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genre

  • Action
  • Animation
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  • Drama
  • Epic
  • Fantasy
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  • Musical
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction
  • Sports
  • Spy
  • Thriller
  • War
  • Western

quality

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

who's watching

  • My entire family
  • Just the grown-ups
  • Little kids
  • Big kids

age range

  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
  • 4th - 6th grade
  • Middle school
  • High school
  • Mature High schooler
  • Adult
  • All Ages




Trailer: The Letters, the Story of Mother Teresa

posted by Nell Minow

Juliet Stevenson stars as Mother Teresa in the story of the extraordinary woman who cared for “the poorest of the poor.”

A Birder’s Guide to Everything

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 on appeal for language, sex and drug references, and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date:March 21, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 on appeal for language, sex and drug references, and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date: March 21, 2014

First rule: do NOT call them bird watchers. These are seriously ornithophilic teenagers and the correct term is “birder.” Maybe one reason they like birds so much is that the three members of the high school birder society — all […]

That Awkward Moment

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content and language throughout
Movie Release Date:January 31, 2014
DVD Release Date:May 13, 2014
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content and language throughout
Movie Release Date: January 31, 2014
DVD Release Date: May 13, 2014

A cast of exceptionally appealing performers and some very funny lines are not enough to make this raunchy comedy overcome its essential charmlessness.  At its heart, it wants to be a romantic comedy, a chick flick from the perspective of […]

“It Happened One Night” — A Tribute to this 5-Oscar Classic

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most insightful people I know about movies is my friend Michal Oleszczyk, and he has written a marvelous essay  about one of my favorite movies, “It Happened One Night.”  The screwball romantic comedy about a runaway heiress and […]

Despicable Me 2

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for rude humor and mild action
Movie Release Date:July 3, 2013
DVD Release Date:December 10, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for rude humor and mild action
Movie Release Date: July 3, 2013
DVD Release Date: December 10, 2013

Is there more to the story of “Despicable Me” after Gru (Steve Carell) isn’t despicable anymore? The original, with Gru and Vector (Jason Segal) as warring super-villains, was one of the best animated films and one of the best family […]

The Kings of Summer

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some teen drinking
Movie Release Date:Jun3 7, 2013
DVD Release Date:September 24, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some teen drinking
Movie Release Date: Jun3 7, 2013
DVD Release Date: September 24, 2013

When Mark Twain had Huck Finn leave the kind-hearted widow who hoped to “civilize” him to “light out for the territories,” he tapped into the dream of all teenagers and the teenagers inside all of us to escape from all […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Smile of the Week: OK Go and the Muppets

posted by Nell Minow

The tribute album, Muppets: The Green Album, will be out next week!

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 […]

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 […]

The Next Three Days

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence, drug material, language, some sexuality and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:November 19, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 8, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, drug material, language, some sexuality and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: November 19, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 8, 2011

Paul Haggis loses his way in “The Next Three Days,” a labored prison escape drama that never recovers from a serious miscalculation midway through and then goes completely off the rails in the end. Russell Crowe plays a sometimes deliberate […]

You Again

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief mild language and rude behavior
Movie Release Date:September 24, 2010
DVD Release Date:February 8, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild language and rude behavior
Movie Release Date: September 24, 2010
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2011

Cute people getting mired in a cute situation? Good. Cute situation getting mired in unimaginative slapstick? Not so much. This is yet another one of those movies about characters who have clearly never watched a romantic comedy. If they had, […]

For Colored Girls

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some disturbing violence including a rape, sexual content and language
Movie Release Date:November 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:February 8, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some disturbing violence including a rape, sexual content and language
Movie Release Date: November 5, 2010
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2011

Tyler Perry’s films frustrate critics and commentators, who are bothered by the awkward mash-ups of high melodrama and low humor and by what many people think is an exaggerated and biased portrayal of men as abusive, neglectful, incompetent, and/or disloyal. […]

Alpha and Omega

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for rude humor and some mild action
Movie Release Date:September 17, 2010
DVD Release Date:January 11, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for rude humor and some mild action
Movie Release Date: September 17, 2010
DVD Release Date: January 11, 2011

Two young Canadian wolves representing the extremes of the social scale join forces in the animated “Alpha and Omega,” which keeps them stuck in the bland middle. Though the visuals are in 3D, the film barely manages to register in […]

Follow that Bird

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1985
DVD Release Date:2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1985
DVD Release Date: 2009

Celebrate the birthday of Caroll Spinney, the man behind (or, I should say, inside) Big Bird. 1985’s “Follow That Bird,” features all of the show’s favorite characters and an array of guest stars but focuses more on gentle humor and […]

Disney’s A Christmas Carol

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for scary sequences and images
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 16, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for scary sequences and images
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 16, 2010

Writer-director Robert Zemeckis wisely chose the most unquenchable of stories for his technological marvel. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, already filmed with everyone from Michael Caine to Patrick Stewart, George C. Scott, Vanessa Williams, and Mr. Magoo in the role […]

Interview: Alex Gibney of ‘Client 9′

posted by Nell Minow

“Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer” is a documentary about the New York state attorney general who took on Wall Street, was elected governor, and then, in one of the most spectacularly scandalous falls of the last […]

Ntozake Shange of ‘For Colored Girls’

posted by Nell Minow

Acclaimed poet/playwright Ntozake Shange is best known for her 1975 “choreopoem” play, “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf,” written when she was just 23. This week, it comes to screen directed by Tyler Perry, starring […]

Christopher Columbus

posted by Nell Minow

Christopher Columbus has not yet had the movie he deserves, but I prefer the Fredric March version to the later versions. Happy Columbus Day and cheers to all adventurers and explorers!

