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genre

  • Action
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quality

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

who's watching

  • My entire family
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age range

  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
  • 4th - 6th grade
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  • Mature High schooler
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The Choice

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some thematic issues
Movie Release Date:February 5, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some thematic issues
Movie Release Date: February 5, 2016

Nicholas Sparks is one of the rare authors who has become a brand of his own, bigger than any of his movies. One reason is their predicability; fans know what to expect and they won’t be disappointed. The other reason […]

Trailer: LAIKA’s Kubo and the Two Strings

posted by Nell Minow

Clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of Game of Thrones) ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town including Hosato (George Takei), Akihiro (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and Kameyo (Academy Award nominee Brenda Vaccaro). But […]

The Finest Hours

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of peril
Movie Release Date:January 29, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of peril
Movie Release Date: January 29, 2016

“In the Coast Guard they say you gotta go out. They don’t say you gotta come back in.” It was a big nor’easter storm off the coast of Massachusetts. It was February 1952, so communications technology was limited. And not […]

Kung Fu Panda 3

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for martial arts action and some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:January 29, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for martial arts action and some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: January 29, 2016

The only panda more “aw-worthy” than Po (Jack Black), is the National Zoo’s Tian Tian rolling in the snow.  In this third outing, the roly poly martial arts hero is still kind, humble, brave, and wiser than he knows. And, […]

The Lady in the Van

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief unsettling image
Movie Release Date:January 22, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief unsettling image
Movie Release Date: January 22, 2016

What connects us to each other? What creates a sense of obligation? Why is it that we somehow find ourselves alone when we don’t want to be and with others when we don’t want to be? Are there secrets that […]

Son of Saul

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for disturbing violent content, and some graphic nudity
Movie Release Date:January 15, 2016
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for disturbing violent content, and some graphic nudity
Movie Release Date: January 15, 2016

As we move past the time when there are living witnesses to the Holocaust who can tell us their stories, we need more than ever voices like first-time writer/director László Nemes to tell the stories. I know there are those […]

Norm of the North

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild rude humor and action
Movie Release Date:January 15, 2016
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild rude humor and action
Movie Release Date: January 15, 2016

“Norm of the North” is not awful, but it is also not special, not new, not funny, and not that interesting. The script is over-plotted but under-written, with confusing detours and uneven tone. It’s as though instead of coming up […]

Trailer: Midnight Special

posted by Nell Minow

Michael Shannon plays the father of a boy with special powers in “Midnight Special,” from writer/director Jeff Nichols (“Take Shelter”). The cast includes Adam Driver (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”), Kirsten Dunst (“Fargo” TV series), Sam Shepard (“August: Osage County”), […]

Anomalisa

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language
Movie Release Date:January 8, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language
Movie Release Date: January 8, 2016

The “Fregoli delusion” sometimes called the delusion of doubles, is a rare disorder that makes people believe that everyone else in the world is in fact a single person who changes appearance or is in disguise. When Michael Stone (David […]

The Revenant

posted by Nell Minow

In the 1820’s, ladies of fashion liked fur trim. And, true then as now, men like money. So frontiersmen went on trapping expeditions into the wilderness of the young country of the United States of America (played here by British […]

Concussion

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material including some disturbing images, and language
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material including some disturbing images, and language
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2015

It is a true story that seemed to have all the elements for a heartwarming, uplifting story about speaking truth to power, told with big stars and lots of Hollywood gloss. And yet, it does not work. In football terms, […]

Joy

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2015

Jennifer Lawrence is “Joy,” reuniting with her “American Hustle” and “Silver Linings Playbook” #squad, director David O. Russell and co-stars Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper. She plays real-life consumer products inventor and television sales mogul Joy Mangano, who lived […]

Daddy’s Home

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, crude and suggestive content, and for language
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, crude and suggestive content, and for language
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2015

It is sometimes said that competition between men is a substitute for comparing their male body parts. In “Daddy’s Home,” the men actually lower their trousers — in front of a doctor and a woman who has been married to […]

Sisters

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, and for drug use
Movie Release Date:December 18, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, and for drug use
Movie Release Date: December 18, 2015

BFFs Amy Poehler and Tina Fey clearly had a whale of a good time making this movie.  Watching it is another story, and not nearly as good. Yes, I suppose it’s fair to say that women’s humor can be as […]

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor and language
Movie Release Date:December 18, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor and language
Movie Release Date: December 18, 2015

About five minutes after it began, the long-suffering Dave (Jason Lee, looking tired and oh so over this) comes home to find that the irrepressable little singing chipmunks in the midst of a wild party with a half-pipe set up […]

Trailer: Storks

posted by Nell Minow

“Storks” is an animated film with the voice talents of Andy Samberg, Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Kelsey Grammer.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Movie Release Date:December 16, 2015
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Movie Release Date: December 16, 2015

The force is strong in this thrilling new chapter in the story set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Fans will get goosebumps right from the start as the familiar logo and musical theme are followed […]

Trailer: Roald Dahl’s “The BFG”

posted by Nell Minow

Roald Dahl’s book about The BFG (big friendly giant) is coming to theaters, directed by Steven Spielberg and with a script from “E.T” screenwriter Melissa Mathison. (It has a bit of an “E.T.” feel to it, don’t you think?)

The Big Short

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language and some sexuality/nudity
Movie Release Date:December 11, 2015
A
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language and some sexuality/nudity
Movie Release Date: December 11, 2015

Director Adam McKay is so obsessed with the 2008 financial meltdown that he inserted a series of charts and graphs and statistics about it over the closing credits of the silly buddy-cop comedy, The Other Guys. Yes, there was a […]

Christmas Eve

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some peril, thematic elements and language
Movie Release Date:December 4, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some peril, thematic elements and language
Movie Release Date: December 4, 2015

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but the Christmas season is also the most hectic and the most fraught. Our to-do lists are overwhelming. Our expectations are even more so. And then there are the expectations […]

A Royal Night Out

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and brief drug elements
Movie Release Date:December 4, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and brief drug elements
Movie Release Date: December 4, 2015

The fantasy of royalty mingling among the commoners goes back as far as royalty itself, turning up in classic stories from the Arabian nights to Mark Twain’s Prince and The Pauper to Audrey Hepburn’s Oscar-winning Roman Holiday, and in civilian […]

The Letters

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic material including some images of human suffering
Movie Release Date:December 4, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material including some images of human suffering
Movie Release Date: December 4, 2015

Mother Teresa, the Albanian nun who devoted her life to “the poorest of the poor” in India, is one of the foremost figures of the 20th century, and on the way to being recognized as a saint by the Catholic […]

Chi-Raq

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, nudity, language, some violence and drug use
Movie Release Date:December 4, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 25, 2016
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, nudity, language, some violence and drug use
Movie Release Date: December 4, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 25, 2016

“WAKE UP!” Laurence Fishburne pleads at the end of Spike Lee’s incendiary movie, “School Daze,” not just one of Lee’s best films but one of the most important films of the 1980’s. He was not talking to his fellow students. […]

Trailer: Now You See Me 2

posted by Nell Minow

I loved the first one and can’t wait to see this — Daniel Radcliffe joins the group of magician/thieves in “Now You See Me 2,” coming next summer.

