Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom Archives

showing results 13 - 212 of 4065

genre

  • Action
  • Animation
  • Comedy
  • Classic
  • Documentary
  • Drama
  • Epic
  • Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Musical
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction
  • Sports
  • Spy
  • Thriller
  • War
  • Western

quality

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

who's watching

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

age range

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




“Guardian of the Galaxy’s” Awesome Mixtape

posted by Nell Minow

One of the many pleasures of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” opening this week, is the soundtrack featuring some 70’s classics from an “Awesome Mixtape” played by Peter “Star Lord” Quill (Chris Pratt).  Here are some of the highlights. “Hooked on […]

Interview: Dan Cohen of “Alive Inside”

posted by Nell Minow

Dan Cohen is the gifted and passionately committed man who transforms the lives of people with dementia and other severely debilitating diseases.  He is featured in the documentary “Alive Inside.” He is the founder of Music and Memory, which provides […]

Contest: “Lullaby” — Family Drama With Amy Adams, Richard Jenkins, and Garrett Hedlund

posted by Nell Minow

Garrett Hedlund stars as Jonathan in this uneven but moving drama about a family facing the loss of a husband and father. The performances are excellent, especially Richard Jenkins as the father and “Downton Abbey’s” Jessica Brown Findlay as Jonathan’s […]

Comic-Con 2014: Day One

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s what’s at Comic-Con, which means here’s what’s coming everywhere else: affordable 3D printers with hand-held scanners that transmit 360 degree images to your tablet or laptop instantly. GoPro cameras. Google glasses. Even Oculus Rift, the totally immersive virtual reality […]

Remembering the Vietnam War: 10 Movies

posted by Nell Minow

As we observe the 50th anniversary of the War in Vietnam, here are ten of the best of the movie and documentary depictions of the war and its impact on history and culture in the United States. The best-known films […]

Lucy

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R For strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality
Movie Release Date:July 25, 2014
DVD Release Date:January 19, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R For strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality
Movie Release Date: July 25, 2014
DVD Release Date: January 19, 2015

I always enjoy Luc Besson’s stylish car chases and shootouts. I like his use of locations, his strong female characters, and unexpected flashes of sentiment in the midst of mayhem.  While I found much to like in this story about a […]

And So It Goes

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and drug elements
Movie Release Date:July 25, 2014
DVD Release Date:B00NW6KQYE
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and drug elements
Movie Release Date: July 25, 2014
DVD Release Date: B00NW6KQYE

A second marriage is, as Samuel Johnson famously said, “The triumph of hope over experience.” And as lyricist Sammy Cahn wrote in the song Bing Crosby sang in “High Time,” “Love is lovelier the second time around.” In this slight […]

Interview: Michael Rossato-Bennett of “Alive Inside”

posted by Nell Minow

Michael Rossato-Bennett agreed to spend one day filming Dan Cohen’s remarkable music therapy work with people struggling with dementia. He ended up spending three years there and the result is “Alive Inside,” an extraordinary documentary about the power of music […]

Movies’ Greatest Mirror Scenes

posted by Nell Minow

Anne Billson has a great piece in The Telegraph on mirror scenes in movies, from the Marx brothers clowning in “Duck Soup” and the shootout in “The Lady from Shanghai” to Elizabeth Taylor scrawling on the mirror with lipstick in […]

How Do Movies Show Time Passing?

posted by Nell Minow

Someone once said that movies are “pieces of time.” A few take place in “real time.” Alfred Hitchcock’s experiment, “Rope,” unfolds in just the time it takes us to watch it, all in what appears to be one seamless shot. […]

Comic-Con 2014

posted by Nell Minow

It’s here!  San Diego Comic-Con begins Wednesday night in San Diego and I’ll be there.  This is my favorite event of the year, a chance to find out what everyone will be watching, listening to, playing, and otherwise enjoying over […]

Wish I Was Here

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:July 18, 2014
DVD Release Date:October 27, 2014
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: July 18, 2014
DVD Release Date: October 27, 2014

My intention was to review Zach Braff’s new film without mentioning the controversy he stirred up in funding it via Kickstarter.  My view was that what mattered was the movie itself, and the kerfluffle over how it was all paid […]

Free! Planes: Fire & Rescue Activity Sheets

posted by Nell Minow

I have free activity sheets for Planes: Fire & Rescue! Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “Planes!” in the subject line and I’ll write you back with the activity sheet attached. The offer is good until July 31, 2014.

Tribute: James Garner

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite actors has left us. James Garner, handsome, wry, effortlessly masculine, all-purpose leading man for decades on television and in movies, has died at age 84. He had consummate skill in comedy, drama, and romance, and even […]

The Importance of Film Editing: Cinefix

posted by Nell Minow

I love this compilation from Cinefix of the top ten movie edits of all time.  I’ll bet you can guess at least a few.

Noel Langley and the Original Script for “The Wizard of Oz”

posted by Nell Minow

Wicked author Gregory Maguire has a wonderful essay on the Smithsonian website about the original screenplay for what is probably the greatest family movie of all time, The Wizard of Oz. By coincidence, I just finished a book by the […]

My Visit to LAIKA: Part 3

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite stops on our tour of LAIKA Studios to see the sets for “The Boxtrolls” was our visit with Georgina Hayns, Creative Supervisor for Puppet Fabrication. Is that the coolest job title ever or what? She described […]

Academy Originals: Creative Spark — Aline Brosh McKenna

posted by Nell Minow

Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna (“We Bought a Zoo,” “The Devil Wears Prada”) talks about inspiration in this latest in the terrific Academy Originals series from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Exclusive Clip: Hope Davis and Timothy Hutton in “Louder Than Words”

posted by Nell Minow

How do you go on when everything that gives life meaning is gone? In this fact-based story, David Duchovny and Hope Davis play a married couple who must face this question when their daughter dies.  The movie is Louder than […]

I’m Proud to be Featured on Movie Addict Headquarters’ 7th Anniversary Show

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Betty Jo Tucker for including me in her anniversary special and for all the fun I’ve had on the show over the years.  

Boyhood

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including sexual references, and for teen drug and alcohol use
Movie Release Date:July 18, 2014
DVD Release Date:January 5, 2015
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including sexual references, and for teen drug and alcohol use
Movie Release Date: July 18, 2014
DVD Release Date: January 5, 2015

“A boy’s will is the wind’s will/And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.” (Longfellow) We first see Mason (Ellar Coltrane) lying on the ground, looking up at the sky, and it is clear that his thoughts are very […]

Planes: Fire & Rescue

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for action and some peril
Movie Release Date:July 18, 2014
DVD Release Date:November 3, 2014
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action and some peril
Movie Release Date: July 18, 2014
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2014

The visuals are stunning, the details are witty, the 3D effects are splendid,  the songs are lively, the voice actors are top-notch, but the storyline feels like an episode of “Thomas the Tank Engine.”  That’s when it was still analog […]

Interview: Richard Linklater of “Boyhood”

posted by Nell Minow

Richard Linklater is one of my favorite directors.  Films like “Waking Life,” “Before Sunrise”/”Before Sunset”/”Before Midnight,” “Dazed and Confused,” “School of Rock,” “Bernie,” and “Me and Orson Welles” display his restless intelligence and remarkable range.  His latest film, “Boyhood,” was […]