Iron Man 2

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence and some language
Movie Release Date:May 7, 2010
DVD Release Date:September 28, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence and some language
Movie Release Date: May 7, 2010
DVD Release Date: September 28, 2010

Let’s begin with a recap of Iron Man 1, not so much the plot (a man puts on an iron suit and beats the bad guys) as what it was that made it so successful, widely considered one of the […]

Interview: Amy Ryan of ‘Jack Goes Boating’

posted by Nell Minow

Amy Ryan gave my favorite performance of 2007 as the mother of a missing girl in “Gone Baby Gone.” And it has been a pleasure to see her since then in roles as varied as Holly the human resources manager […]

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2008
DVD Release Date:March 9, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2008
DVD Release Date: March 9, 2010

This tender tale of a loyal dog is inspired by a real story about a dog who has become a beloved legend in Japan and is memorialized in a popular statue. Richard Gere plays a professor who finds an abandoned […]

Interview: Lainie Kazan and Linda Gray of ‘Expecting Mary’

posted by Nell Minow

“Expecting Mary” is a heart-warming story of a pregnant teenager (the utterly winning Olesya Rulin of “High School Musical”) who runs away from home and is taken in by the quirky residents of a trailer park. It has an exceptionally […]

The Rocker

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for drug and sexual references, nudity and language.
Movie Release Date:August 20, 2008
DVD Release Date:January 27, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for drug and sexual references, nudity and language.
Movie Release Date: August 20, 2008
DVD Release Date: January 27, 2009

Emma Stone’s breakthrough role in next week’s “Easy A” makes this a good time to look at some of her earlier work. She is terrific in this story of a high school rock group. Pete Best, who was famously kicked […]

Elizabeth Gilbert of ‘Eat Pray Love’

posted by Nell Minow

Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. It is the story of a year-long journey she took following a devastating divorce and love affair that left her questioning […]

The Joneses

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R for language, some sexual content, and teen drinking and drug use
Movie Release Date:April 16, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 10, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R for language, some sexual content, and teen drinking and drug use
Movie Release Date: April 16, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 10, 2010

Why do we want what we want? I don’t mean world peace or for our school’s team to win the NCAA championship, but why do we want a particular brand of shoe or phone or perfume? Is it because we […]

Date Night

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual and crude content throughout, language, some violence and a drug reference
Movie Release Date:April 9, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 10, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual and crude content throughout, language, some violence and a drug reference
Movie Release Date: April 9, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 10, 2010

Putting Tina Fey and Steve Carell together seems so natural it’s hard to believe that it took this long. Both are funny in part because they let us see how smart they are. The characters they play on television may […]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some rude humor and language
Movie Release Date:March 19, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 3, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some rude humor and language
Movie Release Date: March 19, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 3, 2010

“Middle school may be the dumbest idea ever,” says Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon), and I think he speaks for all of us. If you ask most adults whether they would rather be audited by the IRS or go back through […]

Kick-Ass

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong brutal violence throughout, pervasive language, sexual content, nudity and some drug use - some involving children
Movie Release Date:April 16, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 3, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong brutal violence throughout, pervasive language, sexual content, nudity and some drug use - some involving children
Movie Release Date: April 16, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 3, 2010

“Kick-Ass” revels in its transgressive, nasty brutishness, and its audience will, too. Of course, it’s one thing to have a 11-year-old girl in a comic book use very strong language and kill lots of people and it is another thing […]

The Runaways

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, drug use and sexual content -- all involving teens
Movie Release Date:April 9, 2010
DVD Release Date:July 20, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, drug use and sexual content -- all involving teens
Movie Release Date: April 9, 2010
DVD Release Date: July 20, 2010

The fierce determination. The big break. The tyrannical and sometimes unreasonable and sometimes even crooked manager. The endless rehearsals. The performances in dingy clubs. The breakthrough. The first album. The first magazine cover. The first fans. The fights among band […]

Brooklyn’s Finest

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for bloody violence throughout, strong sexuality, nudity, drug content and pervasive language
Movie Release Date:March 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:July 6, 2010
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for bloody violence throughout, strong sexuality, nudity, drug content and pervasive language
Movie Release Date: March 5, 2010
DVD Release Date: July 6, 2010

This bloated, pretentious mess is the slowest action movie I can remember, weighted down with over-used characters, situations, and dialog. The dialog is over-used within the movie itself. It isn’t enough for a character to say, “I want my life […]