Brooklyn

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for a scene of sexuality and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:November 25, 2015
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for a scene of sexuality and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: November 25, 2015

“Brooklyn,” based on the book by Colm Tóibín, is exquisitely lyrical, the story of a young woman who immigrates from Ireland to New York in 1952. She is sad, homesick, and lonely at first, then just as she begins to […]

Carol

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for a scene of sexuality/nudity and brief language
Movie Release Date:November 25, 215
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for a scene of sexuality/nudity and brief language
Movie Release Date: November 25, 215

The most romantic movie of the year is “Carol,” based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith, the author of Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley. But Carol, her second novel, was originally published under another title and […]

The Good Dinosaur

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for peril, action and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:November 25, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for peril, action and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: November 25, 2015

“The Good Dinosaur” is the good movie. Not the great movie. Not the especially memorable movie. Just the perfectly nice and pleasant movie, much stronger in visual splendor than in storyline. Delayed for 18 months as Disney replaced the original […]

Creed

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence, language and some sensuality
Movie Release Date:November 25, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, language and some sensuality
Movie Release Date: November 25, 2015

Rocky had to find the eye of the tiger. When we first met him back in 1976, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) was an amiable, good-hearted lug who loved his pet turtles, Cuff and Link, and if he ever saw himself […]

The Night Before

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for drug use and language throughout, some strong sexual content and graphic nudity
Movie Release Date:November 20, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for drug use and language throughout, some strong sexual content and graphic nudity
Movie Release Date: November 20, 2015

Seth Rogen. Not very surprising guest stars. Many mind-altering substances. Many bodily fluids and functions. Many bad choices. No ability to allow women to be funny, even with some of the best comic actresses of our time in the cast. […]

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

posted by Nell Minow

Can we all just agree that from now on we’ll try to keep it to one book/one movie? This final entry in the Hunger Games series will give the fans what they’ve been waiting for. It’s faithful to the book […]

Secret in Their Eyes

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving disturbing violent content, language and some sexual references
Movie Release Date: November 20, 2015

A girl is murdered. That girl, that crime and the man who did it are seen very differently by different people, all of whom are in law enforcement and all who have sworn to devote their professional lives to justice […]

Trailer: Friends and Romans

posted by Nell Minow

Nick DeMaio, (Michael Rispoli) is an aspiring actor who is perpetually typecast as “Gangster # 3″ in films about the Mob. In an attempt to be taken seriously, he and his Staten Island buddies decide to stage a play—and not […]

The 33

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for a disaster sequence and some language
Movie Release Date:November 13, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for a disaster sequence and some language
Movie Release Date: November 13, 2015

There are other numbers they could have used in the title. 121 — that is how old the Chilean Copiapó mine was when it collapsed in 2010. 2300 — that is how many feet underground the men were when it […]

My All American

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rate PG for thematic elements, language and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date:November 13, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rate PG for thematic elements, language and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date: November 13, 2015

If I wrote this review the way writer-director Angelo Pizzo wrote the script for “My All American,” it would be something like this: I saw a movie. It was about football. Freddie Steinmark worked hard and inspired his team, but […]

Spotlight

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language including sexual references
Movie Release Date:November 13, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language including sexual references
Movie Release Date: November 13, 2015

“Spotlight” is about the ultimate betrayal of trust from an institution that literally represented the Word of God to many people. And it is about whether we will continue to have institutions that serve the essential function of monitoring the […]

Trumbo

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:November 11, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: November 11, 2015

The post-WWII era was one of great relief and great fear. The Nazis had been defeated, but at the cost of bringing into the world the horror of atomic weapons. It was a certainty that the next war would be […]

Spectre

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and languag
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 8, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and languag
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2016

I thought “Skyfall” was the best Bond film ever, from the Adele theme song to the storyline that literally brought Bond (Daniel Craig) home. “Spectre” picks up where “Skyfall” left off, M (Dame Judi Dench) dead, the headquarters destroyed, the […]

The Peanuts Movie

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2015

I admit that I approached this film with some of the same trepidation Charlie Brown approaches the football, knowing Lucy’s history of pulling it out of the way at the last second. I’m a fan of Charles Schultz’s original comic […]

Miss You Already

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2015

Friendship has the best aspects of romantic love and the best of family love, and the worst of both as well. Your friends as are close to you as anyone in the world, which means you can rely on them […]

Burnt

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language throughout
Movie Release Date:October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 25, 2016
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout
Movie Release Date: October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 25, 2016

Tormented but brilliant chef Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) invites the sous chef he hopes to persuade to come work for him to lunch. At Burger King. They are both food snobs. She does not want to touch anything in the […]

Our Brand is Crisis

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 1, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 1, 2016

As we gear up for one of the most improbable and even outlandish Presidential campaigns in US history, we get a movie based on a real-life Presidential campaign in Bolivia, with imported American political consultants transplanting the media-savvy, scorched-earth, mud-slinging […]

Suffragette

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some intense violence, thematic elements, brief strong language and partial nudity
Movie Release Date:October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 1, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some intense violence, thematic elements, brief strong language and partial nudity
Movie Release Date: October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 1, 2016

How do you persuade politicians to give you the vote when you do not have the capacity to vote them out if they deny it? That was the problem faced by women in later 19th and early 20th century Great […]

The Last Witch Hunter

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images
Movie Release Date:October 23, 2015
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images
Movie Release Date: October 23, 2015

A witch would have to cast a spell over me to make me sit through this big, dumb, dull, dud again. And that’s too bad, because I like Vin Diesel and I can easily be put in the mood for […]

Truth

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and a brief nude photo
Movie Release Date:October 23, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 1, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and a brief nude photo
Movie Release Date: October 23, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 1, 2016

Often a movie “based on a true story” confirms and extends our understanding of what happened. This film, based on the “true story” that led to the departure of one of the most respected newsmen of all time, Dan Rather, […]

Steve Jobs

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:September 23, 2014
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: September 23, 2014

If you want a straightforward, fact-checked biography of Apple visionary Steve Jobs, watch Alex Gibney’s documentary, Steve Jobs: The Man In the Machine, or the Ashton Kutcher biopic (better than its reputation), simply titled Jobs. You can read the meticulously […]

Tales of Halloween

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong bloody horror violence throughout, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody horror violence throughout, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2015

True to its name, “Tales of Halloween” is a collection of ten short horror stories of the type that Boy Scouts might tell around a campfire late at night. That’s both its strength and weakness. The movie begins on Halloween […]

Bridge of Spies

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 2, 2016
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 2, 2016

Following World War II, Lord de l’Isle and Dudley was harshly criticized when he organized a legal defense fund for a Nazi general. He responded, “Had I met General Manstein during the war I would have shot him on sight. […]

Room

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2015

Jack (Jacob Tremblay) wakes up on his fifth birthday and says hello to everything in his world. Through his eyes, and his narration, we gradually come to understand that his world is so entirely circumscribed by the walls of his […]

Goosebumps

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for scary and intense creature action and images, and for some rude humor
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 25, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for scary and intense creature action and images, and for some rude humor
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 25, 2016

Screenwriters Mike White (“School of Rock”) and Darren Lemke (“Turbo,””Lost”) bring just the right blend of scary, funny, and heartwarming in this first film based on the books by tween favorite R.L. Stine, the man who put the BOO in […]

Trailer: The Good Dinosaur

posted by Nell Minow

Frances McDormand, Sam Elliott, Jeffrey Wright, Anna Paquin, and Steve Zahn provide the voices in “The Good Dinosaur,” with songs from Taylor Swift. It will be in theaters for Thanksgiving.

