 years old, to perform a concert in his honor. […]

What’s Your Number?

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date:September 30, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 10, 2012
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date: September 30, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 10, 2012

Even the delectable Anna Faris cannot get us to root for the character she plays in this charmless, distasteful dud.  The first scene is weirdly identical to the opening of “Bridesmaids,” and one of the movie’s scarce pleasures is the […]

50/50

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language throughout, sexual content and some drug use
Movie Release Date:September 30, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, sexual content and some drug use
Movie Release Date: September 30, 2011

When Seth Rogen’s friend Will Reiser got a rare form of cancer at age 24, they bolstered their courage by imagining a movie that would be true to their experience.  The movies they knew about people with cancer had characters […]

Dolphin Tale

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:September 23, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 12, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: September 23, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 12, 2011

It won’t be available for sale until next week but I just can’t wait to feature this terrific film.  I have a copy to give away so if you’d like to enter, send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with Dolphin […]

Killer Elite

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence, language, and some sexuality/nudity
Movie Release Date:September 23, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 10, 2012
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, language, and some sexuality/nudity
Movie Release Date: September 23, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 10, 2012

Like this year’s “The Devil’s Double,” this film would be much more satisfying and believable if it was not so self-serving in favor of the people telling the story. The oddest part is that the fight scenes are brutally, authentic […]

Moneyball

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

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

I Don’t Know How She Does It

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual references throughout
Movie Release Date:September 16, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 3, 2012
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual references throughout
Movie Release Date: September 16, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 3, 2012

This film takes the most wrenching and universal dilemma of family life and turns it into a sitcom-y love letter to Sarah Jessica Parker.  Not the character she plays, the whippet-thin, stiletto-wearing financial whiz with the adorably mussed hair, but […]

Drive

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong brutal bloody violence, language, and some nudity
Movie Release Date:September 16, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 31, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong brutal bloody violence, language, and some nudity
Movie Release Date: September 16, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 31, 2012

Danish director Nicholas Winding Refn said that “Drive” is his vision of a contemporary fairy tale about a princess who has to be rescued from a dragon.  It is a highly stylized, brilliantly acted, and brutally violent story about a man […]

Warrior

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense martial arts fighting, some language, and thematic material
Movie Release Date:September 9, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 20, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense martial arts fighting, some language, and thematic material
Movie Release Date: September 9, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 20, 2011

Imagine if Rocky, instead of fighting Apollo Creed, got into the ring with another Rocky.  And they were brothers. I know, I know, but somehow it works in a surprisingly affecting story of the sons of an abusive alcoholic who […]

Seven Days in Utopia

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:September 2, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 29. 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: September 2, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 29. 2011

Sports psychologist David L. Cook wrote a book called Seven Days in Utopia: Golf’s Sacred Journey about a young golfer who runs away after a meltdown at a big tournament, gets stuck in a small town, and meets a mentor who […]

The Debt

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some violence and language
Movie Release Date:August 31, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 6, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violence and language
Movie Release Date: August 31, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 6, 2011

Stories are linear.  Part of what gives them their power is that we jettison the details that are distracting or unimportant.  But real life is messy.  That may not be as compelling, but is honest.  As we are told in […]

Higher Ground

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language and sexual content
Movie Release Date:August 26, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language and sexual content
Movie Release Date: August 26, 2011

Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air,” “The Departed”) directed and stars in “Higher Ground,” the true story of a woman’s spiritual journey, based on Higher Ground: A Memoir of Salvation Found and Lost by Carolyn S. Briggs. It is a rare […]

Our Idiot Brother

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content including nudity and for language throughout
Movie Release Date:August 26, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content including nudity and for language throughout
Movie Release Date: August 26, 2011

You can’t really make a bad movie with Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Rashida Jones, Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, Zooey Deschanel,  Emily Mortimer, and Steve Coogan.  They are seven of the most able and appealing performers of our era.  But it […]

Win Win

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 22, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 22, 2011