Contest: Win a Plushie Echo from “Earth to Echo”

posted by Nell Minow

I have some adorable plushies of the little alien in “Earth to Echo” to give away! Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “Echo” in the subject line and tell me your favorite summer activity. Don’t forget your mailing address! […]

Exclusive Clip: Justin and the Knights of Valour

posted by Nell Minow

Freddie Highmore and Antonio Banderas star in the animated adventure Justin & The Knights of Valour, along with Charles Dance, Rupert Everett, Barry Humphries, Alfred Molina, Mark Strong, Julie Walters, Olivia Williams and Saoirse Ronan. I’m delighted to share an exclusive clip. […]

My Visit to LAIKA: Part 2

posted by Nell Minow

More from my enchanting visit to LAIKA Studios to see the sets and meet the filmmakers for “The Boxtrolls,” the upcoming stop-motion film: The story: A family event movie from the creators of “Coraline” and “ParaNorman” that introduces audiences to […]

Trailer: Kevin Kline and Maggie Smith in “My Old Lady”

posted by Nell Minow

Mathias Gold (Kevin Kline) is a down-on-his-luck New Yorker who inherits a Parisian apartment from his estranged father. But when he arrives in France to sell the vast domicile, he’s shocked to discover a live-in tenant who is not prepared […]

Trailer: Unbroken

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most anticipated films of the year is “Unbroken,” directed by Angelina Jolie, and based on Laura Hillenbrand’s best-seller, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.  It is the story of Louis Zamperini, who died […]

For Bastille Day: A Tale of Two Cities

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Bastille Day!   This is a great time to watch the classic “A Tale of Two Cities,” based on the book about the French Revolution by Charles Dickens.

Brits on Vacation

posted by Nell Minow

Summer is a time for travel, and, whether you’re traveling or not, it’s a great time for movies about travel as well. Film Forever has an excellent list of movies about Brits traveling abroad. Here are my favorites.

Who Should Play Non-White Characters?

posted by Nell Minow

Amanda Scherker has an excellent piece in the Huffington Post about “whitewashing” in films — ethnically white actors playing non-white characters. We understand now how absurd it was to have John Wayne play Genghis Khan or Katharine Hepburn play “Dragon […]

Contest: A GoPro Video Camera from “Earth to Echo”

posted by Nell Minow

The kids in Earth to Echo use a snazzy GoPro Hero3 to record their adventures.  Now you can win GoPro and record your own!  Many thanks to “Earth to Echo” for making it possible for me to share this extraordinary prize. To […]

Just Announced: Redford as Rather and Another Biblical Epic from Ridley Scott

posted by Nell Minow

Two intriguing new announcements about upcoming films: As the first trailer for his Moses epic is released, starring Christian Bale (and a lot of other actors who are not of Middle Eastern ethnicity), Ridley Scott has announced that he will […]

A History of Apes In Movies from Michael Marisol

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Michael Mirasol has put together another magnificent compilation — this time it’s a history of apes and monkeys in film.  How many can you identify?  He writes: Non-human primates have existed on film from the art form’s inception, […]

Maximum Ride Will Be a YouTube Series

posted by Nell Minow

James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series of books is going to be filmed — for YouTube.  Page to Premiere reports that the stories about DNA-enhanced teenagers with wings was unable to get produced for theatrical release despite the interest of several studios. An […]

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:July 11, 2014
DVD Release Date:December 1, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: July 11, 2014
DVD Release Date: December 1, 2014

All hail Caesar! The intelligence-enhanced ape from Rise of the Planet of the Apes takes center stage in this sequel, which begins ten years after the last film. The virus we saw infecting the human population has now wiped out […]

Museum Exhibit Explores Illinois Film Censorship Bureau

posted by Nell Minow

Illinois’ Lisle Station Museum has an exhibit about the little-known and less-remembered history of film censorship in Chicago under the direction of what was originally called the Police Censor Board, formed in 1907, the first such oversight organization in the […]

Trailer: Kevin Kline Plays Errol Flynn in “The Last of Robin Hood”

posted by Nell Minow

Errol Flynn became one of the greatest movie stars of all time, specializing in swashbucklers like “Captain Blood” and “The Adventures of Robin Hood.”  No one was better than Flynn at playing the dashing, gallant hero. But the Tasmanian actor […]

My Visit to LAIKA and Boxtrolls!

posted by Nell Minow

I’m excited to be able to share a secret I’ve been keeping since April. I got to cross a big item off my bucket list when I was invited to visit LAIKA Studios and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of their […]

Tribute: Carla Laemmle, 104-Year-Old Actress

posted by Nell Minow

The actress Carla Laemmle has died at age 104.  She is not widely known, but is well worth remembering for her role in film history and her incandescent spirit.  Her uncle Carl Laemmle, whose name she adopted (her given name […]

Coming Soon: The Hundred Foot Journey

posted by Nell Minow

DreamWorks Pictures has released a new behind-the-scenes featurette exploring director Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred-Foot Journey, starring Helen Mirren, Manish Dayal, Om Puri and Charlotte Le Bon.

Upcoming Show Business Memoirs

posted by Nell Minow

Mashable has a very intriguing list of upcoming show business memoirs, by everyone from Oprah Winfrey (What I Know For Sure) to rapper Ja Rule (Unruly: The Highs and Lows of Becoming a Man). I’m particularly looking forward to Yes […]

Exclusive Clip from “Wings: Sky Force Heroes”

posted by Nell Minow

Tomorrow the new DVD “Wings: Sky Force Heroes” will be available and I have an exclusive clip! Josh Duhamel (Transformers) is back as Ace in the thrilling story about a heroic pilot seeking redemption in the DOVE-approved family adventure, Wings: Sky […]

Rifftrax Takes on Sharknado — In Theaters July 10

posted by Nell Minow

Even better than Mecha-Shark vs. Godzilloctopus, the mad men of Rifftrax are taking on “Sharknado,” live on July 10 and transmitted in real time to theaters across the country. Just the thing to get you ready for “Sharknado 2,” coming […]

Movie Addict Headquarters: Interview with Mack Bates and Betty Jo Tucker on the Best and Worst Movie Teachers

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Betty Jo Tucker for inviting me on her podcast to talk about the best and worst movie teachers along with her guest co-host, Mack Bates. It was a lot of fun to share some thoughts about the […]

Disney Pays Tribute to Mary Blair

posted by Nell Minow

Mary Blair was the designer behind the look of Disney in the 1950’s.  You can learn more about her at The Disney Family Museum’s exhibit, MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: the world of Mary Blair.   Blair’s joyful creativity―her eye-appealing designs and exuberant […]

Interview: Director Steve James on the Roger Ebert Documentary “Life Itself”

posted by Nell Minow

Roger Ebert said that Steve James’ documentary “Hoop Dreams” was the greatest film of the first decade of the 21st century. He wrote, “A film like “Hoop Dreams” is what the movies are for. It takes us, shakes us, and […]

Interview: Joe Berlinger of “Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger”

posted by Nell Minow

Joe Berlinger is one of my favorite directors and it was a treat to talk to him about “Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger,” his new documentary on the trial of the notorious gangster. We know Bulgar […]