A Ballerina’s Tale

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2015

“A Ballerina’s Tale” — the title suggests a fairy story, with sugar plums and a happily ever after ending. But this documentary about Misty Copeland is a story about the brutal hard work and resolve necessary to create those exquisitely […]

Big Stone Gap

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief suggestive material
Movie Release Date:October 9, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief suggestive material
Movie Release Date: October 9, 2015

Even in small towns, big things can happen. Sometimes the most famous movie star in the world stops by and makes international headlines. And even bigger things happen, too — they just don’t get into the newspapers. Adriana Trigiani’s best-selling […]

Freeheld

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, language and sexuality
Movie Release Date:October 9, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 2, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, language and sexuality
Movie Release Date: October 9, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 2, 2016

Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore), a 23-year veteran of the police force, learns that she has terminal cancer. And then she learns something even more devastating — that her registered domestic partner, Stacie Andree (Ellen Page) is not eligible for the […]

Trailer: Martin Sheen and Rooney Mara in “Trash”

posted by Nell Minow

The Martian

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity
Movie Release Date:October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 11, 2016
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity
Movie Release Date: October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 11, 2016

In a crackling sharp movie about brilliant people solving very tough problems, it is endearing that the first and most important involves one of the earliest skills developed by mankind. Indeed, it is the skill that made it both possible […]

99 Homes

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual references, and a brief violent image
Movie Release Date:October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 8, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including some sexual references, and a brief violent image
Movie Release Date: October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2016

It’s not called “99 Houses” or “99 Foreclosures,” though that is how they are seen by some of the characters in the film. The banks and the predatory dealmakers may think of these buildings as “assets” or “derivatives” following the […]

Exclusive Trailer: Full of Grace, The Gospel from a Mother’s Viewpoint

posted by Nell Minow

We are honored to present this exclusive trailer for “Full of Grace,” the story of the Gospel from a mother’s point of view. Mary (Bahia Haifi) and Peter “The Rock” (Noam Jenkins) prepare to embark on a divine mission to […]

The Walk

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements involving perilous situations, and for some nudity, language, brief drug references and smoking
Movie Release Date:October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 4, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements involving perilous situations, and for some nudity, language, brief drug references and smoking
Movie Release Date: October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 4, 2016

If you have vertigo or acrophobia, you will have trouble with “The Walk,” the story of Frenchman Philippe Petit’s tightrope walk between the towers of the World Trade Center. If you don’t have vertigo or acrophobia, you might have after […]

Stonewall

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, language throughout, some violence and drug use
Movie Release Date:September 25, 2015
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, language throughout, some violence and drug use
Movie Release Date: September 25, 2015

In 1969, when the federal government prohibited the firing of gays and lesbians, when it was illegal for them to congregate in a bar or even to have consensual sex, when police harassment and brutality was not only permitted but […]

The Intern

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for suggestive content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:September 25, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 18, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for suggestive content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: September 25, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 18, 2016

Oh, to live in Nancy Meyers-land, where the 60’s and 70’s really are a golden age, where AARP-eligible Oscar winners go to be universally adored by bright young people, and where every sumptuously spacious but cozy home has the kitchen […]

Hotel Transylvania 2

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some scary images, action and rude humor
Movie Release Date:September 25, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 12, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some scary images, action and rude humor
Movie Release Date: September 25, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 12, 2016

Vampire Mavis (Selena Gomez) and human Jonathan (Andy Samberg) fell in love in the first “Hotel Translyvania,” and in this sequel they get married and have a baby named Dennis. He has his father’s unruly red curls. But his grandfather […]

Finders Keepers

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2015

You might not think that a documentary about two men fighting over a severed leg would be funny, touching, and insightful, but it is. You might think that it would be a carnival freak show for the age of YouTube […]

Meet the Patels

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements, brief suggestive images and incidental smoking
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements, brief suggestive images and incidental smoking
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2015

The best documentaries — and the best movies and the best stories — are fascinatingly specific but universal as well. When actor/comedian Ravi Patel agreed to let his parents, Vasant and Champa, try to find him a wife according to […]

Captive

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving violence and substance abuse
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving violence and substance abuse
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2015

Two desperate people who think they have nothing discover that there is still a lot more to lose in this fact-based story about an escaped prisoner and the woman he held captive. The story made headlines throughout the country. Ashley […]

Black Mass

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for brutal violence, language throughout, some sexual references and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2015

The most terrifying image on movie screens this year is the ice blue eyes of crime boss Jimmy “Whitey” Bulger, played by Johnny Depp in “Black Mass.” They are at once opaque, implacable, and piercing. Depp’s performance as the man […]

Everest

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense peril and disturbing images
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 18, 2016
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense peril and disturbing images
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 18, 2016

This is why we can’t have nice things. As the brief history at the beginning of “Everest” points out, the first successful group to reach the summit of the world’s tallest mountain was led by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing […]

The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence and action, some thematic elements, substance use and language
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 14, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence and action, some thematic elements, substance use and language
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 14, 2015

The first Maze Runner movie had an arresting premise and a solid structure, literally and metaphorcally. Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), with his memory wiped, arrived at a mysterious facility called The Glade, populated entirely by teenage boys. It turned out to […]

Trailer: Big Stone Gap with Ashley Judd, Whoopi Goldberg, Jenna Elfman, and Patrick Wilson

posted by Nell Minow

Set in 1978, “Big Stone Gap” tells the story of the ever-ordinary Ave Maria Mulligan (Ashley Judd) who lives a simple life with her mother, runs the pharmacy, directs The Trail of the Lonesome Pine outdoor Drama, and hopes that […]

Trailer: Victor Frankenstein

posted by Nell Minow

James McAvoy plays the doctor who tried to play God, Victor Frankenstein, in this latest film based on the classic novel by Mary Shelley.  Daniel Radcliffe plays his assistant, Igor, and the cast includes “Downton Abbey’s” Jessica Brown Findlay and […]

The Transporter Refueled

posted by Nell Minow

It must be said. The refueled “Transporter” is very low octane. The original had some of the best chase scenes ever filmed and a star-making performance from Jason Statham. This reboot casts newcomer Ed Skrein who is the lower-priced spread […]

Learning to Drive

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and sexual content
Movie Release Date:September 4, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and sexual content
Movie Release Date: September 4, 2015

Katha Pollitt’s wry but bordering on scathing essay about taking her first driving lessons in her 50’s, after her partner of seven years left her for another woman has been turned into a softened but still trenchant film. Patricia Clarkson […]

A Walk in the Woods

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some sexual references
Movie Release Date:September 2, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 28, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some sexual references
Movie Release Date: September 2, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 28, 2015