Writer-director Tom McCarthy gives us stories of the families we choose.  In “The Station Agent” and “The Visitor” the main characters were loners who found themselves unexpectedly drawn into caring for people who were very far outside their usual circles. […]

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 4D

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action and rude humor
Movie Release Date:August 19, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 21, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action and rude humor
Movie Release Date: August 19, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 21, 2011

Jessica Alba was dressed for her role in Robert Rodriguez’s ultra-violent “Machete” when, on a break from filming, she stopped to change her baby’s diaper.  Rodriguez says he saw her performing this most domestic of tasks in her action-movie attire […]

The Hedgehog

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:August 19, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: August 19, 2011

It’s hard to imagine a less cinematic novel than The Elegance of the Hedgehog.  Author Muriel Barbery is a professor of philosophy, and the book reads more like a series of essays than a story.  What made it work was the […]

One Day

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity, language, some violence, and substance abuse
Movie Release Date:August 19, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 29, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity, language, some violence, and substance abuse
Movie Release Date: August 19, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 29, 2011

A gimmick that sort of worked in a novel becomes an obstacle that trips up this love story based on best-seller by David Nicholls.  It is better at telling us to care about the two characters than it is at […]

30 Minutes or Less

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity and some violence
Movie Release Date:August 12, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 29, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity and some violence
Movie Release Date: August 12, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 29, 2011

Counter-terrorism expert Mark Sageman has described what he calls the “bunch of guys” theory.  Instead of looking for a mastermind and a bunch of crackerjack operatives, Sageman says more often the people who create mayhem are a bunch of guys […]

The Help

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material
Movie Release Date:August 10, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 5, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material
Movie Release Date: August 10, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 5, 2011

The book-club favorite about African-American women working as domestics in the early Civil Rights era South has been lovingly turned into a film that like its source material engages with its sensitive subject matter humbly and sincerely. Kathryn Stockett grew up […]

The Change-Up

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive strong crude sexual content and language, some graphic nudity, and drug use
Movie Release Date:August 5, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 15, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive strong crude sexual content and language, some graphic nudity, and drug use
Movie Release Date: August 5, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 15, 2011

The movie has barely begun and Dave (Jason Bateman) already has projectile baby poop all over his face and in his mouth.  There is so much excretory material in this film that doctors specializing in intestinal and urinary issues could […]

Crazy, Stupid, Love

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for coarse humor, sexual content, and language
Movie Release Date:July 29, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 1, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for coarse humor, sexual content, and language
Movie Release Date: July 29, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 1, 2011

This painful comedy about the agonies of love has some deftly observed moments and strong performances but its essential tawdriness overwhelms its efforts to be cuddly and life-affirming. Everyone is miserably in love with the wrong person.  Steve Carell plays […]

Cowboys & Aliens

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Pated PG-13 for intense sequences of western and sci-fi action and violence, some partial nudity and a brief crude reference
Movie Release Date:July 29, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 6, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Pated PG-13 for intense sequences of western and sci-fi action and violence, some partial nudity and a brief crude reference
Movie Release Date: July 29, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 6, 2011

The last word I thought I’d be using about a movie called “Cowboys & Aliens” is “realistic,” but what I like best about this film is the way it uses the most speculative of fantasies for thoughtful exploration, not just […]

The Smurfs

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor and action
Movie Release Date:July 29, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 2, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor and action
Movie Release Date: July 29, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 2, 2011

After a promising beginning with the tart but sweet romantic comedy “Never Been Kissed,” director Raja Gosnell has been mired in the quagmire of movie junk food, “family” movies like “Scooby-Doo” and “Yours, Mine and Ours.”  They are the cinematic […]

Friends With Benefits

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date:July 22, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 2, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date: July 22, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 2, 2011

“Shut up, Katherine Heigl,” says our heroine, as she passes by a wall of posters for another fungible romantic comedy that should be sued for deceptive advertising.  Jamie (Mila Kunis) is an executive recruiter who wants to believe in love […]

Winnie the Pooh

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:July 15, 2011
DVD Release Date:October 25, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: July 15, 2011
DVD Release Date: October 25, 2011