1776: The Signing of the Declaration of Independence

posted by Nell Minow

Life Itself

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for brief sexual images/nudity and language
Movie Release Date:July 4, 2014
A
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for brief sexual images/nudity and language
Movie Release Date: July 4, 2014

Roger Ebert, the most influential film critic of all time, gets the film he deserves directed by one of the many filmmakers he championed, Steve James (“Hoop Dreams,” “The Interrupters”).  It is co-produced by Martin Scorsese, whose emotional appearance in […]

Academy Originals: Hollywood Filmmakers Talk About What Inspires Them

posted by Nell Minow

In this short from the terrific Academy Originals series, Seth Rogen says that it is friendship that is at the center of the stories he likes to write.  [Warning: Some strong language.]  “Academy Originals” is AMPAS’s first original digital series.  […]

Summer Movie Catch-Up: Lists for Kids, Couples, and Hipsters

posted by Nell Minow

Summer is a great time to catch up on some classic and even not-so-classic films, the movie version of beach books.  The nice folks at Entertainment Weekly have come up with a terrific list of films all children should see […]

Interview: “Earth to Echo” star Astro

posted by Nell Minow

Brian “Astro” Bradley plays Tuck in this week’s “Earth to Echo,” the story of three friends who discover a stranded alien and help to rescue him. Astro talked to me about being in the film and the books and music […]

Trailer: A New Documentary About George Takei

posted by Nell Minow

I’m looking forward to this upcoming documentary about original “Star Trek” cast member George Takei, who is also a leader in LGBT rights and a pioneer in social media.

Snowpiercer

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, language and drug content
Movie Release Date:July 2, 2014
DVD Release Date:October 20, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, language and drug content
Movie Release Date: July 2, 2014
DVD Release Date: October 20, 2014

A French graphic novel by Jacques Lob about a post-apocalyptic train containing all that is left of humanity is now the first English-language film from Korean director Joon-ho Bong (“Mother,” “The Host”), with an international cast that includes Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Ed […]

Begin Again

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
Movie Release Date:July 2, 2014
DVD Release Date:October 27, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
Movie Release Date: July 2, 2014
DVD Release Date: October 27, 2014

“It’s delicate,” a songwriter tells a performer who has (literally) amped up her gentle ballad into a power anthem. The songwriter is Greta (Keira Knightly) and the performer (Maroon 5’s Adam Levine) is her ex. They were together for five […]

Tammy

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including sexual references
Movie Release Date:July 2, 2014
DVD Release Date:November 11, 2014
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including sexual references
Movie Release Date: July 2, 2014
DVD Release Date: November 11, 2014

Top talent is wasted in this un-funny and disappointing vanity production from Melissa McCarthy and her husband, Ben Falcone. They wrote it, or, more accurately, assembled it from pieces of other films, some better (“Thelma and Louise”), some even worse […]

Earth to Echo

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some action and peril, and mild language
Movie Release Date:July 3, 2014
DVD Release Date:October 20, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some action and peril, and mild language
Movie Release Date: July 3, 2014
DVD Release Date: October 20, 2014

Three kids go on a wild adventure and make an extra-terrestrial friend in this updated take on films like “E.T.” and “The Goonies.” It being 2014, that means that the found footage genre, pioneered in “The Blair Witch Project” and […]

What Does it Mean to “Throw Like a Girl?”

posted by Nell Minow

Always brought in Lauren Greenfield, is an award-winning American artist, and documentary photographer and filmmaker, to create their #likeagirl videos. What do we think of when we hear “throw like a girl,” “run like a girl,” or “fight like a girl?” […]

Where are the Cartoon Moms?

posted by Nell Minow

One of the questions I get asked most often is why parents in movies for children are always dead or otherwise out of the picture.  As I wrote in my book, The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies: This is […]

Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig Star in “The Skeleton Twins”

posted by Nell Minow

I might have to suspend my rule against lip-synch scenes in movies for this one.

An Exquisite Short Film From Legendary Disney Animator Glen Keane

posted by Nell Minow

Glen Keane is one of the all-time greats of old-school hand-drawn animation.  He was responsible for characters like Pocahontas and Ariel.  Much as I love computer-animation, there are some things only a hand can do, and his hand is one […]

June 28, 1969 — The Stonewall Uprising

posted by Nell Minow

We observe the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising this weekend. I wonder if any of the men who fought back against police oppression and brutality back in 1969 could have imagined that some day marriage equality would be the law […]

I’m Glad to Hear I’m Not the Only One Who Had No Idea What Was Happening in “Transformers: Age of Extinction”

posted by Nell Minow

Two writers from Slate couldn’t figure it out, either.  Except that “If I’m ever in Hong Kong in the midst of an apocalyptic battle between Dinobots, Autobots, reconstituted Decepticon leaders, evil CIA agents, venal tech CEOs, and Chinese nationals conveniently […]

Another Bad Idea for a Remake: Wargames

posted by Nell Minow

Cinema Blend reports that a remake of the Matthew Broderick film “Wargames” is in the works, possibly with Ansel Elgort or Tye Sheridan in the lead role.  This is an awful idea.  What made WarGames so popular in 1983 was […]

Does the Dog Die? An Important Movie Question

posted by Nell Minow

Some people want to know if a movie has a good story, compelling characters, or stunning images.  You can come here to read my reviews and find answers to those questions. Some people just want to know if the dog […]

More on “Jersey Boys” Director Clint Eastwood

posted by Nell Minow

Clint Eastwood is not a favorite of mine as an actor or a director, though I appreciate some of his work. I think his best performance may have been in Gran Torino, which he also directed.  But as a director, […]

Transformers: Age of Extinction

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language and brief innuendo
Movie Release Date:June 27, 2014
DVD Release Date:September 29, 2014
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language and brief innuendo
Movie Release Date: June 27, 2014
DVD Release Date: September 29, 2014

The script for the new Transformers movie is basically: Noise.  Explosions. Chases. Guy-on-guy fighting.  Transformer-on-Transformer fighting.  Brief pauses for father-teenage daughter conflict, father-boyfriend of the teenage daughter conflict, paranoia-inducing rogue government operatives, paranoia-inducing megalomaniacal one-percenter, and a flicker of a […]

Transformers: The Premake from Kevin Lee

posted by Nell Minow

Go behind the scenes with film critic Kevin Lee to see a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the making of “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”  I love the way he incorporated the amateur videos made by fans as the big-budget studio film was […]

Michael Mirasol: Movie Robots

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Michael Mirasol has put together a wonderful supercut of movie robots in honor of this week’s release of the new Transformers movie.  How many can you identify?

Our Second Pre-Code Series Starts Tomorrow with Barbara Stanwyck’s “Ladies They Talk About”

posted by Nell Minow

Margaret Talbot and I will kick off our second series of Pre-Code films at Washington, D.C.’s Hill Center tomorrow night with “The Ladies They Talk About.” As Margaret says, it’s Depression-era “Orange is the New Black,” much of it set […]

Tribute: Eli Wallach

posted by Nell Minow

One of the all-time great character actors, Eli Wallach, has died at age 98.  He leaves behind an extraordinary range of work, from iconic bad guys (The Magnificent Seven), to sweet old guys (The Holiday). He appeared with Clark Gable, […]

From The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — President Snow’s Panem Address

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: The Book of Life from Guillermo del Toro

posted by Nell Minow

Director Guillermo del Toro has a fabulously imaginative visual style. From “Hellboy” to “Pan’s Labyrinth,” he has created strange and intricate worlds. His upcoming animated film, “The Book of Life,” looks dazzling.

