Movie Ratings are on a scale of 1-5. Anything rated over 3 stars and is in bold, is totally worth seeing! – I rate pretty harshly.

The Help
2011 (w/ Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer) – 4 stars – A young woman named Eugenia is single and lives in Jackson, Mississippi where all her friends are starting to marry and have babies. She herself was practically raised by a woman of African descent who was her family’s housekeeper. She starts to take an interest in the lives of the housekeepers who work for her friends and other people in Jackson.  She starts to write a book with them about what they’ve gone through living as maids raising white children. It was a very good story and had excellent costumes, hairstyles, and had me laughing and nearly crying at various times throughout the film.  content: profanities and racial remarks, smoking, a couple immodest outfits (cleavage showing), a slight kiss, talk about going to the bathroom. 

Strike Up the Band 1940 (w/ Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland) – 3 stars – Another cute movie with one of my favorite movie duos.  This one is about Jimmy and Mary trying to put on a show with a band they put together so that they can live out their dream and go to Chicago. Cute story with lots of singing and dancing and fun. content: a couple costumes that might be immodest, otherwise nothing I can recall

Mr. Popper’s Penguins
2011 (w/ Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Madeline Carroll, Angela Lansbury, Ophelia Lovibond) – 3 stars – I remember reading this book in grammar school and this movie was quite a bit different, but it did hold a similar ideal.  A boy with an adventurous father eventually grows up feeling unimportant to his dad. He himself is now a father and receives an inheritance of penguins which just drive him nutty but make his kids so happy. content: a lot of penguin poop, kissing, reference to penguins reproducing, champagne shown, one use of God’s name in vain (no other language)

The Last Emperor 1987 (w/ John Lone, Peter O’Toole, Victor Wong, Ying Roucheng, Joan Chen) – 3.25 stars – A long movie that I put off watching for a really long time.  What gorgeous costumes and cinematography! This focuses on the life of the last emperor of China, Pu Yi.  Although he was Emporer for a time, as he got older he realized how he wasn’t in power for his country as he had always believed.  This also focuses on some of his wives and his relationship with them (which they forgot a few, but got his first two). We get to see the struggle he had with his title, wanting freedom, and being controlled by people around him in both China and Japan.  I would have rated this higher if it weren’t for all the things they didn’t have to include in this! content: the Emperor’s wet nurse’s breast is shown, the Empress’ body is visible through her nightgown, although a sheet is covering them – there is a scene where you can see arms reaching around when the Emperor is in bed with his two wives, a woman licks the toes of another woman, smoking, drinking, opium, clips from an old film of footage of the Nagasaki bombing shows violence in murder and graphic dead bodies, a man is shown being shot in the head, another man is shown shooting himself in the head with much blood dripping, a man attempts suicide by cutting his wrists but is rescued from it, kissing, some language use, a naked toddler is shown running around (front and back), an infant is killed (not shown)
[screenshot provided to you by me!]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules 2011 (w/ Zachary Gordon, Devon Bostick, Rachel Harris, Robert Capron, Steve Zahn) – 3 stars – I thought this sequel was cute and really funny. It is about two brothers trying to get to know one another so they can get along even though they usually never get along. content: boy runs around with underwear on, an Indian boy gets ignored by his whole school, kids get teased, some name calling, kids disobeying their parents

Christmas Lodge 2011 (w/ Peter Benson, Michelle Creber, Michael Shanks) – 3 stars – It was a bit of a corny Christian Christmas movie (but really cute and I enjoyed it) about a woman who finds an old lodge where her family spent many Christmases. She decides to restore it with the permission of the man who owned it. content: maybe a kiss, but really there is nothing at all in this that is bad.

The Conspirator 2010 (w/ James McAvoy, Robin Wright Penn, Tom Wilkinson, Kevin Kline, Evan Rachel Wood) – 3.5 stars – A young Civil War Union veteran, who was a lawyer became the defendant of Mary Surratt who was charged with conspiring to kill president Abraham Lincoln. This was a great story and I adore historical biopics.  It was a really sad movie though. content: someone gets stabbed repeatedly, blood is shown, a couple profanities are used, small amount of kissing

The Spy Next Door 2009 (w/ Jackie Chan, Amber Valletta, Madeline Carroll, George Lopez, Billy Ray Cyrus) – 2.5 stars – It was a funny story about a spy who was in love with a woman who had a few children from her late husband.  The kids weren’t so fond of him, but he wanted to get to know them and watch over them.  He didn’t realize how much trouble it would get him into with their mom and with  his job. content: kissing, pre-teen and woman in immodest clothes, name calling, a boy talks about watching porn