Disney’s latest film lovingly captures the magic of A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories and poems, which have been enchanting children and their parents for 85 years.  They were a sort of earlier “Toy Story,” with the adventures of Christopher Robin’s stuffed tiger, […]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images
Movie Release Date:July 15, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 8, 2011
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images
Movie Release Date: July 15, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 8, 2011

Before I tell you about this film and about how much I liked it, I want to say thank you to J.K. Rowling and Warner Brothers for the care and devotion they gave to this extraordinary story.  On the page […]

Horrible Bosses

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug material
Movie Release Date:July 9, 2011
DVD Release Date:October 11, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug material
Movie Release Date: July 9, 2011
DVD Release Date: October 11, 2011

Three old friends who work for deranged, abusive bosses decide that the only solution is a “Strangers on a Train”-style murder swap in a lightweight comedy sustained by recession-era resentment fantasies, some attention to plot structure, and a bunch of […]

Zookeeper

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some rude and suggestive humor and language
Movie Release Date:July 9, 2011
DVD Release Date:October 11, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some rude and suggestive humor and language
Movie Release Date: July 9, 2011
DVD Release Date: October 11, 2011

This is a movie about how Kevin James can do so much better, but Kevin James can do so much better than this movie.  In the film, he tries to change his life to be worthy of a woman he […]

Monte Carlo

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date:July 1, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date: July 1, 2011

It’s the Princess and the Pauper with Disney star Selena Gomez and two Gossip Girls in a story about a Texas waitress who takes the place of a selfish heiress in the glamorous title city. There’s also a touch of […]

Larry Crowne

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:July 1, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 15, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: July 1, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 15, 2011

“Larry Crowne” is such a perfectly pleasant movie that it may not be until you walk toward the exit that you realize that something is missing. Until then, the good spirits of stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, clearly enjoying […]

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Intense prolonged sequences of sci-fi action violence, mayhem and destruction, and for language, some sexuality and innuendo
Movie Release Date:June 30, 2011
DVD Release Date:September 30, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Intense prolonged sequences of sci-fi action violence, mayhem and destruction, and for language, some sexuality and innuendo
Movie Release Date: June 30, 2011
DVD Release Date: September 30, 2011

I feel like Goldilocks.  It’s not as good as the first one, but it’s not as awful as the second one.  So, if that doesn’t make it just right, at least it makes it better than the second one and […]

Bad Teacher

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, nudity, language, and some drug use
Movie Release Date:June 24, 2011
DVD Release Date:October 18, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, nudity, language, and some drug use
Movie Release Date: June 24, 2011
DVD Release Date: October 18, 2011

Are you a fan of comedy based on the sole premise that it is funny to see a beautiful woman make outrageously crude and narcissistic statements?  Then go watch Sarah Silverman.  This movie will only show you how much better  […]

Cars 2

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:June 24, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 1, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: June 24, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 1, 2011

Pixar has made another enchanting film, witty, touching, and utterly delightful. It is “Toy Story Hawaiian Vacation,” a brief opener followed by the less delightful “Cars 2.” In “Toy Story Hawaiian Vacation,” Ken and Barbie are disappointed at being left […]

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild rude humor and some language
Movie Release Date:June 17, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 6, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild rude humor and some language
Movie Release Date: June 17, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 6, 2011

It used to be that a comedian who wanted to be in movies had to make an armed services comedy.  Now, we stick them in domestic stories about daddies who need to learn that the family is more important than […]

Green Lantern

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action
Movie Release Date:June 17, 2011
DVD Release Date:October 11, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action
Movie Release Date: June 17, 2011
DVD Release Date: October 11, 2011

Let’s get right down to it with the superhero essentials checklist.  Cool powers?  Check.  Interesting villain?  Check.  Interesting girlfriend?  Half a check.  Aliens?  Check.  Fancy gala party?  I’m not sure why that appears to be a crucial part of every […]

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor and language
Movie Release Date:June 10, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor and language
Movie Release Date: June 10, 2011