How Do I Feel About the News that Pentatonix Will Appear in “Pitch Perfect 2?”

posted by Nell Minow

This should give you a clue.

Trailer: Postman Pat

posted by Nell Minow

The beloved television series Postman Pat is now a feature film! The animated story about the friendly postman has voices from Stephen Mangan (“Episodes”) as Postman Pat; recording star Ronan Keating, who provides the singing voice for Postman Pat; Academy […]

Movie Greats: John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands

posted by Nell Minow

John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands were at the forefront of a revolution in cinema that led to a new era of naturalism in subject matter and performance. Cassavetes, best known as an actor for starring opposite Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s […]

Trailer: Home from Dreamworks Animation

posted by Nell Minow

My Interview at Rogerebert.com

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Rogerebert.com for interviewing me in their series on movie critics. Where did you grow up, and what was it like? I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. But when I was in 4th-5th grade, we lived […]

Home is Where the Heart Is — Coming Soon on DVD

posted by Nell Minow

“Trophy Wife’s” Bailee Madison, Laura Bell Bundy (“Heart of Dixie”), and John C. McGinley (“Scrubs”) star in “Home is Where the Heart Is,” coming on DVD August 19. Disillusioned actress Sunny returns to her hometown of Bent Arrow, Texas, to […]

Interview: Robert May of “Kids for Cash”

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most outrageous scandals in the history of the U.S. justice system involved two judges who took undisclosed multi-million dollar payments from the developer of a privately owned and operated facility for incarcerating teenagers.  A “law and order” […]

Why Do We Sympathize with Unsympathetic Movie Characters?

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to Jim Judy of Screenit for suggesting this terrific video essay by Jennine Lanouette on how even crooked, selfish, and powerful movie characters gain our sympathy.  I was delighted to see that she highlights one of the scenes featured in my […]

Trailer: “The Drop” with James Gandolfini and Tom Hardy

posted by Nell Minow

James Gandolfini’s last performance in is “The Drop,” with Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace.  Here’s the trailer:

Trailer: Simon Pegg in Hector and the Search for Happiness

posted by Nell Minow

More From AFI Docs

posted by Nell Minow

AFI Docs concludes today, though there will be a “best of the fest” wrap-up with screenings of some of the most popular films tomorrow.   I’ve also had a chance to see: “Whitey: United States of America v. James J. […]

Interview: Michael Ealy and Meagan Good of “Think Like a Man Too”

posted by Nell Minow

I am a huge fan of Michael Ealy and Meagan Good and it was a lot of fun to talk to them about “Think Like a Man Too.” Meagan, I loved your performance of Bell Biv DeVoe’s classic “Poison!” MG: […]

Fred MacMurray and Burt Lancaster: Tonight on PBS

posted by Nell Minow

PBS pays tribute to two of the all-time great leading men with documentaries airing tonight (check your local station for viewing times). Burt Lancaster: Daring to Reach  Learn more about the epic screen star Burt Lancaster who went from street-wise […]

Star Trek Continues

posted by Nell Minow

If you’ve ever seen Trekkies and the sequel Trekkies 2 or William Shatner’s The Captains or the affectionate tribute to the super-fans, Galaxy Quest, you will appreciate the Kickstarter-funded new series “Star Trek Continues,” created by uber-Trekker Vic Mignogna. Here’s […]

AFI Docs: Three Great Documentaries About Failures of Law Enforcement

posted by Nell Minow

We had a great first day at AFI Docs, the most important documentary film festival in the country. I am very proud to be a sponsor. Yesterday, we saw three of the films featuring one of this year’s key themes, […]

John Green Profile by Margaret Talbot

posted by Nell Minow

My friend and Pre-Code movie series co-host Margaret Talbot has a thoughtful profile of The Fault in our Stars author John Green in The New Yorker.  He told her I love the intensity teen-agers bring not just to first love […]

Trailer: Robert Downey Jr. in “The Judge”

posted by Nell Minow

In “The Judge,” Downey stars as big city lawyer Hank Palmer, who returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town’s judge (Duvall), is suspected of murder. He sets out to discover the truth and along the way […]

Jersey Boys

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language throughout
Movie Release Date:June 20, 2014
DVD Release Date:November 11, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout
Movie Release Date: June 20, 2014
DVD Release Date: November 11, 2014

Winston Churchill famously said that history is written by the victors.  In movie terms, that means that when you see the names of just two of the original Four Seasons listed as the film’s producers, it is clear we are […]

Think Like a Man Too

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude sexual content including references, partial nudity, language and drug material
Movie Release Date:June 20, 2014
DVD Release Date:September 16, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude sexual content including references, partial nudity, language and drug material
Movie Release Date: June 20, 2014
DVD Release Date: September 16, 2014

A romantic comedy based on Steve Harvey’s book of advice for women about relationships has now led to a sequel based on finding the slightest possible premise for getting the gang back together to see if they can create some […]

Coherence

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:June 20, 2014
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: June 20, 2014

Seriously, don’t read this review until after you’ve seen the movie. The less you know, the more you will enjoy this nifty thriller, which craftily makes the most of its micro-budget to maximize a deliciously mind-bending story. As in all […]

Interview: Carl Deal and Tia Lessin of the Documentary “Citizen Koch”

posted by Nell Minow

“Citizens United has unleashed money that our disclosure laws are not equipped to reveal.” Tia Lessin and Carl Deal wanted to make a documentary about the toxic effect of corporate money on politics following the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens […]

Jersey Boys: The Real Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

posted by Nell Minow

This week, Clint Eastwood’s film of the wildly successful, Tony Award-winning musical “Jersey Boys” opens in theaters. It is based on the real-life story of one of the most successful pop groups of the 1960’s, The Four Seasons, who produced […]

Interview: James Ward Byrkit of “Coherence”

posted by Nell Minow

James Ward Byrkit wrote “Rango” and designed the visual effects for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.  His new movie, “Coherence,” is a nifty little mind-bender of a psychological thriller that makes the most of its micro-budget.  He talked to […]

Join Chaz Ebert for a Google Hangout Today Celebrating Roger Ebert’s Birthday

posted by Nell Minow

Today, Wed, Jun 18, from 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM, you can join Chaz Ebert and Steve James, the director of the Roger Ebert documentary, “Life Itself,” in a Google Hangout. Participants can win tickets to the Los Angeles, Chicago […]

Explaining “Edge of Tomorrow’s” End

posted by Nell Minow

A lot of people complained about the ending of “Edge of Tomorrow,” but I liked it.  And I really liked this explanation of what it all meant from my friend Hamilton Whitney at FilmHamster.  [Spoiler alert, of course.]  Here’s the […]

WGN’s Nick DiGilio Show: Interview on “Maleficent,” “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” “Coherence,” and More

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks, as always, to my pal Nick Digilio, who had me on his WGN radio show last weekend to talk about what’s going on in movie theaters.