It isn’t getting to that point where you most often see your friends at funerals. It isn’t feeling stale because instead of promoting a new book, he’s going on some chirpy morning show to promote a reissue of his old […]

Grandma

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some drug use
Movie Release Date:August 21, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 8, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some drug use
Movie Release Date: August 21, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2016

Lily Tomlin is cranky, feisty, tough, and utterly irresistible in this story of a grandmother who has to visit past decisions about her own life in order to help her teenage granddaughter. Tomlin plays the aptly named Elle (French for […]

We Are Your Friends

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, drug use, sexual content and some nudity
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 16, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, drug use, sexual content and some nudity
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 16, 2015

Director Max Joseph brings some of the “Catfish” sensibility to “We Are Your Friends,” with an intimate, documentary feel and a storyline about people in their 20’s who have big dreams but not much understanding about how to achieve them […]

Z for Zachariah

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for a scene of sexuality, partial nudity, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2015
DVD Release Date:October 19, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for a scene of sexuality, partial nudity, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2015
DVD Release Date: October 19, 2015

In 1959, a movie called The World, The Flesh And The Devil imagined a post-apocalyptic world with three surviving humans. In the words of the 1960’s television series, “The Mod Squad,” they could be described as “one black, one white, […]

Being Evel

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2015

Evel Knievel was an international celebrity in the 1960’s-70’s, known for three things: showmanship, stunts that succeeded, and stunts that failed. He was recognized for jumping over 19 cars in his motorcycle, for crash-landing after trying to jump over the […]

Trailer: Love the Coopers, a Family Christmas Story with Diane Keaton, John Goodman, and Olivia Wilde

posted by Nell Minow

Gurukulam

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:August 22, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: August 22, 2015

It is hard to think of a form of communication more contrary to the internal stillness and oneness of meditation than a movie. Meditation seeks to remove our minds and spirits from the distractions of the outside world to free […]

Hitman: Agent 47

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sequences of strong violence, and some language
Movie Release Date:August 21, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 28, 2015
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sequences of strong violence, and some language
Movie Release Date: August 21, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 28, 2015

Maybe someday there will be a good movie based on a videogame. But there’s no evidence of that possibility in the tiresome “Hitman: Agent 47″ based on the first-person shooter Hitman Trilogy. The game keeps the player’s interest through challenges […]

Trailer: Tennis Comedy “Break Point”

posted by Nell Minow

Straight Outta Compton

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language throughout, strong sexuality/nudity, violence, and drug use
Movie Release Date:August 14, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 18, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, strong sexuality/nudity, violence, and drug use
Movie Release Date: August 14, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 18, 2016

“What does NWA stand for?” asks Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti), who is offering to become the manager of a new rap group from the Compton area of Los Angeles. “No Whites Allowed?” “No,” Eric “Eazy-E” Wright answers: “N**** Wit Attitude.” […]

The Man from UNCLE

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for action violence, some suggestive content, and partial nudity
Movie Release Date:August 14, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 16, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for action violence, some suggestive content, and partial nudity
Movie Release Date: August 14, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 16, 2015

Guy Ritchie’s update of the 1960’s television spy series is sleek, sophisticated, and sexy, with lively banter, high style, and oodles of roguish retro charm. Henry Cavill (“Superman,” “The Tudors”) takes the Robert Vaughn role of Napoleon Solo, an army […]

Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements and brief language
Movie Release Date:August 14, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements and brief language
Movie Release Date: August 14, 2015

“Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism” is a cute family fantasy, based on the series of books about a spunky orphan by Georgia Byng. Raffey Cassidy, the enchanting young star who was the highlight of “Tomorrowland,” is perfectly […]

Trailer: About Ray with Dakota Fanning as a Trans Teen

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon

posted by Nell Minow

The smart alecks behind the Harvard Lampoon magazine parodies of Cosmopolitan and Time created their own magazine, the National Lampoon, in 1970, and it was like taking everything the Baby Boomers loved about the subversive humor of MAD Magazine and […]

Trailer: A Politician’s Downfall in “Zipper”

posted by Nell Minow

Ricki and the Flash

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material, brief drug content, sexuality and language
Movie Release Date:August 7, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 23, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material, brief drug content, sexuality and language
Movie Release Date: August 7, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 23, 2015

“Aren’t you allowed to have two dreams?” The person asking the question is Ricki (as she is now known), played by Meryl Streep. She has just accused her ex-husband, Pete (Kevin Kline), of not supporting her dream of playing rock […]

The End of the Tour

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:August 7, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 9, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: August 7, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 9, 2015

Form illuminates content in this imperfect but compelling film based on the real-life audiotapes of a four day interview of author David Foster Wallace in the final days of his book tour for Infinite Jest. The subject of the interview […]

Shaun the Sheep

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for rude humor
Movie Release Date:August 7, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 23, 2015
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for rude humor
Movie Release Date: August 7, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 23, 2015

“Shaun the Sheep is another adorably quirky animated film from Aardman, the folks behind “Wallace and Gromit” and “Chicken Run.” it is a wordless pleasure about a flock of sheep who have an adventure when they get bored with their […]

Fantastic Four

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, and language
Movie Release Date:August 7, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 15, 2015
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, and language
Movie Release Date: August 7, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 15, 2015

Three things a superhero movie should not be: dreary, dull, and tedious. Three things this movie is: see if you can guess. I am a huge fan of the comic book series Fantastic Four, which I first read as a […]

Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date:July 31, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 14, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date: July 31, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 14, 2015

You think you’ve seen it before? Well, it is a familiar situation. Hitchcock had an assassin waiting in a concert hall for the right moment to shoot and our hero trying to stop it — twice, in the original “Man […]

Best of Enemies

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:July 31, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: July 31, 2015

Once upon a time, network television news was dignified, objective, and delivered in stentorian, voice-of-God tones by white, vaguely Protestant men, in half-hour increments at the dinner hour. And then, in 1968, third-ranked network ABC, unable to compete with CBS […]

Trailer: “Risen,” with Cliff Curtis as Jesus

posted by Nell Minow

“Risen” is the story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer played by “Shakespeare In Love’s” Joseph Fiennes. It will be in theaters in January 2016.

Vacation

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude and sexual content and language throughout, and brief graphic nudity
Movie Release Date:July 29, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 3, 2015
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content and language throughout, and brief graphic nudity
Movie Release Date: July 29, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2015

I didn’t like the first one. I didn’t like the sequels. Keep that in mind when I tell you that I really did not like this latest in the gross-out, mean-spirited “Vacation” series, this time with the next generation going […]

Trailer: Nicole Kidman Plays Gertrude Bell in “Queen of the Desert”

posted by Nell Minow

Nicole Kidman plays Gertrude Bell, the first woman to earn top honors in history at Oxford, fluent in six languages, and one of the great adventurers and scholars of the 20th century. Her spiritual home was the Middle East, where […]

Trailer: Mississippi Grind with Ryan Reynolds

posted by Nell Minow

Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn star in “Mississippi Grind,” about two gamblers, one successful, one not, who join forces and go on the road together.