Hot Tub Time Machine

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, nudity, drug use and pervasive language
Movie Release Date:March 26, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 29, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, nudity, drug use and pervasive language
Movie Release Date: March 26, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 29, 2010

I can understand why John Cusack, producer and star of this movie, would like to find a time machine to take him back to 1986. That was the last time he was making popular movies. With the most explanatory title […]

The Green Zone

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence and language
Movie Release Date:March 12, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 22, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence and language
Movie Release Date: March 12, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 22, 2010

The star and director of the last two “Bourne” movies are back and much is the same — the gritty, intimate, documentary feel, the sense of peril and dynamic staging of action, the able but conflicted leading man. But there […]

Alice in Wonderland

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar
Movie Release Date:March 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 1, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar
Movie Release Date: March 5, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 1, 2010

Almost 150 years ago Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson published his wildly imaginative story about Alice’s adventures down a rabbit hole. And now the wildly imaginative director Tim Burton has brought Wonderland to the 3D movie screen. It is less faithful […]

The Road

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language
Movie Release Date:November 25, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 26, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language
Movie Release Date: November 25, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 26, 2010

The most terrifying moment we ever experience is the realization that we are responsible for the life of the perfect being who has turned us from people into parents. We want more than anything to keep them safe and teach […]

Valentine’s Day

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual material and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date:February 12, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 18, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual material and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date: February 12, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 18, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, let the record show that the Twitter movie has arrived. “Valentine’s Day” consists of a bunch of incidents and concepts and indications that in our omni-media world are taken for stories, though all of them would fit […]

The Spy Next Door

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of action violence and some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:January 15, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 11, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of action violence and some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: January 15, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 11, 2010

Jackie Chan, the most graceful and acrobatic of men when it comes to action scenes, is also one of the most clumsy when it comes to dialogue. So it is clever to cast him as a man who is awkward […]

Invictus

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date:December 11, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 11, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date: December 11, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 11, 2010

Clint Eastwood tells the story of South Africa’s triumph in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the first World Cup after the end of apartheid. The title, “Invictus” comes from the inspiring poem that Nelson Mandela shared with the team’s captain, […]

Extraordinary Measures

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic material, language and a mild suggestive moment
Movie Release Date:January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 11, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material, language and a mild suggestive moment
Movie Release Date: January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 11, 2010

Harrison Ford has his best role in years as a testy scientist who listens to classic rock as he works all night in the lab and who may just have the key to a crucial medicine for a disease that […]

Mother and Child

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexuality, brief nudity, and language
Movie Release Date:May 7, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexuality, brief nudity, and language
Movie Release Date: May 7, 2010

Rodrigo García, who showed great taste, restraint, and sensitivity in telling the intertwined lives of women in “Nine Stories” and “Things You Can Tell Just from Looking At Her” shows less of all three in the clunky, awkward “Mother and […]

Leap Year

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sensuality and language
Movie Release Date:January 8, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sensuality and language
Movie Release Date: January 8, 2010

A movie’s premise can be implausible and still work. The audience does not have to buy into whatever it is that the hero and heroine are after long as we believe that the movie’s characters believe in it. But in […]

The Tooth Fairy

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild language, some rude humor and sports action
Movie Release Date:January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild language, some rude humor and sports action
Movie Release Date: January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010

Cute kid + The Rock in a pink tutu = movie deal. After the success of The Game Plan, Dwayne Johnson (nom de wrestling: The Rock) has become the go-to guy for movies about taming the gentle giant. So once […]

The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010

Christian families looking for wholesome and satisfying entertainment will appreciate “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry,” the story of young friends whose lives are changed through friendship with a man who does more than encourage them to study the Bible; he […]

It’s Complicated

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some drug content and sexuality
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2009
DVD Release Date:April 27, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some drug content and sexuality
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2009
DVD Release Date: April 27, 2010

Forget the accents. Forget the anguish, the steely resolve, the iambic pentameter. All hail Meryl Streep for what she is best at — comedy. She spins screenplay straw into movie gold, turning yet another fungible Nancy Meyers saga about a […]

Crazy Heart

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:January 8, 2010
DVD Release Date:April 20, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: January 8, 2010
DVD Release Date: April 20, 2010

Jeff Bridges does not portray Bad Blake, a broken-down, once-successful country singer; he inhabits the role, showing us not just what is happening to the man on screen but everything, every success and every failure, every love and every loss […]

The Greatest

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, some language, and drug use
Movie Release Date:April 16, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, some language, and drug use
Movie Release Date: April 16, 2010

Two gifted young women whose best work will be in other films are the reason to see this one. Carey Mulligan, so enchanting in last year’s An Education, plays a pregnant teenager in “The Greatest,” written and directed by newcomer […]

The Perfect Game

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some thematic elements
Movie Release Date:April 16, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some thematic elements
Movie Release Date: April 16, 2010

Think of it as the “Good News Bears.” This sweet, sometimes sugary film is based on a real-life Little League team from Monterrey, Mexico who came to the United States to play in the Little League World Series of 1957 […]

The Men Who Stare At Goats

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, some drug content and brief nudity
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 23, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some drug content and brief nudity
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 23, 2010

“More of this is true than you would believe,” “The Men Who Stare at Goats” cheekily informs us as it opens. And while its tone is high satire, even farce, the story it tells is not hard to believe at […]

The Blind Side

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references
Movie Release Date:November 20, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 23, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references
Movie Release Date: November 20, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 23, 2010

“The Blind Side” is a movie about football that had its own broken field running challenge. It is the true story of Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher, a homeless black kid adopted by a wealthy white family. So, it […]

Did You Hear About the Morgans?