Great News About What’s Coming from Pixar, Kristin Wiig, and The Magic Schoolbus

posted by Nell Minow

Great news about three upcoming projects! * Pixar has announced that its summer 2015 release will be “Inside Out,” which takes place inside the mind of an 11 year old girl.  Her emotions will be the characters: Anger (Lewis Black), Sadness […]

Superb Essay on the Objects in “All that Heaven Allows”

posted by Nell Minow

Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman starred in two films directed by Douglas Sirk in the 1950’s, All That Heaven Allows and Magnificent Obsession.  When they were released, they were considered glossy, if soapy, romantic dramas without much insight or artistic […]

New Clip: What If with Daniel Radcliffe

posted by Nell Minow

What If, with Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, seems like a 21st century “When Harry Meant Sally….”  I hope so!

EW Explains the Inside Jokes from “22 Jump Street”

posted by Nell Minow

I got most of these, and especially enjoyed the “Benjamin Hill Center for Film Studies,” glimpsed during the silly chase scene.  But I didn’t know anything about this one. [Directors] Lord and Miller treated fans with another Easter egg when they […]

Michael Mirasol’s Tribute to Movie Fathers

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Michael Mirasol has created a beautiful tribute to some of the greatest fathers in the movies.

List: 10 Great Movie Dads

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Father’s Day!  Check out Turner Classic Movies’ great line-up of movies about fathers.  And here are some of my favorite movie dads. 1. Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) in “To Kill a Mockingbird” The last line of the movie says […]

Happy Flag Day! James Cagney as George M. Cohan in “Yankee Doodle Dandy”

posted by Nell Minow

Criticwire Survey: Should You Look Down on YA Movies?

posted by Nell Minow

The folks at Criticwire have a weekly survey of questions for movie critics.  This week’s question is especially important. Q: Many of the positive reviews for “The Fault in Our Stars” boil down to either “It’s good for what it […]

Movies Get Wiser About GLBT: How To Train Your Dragon 2 and 22 Jump Street

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s two big national releases are both sequels featuring Jonah Hill.  But they have something more important in common: Both reflect a wiser, kinder, more just treatment of GLBT characters.  It was only a few years ago that I […]

M. Knight Shyamalan at the National Press Club

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director M. Knight Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense,” “Unbreakable,” “The Last Airbender,” “After Earth”), appeared at the National Press Club this week to talk about his side project, an intensive assessment of American schools and proposals for reform, as described in […]

Interview: Dean DeBlois of “How to Train Your Dragon 2″

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Dean DeBlois is one of my favorite people to interview and it was delightful to talk to him about the wonderful “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” Just give me the basics just to set the stage. Tell me […]

Free This Weekend: My eBook on Movie Dads

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of Father’s Day, my eBook, 50 Must-See Movies: Fathers is FREE through Monday, June 16, 2014. What do “Wall Street” and the “Star Wars” saga and, seemingly, about half the movies ever made have in common? They are about […]

22 Jump Street

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language throughout, sexual content, drug material, brief nudity and some violence
Movie Release Date:June 13, 2014
DVD Release Date:November 18, 2014
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, sexual content, drug material, brief nudity and some violence
Movie Release Date: June 13, 2014
DVD Release Date: November 18, 2014

It can be treacherous to go meta in a sequel, especially in the sequel to movie based on a television series that was already pretty meta, with a climax that included appearances by Johnny Depp and some of the other […]

The Grand Seduction

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material and drug references
Movie Release Date:June 13, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material and drug references
Movie Release Date: June 13, 2014

This utterly beguiling, comfort-food remake of the French-Canadian film La Grande Seduction is about adorable residents of an impoverished fishing harbor in Canada who come up with a plan to bring a recycling factory and all of its jobs to their town. […]

How to Train Your Dragon 2

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for adventure action and some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:June 13, 2014
DVD Release Date:November 10, 2014
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for adventure action and some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: June 13, 2014
DVD Release Date: November 10, 2014

“How to Train Your Dragon 2″ is all fans of the original were hoping and has a good shot at being not just the best animated film of the year but one of the best in any category and for […]

Tribute: Ruby Dee

posted by Nell Minow

We lost one of the greats today, the actor and activist Ruby Dee. Kennedy Center honoree with her husband, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee is as much a legend for her pioneering work as a leader of the Civil Rights movement […]

Interview: “Obvious Child’s” Jenny Slate and Gillian Robespierre

posted by Nell Minow

Jenny Slate gives a star-making performance in “Obvious Child,” a romantic comedy about Donna, a young stand-up comic who becomes pregnant and has an abortion. Her decision is not presented in a comic or light-hearted way. What is revolutionary is […]

Trailer: “The Box Trolls” from LAIKA

posted by Nell Minow

From the brilliant folks behind Paranorman and Coraline, “The Box Trolls,” coming this fall.

“All By Myself” — Hilarious Video From a Man Stranded Overnight in the Las Vegas Airport

posted by Nell Minow

When I get stuck in an airport, I usually buy trashy magazines and trashier food.  This man made a brilliant video.

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Top Sci-Fi Movies

posted by Nell Minow

A strophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, star of this week’s DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, may be critical of the science howlers in some sci-fi movies, but he gave Giant Freakin Robot a list of his sci-fi […]

Trailer: Believe Me

posted by Nell Minow

Coming this fall: “Believe Me,” about colleges students who start a sham Christian charity, from writer/director Will Bakke.

Interview: Dave Clark of the Dave Clark Five

posted by Nell Minow

It was a tremendous thrill to speak to Dave Clark, from the Dave Clark Five, one of the greatest pop groups of all time.  Their string of classic hits include “Glad All Over,” “Bits and Pieces,” “Because,” and “Catch Us […]

Interview: Don McKellar of “The Grand Seduction”

posted by Nell Minow

Before we talked about his charming new film, “The Grand Seduction,” I just had to ask Don McKellar about the plans to make the sensational Broadway musical he co-wrote, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” into a film. He assured me that while […]

Lullaby

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:June 13, 2014
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: June 13, 2014

An outstanding cast, a weighty subject, and the sincerest of intentions are almost enough to make up for an undercooked, stuntish, and stagey script in this story about a man who decides to die and the family he leaves behind. […]

Exclusive Clip: A Basketball Player Finds His Faith in “Midrange”

posted by Nell Minow

I am delighted to have five copies of the new faith-based film “Midrange” to give away.  If you’d like to enter, send an email to moviemom@moviemom.com with “Midrange” in the subject line and tell me your favorite athlete.  Don’t forget […]

Trailer: DVD/Blu-Ray of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”

posted by Nell Minow

Coming in September — one of this year’s most entertaining films, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:2014
DVD Release Date:June 9, 2014
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: 2014
DVD Release Date: June 9, 2014

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s marvelous “Cosmos” reboot comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray this week and it is well worth adding to every family and classroom library.  It is a very worthy successor to Carl Sagan’s classic PBS series of the […]

Bobby Van Hopping in “Small Town Girl” — the Number that Inspired Hugh Jackman’s Tony Awards Opening Number

posted by Nell Minow

Did you see Hugh Jackman hopping through the opening number on the Tony Awards?  Top that next year NPH!  You might have caught a glimpse of the movie dance Jackman paid tribute to as he hopped by, the wonderful Bobby […]

What Were The Best Films of the 60’s?

