Family Film Reviews Children’s Movie Reviews

  • Cowboys & Aliens

    Cowboys & Aliens

    When Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) comes to at the start of Cowboys & Aliens, he’s gasping for air. Behind him stretches a New Mexican landscape, with wind blowing and dust slowly swirling. He checks himself: he’s got a bloody gash in his side and an odd dark-metal-and-lights bracelet on his arm. It’s not long before he’s also got an opportunity: three rough-hewn men ride up on him, believing he’s a wanted man and imagining they’ll trade him in for a bounty. Jake has other ideas: in a moment, he’s taken out all three, outfitted himself with their weapons and boots, and…

  • The Smurfs

    The Smurfs

    Everyone knows the Smurfs sing all day — and also that their song is repetitive and annoying. And indeed, when they first appear in Raja Gosnell’s movie, they’re la-la-la-ing in their magical village in their enchanted woods, preparing for the festival of the blue moon. It’s not long before the idyll is upset, and they’ve zapped through a portal created by the blue moon into New York City.

  • Captain America: The First Avenger

    Captain America: The First Avenger

    Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants to go to war. It’s 1942, and he’s a scrawny kid from Brooklyn, too scrawny, according to army doctors, to join up. And indeed, the early images of Steve in Captain America: The First Avenger, emphasize his slender build and visible ribs, as he’s standing shirtless before a doctor, who marks his form “4F.”

  • Winnie The Pooh

    Winnie The Pooh

    For Winnie the Pooh (Jim Cummings), the most important thing is always honey. No matter what time of day or what else might distract him, he comes back to the fact that his tummy is rumbling and he must fill it. Just so, Winnie The Pooh begins as he wakes one fine morning in the Hundred Acre Wood and, on hearing the usual noises from within his pudgy belly and sets out in search of sustenance.

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

    Mainly, it’s the end. The end of Harry Potter’s adventures as a child and teenager, anyway. Ten years after Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) met at Hogwarts, they’re now leaving for good. While they had been forced out in The Deathly Hallows Part 1, now, in Part 2, they return in order to save the school and then find their own lives — apart from it.

  • Zookeeper

    Zookeeper

    Griffin (Kevin James) wants to marry Stephanie (Leslie Bibb). At the start of Zookeeper, he takes her for a horseback ride on a twilit beach, gets down on one knee with a ring, and arranges for fireworks in heart-shapes — and then she says no. For some reason, he hasn’t noticed that she wants to marry a rich man, not a zookeeper.

  • Monte Carlo

    Monte Carlo

    Grace (Selena Gomez) has been saving money for years to pay for her own high school graduation present, a trip to Paris. And so she’s not a little disappointed when her plans — a week with her best friend and coworker down at the Teeny-Town Texas diner, Emma (Katie Cassidy) — are a bust. Number one, they’re traveling with Grace’s uptight, college senior stepsister, Meg (Leighton Meester). Two, all three find their guided tour overscheduled and too fast and mostly boring. Three, they’re caught in the rain. Oh dear!

  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon

    Transformers: Dark of the Moon

    In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, again, the Autobots are attacked by the Decepticons. Again, their world-decimating contest makes humans look puny. And again, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is in the middle of it — though not until after a lengthy prologue, in which you learn about a not-so-coherent revisionist history, wherein President Kennedy accelerated the space race because the Autobots left a secret stash on the moon. You know, on the dark side. (Or, as the film’s annoyingly nonsensical title has it, on the “dark of the moon.”)

  • Cars 2

    Cars 2

    Cars 2 begins as far from Radiator Springs as you can imagine, that is, inside a James Bondy spy movie. When one spy-car sends off his last transmission from inside a villain’s secret hideout, his longtime ally, Finn McMissile (an Aston Martin voiced by Michael Caine) decides to take up the mission. He heads to the Pacific Ocean, specifically, a huge field of ominously flaming oil rigs, and spots the evil weapons designer Professor Zündapp (a boxy Zundapp Janus wearing a monocle and voiced by Thomas Kretschmann). A shootout and a chase scene later, some minion cars are dead (exploded and or drowned in the…

  • Green Lantern

    Green Lantern

    Fear is a potent force in Green Lantern. Those who embrace it turn yellow (literally, as one victim discovers when his blood corpuscles go all sallow under his microscope). The opposite of fear is will, whose proponents glow green and get to fly around the universe without a space ship. It’s better to be green.