spider-man: homecoming


By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT’S SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING ABOUT? With the blessing of Tony Stark (Iron Man), Peter Parker tries to prove himself a hero while juggling a social and academic life. (Buy it here and get the previous five Spidey films here). IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A) One would think rebooting Spider-Man for the third time in 15 years would lead to a stale, unins ...[Read More]

guardians of the galaxy


By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT'S GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 ABOUT? Marvel's intergalactic antiheroes battle new enemies (and old) when a being (Kurt Russell) introduces himself as Peter's father.  IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A-) Everything a sequel should be, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 builds on narrative threads and themes from the first film in satisfying ways, takin ...[Read More]

doctor strange

DOCTOR STRANGE Family Movie Review

  By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT'S DOCTOR STRANGE ABOUT? A brilliant-but-arrogant surgeon takes a journey that will transform him into a time-and-space-bending superhero. Rent or buy it here.  IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B+) Utterly unique in the Marvel movie universe, Doctor Strange presents a metaphysical adventure with dazzling kaleidoscope imagery. Benedict Cumberbatc ...[Read More]

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]



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 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]


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]