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Sam Fragoso and his colleagues at Movie Mezzanine for including me in their round-up of the best films of the 1960’s.  I really enjoyed reading through all the different selections.  Check it out and add your own […]

Trailer: Spooky “The Congress” With Robin Wright

posted by Nell Minow

Robin Wright stars as..Robin Wright, well, a version of herself anyway, in this futuristic thriller about an actress who agrees to turn over her cyber-persona to a movie studio so she can get the money she needs to care for […]

List: Sarah Lawrence College and Movies

posted by Nell Minow

This weekend my husband and I are attending a reunion at our alma mater, Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. Our son also graduated from Sarah Lawrence, and our niece will enroll in the MFA program in writing there […]

Coming to Theaters: Monty Python Live Reunion Performance

posted by Nell Minow

Monty Python is having a reunion and the (mostly) live performance will be in theaters courtesy of Fathom Events and Picturehouse Entertainment.   John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin will reunite on stage for the first time in over […]

Yes, Trailers Get Awards, Too

posted by Nell Minow

It’s a different kind of artistry and it is a lot of fun to check out the winners of the 15th annual Golden Trailer Awards.  After all, who can resist a selection that includes an award for “Trashiest Trailer?”

Edge of Tomorrow

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material
Movie Release Date:June 6, 2014
DVD Release Date:October 7, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material
Movie Release Date: June 6, 2014
DVD Release Date: October 7, 2014

Are there moments you would like to relive, so you could make a different choice? It’s a universal fantasy that has played out many times in books and films. It can be a gift (About Time). It can be a […]

The Fault in Our Stars

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexuality and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:June 6, 2014
DVD Release Date:September 15, 2014
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexuality and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: June 6, 2014
DVD Release Date: September 15, 2014

John Green’s best-selling novel, The Fault in Our Stars is the story of kids with cancer, but it is not about dying.  It is about living.  This exquisite adaptation is that rare film based on a beloved novel that does full justice […]

Words and Pictures

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual material including nude sketches, language and some mature thematic material
Movie Release Date:June 6, 2014
DVD Release Date:September 9, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual material including nude sketches, language and some mature thematic material
Movie Release Date: June 6, 2014
DVD Release Date: September 9, 2014

What a refreshing change to have a witty grown-up love story in the midst of summer movie season. Popping up in the middle of monsters, superheroes, and special effects is this endearing romance built around what Shakespeare (and George Orwell) […]

Trailer: Earth to Echo

posted by Nell Minow

It looks pretty “ET”-ish, but I’m still intrigued.

Fault in Our Stars: The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

The film of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, 72 weeks on the best-seller list, comes to theaters this week, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as teenagers with cancer who manage to find love and meaning in a […]

MVP of the Month: Brendan Gleeson

posted by Nell Minow

This month’s Most Valuable Player has to be the brilliant Irish actor Brendan Gleeson, a mountain of a man with great physical power but great subtlety as an actor. He has two very different roles in this week’s sci-fi action […]

Can You Identify The Films From One Line in a Review?

posted by Nell Minow

I had a lot of fun taking this quiz from Politix — and it got even more fun when I found out that one of the answers came from one of my reviews.  (P.S. I got a perfect score.)

Citizen Koch

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:June 6, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: June 6, 2014

The 2010 Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case opened the door — no, opened the floodgates — to unlimited and unaccountable political spending by corporations and wealthy individuals.  The case itself rose from a film about Hillary Clinton […]

Lupita Nyong’o Joins the Cast of the New “Star Wars”

posted by Nell Minow

Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o and “Game of Thrones” star Gwendoline Christie have been added to the cast of the new “Star Wars” film. Very exciting news!

Interview: Fred Schepisi of “Words and Pictures”

posted by Nell Minow

Fred Schepisi is a soft spoken Australian director whose films include “Roxanne,” the charming update of “Cyrano de Bergerac” starring Steve Martin, and the thoughtful drama about connection and disconnection, “Six Degrees of Separation,” starring Will Smith. His new movie […]

Trailer: “Lullabye” With Garrett Hedlund, Amy Adams, and Richard Jenkins

posted by Nell Minow

Once you’ve dried your tears from this week’s “Fault in Our Stars,” keep a little extra Kleenex around for “Lullabye,” starring Garrett Hedlund, Richard Jenkins, Anne Archer, Amy Adams, Terrence Howard, and Jennifer Hudson.

John Hanlon Remembers Drive-Ins

posted by Nell Minow

I have some great memories of drive-ins and never miss a chance to visit Disney World’s Sci-Fi Drive-In Restaurant.  So I got a special kick out of seeing my friend and fellow critic John Hanlon interviewed about his drive-in memories. […]

What’s Up, Chuck Jones? New Museum Exhibit Pays Tribute to Bugs Bunny’s Creator

posted by Nell Minow

“Eschew the ordinary, disdain the commonplace. If you have a single-minded need for something, let it be the unusual, the esoteric, the bizarre, the unexpected.” Chuck Jones Animation director and artist Charles Martin “Chuck” Jones (1912–2002) was often asked whether […]

How Did They Do That Quicksilver Scene in “X-Men: Days of Future Past?”

posted by Nell Minow

The most mind-blowing scene in the blockbuster “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is when the Quicksilver character played by Evan Peters stops time and rearranges everything from the trajectories of bullets seemingly suspended in air to the positions of the […]

Trailer: Magic in the Moonlight from Woody Allen

posted by Nell Minow

Woody Allen’s latest seems like a variation on many of his favorite themes, from magicians (“Curse of the Jade Scorpion,” “Scoop,” “New York Stories”) to the disruptive impact of a lovely young woman (many, many films).  And, as always, he […]

Contest: A Tiger’s Tail

posted by Nell Minow

This is the story of young boy named Billy, his lovable dog, Buster, an adorable, curious tiger cub named Luna.  When Billy accidentally brings home Luna from a wild animal park, he turns to his best friend, Koby, and his […]

Adam Levine Sings “Lost Stars” in “Begin Again”

posted by Nell Minow

More About Maleficent

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Leslie Combemale, movie critic and animation expert, wrote a great post about the Maleficent character.  I was so glad she included information about the great character actor Eleanor Audley. who voiced Maleficent and also the evil stepmother in […]

Helping Visually Impaired “See” Movies

posted by Nell Minow

“Not Much to See” explores the impact of movies on people with visual impairment.