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and momentary violence
Movie Release Date:December 18, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 16, 2010
D
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and momentary violence
Movie Release Date: December 18, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 16, 2010

I have seldom seen the stars of a movie look as thoroughly uncomfortable as Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant in this drearily low-concept would-be comedy, “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” Parker plays Meryl Morgan, a Manhattan real estate […]

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for child abuse including sexual assault, and pervasive language
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 9, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for child abuse including sexual assault, and pervasive language
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 9, 2010

Claireece (newcomer Gabourey ‘Gabby’ Sidibe) is a 16-year-old, still in middle school, illiterate, pregnant with her second child. The first baby has Down Syndrome. Both pregnancies are the result of rape by her own father. She is subjected to constant […]

Up in the Air

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:December 4, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 08, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: December 4, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 08, 2010

To the list of the biggest lies of all time (“The check is in the mail,” “I’ll still respect you in the morning,” etc.) this must now be added: “All the answers are in your packet.” No, they aren’t. Many […]

Planet 51

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild sci-fi action and some suggestive humor
Movie Release Date:November 20, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 08, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild sci-fi action and some suggestive humor
Movie Release Date: November 20, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 08, 2010

The mood is romantic. The couple is parked in a secluded spot overlooking their charming home town. They lean in for a kiss. And then an alien rocket ship lands. I hate it when that happens. Okay, no I don’t. […]

Where the Wild Things Are

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some adventure action and brief language
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 2, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some adventure action and brief language
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 2, 2010

Maurice Sendak’s spare, poetic, and deeply wise book has been lovingly unfolded into a movie about the child who lives in all of us, brave and fearful, generous and needy, angry and peaceful, confident and insecure, adventuresome and very glad […]

Everybody’s Fine

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:December 4, 2009
DVD Release Date:February 23, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: December 4, 2009
DVD Release Date: February 23, 2010

Parents try very hard to protect their children and at the same time teach them to be independent. And then we struggle to accept the consequences. That is what has happened to Frank Goode (Robert DeNiro), a recent widower preparing […]

Blood, Sweat, and Cookies — Olympic Women’s Hockey

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Bob Elisberg recommends a great documentary about the women’s Olympic hockey team — and the great thing is that you can watch it online. Bob wrote in the Huffington Post: it’s the comradeship of the women, pushing, encouraging […]

Interview: Danielle Bisutti of ‘True Jackson VP’

posted by Nell Minow

On the Nickelodeon series True Jackson VP, Danielle Bisutti plays Amanda, the fashion company executive who is jealous of — and always outsmarted by — the teenage title character played by Keke Palmer. She also stars in the popular Christian […]

Tribute: Charlie Wilson

posted by Nell Minow

Former Congressman Charlie Wilson, whose top-secret orchestration of the defense of Afghanistan kept that country free and crippled the Soviet Union, died today at age 76. His success in channeling hundreds of millions of dollars to that conflict was revealed […]

District 13: Ultimatum

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some violence, language and drug material
Movie Release Date:February 5, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violence, language and drug material
Movie Release Date: February 5, 2010

Cyril Raffaelli and David Belle make a sensationally appealing team in this follow-up to their hit film “District B13.” Belle is the creator of “parkour,” a stunt spectacular that turns an entire city into an obstacle course. It has become […]

Interview: Taylor Firth of ‘Ice Castles’

posted by Nell Minow

Figure skating champion Taylor Firth makes her acting debut in a remake of the beloved 1978 film “Ice Castles.” The original starred Lynn-Holly Johnson as the skater who has to start all over after an accident leaves her blind and […]

Fame

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG for thematic elements
Movie Release Date:September 25, 2009
DVD Release Date:January 12, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements
Movie Release Date: September 25, 2009
DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010

Less a movie than a mosaic, this remake of the 1980 classic with the Oscar-winning title anthem about the high school for the performing arts has been re-imagined for the hyper-linked and just plain hyper 21st century. As in the […]

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date:January 5, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date: January 5, 2010

When things go very, very wrong in this movie, as they so often do, we get to see a series of television news broadcasts from around the world showing the destruction of various iconic monuments, as we so often do. […]

Taking Woodstock

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for graphic nudity, some sexual content, drug use and language
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 15, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for graphic nudity, some sexual content, drug use and language
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009

This is a movie about what went on in the community near Woodstock while the concert that would forever be known by that name was happening. And a happening. In other words, this is a footnote movie. It tries to […]