It’s the last day of third grade and redheaded Judy Moody (Jordana Beatty) is looking forward to the greatest summer ever.  She has big plans for herself and her three best friends, a summer of dares and thrills and adventures. […]

Super 8

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and some drug use
Movie Release Date:June 10, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 21, 2011
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and some drug use
Movie Release Date: June 10, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 21, 2011

A couple of kids who are deeply in love with making movies have made a movie about kids deeply in love with making movies, and it is one of the most joyously thrilling treats of the summer, a love letter […]

X-Men: First Class

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexuality and a violent image
Movie Release Date:June 3, 2011
DVD Release Date:September 6, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexuality and a violent image
Movie Release Date: June 3, 2011
DVD Release Date: September 6, 2011

The two most interesting aspects of the X-Men are absorbingly explored in this prequel that takes us back to the childhoods of rival mutants Magneto and Professor Xavier, played in the first three films by classically trained Shakespearian actors Ian […]

The Tree of Life

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

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

Kung Fu Panda 2

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of martial arts action and mild violence
Movie Release Date:May 27, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of martial arts action and mild violence
Movie Release Date: May 27, 2011

Po, the kung-fu master panda (Jack Black), has everything he hoped for in the first movie.  He has the martial arts skills to protect and impress the community and he is accepted as a teammate by the greatest champions in […]

Midnight in Paris

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and smoking
Movie Release Date:May 27, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 20, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and smoking
Movie Release Date: May 27, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 20, 2011

Woody Allen’s best film in years is a nostalgic tribute to nostalgia.  And this is one you’ll enjoy more by knowing less, so consider this entire review a spoiler alert and stop now if you want to preserve all of […]

The Hangover, Part II

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, strong sexual content including graphic nudity, drug use, and brief violent images
Movie Release Date:May 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 6, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, strong sexual content including graphic nudity, drug use, and brief violent images
Movie Release Date: May 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 6, 2011

What’s it called again when you suffer the morning-after consequences of a wild night of extravagent, if debauched, fun?  Oh yes, a hangover. This second night out with the wolf pack of Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and Alan […]

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action/adventure violence, some frightening images, sensuality and innuendo
Movie Release Date:May 20, 2011
DVD Release Date:October 18, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action/adventure violence, some frightening images, sensuality and innuendo
Movie Release Date: May 20, 2011
DVD Release Date: October 18, 2011

Jack is back. And he is doing what he does best — stealing the movie from everyone else.  Johnny Depp continues Captain Jack Sparrow’s conquest of center stage with this fourth in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, which abandons […]

The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:2003
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 2003

This week’s release of the new “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie is a good time to catch up with the original. Avast, me hearties and come hear the tale of a terrible pirate curse.   No, not the one about […]

Bridesmaids

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some strong sexuality and language throughout
Movie Release Date:May 13, 2011
DVD Release Date:September 20, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some strong sexuality and language throughout
Movie Release Date: May 13, 2011
DVD Release Date: September 20, 2011

There is something intriguingly subversive in “Bridesmaids” that goes beyond the anarchy inherent in all humor and its reliable sub-category, the switch-up.  But we’ll talk about those first to get the basics out of the way. Comedy is almost always […]

Mia and the Migoo

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements, some peril, and brief mild language
Movie Release Date:May 13, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 7, 2012
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements, some peril, and brief mild language
Movie Release Date: May 13, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 7, 2012

The influence of acclaimed Japanese animation wizard Hayao Miyazaki is clear in “Mia and the Migoo,” an award-winning film from French director Jacques-Rémy Girerd.  It has a Miyazaki-like brave young heroine on an eco-themed journey and random encounters with grotesque […]

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:February 11, 2011
DVD Release Date:May 10, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: February 11, 2011
DVD Release Date: May 10, 2011

Things for the young fans of Justin Beiber to think about as they watch this film: He is cuuuuute! Hair! Smile! Voice! Dancing!I  am so lucky to have a talented, unassuming, nonthreatening, hard-working, scandal-free performer to test my still-developing sense […]