South Pacific 1958 (w/ Rossano Brazzi, Mitzi Gaynor, John Kerr, Juanita Hall) – 3 stars – I would have liked this more but the color usage and the focus drove me crazy. I haven’t seen this film since I was a child. The songs were really nice, and the storyline was sweet, but the film bored me here and there (far too long).  The story focuses on two couples during WWII set in the South Seas. One is of a Frenchman who is in love with an American woman, but is keeping something from her. The other is a young American soldier who is falling for an Island girl. This is a depressing movie with a sad and happy ending combined. content: kissing, immodest outfits, racism

A Hard Day’s Night 1964 (w/ Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison) – 3.25 stars – Obviously a Beatles movie. I’ve always loved this movie and still do. The direction and humor in it cracks me up and of course I love the music. I saw it was on instant play so I decided to watch it for probably the 40th time. content: pretend cocaine gestures, smoking, drinking, a couple sexual references such as an orgy mentioned, one word of language used, man in a bath (though he has trousers on, but is topless), women chasing and crying over men
[screenshot provided by me!]

Join the conversation! 21 Comments

  1. The Conspirator suffered from a long running time and a really depressing topic. It could have done with a tighter script. James McAvoy brilliant as always. I prefer stories about peripheral figures during the Civil War, e.g. An Acquaintance with Darkness and Lincoln's Dreams. Great books, get a copy! 😀

  2. I liked The Help, although it was nothing compared to the book. The actresses helped make up for that, though…so wonderful. I hated The Conspirator. I usually love historical biopics (movies & books) but I found this one SO boring. 😦 It seemed to really drag along. And I don't like the Beatles. (might I be the only person on earth?) 🙂

  3. some people say you can be an Elvis or Beatles fan (or Rolling Stones or Beatles fan).  The Beatles made me happy in a time when I had no friends. You are an Elvis fan. My mom is too though she can't stand the Beatles either.  A lot of people have told me that they thought The Conspirator to be boring. I found it really interesting. There are times when I get so bored watching certain films that my ADD kicks in like crazy and I start to do other things while watching the movie, but that actually didn't happen when I watched The Conspirator! odd.Do you recommend I read The Help? I'm a big book reader.

  4. I am both a Beatles and Elvis fan, although more the former than the latter, but can take or leave the Rolling Stones.I think George was the most talented of The Beatles. You?TimP.S. Sorry I'm off topic from the movie recommendations. I haven't seen any of them (except bits and pieces of Hard Day's Night and South Pacific)!

  5. George was my least favorite. I've always been a Ringo fan. 

  6. . . he inspired me to start playing the drums in 5th-8th grade.

  7. loved the help! and of course south pacific 🙂

  8. fun post! we just watched the spy next door last night with my family. the porn comment was so unnecessary! i don't understand why they would put that in a children's movie! we will not watch that one again. we also recently watched mr. poppers, i liked it. and although i wasn't a huge fan of diary of a wimpy kid, i enjoyed the sequel more than i thought i would. here are a few we watched recently- super 8, loved it. midnight in paris, loved it too and blue valentinte, not sure how i feel about it still. great acting, kinda graphic in the bedroom though. it was very realistic. ok. i liked it but it was sad.haven't seen hard days night surprisingly. love the beatles (but btwn them and the stones i'm a stones lover for sure). i heard bungalow bill the other day on the radio and was blown away! i hadn't heard that song in ages. it is soooo awesome! they have so many amazing songs. maybe i need to go listen to the white album and rubber soul 😀

  9. I've been wanting to see the Conspirator…can't wait just cuz I think James McAvoy is always amazing.  =)

  10. Ringo was my favorite too. I think George had the most musical talent of the bunch, though.A drummer, huh? Can you play the solo from Wipeout for us? Awesome!Tim

  11. yeah I agree so much that they should not have made the porn references at all in Spy Next Door. Then you know, little kids who may not know about it might want to know about it. We didn't watch it with my sons, just my husband and I watched it. We like watching those types of films together haha.I want to see Super 8 so badly! I need to make sure that is on my to-watch que. I think Midnight in Paris was on my que.  Blue Valentine I'm not interested in because of all the content I know of that I would skip and I hear there is too much that I'd have to skip, so why bother seeing it at all?  I agree, The Beatles have loads of great songs and Bungalow Bill is one of them. I'm a big Beatles fan.