Southpaw

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language throughout, and some violence
Movie Release Date:July 25, 2105
DVD Release Date:October 26, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, and some violence
Movie Release Date: July 25, 2105
DVD Release Date: October 26, 2015

Didactic and unabashedly manipulative, “Southpaw” borrows from almost every boxing movie ever made. It telegraphs every development and then, in case we missed it, tells us what just happened. The dialogue is purplish and melodramatic. The filmmaking is self-consciously arty, […]

Paper Towns

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language, drinking, sexuality and partial nudity -- all involving teens
Movie Release Date: July 25, 2015

Everyone has one. That unobtainable dream we longed for when we were first learning what it felt like to be in love. For most of us, these impossible-to-attain objects of our desire are like training wheels to keep us from […]

Pixels

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive comments
Movie Release Date:July 24, 2015
DVD Release Date:October 26, 2015
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive comments
Movie Release Date: July 24, 2015
DVD Release Date: October 26, 2015

I never thought I’d see Max Headroom or “Fantasy Island” again, much less have to explain them to someone sitting next to me who was a toddler when they were on television, but Adam Sandler is still relentlessly working his […]

Trailer: Before We Go

posted by Nell Minow

Yes, a bit “Before Sunrise,” but there’s nothing wrong with that.  And I love Chris Evans and Alice Eve.  And love stories.

Trailer: Joy with Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro

posted by Nell Minow

“Joy” reunites Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, and writer/director David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook,” “American Hustle”) in a multi-generational story, opening in December 2015.

Trailer: Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette in “Miss You Already”

posted by Nell Minow

Ant-Man

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Movie Release Date:July 17, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 7, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Movie Release Date: July 17, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 7, 2015

San Diego Comic-Con is known for big, loud, and splashy promotions for movies and television series, especially those featuring superheroes.  So it was a delight to come across the tiny “billboard” for “Ant-Man,” smaller than a shoebox, that was the […]

Trainwreck

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use
Movie Release Date:July 17, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 9, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use
Movie Release Date: July 17, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 9, 2015

Judd Apatow has made a bunch of raunchy comedies about man-children who have to learn to grow up and embrace the joys of intimacy and responsibility, and one raunchy comedy (“This is 40″) about a couple who have to learn […]

Trailer: Captive, Starring Kate Mara and David Oyelowo

posted by Nell Minow

Based on the stirring true story, Kate Mara and David Oyelowo star in the story of two desperate people whose lives are changed when he takes her hostage and she reads to him from Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose-Driven Life. […]

Teaser Trailer: Kung Fu Panda 3

posted by Nell Minow

At the end of the last “Kung Fu Panda” movie we got a hint that our hero, an adopted son of a loving father, would get his first chance to meet his biological family. In this new chapter, Po (Jack […]

Trailer: Legend, the Story of The Crime Boss Twin Brothers, The Krays

posted by Nell Minow

Twin brothers known as The Krays” ran a brutal crime ring in 1960’s London. A new movie called “Legend” stars Tom Hardy as both of the identical twin brothers, Ronnie and Reggie Kray. A 1991 film called “The Krays” starred […]

Minions

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for action and rude humor
Movie Release Date:July 10, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 7, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action and rude humor
Movie Release Date: July 10, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 7, 2015

The Minions should pay a little less attention to villains and a little more to penguins. Like “Madagascar’s” penguins, “Despicable Me’s” yellow minions were comic relief characters who took the lead in follow-up features. But the Minions are not quite […]

Self/Less

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, some sexuality, and language
Movie Release Date:July 10, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, some sexuality, and language
Movie Release Date: July 10, 2015

The longing for eternal life has inspired many stories, maybe most of them. What is creating a story itself if not a kind of search for immortality? Anne Rice created her series of books about vampires because the death of […]

Batkid Begins

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades

Children with cancer learn two things, we hear in this documentary about a boy who is being treated for leukemia. They learn how to fight. And, because they are surrounded by caregivers, they learn compassion. When he was two, Miles […]

Trailer: People, Places, and Things with Jemaine Clement and Regina Hall

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: Jenny’s Wedding with Katherine Heigl and Alexis Bledel

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: Glitch

posted by Nell Minow

There’s no US release date set at the moment for this film, also known as “Leading Lady,” but I hope we get to see it. The actress is Katie McGrath, currently in “Jurassic World” and soon to appear in the […]

Trailer: No Ordinary Hero — The SuperDeafy Movie

posted by Nell Minow

Coming next month on DVD, “No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie” is the story of a deaf actor (John Maucere) who plays a deaf superhero in a campy television series. But he wants to be a real hero. A beloved […]

Terminator Genisys

posted by Nell Minow

“I’ll be back,” Arnold Schwarzenegger said in the first “Terminator” movie. He had the title role but only 16 lines, with about a total of 80 words. But those three words have become a legend. It now appears he meant […]

Max

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for action violence, peril, brief language and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date:June 26, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 2, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action violence, peril, brief language and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date: June 26, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 2, 2015

“Max” is a good, old-fashioned story of a boy and a dog who mend each other’s broken hearts.  It is heartwarming without getting treacly, and frank without getting too disturbing.  And it has adventure, romance, loss, and something to say […]

Big Game

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some language
Movie Release Date:June 26, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 17, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some language
Movie Release Date: June 26, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 17, 2015

Yes, it is basically “Die Hard” and “Under Siege” in the mountains of Finland, if Bruce Willis was a kid on a rite-of-passage solo hunting trip.  And instead of executive hostages in a big office building, the kid has to […]

Infinitely Polar Bear

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:June 19, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 4, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: June 19, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 4, 2016

“Infinitely Polar Bear” is the term a young girl uses in this film for bipolar disorder, the mental illness that her father struggled with as he cared for his daughters. It indicates that this sensitive, touching story reflects the perspective […]

Ted 2

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use
Movie Release Date:June 26, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 15, 2015
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use
Movie Release Date: June 26, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 15, 2015

“Subtle” is not a word that naturally comes to mind for a movie that features a bong in the shape of male genitalia (which is more powerful — the longing for weed or the ew-factor of a straight guy who […]

Trailer: He Named Me Malala

posted by Nell Minow

Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The then 15-year-old (she turns 18 this July) was singled out, along with her father, […]

Trailer: The Secret Life of Pets with Jenny Slate and Kevin Hart

posted by Nell Minow

Ever wonder what your pets get up to while you’re away? Jenny Slate, Steve Coogan, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Bobby Moynihan, Lake Bell, Ellie Kemper and Louis C.K. will tell you all about it!

Trailer: Bilal

posted by Nell Minow

This animated film is inspired by the life of Bilal Ibn Rabah, one of Muhammad’s most trusted companions and known for his beautiful voice with which he called people to their prayers.

