Animated

despicable me 3

DESPICABLE ME 3 Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Reformed supervillain Gru is tempted by his long-lost brother to return to a life of crime. (Pre-order it here). IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B+) While not the surprise that the original film was, Despicable Me 3 reclaims the biting wit that launched the franchise. That wit was largely missing from the second film and the Minions spino ...[Read More]

CARS 3 Family Movie Review

CARS 3 Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) Rent or buy Cars 3 here. WHAT’S CARS 3 ABOUT? After finding himself outpaced by younger racers, Lightning McQueen stages a comeback. IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B) Rebounding from the abysmal Cars 2, this finale bring the story full circle to the things that made the underrated first film so meaningful: charm, heart, and inspiration. A few laugh-out-l ...[Read More]

captain underpants

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) Rent Captain Underpants here or buy it from our store! WHAT’S CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS ABOUT? Two boys hypnotize their surly principal into acting like a made-up superhero. Based on the popular book series. IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B) For its first 20 minutes, Captain Underpants is exceptional. High-spirited and surprisingly witty, the film brilliantly c ...[Read More]

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA Family Movie Review

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA Family Movie Review

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA REVIEW (GRADE: B) A lightweight but warm-hearted Halloween movie that’s fit for the whole family, Hotel Transylvania is cleverly designed, enjoyably silly, and not the least bit demanding. Adam Sandler lends his voice as Count Dracula, who has long since given up terrorizing and now runs a hotel for monsters deep within a haunted forest. Taking the perspective that horror ...[Read More]

PARANORMAN Family Movie Review

PARANORMAN Family Movie Review

PARANORMAN REVIEW (GRADE: B+) Earning its place alongside such Halloween-ready classics as The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Corpse Bride, and Coraline, Focus Features’ new animated film ParaNorman boasts incredible design in its characters and locations, stunningly rendered using stop-motion animation. Indeed, it’s one of only a handful of films I’ve seen that is arguably worth seeing in 3D. Th ...[Read More]

ice age

ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT Family Movie Review

ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT REVIEW (GRADE: D+) The law of diminishing returns has definitely taken effect with this series, as each installment since the funny and moving Ice Age (2002) has shown less creative spark than the one that preceded it. Now, as B.B. King sang, “the thrill is gone.” This fourth film is too formulaic to truly engage adults. What was once fresh and clever now mer ...[Read More]

brave

BRAVE Family Movie Review

BRAVE REVIEW (GRADE: B+) There is only one thing that keeps Brave, the new film from Disney-Pixar, from being a “grade-A” movie: it copies its main narrative device wholesale from another recent Disney movie (click here only if you want to know). This lack of originality distracts from Brave‘s quality and bogs down its second act a bit, but the film is ultimately redeemed by taki ...[Read More]

MADAGASCAR 3 Family Movie Review

MADAGASCAR 3 Family Movie Review

MADAGASCAR 3 REVIEW (GRADE: B) By this point, audiences know what they’re getting into with the Madagascar franchise; you either like the manic sugar-coated energy of the series or you don’t. I must admit that the filmmakers have been slowly converting me: I wasn’t overly-impressed with the first movie, but each successive film has actually improved on the one that came before it ...[Read More]

pirates band of misfits

PIRATES: BAND OF MISFITS Family Movie Review

REVIEW (Grade: B+) There’s a moment in Peter Pan, Disney’s classic 1953 animated feature, in which Captain Hook shoots a fellow pirate whose singing annoys him. Though the actual death occurs off-screen, it’s moment of dark humor of the kind that pops up occasionally in The Pirates- Band of Misfits, the delightfully rowdy new offering from Aardman Studios, the animation team that ...[Read More]

the lorax

THE LORAX Family Movie Review

THE LORAX REVIEW (GRADE: B+) Featuring the vocal talents of Danny Devito, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Ed Helms, and Betty White, The Lorax is a bubbly and engaging piece of family entertainment. Based on the book by Dr. Suess, the film follows a young man from a plantless community as he learns the value of nature. The characters and animation are well-realized, the jokes hit their marks, the forest ...[Read More]