No Strings Attached

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, language and some drug material
Movie Release Date:January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 10, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, language and some drug material
Movie Release Date: January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 10, 2011

This is another one of those romantic comedies where a bland couple has some trivial obstacles to overcome and you just wish they would get out of the way because their surrounding friends and family are much more interesting. Mindy […]

Mao’s Last Dancer

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for a brief violent image, some sensuality, language, and incidental smoking
Movie Release Date:August 20, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 3, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for a brief violent image, some sensuality, language, and incidental smoking
Movie Release Date: August 20, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 3, 2011

Director Bruce Beresford, best known for “Driving Miss Daisy,” returns to the themes of cross-cultural connections in this film based on the memoir of Chinese ballet star Li Cunxin. Li (Chinese surnames appear first) was taken from his poor, rural […]

Thor

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence
Movie Release Date:May 6, 2011
DVD Release Date:September 13, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence
Movie Release Date: May 6, 2011
DVD Release Date: September 13, 2011

The original Hammer is here.  Thor, Norse god of thunder and lightning (and the source of the word “Thursday”), star of Marvel comics written by Stan Lee and his brother Larry Lieber and memorably illustrated by Jack Kirby, now joins […]

Jumping the Broom

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual content
Movie Release Date:May 6, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 8, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual content
Movie Release Date: May 6, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 8, 2011

Sabrina (Paula Patton) is from a wealthy, upper-class family with a mansion on Martha’s Vineyard.  Jason (Laz Alonso) is from a blue-collar family in Brooklyn.  They fall in love, he proposes, and there’s just one obstacle to their happily ever […]

Not Easily Broken

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for sexual references and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:January 9, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 7, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual references and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: January 9, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 7, 2011

This week’s release of T.D. Jakes’ “Jumping the Broom” is a good time to take another look at his earlier film about marriage and in-laws, “Not Easily Broken.” If we believe the movies, the tough part of relationships is getting […]

Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild action and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:April 29, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 16, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild action and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: April 29, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 16, 2011

The Weinstein Company may be nowhere near the gold standard set by Pixar in the imagination and technical ability of its animation, but it beats all ten of the champion’s justifiably lauded classics in one category. Pixar has yet to […]

Prom

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild language and a brief fight
Movie Release Date:April 29, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 30, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild language and a brief fight
Movie Release Date: April 29, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 30, 2011

Less engrossing than a Clearasil commercial and more synthetic than a Rebecca Black video, “Prom” is Disney’s attempt to launch a new generation of tween idols with a wholesome confection about a high school dance. But the buoyant energy of […]

Dumbstruck

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief suggestive humor
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief suggestive humor

Once a year, there is a gathering in Kentucky for people who “talk to themselves and play with dolls for a living” — ventriloquists.  “Dumbstruck” is a documentary from Lindsay and Mark Goffman that follows five of them for the […]

Gulliver’s Travels

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief rude humor, mild language, and action
Movie Release Date:December 22, 2010
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief rude humor, mild language, and action
Movie Release Date: December 22, 2010

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 […]

The King’s Speech

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:December 17, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: December 17, 2010

One of the best movies of the year makes a king look like an underdog in the true story of a man who had to literally and metaphorically find his voice, with in a very real sense the fate of […]

Rio

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:April 15, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 1, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: April 15, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 1, 2011

A South American setting and striking animation lend freshness to “Rio’s” otherwise much-traveled storyline about a pampered pet who has to learn to survive in the wild.  We’ve seen this tale many times — “Madagascar,” “Bolt,” “The Wild,” “Beverly Hills […]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:November 18, 2010
DVD Release Date:April 12, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: November 18, 2010
DVD Release Date: April 12, 2011

Harry, Hermione, and Ron have to grow up quite literally in the gripping second-to-last installment of the “Harry Potter” movie series, based on the first half of the seventh and final book.  Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron […]

Hanna

posted by Evan Derrick
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual material and language
Movie Release Date:April 8, 2011
DVD Release Date:September 6, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual material and language
Movie Release Date: April 8, 2011
DVD Release Date: September 6, 2011