Inside Out

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action
Movie Release Date:June 19, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 3, 2015
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action
Movie Release Date: June 19, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2015

Roger Ebert liked to refer to movies as an “empathy machine.” He said that the great gift of movies, more than any other art form, is the way they can put us inside the world, experiences, culture, and perspective of […]

Trailer: The End of the Tour

posted by Nell Minow

In 1996, David Lipsky was assigned by Rolling Stone to write a profile of author David Foster Wallace, and so they spent five days together while Wallace was finishing his promotional tour for his book, Infinite Jest. After Wallace committed […]

Jurassic World

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril.
Movie Release Date:June 11, 2015
DVD Release Date:October 20, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril.
Movie Release Date: June 11, 2015
DVD Release Date: October 20, 2015

One problem is that we really do not know very much about dinosaurs, especially live ones, and especially genetically tweaked live ones. A bigger problem is that we keep ignoring what we do know about humans. Over and over again […]

Trailer: Matt Damon in “The Martian”

posted by Nell Minow

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only […]

Trailer: Sharknado 3

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in “Macbeth”

posted by Nell Minow

Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard star in “Macbeth,” Shakespeare’s story of ambition, murder, ghosts, witches, and madness.

Spy

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language throughout, violence, and some sexual content including brief graphic nudity
Movie Release Date:June 5, 2015
DVD Release Date:September 8, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, violence, and some sexual content including brief graphic nudity
Movie Release Date: June 5, 2015
DVD Release Date: September 8, 2015

It is time to celebrate. Melissa McCarthy finally has the movie role she deserves. Writer/director Paul Feig, who directed her in “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat” has wisely given her center stage and allowed her to be quirky and awkward, which […]

Trailer: Suffragette

posted by Nell Minow

Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan star in this film based on the fight to give women the right to vote in the UK.  I wish it had been called “Suffragist,” the term the women themselves preferred (“suffragette” was used by […]

Trailer: The Good Dinosaur

posted by Nell Minow

Entourage

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, strong sexual content, nudity and some drug use
Movie Release Date:June 3, 2015
DVD Release Date:September 28, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, strong sexual content, nudity and some drug use
Movie Release Date: June 3, 2015
DVD Release Date: September 28, 2015

I sometimes muse that it might be nice to have a rule that I spend no more time writing a review of a film than the screenwriter spent writing the script.  If I had, this review could end right here, with […]

Trailer: Results with Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders

posted by Nell Minow

San Andreas

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense disaster action and mayhem throughout, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:May 30, 2015
DVD Release Date:October 12, 2015
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense disaster action and mayhem throughout, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: May 30, 2015
DVD Release Date: October 12, 2015

Another summer blockbuster-by-the-numbers, another dad who needs redemption and re-connection with his family, and the only way he can get it is via massive, catastrophic disasters lovingly created via CGI that feels more real than the emotions, characters, or dialog. […]

Aloha

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language including suggestive comments
Movie Release Date:May 30, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 23, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language including suggestive comments
Movie Release Date: May 30, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 23, 2015

Writer/director Cameron Crowe presents us with an attractive and talented but messy and compromised hero in “Aloha,” and asks us to root for him. The problem is that the film itself is attractive, talent-filled, messy, and compromised, and harder to […]

Trailer: Eva — Yet Another AI Robot Movie

posted by Nell Minow

This is certainly turning out to be the year of the AI robot.  This one stars Daniel Brühl and this time the robot is a child named EVA.

Trailer: The Search for Freedom

posted by Nell Minow

This new documentary tells the stories of the athletes who seek the freedom that comes from living in the moment and doing what makes us feel the most alive. This documentary written and directed by Jon Long (IMAX® Extreme) is […]

Trailer: Batkid Begins

posted by Nell Minow

The amazing Make-a-Wish story that captivated the world is now a movie, and I’ve been looking forward to it since I attended the event at last year’s Comic-Con. Can’t wait.

Tomorrowland

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements, and language
Movie Release Date:May 22, 2015
DVD Release Date:October 12, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements, and language
Movie Release Date: May 22, 2015
DVD Release Date: October 12, 2015

It begins with an argument. Frank (George Clooney) is trying to tell us the story. But he is repeatedly interrupted by someone we will learn is Casey (Britt Robertson). “Try to be a little more upbeat,” she urges him. The […]

I’ll See You in My Dreams

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual material, drug use and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:May 22, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual material, drug use and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: May 22, 2015

Blythe Danner gives a performance of exquisite sensitivity in “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” the story of a lonely widow. She plays Carol, a singer-turned teacher who retired 20 years ago after her husband died. Her friends in a […]

Trailer: Al Pacino in “Manglehorn”

posted by Nell Minow

A strange and lonely man tries to come to terms with a past crime that cost him the love of his life in this film, opening June 19, 2015.

American Sniper

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R for strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:January 16, 2015
DVD Release Date:May 18, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R for strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: January 16, 2015
DVD Release Date: May 18, 2015

The highest-grossing movie of 2014 is also one of the most controversial. Director Clint Eastwood and producer-star Bradley Cooper have made a more subtle and nuanced film than either the people who loved it or the people who hated it […]

Mad Max: Fury Road

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images
Movie Release Date:May 15, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images
Movie Release Date: May 15, 2015

Mad Max (Tom Hardy, taking over from Mel Gibson) stamps on a two-headed lizard and then chews its head off. And that’s just in the first minute. That master of apocalyptic junkyard anarchy, George Miller, is back, bigger, wilder, madder […]

Pitch Perfect 2

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for innuendo and language
Movie Release Date:May 15, 2015
DVD Release Date:September 21, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for innuendo and language
Movie Release Date: May 15, 2015
DVD Release Date: September 21, 2015

“Pitch Perfect 2″ is — bear with me — the musical comedy variation on the “Furious 7″ recipe for success.  The sequel jettisons any pretense of seriousness of purpose, structural logic, or psychological authenticity, joyfully tosses off any pretense of […]

Noble

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, including some violent and sexual situations
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, including some violent and sexual situations
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015

Christina Noble is an Irish woman known as “Mama Tina” to thousands of Vietnamese children and their families. Her own childhood was one of poverty, abandonment, loss, and hardship, but her resilience and determination led her to give children half […]

Bravetown

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language, drug use and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language, drug use and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015

If only salutory intentions and one good performance could save a film so fundamentally wrongly conceived. “Bravetown” starts out as “Footloose,” veers into “Ordinary People,” and ends up as “Swing Kids,” with jaw-dropping shifts in tone and focus and total […]

The D Train

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Unrated
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015

Comedies, especially dark ones, have a lot of freedom when it comes to narrative logic, but the emotional logic still has to ring true. No matter how crazy the storyline gets, the way the characters respond to it has to […]

Ride

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some drug use
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 17, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some drug use
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 17, 2015

A surf bum named Ian (Luke Wilson) is explaining the physics of the interaction between surfboard and wave: it’s an inanimate object in an ever-changing environment. One doesn’t move. One never stops moving in powerful and highly unpredictable ways. And […]

Trailer: “Risen” — A Non-Believer Witnesses Christ’s Resurrection

posted by Nell Minow

Coming January 2016, starring Joseph Fiennes.