  12. he really is a great actor. I've seen loads of his films and it all started with the Children of Dune mini-series where he played Leto (the character from the book series that my firstborn is named after). So every time I see his films, I think he's my son. . .isn't that strange, since he's older than me, I'm pretty sure. Anyway, that was probably in 2001/02 and ever since I've been amazed by his acting skills.

  13. Tim, for some reason I can't find the second comment you left me about being a drummer. . .but I couldn't do wipe-out. I did only percussion individual instruments and not in a marching band or anything like that. Rachel even did a year of drums with me (which was truly sweet) until she switched to flute. I mainly played the Bass Drum which I adored. The guys tended to always want the snare parts and I only really remember playing a ragtime type of song on snare (can't remember the title).  The guys always made me do triangle, bass drum, timpani, the block, and cymbals.  To me, in the Beatles, I really liked the harmonies done by George & Paul, I preferred the songs Paul wrote, Ringo was the most fun, and John and Paul each had a unique voice. They were all talented and did a great job together.

  14. Funny how the internet sometimes seems to swallow comments up into the webvoid! I think I had said something about George being the most talented Beatle in my opinion, but Ringo is my favorite. And I asked if you were going to play the drum solo from Wipeout. Or to stay with the Ringo theme, perhaps his solo from The End?As for my own brush* with drumming, I got into it for a short stint. I took piano initially, then played sax starting in 5th grade. In HS I was in the concert band, jazz band and marching band, even becoming drum major starting my junior year, and then student conductor of the concert band senior year. It was in my senior that the music teacher asked if I would mind moving to timpani for at least a while in concert band until he could train one of the incoming freshman percussionists. So I got to play timp for half a year, and at times I filled in elsewhere on percussion. I didn't have the drumming skills for the snare parts, but I could do most of the rest. The best part about playing timpani was when we did the themes from 2001: A Space Odyssey and Hawaii 5-O. Great timp stuff in each one.Tim*Get it? "Brush" with drumming? Because brushes are a type of drumstick used to play the drums. Too obvious** a pun?**One of my drawbacks is that I am a joke over-explainer***.***And when I say "over-explainer", what I mean is …

  15. That's really great. Some drummers in marching bands are so amazing!!  I was never interested in being involved in marching band type of stuff, granted the high schools I attended never had them anyway. I always wanted to learn how to play a full set, but it never happened.  I don't think Ringo ever got much recognition for his drumming, but I also think he held back a lot.  I had to listen to The End, because it's been a while since I had last done so. I do like how smooth his drumming is. He's not sloppy like a lot of drummers seem to sound. Of course to me the best drummer is from the band Fear Factory. . .maybe it's just because I like double bass and bass drums so much?? haha. Sorry if this song freaks you out at all. My oldest brother (who's in his late 30s) played this band far too much around me growing up. . .the singer is a Christian now.

  16. Awesome video, Vic. And it will take a lot more than that to freak me out musically. Do you know how many times I saw "The Song Remains the Same"? Now John Bonham was a guy who knew how to do a drum solo!Ringo actually got a lot of nods from people who considered him one of the most influential drummers in the rock era, not least of whom is Phil Collins. (I haven't used "not least of whom" in years. It felt kind of weird).

  17. You are right about the Elvis vs. Beatles debate…haven't met many that love both. ;)I definitely recommend reading The Help. There was so much in the book that didn't make it into the movie. LOVED the book. 

  18. ooh lots of movie review, thank you! i'm always at a loss for what to see since we don't have tv & i never hear of the movies. i've been wanting to see the help & think i may check out the emperor & the conspirator now too (hadn't heard of them- thanks!). i havent seen the first wimpy kid but really got a kick out of that first one. 

  19. I have yet to see the sequel for The Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Rob and I thought that the main character looked and acted a lot like Fred Savage! Anyway, we were really disappointed that the first movie showed the cover of the dirty magazine his older brother was hiding. It was on focus for a good number of seconds… Besides that, we really liked it.

  20. My mother-in-law LOVES the book. She generally likes popular novels though and reads reviews first before trying out anything. Our tastes are slightly different from each other. So I'm not sure what to say about the novel, because I haven't read it myself.

  21. I don't recall that part, though I might have seen it since I wrote a review for it last year probably. I can see a lot of Fred Savage in him!!!


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About Victoria / Justice Pirate

Victoria. Anabaptist, Wife of Rob, Mom of two boys, minimalist, quilt maker, Resources Adviser/Social Media Manager for anti-human trafficking awareness organization Justice Network (


a hard day's night, movie, movies, ratings, reviews, screen shots, screenshots, suggestion, the conspirator, the help, the last emperor