Director Joe Wright is fascinated with Saoirse Ronan’s blue eyes, entirely understandable. Her cerulean gaze is so pure, so clear, so direct, and at the same time knowing and innocent that it is perfect for the role of Hanna, a […]

Born to Be Wild 3D

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:April 8, 2011
DVD Release Date:April 16, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: April 8, 2011
DVD Release Date: April 16, 2012

One way or another you’ll find yourself saying, “Awwwwww.”  The adorable baby animals and the grace and kindness of the people who care for them are guaranteed to warm every heart in the theater. In Borneo, Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas […]

Soul Surfer

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for an intense accident sequence and some thematic material
Movie Release Date:April 8, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 2, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for an intense accident sequence and some thematic material
Movie Release Date: April 8, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 2, 2011

Bethany Hamilton (AnnaSophia Robb) tells us that as a child she spent more time wet than dry. She is the daughter of competitive surfers, home-schooled so that nothing would interfere with her training or her opportunity to go out into […]

Arthur

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for alcohol use throughout, sexual content, language, and some drug references
Movie Release Date:April 8, 2011
DVD Release Date:July 12, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for alcohol use throughout, sexual content, language, and some drug references
Movie Release Date: April 8, 2011
DVD Release Date: July 12, 2011

Russell Brand takes over the title role in this unnecessary remake of the better-remembered-than-re-watched 1981 film starring Dudley Moore and the Oscar-winning Sir John Gielgud. It’s harder to find a perpetually substance-abusing hedonist funny these days than it was back […]

Tron: Legacy

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and brief mild language
Movie Release Date:December 17, 2010
DVD Release Date:April 5, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and brief mild language
Movie Release Date: December 17, 2010
DVD Release Date: April 5, 2011

Here’s all you need to know about the stars: Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner return as Kevin and Alan and their avatar/doubles, CLU and Tron. They are joined by Garrett Hedlund as Kevin’s son, Sam, and Olivia Wilde as Quorra, […]

Source Code

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence including disturbing images, and for language
Movie Release Date:April 1, 2011
DVD Release Date:July 26, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence including disturbing images, and for language
Movie Release Date: April 1, 2011
DVD Release Date: July 26, 2011

Director Duncan Jones (“Moon”) has produced a first-rate thriller with Jake Gyllenhaal as Captain Colter Stevens, sent back in time and into the body of a man on a commuter train eight minutes before it will explode, to see if […]

Hop

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:April 1, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 19, 2012
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: April 1, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 19, 2012

“Hop” would more accurately be titled “Stumble,” a disappointing follow-up from the producers of one of last year’s best family films, “Despicable Me.” It is just another story of a hapless live action character who has his life turned upside-down […]

The Black Swan

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong sexual content, disturbing violent images, language and some drug use.
Movie Release Date:December 3, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 29, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, disturbing violent images, language and some drug use.
Movie Release Date: December 3, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011

Ballet is more than a profession or even an art form; it is a calling, almost a cult, that demands the ultimate commitment. Ballerinas give everything they have. Director Darren Aronofsky, always drawn to stories about obsession, now takes us […]

Fair Game

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language
Movie Release Date:November 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 29, 2011
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language
Movie Release Date: November 5, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011

It turns out that being a spy is not glamorous at all, especially when you are the mother of twins. Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) does not get to pick up a bunch of fun gadgets from Q or change from […]

Tangled

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief mild violence
Movie Release Date:November 24, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild violence
Movie Release Date: November 24, 2010

Disney has taken a 200-year-old story from the Brothers Grimm and made it just modern enough, sassy without being snarky, fresh and contemporary without any po-mo air quotes. It’s the classic fairy tale of the girl with the long, long […]

Sucker Punch

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving sexuality, violence and combat sequences, and for language
Movie Release Date:March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 28, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving sexuality, violence and combat sequences, and for language
Movie Release Date: March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 28, 2011