Interview: Kirk Jones of ‘Everybody’s Fine’

posted by Nell Minow

Kirk Jones, a British writer/director, is best known in America for the delightful comedy “Waking Ned Divine.” His first American movie is Everybody’s Fine, a remake of an Italian film, with Robert DeNiro as the father of four adult children […]

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality.
Movie Release Date:July 14, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 8, 2009
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality.
Movie Release Date: July 14, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 8, 2009

In his last two movies, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) was becoming an adolescent. In this gripping and atmospheric film, based on the sixth book in the series, Harry Potter is becoming a man. He knows who he is and what […]

A Single Man

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some disturbing images and nudity/sexual content
Movie Release Date:December 11, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some disturbing images and nudity/sexual content
Movie Release Date: December 11, 2009

Designer Tom Ford has exquisite taste, and his first movie is an exquisite movie. Based on a story by Christopher Isherwood, as adapted by Ford, it is the story of one day in the life of a British literature professor […]

Invictus: The Poem

posted by Nell Minow

I thought you might like to see the text of the poem that gives its name to one of this week’s big releases, “Invictus,” directed by Clint Eastwood. The poem was a source of inspiration to Nelson Mandela during his […]

Terminator: Salvation

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and language
Movie Release Date:May 22, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 1, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and language
Movie Release Date: May 22, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 1, 2009

How can you have a war between humans and machines when the line between them is hard to find? In the first three Terminator movies, cyborgs from the future were sent back in time to prevent future leader of the […]

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action and brief language
Movie Release Date:May 22, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 1, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action and brief language
Movie Release Date: May 22, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 1, 2009

Everything is bigger, better, and especially funnier in this sequel to the surprise hit Night at the Museum. In the original, Larry (Ben Stiller) was an unsuccessful inventor who took at job as a security guard at New York’s Museum […]

Clancy

posted by Nell Minow

An abused girl with a gentle soul and a belief in Jesus changes the life of a homeless veteran in this movie from writer-director Jefferson Moore. While the movie is uneven in quality, it is good to see a story […]

The Gift Wrapper

posted by Nell Minow

I am delighted that this charming film is available again this year. Enjoy!

Old Dogs

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:November 25, 2009
D
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: November 25, 2009

At one point in this endlessly, excruciatingly un-funny non-comedy, Dan (Robin Williams) and Charlie (John Travolta) are at a camp-out with Dan’s seven-year-old twins. Everyone agrees that it’s all about the kids. And of course there’s nothing more fun for […]

Shorts

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date:August 21, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 24, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date: August 21, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 24, 2009

A rainbow-colored wishing rock creates comic chaos in a film from Robert Rodriguez about bullies, family communication and being very, very careful what you wish for. It is also about an army of crocodiles, a telepathic super-genius baby, and a […]

Thanksgiving Movie: ‘Pieces of April’

posted by Nell Minow

A girl makes a Thanksgiving meal for her estranged family in this bittersweet indie film filled with unforgettable characters. It is available this week only at no charge on Hulu.

New Moon: Book vs. Movie

posted by Nell Minow

Spoiler alert: My pal Jen Yamoto has put together a great list of differences/improvements comparing Stephanie Meyers’ book, New Moon, and the movie.

Gabourey Sidibe of ‘Precious’

posted by Nell Minow

I love Ellen’s interview with Gabourey Sidibe, who plays the title character in “Precious.” Director Lee Daniels told the New York Times he knew it would be difficult to find an actress to play the role of an abused pregnant […]

The Box

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some violence and disturbing images
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some violence and disturbing images
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2009

I loved “Donnie Darko” and was eager to listen to the DVD commentary by writer/director Richard Kelly. But I had to turn it off after the first ten minutes. Kelly explained too much, and his explanations were so mundane they […]

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1998
DVD Release Date:1998
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1998
DVD Release Date: 1998

In honor of the World Series, take a look at this documentary about baseball star Hank Greenberg. Brilliant documentary-maker Aviva Kempner has created a gem of a movie to lift the spirit of anyone who cares about baseball — or […]

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

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

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

Contest: Tinker Bell DVD and Wings!

posted by Nell Minow

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

Paranormal Activity: Marketing or Art?

posted by Nell Minow

Jen Chaney has an astute article in the Washington Post about the latest movie phenomenon, “Paranormal Activity.” Like The Blair Witch Project, it is more concept than movie, taking advantage of what most would consider a disadvantage: no money. The […]

Maurice Sendak on DVD

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: 2008

If you saw Where the Wild Things Are this week and loved it — or if your children are too young for it but want to enjoy Sendak on film, try the Sendak collection from my favorite Scholastic Storybook series. […]

Astro Boy (old school)

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of next week’s release of the new version of “Astro Boy,” here’s the opening of the 1980’s television series (English version).

What is That?

posted by Nell Minow

Take a moment to watch this brief film about love and patience. It is worth your time. Thanks to Jeffrey Seglin for bringing this to my attention.