Maleficent

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of fantasy action and violence, including frightening images
Movie Release Date:May 30, 2014
DVD Release Date:November 3, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of fantasy action and violence, including frightening images
Movie Release Date: May 30, 2014
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2014

What makes bad guys bad?  We’ve always been told that Sleeping Beauty was cursed at birth by a wicked fairy caught up in a jealous fury because she was not invited to the christening.  In the classic 1959 Disney animated […]

A Million Ways to Die in the West

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, language throughout, some violence and drug material
Movie Release Date:May 30, 2014
DVD Release Date:October 7, 2014
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, language throughout, some violence and drug material
Movie Release Date: May 30, 2014
DVD Release Date: October 7, 2014

When Seth MacFarlane tops his unprecedented success on television with three animated series (“Family Guy,” “The Cleveland Show,” “American Dad”) and his first feature film was a blockbuster — the talking teddy bear movie Ted is the highest grossing R […]

List: Comedy Westerns

posted by Nell Minow

Movies and westerns were made for each other.  Hollywood came along not long after the era of westward expansion and access to the stunning landscapes of Monument Valley and endless vistas of desert and sagebrush was nearby.  The earliest commercial […]

Trailer: This Is Where I Leave You

posted by Nell Minow

I just finished reading Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You, the story of adult siblings sitting shiva following the death of their father. So I am really looking forward to the upcoming film starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, […]

Maleficent and Other Sleeping Beauty Tales

posted by Nell Minow

Angelina Jolie stars in this week’s “Maleficent,” the Sleeping Beauty story told from the perspective of the jealous and angry fairy who curses the baby princess to prick her finger and fall into a permanent sleep. The original story exists […]

Interview: John Ottman, Editor and Composer of “X-Men: Days of Future Past”

posted by Nell Minow

I last talked to editor/composer John Ottman about “Jack the Giant Slayer” and loved hearing about his unique combination of roles, often working with his former classmate, director Bryan Singer.  They collaborated again on X-Men: Days of Future Past and it […]

Why We Remember: Memorial Day 2014

posted by Nell Minow

Dragons: Defenders of Berk, Part 2

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2014
DVD Release Date:May 26, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2014
DVD Release Date: May 26, 2014

Get ready for what looks like this summer’s most exciting animated film, “How to Train Your Dragons 2,” with this new DVD/Blu-Ray release from the related television series, “Defenders of Berk.” And here’s a sneak peek at the film!

Memorial Day Movies

posted by Nell Minow

I’ve already written about great documentaries and feature films about the military to watch on Memorial Day.  This year, I will add some of the recent documentaries about our 21st century conflicts. They are not pro-war or anti-war. They are […]

Travis: A Soldier’s Story

posted by Nell Minow

For Memorial Day, take a look at this short film about the documentary, “Travis: A Soldier’s Story” and see if you can arrange a screening in your area.

AFI Docs Announces 2014 Schedule with Ebert’s “Life Itself” in the Spotlight

posted by Nell Minow

I am a proud sponsor of Washington’s magnificent annual documentary festival and this year’s list of films is outstanding. I’m delighted that director Steve James will be there with his documentary about Roger Ebert, “Life Itself.” Also scheduled: 112 WEDDINGS: […]

X-Men: Days of Future Past

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi violence and action, some suggestive material, nudity and language
Movie Release Date:May 23, 2014
DVD Release Date:October 13, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi violence and action, some suggestive material, nudity and language
Movie Release Date: May 23, 2014
DVD Release Date: October 13, 2014

X-Men fans will see this film anticipating the pleasure of watching their favorite X-Men characters in one of the comic book series most acclaimed storylines: the time-bending saga of a desperate trip to the past to undo one tragic mistake. […]

Blended

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and language.
Movie Release Date:May 23, 2014
DVD Release Date:August 26, 2014
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and language.
Movie Release Date: May 23, 2014
DVD Release Date: August 26, 2014

Oh, if perennial Razzie-winner Adam Sandler must keep making movies, I suppose they are less terrible when he includes his sweetest co-star, Drew Barrymore. She always brings out the best in him (“The Wedding Singer,” “50 First Dates”). The imperishable […]

Pixar Founder John Lasseter Gives the Graduation Speech at CalArts

posted by Nell Minow

“Your voice is worthwhile. Have faith in it.”

Cliff Curtis is a New Zealander Who Plays All Ethnicities

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to take a look at this extraordinary compilation of clips showing off the astonishing versatility of a actor Cliff Curtis.  And I love his comment on being cast as characters of so many different ethnicities in an interview […]

Interview: Sister Stephen, End of Life Nurse from “American Nurse”

posted by Nell Minow

Director Carolyn Jones told me that she learned more from Sister Stephen than anyone she has ever met.  Sister Stephen is an end-of-life nurse featured in Jones’ documentary, The American Nurse.  I also learned a great deal from her, even […]

Disney Imagineers Take Audio-Animatronics To a New Level — For an Old Movie

posted by Nell Minow

Disney’s first feature-length animated film was “Snow White,” so it is fitting that their first use of stunning new technology for animating life-size figures should be a return to those beloved characters.  Take a look at this — it will […]

Contest: Win a DVD of “A Short History of Decay” Starring Bryan Greenberg

posted by Nell Minow

Short History of Decay will be out on DVD June 10, 2014, and I am delighted to have copies to give away. Bryan Greenberg (Friends with Benefits, Bride Wars, Prime), Linda Lavin (“Alice”), Harris Yulin (Training Day), Kathleen Rose Perkins […]

Interview: Carolyn Jones of “American Nurse”

posted by Nell Minow

“American Nurse” is a deeply moving documentary about the men and women who are, as the bumper sticker says, “patient people.”  The film explores aging, war, poverty, and prisons through the work and lives of nurses.  Jason Short drives up a […]

Interview: Gia Coppola of “Palo Alto”

posted by Nell Minow

Gia Coppola is the 27-year-old writer/director of a new film called “Palo Alto,” based on a book of stories by James Franco, who appears in the film.  Other performers in the movie are, like Coppola, Hollywood-bred.  Coppola is the granddaughter […]

The “Airplane” Guys Are Back With Ads Touting Their Home State of Wisconsin: Go Cheeseheads!

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Robert Elisberg always has a delightful selection of treats on his blog, almost always items I never see anywhere else.  I loved his post about a new series of ads for Travel Wisconsin from the zany guys who made […]

Interview: Sarah Drew of “Moms’ Night Out”

posted by Nell Minow

“Grey’s Anatomy” star Sarah Drew stars in the delightful “Moms’ Night Out.”  I was thrilled to get a chance to interview her. One of my favorite things about this movie was the way it avoided the usual daffy misunderstandings between […]

The 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

posted by Nell Minow

Sixty years ago today the US Supreme Court issued one of the most momentous judicial decisions in history: Brown v. Board of Education, reversing past law holding that “separate but equal” schools violated the Constitution.  My sister, Martha Minow, wrote […]

Trailer: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day

posted by Nell Minow

Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner star in this new Disney film based on one of my favorite books by one of my favorite people. The book has already been filmed twice, once as an animated musical with songs by “Annie’s” […]

Interview: Mark Ciardi, Producer of “Million Dollar Arm”

posted by Nell Minow

Mark Ciardi is an athlete turned producer who specializes in taking real-life sports stories that sound like Disney movies into actual Disney movies: “The Rookie” and “Miracle.”  His latest is the Cinderella story “Million Dollar Arm” about sports agent J.B. […]

Trailer: Diane Keaton and Michael Douglas in “And So It Goes”

posted by Nell Minow

Godzilla

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence
Movie Release Date:May 16, 2014
DVD Release Date:September 16, 2014
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence
Movie Release Date: May 16, 2014
DVD Release Date: September 16, 2014

All the basic ingredients are there for a slam-bang summer monster movie.  We have people in helmets and hazmat suits running to try to get away from something scary.  We have a scientist pleading with a military officer to trust […]