Girls in thigh-hi stockings and tiny spangled miniskirts take on steam-powered corpses, WWI bi-planes, samurai robots, and an angry dragon, along with a series of odiously predatory men in the latest film from Zack Snyder. His versions of “300” and […]

Jane Eyre

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content
Movie Release Date:March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 16, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content
Movie Release Date: March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 16, 2011

Why do film-makers keep coming back to Jane Eyre? Charlotte Bronte’s story has elements of horror, mystery, revenge, romance, and morality, but it is an internal narrative, Jane’s own clear-eyed but personal view of her story (“Reader, I married him.”) […]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor and mischief
Movie Release Date:March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 21, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor and mischief
Movie Release Date: March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 21, 2011

This is the second movie based on the wildly popular series of Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney. Last year, in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, we saw Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) begin the agonizing experience of […]

I Am

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not Rated
Movie Release Date:March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 2, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Movie Release Date: March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 2, 2012

Tom Shadyac had it all — if “all” means fame, fortune, and professional success.  He directed some of the biggest box-office hits of the 1990’s and early 2000’s, including Jim Carrey’s “Ace Ventura,” “Liar, Liar,” and “Bruce Almighty,” and Robin […]

How Do You Know

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content and some strong language
Movie Release Date:December 17, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content and some strong language
Movie Release Date: December 17, 2010

Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) and George Madison (Paul Rudd) are both nice people and team players. And that is why they end up on a horrible date on what is for each of them the worst night of their lives. It’s […]

Yogi Bear

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:December 17, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: December 17, 2010

Yogi Bear (voice of Dan Aykroyd) is genuinely perplexed by the suggestion that he might want to forage for food and catch fish with his paws. “Isn’t that kind of unsanitary?” He may live in the woods, but for Yogi, […]

The Tourist

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:December 10, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 22, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: December 10, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 22, 2011

Behind this forgettable trifle are some very talented people, all punching below their weight when they’re not just calling it in. The screenplay is by Julian Fellowes (“Gosford Park”), Christopher McQuarrie (“The Usual Suspects”), and director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck […]

Lord of the Dance 3D

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:March 17, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: March 17, 2011

The best seat in the house for one of the most popular shows on the planet is “Lord of the Dance 3D,” a concert film that puts the viewers on stage with the thunderously percussive Irish dancers starring and under […]

Hereafter

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including disturbing disaster and accident images, and for brief strong language
Movie Release Date:October 22, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 15, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including disturbing disaster and accident images, and for brief strong language
Movie Release Date: October 22, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 15, 2011

According to this movie the two universal human imperatives are the need to find out whether we can contact the dead and the need to use Google to do so. Can we please de-Google-ize movies? I love Google, too, but […]

Red Riding Hood

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence and creature terror and some sensuality
Movie Release Date:March 11, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 13, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence and creature terror and some sensuality
Movie Release Date: March 11, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 13, 2011

Oh, Grandmother, what a big, bad movie you have. So, apparently what happened here is that for whatever reason director Catherine Hardwicke did not get to make the second and third “Twilight” movies, so she decided to make a different […]

Battle: Los Angeles

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sustained and intense sequences of war violence and destruction and for language
Movie Release Date:March 11, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 13, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sustained and intense sequences of war violence and destruction and for language
Movie Release Date: March 11, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 13, 2011

Destined to be remembered primarily as yet another step toward closing the gap between games and movies, the essence of “Battle: Lost Angeles” is a lot of boom-boom and a bunch of “ooo-rah.” And essence is all it is; no […]

Mars Needs Moms

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for science fiction action and peril
Movie Release Date:March 11, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 9, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for science fiction action and peril
Movie Release Date: March 11, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 9, 2011

There is one perfectly charming moment in “Mars Needs Moms,” but it does not come until the closing credits, when we get some live action glimpses of the voice actors. Their faces are covered with reference dots and they are […]

Morning Glory

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual content including dialogue, language, and brief drug references
Movie Release Date:November 10, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 8, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual content including dialogue, language, and brief drug references
Movie Release Date: November 10, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 8, 2011