May 2015 — Movies Opening This Month

posted by Nell Minow

Fasten your seatbelts!  Summer movies are here.  Tonight “Avengers: Age of Ultron” will explode into theaters.  It’s already a blockbuster overseas. And for those of you who are looking for something more literary, “Far from the Madding Crowd” opens today […]

Far from the Madding Crowd

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 3, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 3, 2015

It may be a British costume drama based on a classic novel, but Thomas Hardy’s saga of a headstrong woman and the three marriage proposals from very different men is not the usual corsets and teacups. Far from the Madding […]

Avengers: Age of Ultron

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action, violence and destruction, and for some suggestive comments
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2015
DVD Release Date:September 28, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action, violence and destruction, and for some suggestive comments
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2015
DVD Release Date: September 28, 2015

Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) sums it up best. Speaking pretty much to himself but also to us in the audience, he notes that he is on a floating city trying to fight off a robot army with arrows. “It doesn’t make […]

Welcome to Me

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, some graphic nudity, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, some graphic nudity, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2015

In “Welcome to Me,” Kristen Wiig plays Alice, a depressed woman diagnosed with borderline personality disorder who wins $86 million in the lottery. She uses much of it to create a one-woman television series that feature monologues about her life […]

Iris

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some strong language
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 23, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some strong language
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 23, 2015

Fashion icon nonagenarian Iris Apfel is renowned for her taste and style. But people who see this movie, the last from documentary legend Albert Maysles, will remember her for her fearlessness and life force. Along with the signature big, round, […]

Trailer: The Little Prince

posted by Nell Minow

The beloved book The Little Prince has been gorgeously animated, with voices including Jeff Bridges, James Franco, and Rachel McAdams.  I love this trailer.

The Age of Adaline

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for a suggestive comment
Movie Release Date:April 24, 2015
DVD Release Date:September 8, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for a suggestive comment
Movie Release Date: April 24, 2015
DVD Release Date: September 8, 2015

Be careful what you wish for.  You think it would be great to stay 29 forever?  Adaline (Blake Lively) finds out that it is not great to become unstuck from time, to watch everyone you love grow old and die, […]

The Water Diviner

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for war violence including some disturbing images
Movie Release Date:April 24, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for war violence including some disturbing images
Movie Release Date: April 24, 2015

Before it detours into not one, not two, but at least three preposterous Hollywood twists, “The Water Diviner” is an absorbing drama about Joshua Connor, an Australian farmer (Russell Crowe, making his directing debut as well) who travels to Turkey […]

Trailer: Aurora

posted by Nell Minow

When will humans (at least those in movies) figure out that putting machines in charge is never a good idea?

Trailer: Ant-Man

posted by Nell Minow

Okay, I admit I was skeptical. I was thinking along the lines of Teeny Little Super Guy from Sesame Street. But I love Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and Corey Stoll and this trailer has me sold.

Trailer — Star Wars: The Force Awakens

posted by Nell Minow

Monkey Kingdom

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2015
DVD Release Date:September 21. 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: April 17, 2015
DVD Release Date: September 21. 2015

Disneynature’s annual wild kingdom-style nature documentary is predictably adorable but surprisingly absorbing. The toque macaque monkeys of Sri Lanka live in the 12th century ruins of Polonnaruwa in a society as rigidly structured and ruthlessly enforced as a high school […]

Ex Machina

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for graphic nudity, language, sexual references and some violence
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2015
DVD Release Date:July 14, 2015
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for graphic nudity, language, sexual references and some violence
Movie Release Date: April 17, 2015
DVD Release Date: July 14, 2015

Movies about artificial intelligence or computers achieving consciousness are, of course, really about what it means to be human. When software and hardware combine to mimic or exceed human qualities in “Her,” “Chappie,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Terminator,” or the […]

True Story

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some disturbing material
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 3, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some disturbing material
Movie Release Date: April 17, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 3, 2015

A reporter in disgrace for fabricating details of a story sits across the table from an orange-jumpsuited prisoner, accused of murdering his wife and three children. They have more in common than either of them expected. They are both outcasts. […]

Trailer: I’ll See You in My Dreams with Blythe Danner

posted by Nell Minow

Blythe Danner is the American equivalent to Helen Mirren — endlessly elegant, witty, radiant. I can’t wait to see this film, which shares its name with the Gus Kahn song and the biopic about Gus Kahn starring Danny Thomas and […]

The Longest Ride

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action
Movie Release Date:April 10, 2015
DVD Release Date:July 14, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action
Movie Release Date: April 10, 2015
DVD Release Date: July 14, 2015

Another spring, another Nicholas Sparks movie. I don’t mind (much) that they are so rigidly formulaic. Every one of them centers on (1) water, (2) letters, and (3) somebody dying. All genre films follow some sort of formula, and we […]

Trailer: Max

posted by Nell Minow

A dog that helped US Marines in Afghanistan returns to the U.S. and is adopted by his handler’s family after suffering a traumatic experience in “Max,” with Lauren Graham, Thomas Haden Church, and Jay Hernandez, scheduled for June 26, 2015.

Furious 7

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:April 3, 2015
DVD Release Date:September 14, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: April 3, 2015
DVD Release Date: September 14, 2015

Who would have picked the Fast & Furious series as the one that would defy the odds and just keep getting better? In part that is because the first one was not very good. And the second wasn’t either. It […]

While We’re Young

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:March 27, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: March 27, 2015

“While We’re Young” opens with an exchange from Ibsen’s “The Master Builder” about what happens when the young come knocking at the door. But it might just as well begin with the wry Amish aphorism, “We grow too soon old […]

The Woman in Gold

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:April 1, 2015
DVD Release Date:July 6, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: April 1, 2015
DVD Release Date: July 6, 2015

The very title is a form of theft. When Gustav Klimt painted the portrait that gives this film its name, he called it “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer.” She was a warm, vibrant young woman who was a vital part of […]

Trailer: Adam Sandler and Peter Dinklage in “Pixels,” a Comedy About the Attack of the Aliens Modeled on Classic Video Games

posted by Nell Minow

The Wrecking Crew

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language, thematic elements and smoking images
Movie Release Date:March 27. 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language, thematic elements and smoking images
Movie Release Date: March 27. 2015

Maybe you like Frank Sinatra and your friend likes the Mamas and Papas. Maybe you’ve argued about who is better, the Beach Boys or Simon and Garfunkel, or maybe you prefer Elvis. Each of those monumentally talented performers had a […]

Home

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date:March 27, 2015
DVD Release Date:July 27, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date: March 27, 2015
DVD Release Date: July 27, 2015

“Home” is a cute and colorful movie about an alien invasion with an important safety tip concerning one of the most destructive forces in the universe, causing utter devastation to every known life form. Yes, it is hitting the dreaded […]

Trailer: Boychoir with Dustin Hoffman, Debra Winger, and Eddie Izzard

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: Simon Pegg and Lake Bell in “Man Up”

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: Dial a Prayer

posted by Nell Minow

Brittany Snow (“Pitch Perfect”) and William H. Macy star in “Dial a Prayer,” about a troubled young woman who takes a job praying for and with anyone who calls in.

