marvel

captain america civil war family movie review

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT'S CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR ABOUT? When the United Nations wants to assume authority over the Avengers, the heroes are divided over whether to comply. The ideological divide, coupled with a villain's machinations, eventually pit the super-friends against one another. IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A+) Getting right everything Batman v. Superman got ...[Read More]

fantastic four

FANTASTIC FOUR Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT'S FANTASTIC FOUR ABOUT? Exposure to energy from another dimension leaves a group of young adults with a variety of superpowers. IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: D) To be clear, this is a film about Marvel characters, but it is not a Marvel Studios film. Fox owns the rights, and while the studio gave us the occasionally-brilliant X-Men franchise, it al ...[Read More]

spider-man

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Family Movie Review

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN REVIEW (GRADE: B+) A more dramatically mature take on the character than the bubblegum fun of Sam Raimi's trilogy, The Amazing Spider-Man will appeal more to teens and adults, despite targeting merchandise at children. This is due largely to Marc Webb's less fanciful direction and the performances he gets from his actors. Andrew Garfield is much less of a sweet-hearted, lova ...[Read More]

spider-man

SPIDER-MAN Revisited: The Original Trilogy

By Jonathan Decker (Clinical Director, LMFT) With the franchise reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man, getting good buzz and arriving in theaters next week, I thought it time to take a retrospective look at Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, which arguably kicked the current superhero craze into high gear. While it's true that Bryan Singer's X-Men (2000) got the ball rolling, it was the enormous popularity ...[Read More]

avengers

THE AVENGERS Family Movie Review

Review (Grade: A) The most impressive superhero film since The Dark Knight, Marvel Studios’ The Avengers is a funny, thrilling, and character-driven crowd pleaser. Seeing the five films that preceded this one (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor,and Captain America) may enrich the experience, but it’s hardly necessary; the film stands well on its own for those who want to just jump in ...[Read More]

CAPTAIN AMERICA Family Movie Review

CAPTAIN AMERICA Family Movie Review

REVIEW (GRADE: B) : As a superhero-origin movie, Captain America lays out cliche after cliche, following the template of numerous films that have come before it. As a patriotic crowd pleaser, however, it offers plenty of old-fashioned delights. I have to borrow what another reviewer said here, because he summed it up perfectly: “If you’ve got a problem with any of the plot points in Captain ...[Read More]

x-men: first class

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker X-MEN FIRST CLASS REVIEW (GRADE B+): After the sloppy and empty-headed X-Men Origins: Wolverine, this prequel gets the franchise back on track with style and smarts. In fact, I'd say that it's the second-best film in the series, behind only the exemplary X2: X-Men United (unlike many people, I like the first and third films about the same, finding both to be flawed but entertain ...[Read More]

thor

THOR Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) REVIEW (GRADE: B+) Rent or buy Thor here.  Though I've been into superhero movies since I was a boy, I was never a comic-book guy. Knowing nothing of Thor's story except that he was literally the god of thunder from Viking mythology, all I had to go on was glimpses I'd seen of his costume. I repeatedly thought: He looks ridiculous, even for a supe ...[Read More]

iron man 2 family movie review

IRON MAN 2 Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) Rent or buy Iron Man 2 here.  Robert Downey Jr. reprises his star-making role from the first film, as a charmingly egotistical, but ultimately courageous superhero. The film has a terrific cast, some clever banter, and a handful of genuinely thrilling action sequences, but the story isn’t as focused or compelling as that of the first film. It feel ...[Read More]

wolverine

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) Rent or buy X:Men Origins- Wolverine here.  Meh. I know my sisters loved Wolverine, so I won't bad mouth it too much here, but the whole thing felt undercooked to me; plus, the inconsistency of Sabretooth being Wolverine's intelligent brother, compared with the radically different conceptualization of the character in the first film of this same s ...[Read More]