Family Film Reviews Children’s Movie Reviews

  • Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

    Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

    The cats and dogs are at it again. Specifically, the super-secret agent cats and dogs last seen in 2001’s Cats & Dogs are at war again. This time the opposition is complicated by a few new characters, including the galumphy German shepherd Diggs (voiced by James Marsden) and the shrewd Russian Blue cat Catherine (Christina Applegate).

  • Ramona and Beezus

    Ramona and Beezus

    “No matter what my sister Beezus says,” announces Ramona Quimby (Joey King), “I’m not a pest.” She’s got it partly right. Ramona’s view frames most of this movie, but numerous reaction shots invite you to see Ramona from other perspectives. To Beezus (Selena Gomez), as well as their parents, classmates, and neighbors, the nine-year-old is sometimes a pest — lovable and irrepressible, but a pest nonetheless.

  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice

    The Sorcerer's Apprentice

    Dave (Jay Baruchel) is a good kid. He studies physics at school, lives alone in a one-room New York apartment, and does his best to forget a childhood trauma. That trauma is recounted during the early moments of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: as a boy, he stumbles into an old curios shop, where he meets the wild-haired sorcerer Balthazar (Nicolas Cage). Informed that he’s a special child, young Dave is not exactly thrilled. In fact, he’s quite frightened by the raucous magic wreaked by Balthazar and his glowering nemesis Horvath (Alfred Molina). Worse, he’s humiliated when his classmates discover…

  • Despicable Me

    Despicable Me

    Life as a super-villain isn’t what it used to be. Just ask Gru (voiced by Steve Carell). Once a renowned evil genius, he had little trouble cooking up crimes and maintaining his big bad rep. But as Despicable Me begins, Gru is feeling pressure from a new kid on the block: when slick young Vector (Jason Segel) steals the Great Pyramid of Giza, he grabs headlines and makes Gru look “lame.” Even when Gru comes up with a great way to top that stunt by stealing the moon, he finds the Bank of Evil unwilling to make him the usual loan. Drat. Now he can’t finance the shrink-ray gun he’ll need in…

  • The Last Airbender

    The Last Airbender

    Katara (Nicola Peltz) and Sokka (Jackson Rathbone) are like a lot of other siblings: they look after each other, like to explore, and yes, they argue sometimes. But they’re also very different from most human kids. For one thing, they’re members of the Southern Water Tribe, residing at the South Pole, and for another thing, Katara is a Waterbender.

  • The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

    The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

    As The Twilight Saga: Eclipse begins, Bella (Kristen Stewart) has made up her mind. About to graduate from high school, she’s determined to become a vampire like her boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson). She’s remarkably stubborn on this point, despite her beloved’s repeated cautions that vampires are in fact eternally gloomy, pained, and soulless (this as he glitters and sighs and looks very soulful indeed). Still, in order to sate his own overwhelming determination to posses Bella, he agrees to what he calls a “compromise,” namely, he’ll change her if she marries him.

  • Grown Ups

    Grown Ups

    On Fourth of July weekend, five childhood friends are attending a funeral. Oh wait, that doesn’t sound like much fun. Let’s start again: five childhood friends use the passing of their beloved middle school basketball coach as a reason to reunite and remember his advice, that they “play the game of life the same way” they played their big championship victory. That way, he urges them back in 1978, “when the final buzzer of life goes off, you’ll have no regrets.”

  • Toy Story 3

    Toy Story 3

    It’s good to be toys. At least that’s the first thought offered up in Toy Story 3, as Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) and Jessie (Joan Cusack) chase down a runaway train full of orphans (played by a squad of green- and pink-haired trolls). And just when the situation looks most dire, yet another toy—Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) booms in to rescue everyone. It’s fun, it’s rambunctious, and it looks pretty endless. When you’re a toy and played with, you can be heroic and happy every day. Even when you play a villain, you know it’s a game, and you’ll be back into the joyful…

  • The Karate Kid

    The Karate Kid

    Eleven-year-old Dre (Jaden Smith) is miserable as The Karate Kid begins. He and his mother (Taraji P. Henson) are moving from Detroit, the only home he’s ever known, to Beijing. She’s been transferred for work and, more importantly, as she puts it, they’re going to start a new life, following the death of his father.

  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

    Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

    The Prince of Persia lives to leap. From rooftops, across alleyways, down sand dunes, into crevasses — he throws himself again and again into big slow motiony air, his arms outstretched and legs churning, his face blurred and his destination always achieved. Jake Gyllenhaal is the video game hero made flesh! Or at least, digitized.