Million Dollar Arm

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild language and some suggestive content
Movie Release Date:May 16, 2014
DVD Release Date:October 6, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild language and some suggestive content
Movie Release Date: May 16, 2014
DVD Release Date: October 6, 2014

The folks behind feel-good, based-on-a-true-sports-Cinderella-story, Disney movies “The Rookie” and “Miracle” are back with another.  This time it is the story of a real life Jerry Maguire sports agent named J.B. Bernstein (a terrific Jon Hamm) who has fallen on hard […]

Chef

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, including some suggestive references
Movie Release Date:May 16, 2014
DVD Release Date:September 29. 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, including some suggestive references
Movie Release Date: May 16, 2014
DVD Release Date: September 29. 2014

You’re writer/director/actor Jon Favreau.  You’ve been making big-budget films, mostly huge blockbuster successes (“Elf,” “Iron Man”), but also a big-budget bust (Cowboys & Aliens, which I liked).  This might put you in mind of a simpler, more satisfyingly creative time […]

Interview: Sophia Grace and Rosie

posted by Nell Minow

Sophia Grace & Rosie’s Royal Adventure comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray on May 20. I am a big fan of these cute little British girls, and it was a treat to get to talk to them. Sophia Grace, tell […]

New Song From “The Fault in Our Star” — Lykke Li Sings “No One Ever Loved”

posted by Nell Minow

Focus on the Family Responds to My F Review of “Irreplaceable”

posted by Nell Minow

I am most grateful to Focus on the Family for their very courteous response to my review of their film “Irreplaceable,” one of the harshest I have ever published.  I strongly encourage everyone who wants to understand our disagreement to […]

The Story Behind Hollywood’s Love for Superheroes

posted by Nell Minow

There seems to be a new superhero movie every month or two this year.  We’ve already had “Captain America: The Winter Solider” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ and in a couple of weeks we’ll get the new X-Men film.  Quartz […]

List: Godzilla Movies

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most famous movie monsters of all time, Godzilla, returns to the screen this week in a big-budget film starring Bryan Cranston.  It’s a good time to take a look at all the various versions of Godzilla that […]

Contest: Transformers Rescue Bots – Heroes on the Scene

posted by Nell Minow

Transformers Rescue Bots: Heroes On The Scene is the latest in the popular series about the Autobot first responders, Chase, Heatwave, Blades, and Boulder, who work together and with their human friends to keep the little town of Griffin Rock […]

Contest: Bella Sara – Emma’s Wings

posted by Nell Minow

Win a DVD based on the popular Bella Sara cards and books. Bella Sara: Emma’a Wings is an animated fantasy that takes place in “North of North,” a land once filled with beautiful horses.  Emma must triumph over the evil Ivenna who […]

Interview: “Fed Up’s” Laurie David and Stephanie Soechtig

posted by Nell Minow

Oscar-winning producer Laurie David is back with an even more inconvenient truth: our food is killing us and the government is powerless to stop food companies from making it worse. I spoke to David and director Stephanie Soechtig about the […]

Interview: James Levine, Composer of “American Horror Story,” “Royal Pains,” and “Glee”

posted by Nell Minow

Composer James S. Levine worked on two of my favorite television series, so I was especially delighted to get a chance to speak to him.  I love “Glee’s” fabulously curated choral selections.  And I love the soundtrack to “Royal Pains,” […]

For Mother’s Day: Mrs. Jumbo’s Lullaby

posted by Nell Minow

“Duck Dynasty’s” Kay Robertson Talks About Marriage and Motherhood

posted by Nell Minow

Kay Robertson has made a short video for “I am Second” with some frank talk about marriage, motherhood, and her struggles with depression.

The Five Meanest Mothers in Movies

posted by Nell Minow

I’ve posted several times about my favorite movie mothers, all loving, kind, supportive, and wise.  I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite mean movie mothers, too. 1. Now, Voyager Bette Davis is a repressed single […]

Belle

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements, some language and brief smoking images
Movie Release Date:May 9, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements, some language and brief smoking images
Movie Release Date: May 9, 2014

Writer Misan Sagay, director Amma Asante, and actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw have created a film of exceptional understanding, honoring the life of the real-life woman who inspired the story with intelligence, sensitivity, and insight that illuminate her time and our own.  Mbatha-Raw […]

Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some scary images and mild peril
Movie Release Date:May 9, 2014
DVD Release Date:August 25, 2014
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some scary images and mild peril
Movie Release Date: May 9, 2014
DVD Release Date: August 25, 2014

“Oh, Toto,” says Dorothy (“Glee’s” Lea Michelle), “This doesn’t look like the Oz I remember.” Tell it, sister. Why why why why why take the most beloved family film of all time, based on a cherished book, and make a […]

Neighbors

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use throughout
Movie Release Date:May 9, 2014
DVD Release Date:September 23, 2014
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use throughout
Movie Release Date: May 9, 2014
DVD Release Date: September 23, 2014

I admit it.  My always-thin ability to finds humor in movies about irresponsible jerks who won’t grow up has long since evaporated, and if I ever found irresponsibility entertaining, I can no longer remember why.  Though I suspect this development […]

Fed Up

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements including smoking images, and brief mild language
Movie Release Date:May 9, 2014
DVD Release Date:September 9, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements including smoking images, and brief mild language
Movie Release Date: May 9, 2014
DVD Release Date: September 9, 2014

Here’s another inconvenient truth.  Our food is killing us.  And that’s because of something even more poisonous, the corruption of our political system through diversion of corporate money to politicians through campaign contributions and lobbying. Laurie David, producer of the […]

Belle: The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

“Belle,” expanding to theaters across the country tomorrow, is based on the real-life 18th century story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate daughter of a titled British Naval officer (played in the film by Matthew Goode of “A Good Wife”) […]

Kevin B. Lee Rates and Ranks Movie Explosions

posted by Nell Minow

Take a look at this exploration of movie explosions from Kevin B. Lee.  I remember Sylvester Stallone on the “Expendables” panel at Comic-Con saying that they had to film in South America to evade US restictions on firepower.  I like […]

My eBook About Moms in Movies is FREE Until Sunday

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of Mother’s Day, my ebook 50 Must-See Movies: Mothers will be free on Amazon through Sunday. No relationship is more primal, more fraught, more influential, more worried over, more nourishing when good and more devastating when bad that […]

Previous Posts

Meryl Streep Supports Women Screenwriters
Meryl Streep has made a contribution to a lab program for women over 40 who write movies. The only program of its kind, The Writers Lab evolved in recognition of the absence of the female voice in narrative film, along with the dearth of ...

posted 3:59:19pm Apr. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Tony Nominations 2015
The Tony nominations are out! I was delighted to see "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" get several nominations, including best play, best actor Alex Sharp, and best director Marianne Elliott. It is one of the most stunning ...

posted 3:29:24pm Apr. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Disney's Descendants With the Next Generation of Villains
Coming to the Disney Channel this summer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4UUQqefajc& ...

posted 3:47:40pm Apr. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Men in Suits: Costume Designers Talk about "Scandal," "Mad Men," and More Suit-Wearing Characters on TV
The women's clothes get all the attention, but for a costume designer -- and for the actor -- a suit is just as important. Indiewire ...

posted 3:27:23pm Apr. 27, 2015 | read full post »

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

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

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.