Insurgent

posted by Nell Minow

This second in the “Divergent” series suffers from sequel-itis. The exuberance of the premise buoyed the first episode, as we and the central character, Tris (Shailene Woodley) explored the post-apocalyptic world that divided all citizens into strictly segregated factions. But […]

Danny Collins

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, drug use and some nudity
Movie Release Date:March 20, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 29, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, drug use and some nudity
Movie Release Date: March 20, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 29, 2015

Movie stories often begin with the hero or heroine having everything and then losing it or having nothing and then finding it. But some of the best combine them both, as Writer/director Dan Fogelman (“Cars,” “Tangled,” “Crazy Stupid Love”) has […]

The Gunman

posted by Nell Minow

Stars too often produce the kind of movie they want to star in, instead of the kind of movie anyone wants to watch. Co-writer/producer/star Sean Penn is clearly trying to make The Gunman a thinking person’s thriller. You can hear […]

Trailer: Alex of Venice

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Derek Luke (“Empire”) star in “Alex of Venice,” about a woman struggling to meet her commitments at home and at work after her husband (director Chris Messina of “The Mindy Project”) leaves her.

Cinderella

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:March 13, 2015
DVD Release Date:September 14, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: March 13, 2015
DVD Release Date: September 14, 2015

Here’s what’s magical — a fairy tale told in 2015 that is true to the spirit of the classic story by Charles Perrault but is still fresh and real despite the dozens of re-imaginings and the seismic shifts in culture […]

Run All Night

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence, language including sexual references, and some drug use
Movie Release Date:March 13, 2014
DVD Release Date:June 15, 2015
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, language including sexual references, and some drug use
Movie Release Date: March 13, 2014
DVD Release Date: June 15, 2015

Two guys with the understanding of what they have lost and what they have paid to be where they are that only comes with sit opposite each other, drinks on the table between them. They must, at last, reckon with […]

New Trailer: Pixar’s Inside Out

posted by Nell Minow

Unfinished Business

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some strong risque sexual content/graphic nudity, and for language and drug use
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 15, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some strong risque sexual content/graphic nudity, and for language and drug use
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 15, 2015

“Unfinished Business” is a story about three renegade renegades from bureaucracy going up against The Man and the importance of the individual in an era of soul-grinding corporatism. But the movie itself is clearly the product of institutional over-management, as […]

Chappie

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, language and brief nudity
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 15, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, language and brief nudity
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 15, 2015

So, basically, no one here saw “Terminator.” Or “Frankenstein.” But maybe they did see “Robocop?” Or “Short Circuit?” Writer/director Neill Blomkamp likes sci-fi allegories of social and political conflicts, as we saw in “District 9″ and “Elysium.” Here he imagines […]

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some language and suggestive comments
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date:July 14, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some language and suggestive comments
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date: July 14, 2015

A documentary called “Young @ Heart” had a choir of singers in their 80’s performing contemporary rock songs.  The very fact of their age and experience gave an unexpectedly profound meaning to the words.  And in “The Second Best Exotic […]

Merchants of Doubt

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2015

Do you remember the tobacco executives standing up before a Congressional Committee, their right hands raised, each of them swearing that they did not believe that tobacco caused cancer?  That was in 1994, three decades after the US Surgeon General’s […]

Trailer: Like Sunday, Like Rain with Debra Messing and Leighton Meester

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: Love & Mercy with Paul Dano and John Cusack as Brian Wilson

posted by Nell Minow

“Love & Mercy” tells the story of Brian Wilson, the brilliant but troubled member of the Beach Boys.

McFarland USA

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic material, some violence and language
Movie Release Date:February 20, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 1, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material, some violence and language
Movie Release Date: February 20, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 1, 2015

In 1987, Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), who had never coached or even run cross country, took a team of kids from one of the poorest communities in California to a state championship. Of course that would have to become […]

The DUFF

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual material throughout, some language and teen partying
Movie Release Date:February 20, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 8, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual material throughout, some language and teen partying
Movie Release Date: February 20, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 8, 2015

A haiku has 17 syllables. A limerick has five lines. An omelet is made from eggs. And a teen romantic comedy will have our characters visit the mall, a locker room, a classroom, and the school bathroom. There will be […]

Kingsman: The Secret Service

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:February 13, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 8, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: February 13, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 8, 2015

“James Bond? Jason Bourne?” Our hero is being asked for the inspiration for naming his dog JB. “No,” he explains, “Jack Bauer.” This is a cheeky, nasty, meta, po-mo update of the spy genre, self-aware enough to name-check not just […]

Fifty Shades of Grey

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language
Movie Release Date:February 13, 2015
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language
Movie Release Date: February 13, 2015
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2015

The Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy by E.L. James became an international blockbuster best-seller because it satisfies the deepest, most passionate, most secret longing of the female spirit. It has nothing to do with being tied up or spanked, but […]

Trailer: Ratchet and Clank

posted by Nell Minow

Don’t mess with the animators! I really enjoyed this trailer for “Ratchet and Clank,” based on the Ratchet & Clank Sony game.

Jupiter Ascending

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence, sequences of sci-fi action, some suggestive content and partial nudity
Movie Release Date:February 6, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 1, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence, sequences of sci-fi action, some suggestive content and partial nudity
Movie Release Date: February 6, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 1, 2015

“Jupiter Ascending” was released in early 2015 but it was originally scheduled for release in the summer of 2014. It does feel like a summer movie. Somehow warm weather makes us more in the mood for explosions and less in […]

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild crude humor
Movie Release Date:February 6, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 1, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild crude humor
Movie Release Date: February 6, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 1, 2015

Our friends from Bikini Bottom are back in another deliriously silly story, so tender-hearted and cheery that there is no way to resist it. Plus, it has superheroes, a pirate played by Antonio Banderas, existential metaphysics, the guitarist from Guns […]

The Rewrite

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
Movie Release Date:February 6, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
Movie Release Date: February 6, 2015

Sometimes all we want from a movie is Hugh Grant delivering witty, self-deprecating lines about his empty life and bad choices as he learns to find his heart and soul. You know, the cinematic equivalent to eating a pint of […]

Seventh Son

posted by Nell Minow

If “The Big Lebowski” fans ever imagined a re-teaming of Jeff “The Dude” Bridges and Julianne “Maude” Moore, it is unlikely that they would have come up with the idea of this sword-and-sorcery epic based on the first of the […]

Black or White

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language, thematic material involving drug use and drinking, and for a fight
Movie Release Date:January 30, 2015
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language, thematic material involving drug use and drinking, and for a fight
Movie Release Date: January 30, 2015
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2015

Writer-director Mike Binder sure likes to get Kevin Costner drunk. As in his uneven but impressive “The Upside of Anger,” Binder once again has Costner playing a man who is a little lost and usually shnockered, a role well suited […]

Black Sea

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language throughout, some graphic images and violence
Movie Release Date:January 30, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, some graphic images and violence
Movie Release Date: January 30, 2015

Two comments made by characters in this film summarize what it is that makes submarine stories so instantly compelling. “Outside is just dark, cold, and death,” says one. “We all live together or we all die together,” says another. Submarines […]

Strange Magic

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some action and scary images
Movie Release Date:January 23, 2015
DVD Release Date:May 18, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some action and scary images
Movie Release Date: January 23, 2015
DVD Release Date: May 18, 2015

Despite the big names behind it, including George Lucas, who came up with the story and produced, it feels like a straight-to-DVD, about the level of Disney’s Tinkerbell series. It’s bright, colorful, self-affirming, and bouncy. And, likely to be appreciated […]

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