Interview: ‘No Impact Man’ Director Justin Schein

posted by Nell Minow

How much impact can you make through a year of no impact? Colin Beavan and his wife Michelle Conlin decided to do their best to minimize their impact on the environment and as if that was not enough of a […]

Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2002
DVD Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2002
DVD Release Date: 2002

“Jonah’s” production company, Big Idea, promises “Sunday morning values, Saturday morning fun,” and in my opinion they have more than delivered on both, with a series of videos that are right up there with the best in entertainment and humor […]

Fame

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:R
Movie Release Date:1980
DVD Release Date:2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: R
Movie Release Date: 1980
DVD Release Date: 2009

Less a movie than a mosaic, this remake of the 1980 classic with the Oscar-winning title anthem about the high school for the performing arts has been re-imagined for the hyper-linked and just plain hyper 21st century. As in the […]

A Teacher’s Inspiration

posted by Nell Minow

There’s a great essay in today’s Washington Post by a high school teacher named Nancy Schnog who found inspiration in a book written by another high school teacher, Bel Kaufman, in 1964. It is Up the Down Staircase. Kaufman, the […]

Nursery University

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

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

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

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

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

All About Steve

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content including innuendos
Movie Release Date:September 4, 2009
D
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content including innuendos
Movie Release Date: September 4, 2009

Somewhere deep inside this movie, like the little tiny pea in the bed of the princess, is an idea that could have been an interesting movie. Unfortunately, as with that bed of the princess, it is smothered in 20 mattresses […]

It Might Get Loud

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements, brief language and smoking
Movie Release Date:September 4, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements, brief language and smoking
Movie Release Date: September 4, 2009

It goes to 11. Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) has made a documentary featuring three generations of guitar gods: Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), The Edge (U2), and Jack White (The White Stripes). But it is not about the musicians. It […]

Murder Mystery Classics on Film

posted by Nell Minow

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

Woodstock

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for drug content, nudity and language
Movie Release Date:1970
DVD Release Date:August 25, 2009
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for drug content, nudity and language
Movie Release Date: 1970
DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009

Forty years ago, it seemed for one brief moment as though a disastrous, mud-soaked music festival that attracted so many people it had a larger population than all but one city in the state could be the beginning of a […]

Interview: Sophie Barthes of ‘Cold Souls’

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite films of the summer is “Cold Souls.” Paul Giamatti plays an actor named Paul Giamatti who is anxious and depressed as he prepares to play Chekov’s Uncle Vanya. When he reads in the New Yorker about […]

Adorable Music Video from Sour

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to my pal Brandon Fibbs for sharing this adorable video from the Japanese pop group Sour. This was filmed entirely with webcams and the participants are Sour fans from around the world. Think of it as a high-tech […]

I’m Through With White Girls

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

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

The Rookie

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:2002
DVD Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 2002
DVD Release Date: 2002

If this hadn’t really happened, Disney would have had to make it up. But a high school science teacher did tell the baseball team he coached that if they won the division title he would try out for the major […]

Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience

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

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

Do the Right Thing

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R
Movie Release Date:1989
DVD Release Date:June 30, 2009
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R
Movie Release Date: 1989
DVD Release Date: June 30, 2009

Twenty years ago, Spike Lee made a tough, smart, and very provocative film that included an electrifying moment when the character played by Lee himself held up a trash can and aimed it at the glass window of a pizzeria […]

Secret Ballot

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

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

Paperclips

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2004
DVD Release Date:2005
A
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2004
DVD Release Date: 2005

The tragic shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC last week reminds us yet again of the importance of making sure that future generations do not just learn the statistics but truly understand the near-incomprehensible devastation of genocide and […]

The Original: The Taking of Pelham 123

posted by Nell Minow

The 1974 version of “The Taking of Pelham 123″ is one of my favorite thrillers, with a brilliant cast that includes Robert Shaw, Walter Matthau, and Jerry Stiller and a terrific score by David Shire. I’m hoping that this week’s […]

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

posted by Nell Minow

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

A Bug’s Life

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1998
DVD Release Date:1998
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1998
DVD Release Date: 1998

Pixar is the must successful studio in movie history, with every single one of its releases earning over $100 million. Even more impressive, every one of them is entirely original, not based on a book or classic fairy tale. I […]

Connie and Carla

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual humor and drug references
Movie Release Date:2004
DVD Release Date:2005
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual humor and drug references
Movie Release Date: 2004
DVD Release Date: 2005

Nia Vardalos captivated audiences with the unstoppably successful My Big Fat Greek Wedding and her next film opens up in a few weeks. So it is a good time to take a look at her last film, which never got […]

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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

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

I Could Never Be Your Woman

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

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

I.O.U.S.A.

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

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

Hannah Montana Movie goodies!

posted by Nell Minow

Want to dance like Hannah Montana? She shows you how to do the “Hoedown Throwdown” in this cilp. If you and your friends learn it, film it, and upload your dance to youtube, send me the link at moviemom@moviemom.com and […]

Hannah Montana Movie

posted by Nell Minow

The latest pics from the new “Hannah Montana Movie!”

