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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
  • Middle school
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  • Mature High schooler
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Get on Up

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug use, some strong language, and violent situations
Movie Release Date:August 1, 2014
DVD Release Date:January 5, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug use, some strong language, and violent situations
Movie Release Date: August 1, 2014
DVD Release Date: January 5, 2015

There are a lot of challenges in taking on the life story of James Brown, known variously as the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, the Godfather of Soul, Mr. Dynamite and others with variations on the term “Funk.” First […]

Ender’s Game

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence, sci-fi action and thematic material
Movie Release Date:November 1, 2013
DVD Release Date:February 11, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence, sci-fi action and thematic material
Movie Release Date: November 1, 2013
DVD Release Date: February 11, 2014

Director Gavin Hood (“Tsotsi”) has skillfully adapted the Nebula and Hugo award-winning novel about a boy who leads an interplanetary battle against insect-like aliens, doing justice both to the fun of the sci-fi action and to the seriousness of the […]

Beautiful Creatures

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence, scary images, and some sexual material
Movie Release Date:February 14, 2013
DVD Release Date:May 20, 2013
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, scary images, and some sexual material
Movie Release Date: February 14, 2013
DVD Release Date: May 20, 2013

In a small Southern town that feels far from everything, where everyone is “too stupid to leave or too stuck to move,” a teenage boy named Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) dreams every night of a girl he has never seen.  Ethan […]

Won’t Back Down

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements and language
Movie Release Date:September 28, 2012
DVD Release Date:January 15, 2013
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements and language
Movie Release Date: September 28, 2012
DVD Release Date: January 15, 2013

What should have been a rousing, feel-good, “inspired by a true story” film about a mother and a teacher who take on the teacher’s union and the school board to turn around a failing elementary school benefits from strong performances […]

Black Reel Awards Pay Tribute to “The Help”

posted by Nell Minow

It is an honor and a privilege to be invited to participate in one of my very favorite annual movie awards presentations, the Black Reel Awards, which pay tribute to the greatest achievements of the African-American community to the year […]

Best Actress Roundtable: The Critics Debate

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Thelma Adams for including me in her critics roundtable discussion of this year’s Best Actress Oscar nominees.  I found the debate fascinating!

The Help

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

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

‘The Help’ — Viola Davis

posted by Nell Minow

In my opinion, Viola Davis is the finest actress in movies today.  In “Doubt,” she gave the best performance of the year in one short but very powerful scene as the mother of a boy who may have been abused. […]

It’s Kind of a Funny Story

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic issues, sexual content, drug material and language
Movie Release Date:October 8, 2010
DVD Release Date:February 15, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic issues, sexual content, drug material and language
Movie Release Date: October 8, 2010
DVD Release Date: February 15, 2011

A stressed-out teenager impetuously checks himself into a mental hospital in this semi-autobiographical tale based on It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. It is brought to screen by the talented writer-directing team of Anna Boden and Ryan […]

Doubt

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material
Movie Release Date:December 12, 2008
DVD Release Date:April 7, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material
Movie Release Date: December 12, 2008
DVD Release Date: April 7, 2009

Before movies, there were plays, and before plays there were stories told around the campfire. One of the deepest human impulses is the need to tell our stories in part because of the way they help us make sense of […]

Nominations! The Oscars (and the Razzies)

posted by Nell Minow

BEST PICTURE “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” “Frost/Nixon” “Milk “The Reader” “Slumdog Millionaire” BEST ACTRESS Anne Hathaway, “Rachel Getting Married” Angelina Jolie, “Changeling” Melissa Leo, “Frozen River” Meryl Streep, “Doubt” Kate Winslet, “The Reader” BEST ACTOR Frank Langella, “Frost/Nixon” […]

Interview: John Patrick Shanley

posted by Nell Minow

I spoke to writer-director John Patrick Shanley, who has returned to film to direct his Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Doubt.” Best known to film-goers as the Oscar-winning writer of “Moonstruck,” he has spent the past few years working in theater. “Doubt” […]

Previous Posts

Critics: Which Movied Get Childhood Right?
Thanks to Sam Adams and Indiewire for including me in their survey of critics about our favorite movies from the perspective of a child.  Here was my answer: "To Kill a Mockingbird" somehow captures the voice of the novel in allowing us to see ...

posted 11:09:45pm Jun. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: David and Christi Eaton of "Hope Bridge"
David and Christi Eaton wanted to help families devastated by suicide and those who struggle with thoughts of suicide. And so they wrote "Hope ...

posted 3:02:12pm Jun. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: The Good Dinosaur
Coming in summer 2016 from Pixar. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0QlRSVKwFA0?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0" frameborder="0"] ...

posted 8:00:31am Jun. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Honeyglue
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YHHQD3RfCA[/youtube] "Honeyglue" follows the story of Morgan (Adriana Mather), who flips her conservative, protected life upside down after learning she has three months left to live. She sets out on ...

posted 8:00:31am Jun. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Jalmari Helander and Onni Tommila of "Big Game"
Big Game, now in theaters and on VOD, is an exciting action movie about Oskari, a Finnish kid on a solo hunting trip, who has to save the President of the United States when he is ejected from Air Force One during an attack. I spoke to ...

posted 3:53:08pm Jun. 27, 2015 | read full post »

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