Family Film Reviews Children’s Movie Reviews

  • Tron: Legacy

    Tron: Legacy

    Sam Flynn first appears in Tron: Legacy as a child, eager to spend time with his father Kevin (Jeff Bridges). The year is 1989 (that is, around the time of the original film, 1982’s Tron) and Kevin is still the dazzling young software engineer he was back then. (At least, you’re asked to believe mostly that, as he appears in deep shadows, with his back to the camera, and in a couple of awkwardly digitized shots.)

  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

    The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

    The third film in the Chronicles of Narnia franchise begins again during the Second World War, circa 1940. Establishing the era with barely a minute’s worth of shorthand images — a plane in the sky, a British soldier on the street — the film proceeds to re-introduce the younger Pevensies, Lucy (Georgie Henley) and her brother Edmund (Skandar Keynes), living near Cambridge, England, with their aunt and uncle and wholly obnoxious cousin Eustace Scrubb (Will Poulter). While their older siblings are away — Peter (William Moseley) studying for exams and Susan (Anna Popplewell) in America —…

  • Tangled

    Tangled

    “The outside world is a dangerous place, full of selfish people.” So warns Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy), determined to keep her young charge, Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) confined to the tower where she’s lived most of her 18 years. What she doesn’t tell Rapunzel is this: Mother Gothel is herself one of those selfish people, having long ago kidnapped Rapunzel as a baby, in order to gain access to the girl’s magical hair.

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

    It’s the beginning of the end. This much is evident in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. As it follows the first two-thirds of the last book in J.K. Rowling’s series, the kids are mostly grown up, their figures fully formed and their faces, more often than not, worried. And this time, as Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) leave behind their Muggle families, they can’t go back to Hogwarts, the school where they learned to be wizards over the previous six movies. Now they’re on their own, without parents or teachers. Young…

  • Megamind

    Megamind

    Megamind (voiced by Will Ferrell) tends to have bad days. That’s not for lack of trying to have a good one. An alien sent to earth as an infant, he was raised by ambitious but forgettable criminals and survived some difficult schooldays (rejected by his fellow kindergartners). Today he’s the resident super-villain of Metrocity (a name he mispronounces to rhyme with “velocity”), living in a fortress with his minion named Minion (David Cross). Here he devises contraptions and conjures schemes to thwart his enemy, the inexorably righteous and square-jawed Metro Man (Brad Pitt) — another…

  • Secretariat

    Secretariat

    Known as Red around the barn. Secretariat was a spectacular racehorse, one of those rare creatures who lived up to his hype. From the moment he was born, according to the Disney version of his life, the colt was ready to go. He consistently awed and surprised the people around him and set records that have yet to be beaten, even 37 years later.

  • Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

    Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

    Each day, the young barn owl Soren (Jim Sturgess) and his little sister Eglantine (Adrienne deFaria) act out the stories their dad (Hugo Weaving) tells them. These are stories of courageous and wondrous owls, the Guardians, who protect regular, less valiant owls from a group of bad owls. But even as the young siblings imagine themselves into the heroic tales, Soren’s older brother Kludd (Ryan Kwanten) ridicules him for believing them. Dad gives them a hint: “Just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean that it isn’t real.”

  • Alpha & Omega

    Alpha & Omega

    Wolves just want to have fun. At least when they’re omega wolves. According to Alpha & Omega, wolf packs divide themselves into classes, one (omegas) ever childlike and rambunctious, the other (alphas) more serious and responsible, trained in a special “alpha school” to hunt for food and defend their fellow wolves against enemies. The two types respect each other’s differences, but don’t spend much time together. In fact, the alphas tend to look down on the omegas.

  • Flipped

    Flipped

    In 1957, Bryce (Ryan Ketzner as a child, Callan McAuliffe as an eighth grader) moves with his family into a new neighborhood. Across the street, he spots Juli (Morgan Lily, then Madeline Carroll), and both their lives are changed. From now on, through to 1963, when Flipped ends, the kids will be flirting, fighting, and trying to figure out how they feel about each other.

  • Nanny McPhee Returns

    Nanny McPhee Returns

    “I’m managing perfectly well,” protests Isabel Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal) at the start of Nanny McPhee Returns. Even as she says it, you know she doesn’t believe it. And neither do you, for you have seen the meltdowns preceding: her kids are fighting, her house is a mess, her farm is falling apart, she can’t make her tractor payments, and her husband (Ewan McGregor) is away at war.