Bolt

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

Bolt (voice of John Travolta) thinks he is a super-dog. He and his “person,” Penny (voice of Miley Cyrus) spend their days battling the evil, green-eyed Dr. Calico (voice of Malcolm McDowell), who has captured Penny’s scientist father and has […]

Quantum of Solace

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

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

Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Not Rated
Movie Release Date:March 20, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Movie Release Date: March 20, 2009

Robert Blecker is one of the most outspoken — and unexpected — proponents of the death penalty. He does not try to base his argument on the death penalty as deterrent or to prevent the opportunity for further crimes. The […]

Gulliver’s Travels

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

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

Rachel Getting Married

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

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

Pinocchio

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1940
DVD Release Date:March 10, 2009
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1940
DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009

This week Disney is releasing a glorious new edition of its most most gorgeous, splendid, and fully realized of all of its animation classics, the high point of painstakingly hand-painted animation, before the use of photocopiers and computers. Every detail […]

Snow Day

posted by rkumar
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Movie Release Date:2000
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
Movie Release Date: 2000

This engaging kid-eye view of “the real winter miracle” is good family fun. It has something for both littler and bigger kids and is very endurable for parents. The theme of the movie is that “anything can happen on a […]

Jonas Brothers 3D

posted by Nell Minow

No review because they didn’t show it to critics, but here’s a shot from the new Jonas Brothers concert film.

Interview: New York Noir

posted by Nell Minow

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

Coraline’s Special Effects

posted by Nell Minow

Wired Magazine has a fascinating story about the breathtaking special effects in “Coraline.” In an era when we are used to astonishingly “true” images generated by computers, the old-school charms of this stop-motion movie, where everything you see was actually […]

Must Read After My Death

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Not Rated
Movie Release Date:February 20, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Movie Release Date: February 20, 2009

A generation ago the technology first became widely available to allow families to document their lives with home movies and audio recordings. The use of these artifacts has transcended the “can you believe I used to look like that” and […]

The Uninvited (1944)

posted by Nell Minow

The new release called “The Uninvited,” based on a Korean horror film, reminded me of the unrelated (but very spooky) 1944 movie of the same name, starring one of my favorites, Ray Milland. The original The Uninvited is the story […]

Soul Men

posted by Nell Minow
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, and sexual content including nudity
Movie Release Date:November 7, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 10, 2009
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, and sexual content including nudity
Movie Release Date: November 7, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 10, 2009

If you see this movie, stay through the end credits to watch an interview with co-star Bernie Mac, who died not long after filming was completed. It is a better reminder of his gifts than the movie itself, a formulaic […]

Beliefnet Spiritual Film Awards: We Want Your Vote

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to check out the nominees for Beliefnet’s Spiritual Film Awards and vote for your favorites.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

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

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

Walking Across America With Just $217

posted by Nell Minow

Alex Charwick sits down at a table with two microphones and a sign that says “Interviews 50 Cents” and talks to everyday Americans about their lives. The results are enthralling. In this interview, he talks to an Algerian-American man who […]

The Secret Life of Bees

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

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

Igor

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

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

DC-Area Screening Tickets: New in Town

posted by Nell Minow

I will be hosting a Washington DC-area screening of the new Renee Zellwegger-Harry Connick, Jr. romantic comedy, “New In Town” later this month and have tickets for the first five people to send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com

Interview: Director Ed Zwick of ‘Defiance’

posted by Nell Minow

Edward Zwick, the director of the new Holocaust movie “Defiance,” is well-known for both historical dramas (“Glory”) and intimate personal stories (the television series “Thirtysomething”) – and for finding the small moments in big stories and the big emotions in […]

Righteous Kill

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, pervasive language, some sexuality and brief drug use.
Movie Release Date:September 12, 2008
DVD Release Date:January 6, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, pervasive language, some sexuality and brief drug use.
Movie Release Date: September 12, 2008
DVD Release Date: January 6, 2009

Has there ever been a cinematic pairing as eagerly anticipated as this one? Perhaps, but I can’t think of one that has been anticipated as long. Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro were both in 1974’s “The Godfather II” but their […]

Interview: Steve James of ‘At the Death House Door’

posted by Nell Minow

I last wrote about the superb documentary At the Death House Door when I interviewed its subject, Pastor Carroll Pickett, who served 15 years as the death house chaplain to the infamous “Walls” prison unit in Huntsville. The film was […]

Top Ten Spreadsheet

posted by Nell Minow

Movie City News has collected the top ten lists of all the top critics (yes, even me) and put them into a spreadsheet. Just about everyone picks four or five of ten heavily-promoted awards films — “Wall?E,” “Milk,” Slumdog Millionaire,” […]

Ghost Town

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

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

Eagle Eye

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

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

This Christmas

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for comic sexual content and some violence
Movie Release Date:November 21, 2007
DVD Release Date:November 11, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for comic sexual content and some violence
Movie Release Date: November 21, 2007
DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008

As much a tradition as indigestible fruitcake and the dogs barking “Jingle Bells,” every Christmas season brings us at least one new family holiday angst-fest, stuffed with secrets, accusations, forgiveness, food, and laughter. The best of them give us the […]

Man on Wire

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and nudity, and drug references.
Movie Release Date:July 25, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 9, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and nudity, and drug references.
Movie Release Date: July 25, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 9, 2008