We love those disheveled but indomitable women of the television world, from Holly Hunter in “Broadcast News” to Mary Tyler Moore in her iconic 1970’s television series, Tina Fey in “30 Rock,” and Michelle Pfeiffer in the under-appreciated “I Could […]

Inside Job

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some drug and sex-related material
Movie Release Date:October 22, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 8, 2011
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some drug and sex-related material
Movie Release Date: October 22, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 8, 2011

Americans are generous in need and forgiving of mistakes. But we are outraged by injustice. This indispensable film shows us the who, what, when, where, and how of the financial crisis, finally placing it in the context it requires — […]

The Adjustment Bureau

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexuality, and a violent image
Movie Release Date:March 4, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 21, 2011
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexuality, and a violent image
Movie Release Date: March 4, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 21, 2011

The first great movie of 2011 is thought-provoking, exciting, and swooningly romantic. Writer/director George Nolfi takes on the biggest questions of all — faith and doubt, fate and free will, God, love, the meaning of existence — with an absorbing […]

Beastly

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language including crude comments, brief violence, and some thematic material
Movie Release Date:March 4, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 28, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language including crude comments, brief violence, and some thematic material
Movie Release Date: March 4, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 28, 2011

It’s the great challenge for all the versions of “Beauty and the Beast” that no one seems able to overcome: the beast is always a far more interesting, appealing, and yes, attractive character than the good-looking but bland prince he […]

Take Me Home Tonight

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, sexual content, and drug use
Movie Release Date:March 4, 2011
DVD Release Date:July 19, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, sexual content, and drug use
Movie Release Date: March 4, 2011
DVD Release Date: July 19, 2011

This is the movie John Cusack never made, a loving tribute to the 1980’s and especially to the music and movies of the era from “Say Anything” to “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” “Take Me Home Tonight” doesn’t go for […]

Rango

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for rude humor, language, action, and smoking
Movie Release Date:March 4, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for rude humor, language, action, and smoking
Movie Release Date: March 4, 2011

“Rango” is a deliciously demented and slyly satiric take on westerns, which means it takes on America’s deepest myths about our identity. It is wild and strange and blessedly idiosyncratic, with a witty and heartfelt performance by Johnny Depp in […]

Burlesque

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content including several suggestive dance routines, partial nudity, language and some thematic material
Movie Release Date:November 24, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 1, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content including several suggestive dance routines, partial nudity, language and some thematic material
Movie Release Date: November 24, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 1, 2011

Somewhere on the continuum that connects “Showgirls,” “Glitter,” and drag shows is a place for “Burlesque,” a vanity project from producer Christina Aguilera for pop star and would-be actress Christina Aguilera. That doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining. It just means […]

Love and Other Drugs

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, pervasive language, and some drug material
Movie Release Date:November 24, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 1, 2011
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, pervasive language, and some drug material
Movie Release Date: November 24, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 1, 2011

“Love and Other Drugs” is the cure for the common movie, a smart, sexy, touching romance and a thoughtful exploration of a remarkable time that illuminates some of our most vital contemporary concerns. “Ask your doctor about…” ads began appearing […]

Hall Pass

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude and sexual humor throughout, language, some graphic nudity and drug use
Movie Release Date:February 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 13, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual humor throughout, language, some graphic nudity and drug use
Movie Release Date: February 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 13, 2011

Things have changed since the Farrelly Brothers smashed through boundaries and brought a new level of outrageous raunchiness to the screen with the box office smashes “Dumb and Dumber” and “There’s Something About Mary.” First, they inspired others like Judd […]

Drive Angry

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong brutal violence throughout, grisly images, some graphic sexual content, nudity and pervasive language
Movie Release Date:February 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:May 31, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong brutal violence throughout, grisly images, some graphic sexual content, nudity and pervasive language
Movie Release Date: February 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: May 31, 2011

The movie is called “Drive Angry.” It stars Nicolas Cage. It’s in 3D. What more do you need to know? Cage is such a fan of comic books he took h