“Beacause it’s there.” George Mallory’s reason for conquering Everest applies to feats of exploration and adventure that include traveling to the moon. This documentary shows us that it also explains how a French teenager leafing through a magazine at his […]

Step Brothers

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

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

A Christmas Story

posted by Nell Minow
A-
A-

There’s no better way to start off the Christmas season than this holiday classic, now celebrating its 25th anniversary and so popular that Turner Classic Movies runs it for 24 hours each year. Millions of fans can recite its lines […]

Wanted

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

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

Hancock

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

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

Fred Claus

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:November 9, 2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: November 9, 2007

The predictable work and family and romantic complications ensue, but they are dragged out and overplotted as an efficiency expert (Kevin Spacey) comes in for some bah-humbug moments, threatening to outsource the entire operation. The movie could have used an […]

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

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

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

Harry Potter Trailer

posted by Nell Minow

The new trailer for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is out!

Role Models

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude and sexual content, strong language and nudity.
Movie Release Date:November 7, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content, strong language and nudity.
Movie Release Date: November 7, 2008

It takes some brains to make a good dumb comedy. Paul Rudd, who has been the best thing in too many films that ranged from dumb, to awful, to wildly uneven, has co-created a film that manages to insult the […]

Meet Me in St. Louis

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1944
DVD Release Date:2000
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1944
DVD Release Date: 2000

This episodic story of the Smith family in the St. Louis of 1903 is based on the memoirs of Sally Benson.  Its pleasures are in the period detail, the glorious songs (including standards “The Trolley Song” and “Have Yourself a […]

The Incredible Hulk

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

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

High School Musical

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

This week, as the powerhouse franchise that is known as “HSM” moves from television to CD (top-seller of the year), DVD, stage show, video game, ice show, birthday party decoration theme, and now feature film theatrical release, it’s time to […]

The Women

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

It isn’t so much that they have updated or re-invented the brilliantly acidic Claire Boothe Luce play that was adapted for a classic 1939 movie; they completely misunderstood it. The surface details of the original may need updating but its […]

Interview with Jeff Ma and Jim Sturgess of “21”

posted by Nell Minow

Jim Sturgess (“The Other Boleyn Girl,” “Across the Universe”) stars in “21,” the new movie based on the real-life story of a group of MIT math whizes who won millions of dollars in Las Vegas. The character he plays was […]

Rudy

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

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

Firehouse Dog

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

Ths story about a mega-movie star dog who gets lost and finds a home with the son of a fire chief is an uncomfortable blending of three different stories that neglects the one thing we want to see — the […]

Catch and Release

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

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

The Holiday

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

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

Accepted

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

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

50 First Dates

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 on appeal for crude sexual humor and drug references
Movie Release Date:2004
DVD Release Date:2004
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 on appeal for crude sexual humor and drug references
Movie Release Date: 2004
DVD Release Date: 2004

Lucy (Drew Barrymore) wakes up every morning with no memory of anything that happened since her brain was injured in a car crash 18 months before. For the rest of us, everything that happens in this movie is just too, […]

Finding Nemo

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

Pixar Studios may have the most advanced animation technology in the world, but they never forget what matters most in a movie: story, characters, imagination, and heart. “Finding Nemo” has it all. It is an epic journey filled with adventure […]

Abandon

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

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

About a Boy

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

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

About Schmidt

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

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

About Adam

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R
Movie Release Date:2001
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R
Movie Release Date: 2001

It begins as a sweet, simple love story. A flirtatious waitress named Lucy (Kate Hudson) falls for a man named Adam (Stuart Townsend). All the other men in Lucy’s life pursued her, but Adam lets her take the lead. Once […]

A Christmas Story

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1984
DVD Release Date:1984
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1984
DVD Release Date: 1984

There’s no better way to start off the Christmas season than this holiday classic, now celebrating its 25th anniversary and so popular that Turner Classic Movies runs it for 24 hours each year. Millions of fans can recite its lines […]

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some scary moments and mild language
Movie Release Date:2001
DVD Release Date:July 11, 2011
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some scary moments and mild language
Movie Release Date: 2001
DVD Release Date: July 11, 2011

Prepare for the final movie in the Harry Potter series by watching the first one again: I loved it. And I can’t wait to see it again. Based of course on the international sensation, the book by J. K. Rowling, […]

The African Queen

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

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

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

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

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

Galaxy Quest

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some action violence, mild language and sensuality
Movie Release Date:1999
DVD Release Date:2000
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some action violence, mild language and sensuality
Movie Release Date: 1999
DVD Release Date: 2000

This is one of the funniest movies of the year, hilariously but affectionately skewering television sci-fi, its stars, and its fans. Not since William Shatner told Trekkers Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz to “get a life” back on Saturday Night […]

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1989
DVD Release Date:1990
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1989
DVD Release Date: 1990

In this technical marvel of a movie, human and animated actors interact seamlessly. It begins with a cartoon, loveable Roger Rabbit taking care of adorable Baby Herman, despite every kind of slapstick disaster. Then, as birdies are swimming around Roger’s […]

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