Movie Ratings are on a scale of 1-5. I tend to start at a 5 star rating and deduct things based on content, plot, photography/direction, and acting. Anything rated over 3 stars and is in bold, which means I enjoyed it and would probably recommend it or watch it again. (5 star ratings are very rare with me)! – Content is listed for those who are careful about what they or their children view (or what to be aware of)]
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, 2014 (w/ Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, Ed Oxenbould, Kerris Dorsey, Bella Thorne) – 3.25 stars – This was a cute family movie (though I suggest your kids being older kids in watching it. . 10+). Alexander’s family all seem to have perfect lives. Everything has been going their way. Alexander on the other hand seems to have things going terribly wrong for him regularly. Nothing goes his way. On his birthday he decides to make a wish that they would basically experience his life. That is when everything just seems to go very wrong (as you can tell by the title of the film). I enjoyed learning about each of the family members and liked the story. It was fun. Dick Van Dyke made a nice cameo (hilarious too). I laughed a few times in watching this movie. I have not read the children’s book.
content: A mom walks into the bathroom of her teenage son and he gets upset because he is supposedly naked (we see his chest only) but she says she’s seen all the penises in the house; a baby bum is shown, a baby is pees a lot (nothing shown), a kangaroo kicks a man, brother shown slapping his bro, a man shown with fire on his arms, usage of “penis” 3x, “crap” is the worst word used in this movie though someone almost says the s word but doesn’t, people shown throwing up, a person’s head is photoshopped on pictures of women in bikinis, male strippers accidentally hired for a kids’ birthday but they only show their chests to keep it “PG” as the parents yell out to do, some scrapes and falls and mishaps throughout the film
Red Tails, 2012 (w/ Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrance Howard, Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Tristan Wilds, Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley, Marcus T. Paulk, Bryan Cranston, Lee Tergesen, Method Man, Andre Royo) – 3 stars – During WWII African Americans were deemed unfit for combat in the war because of their skin according to the military at the time. This film is set in 1944 based on a true story of a air fighting group unit of African American men called “Tuskegee Airmen”. They are looked down on by other American troops simply because of their race. If you like war movies in general, this one might be one you’d like. Also this is about overcoming racial injustice issues, so that is why I watched it. Very sad but good movie.
content: people shoot many people in planes which you will see blow up or go down in flames throughout the movie, many explosions where you know people are killed in them, bombs shown being dropped, drinking, smoking, a man shown with blood dripping down his face, blood shown being spat up by a man who is injured, a man has a pipe in his mouth often (doesn’t seem to be lit ever), punching, kissing, people shown on fire, prayer shown a few times, sexual innuendos (talking abut if a girl was worth it the night before, someone mentions “balls” hanging from a neck), a woman shown wearing a full slip going to embrace a man shown without a shirt on (sex implied), language: “d word” 8x, long “b word” 1x, “s word” 3x, small “b word” 2x, racial slurs used 1x, God’s name used blasphemously 3x, small “a word” 2x
Tricked, 2013 (documentary) – 1.75 stars – I have watched a lot of stories about human trafficking and the sexual exploitation throughout the world. This one is specifically about sex trafficking in the US. It was probably the second most graphic of the stories I have seen too, which I think was something you didn’t have to do. There is a way to fuzz things out which this one didn’t really do, which could make it alluring instead of disgusting considering the message trying to be displayed. The whole thing is about investigators who have helped women out of the sex trade, or at least tried to. They talk about the struggles and the abuse and the attitude of those who pimp the women as well. It was of course sad and good, but not as good as many others I have reviewed. I wouldn’t recommend it.
content: Some nudity shown from the waist up, girls shown wearing underwear, a scene of a video surveillance of a woman giving a man a massage on his frontal unit (barely fuzzed out at all), lots of language used, sexual abuse recounted as well as a lot of words used to down talk women as if they are only good for sex, men shown wearing barely anything or about to have sex
No Time for Love, 1943 (w/ Claudette Colbert, Fred MacMurray, Richard Haydn) – 3 stars – Katherine is a well known photographer for a journal and she has loads of money and is engaged to her own boss. Her life is pretty simple and she pretty much gets her way all the time but doesn’t really have a very romantic relationship with her fiance. While she is on the job to photograph Irishmen who dig underneath the city in the Hudson River, she sees a hulk of a man who she thinks would be great to photograph for the story named Jim Ryan. Only problem is this man doesn’t want his photograph put in the paper because he doesn’t want to lose his job. She decides to try to protect him, but it is too late when he is published on the paper anyway! Now she feels badly and will try to help him even though she is annoyed by him and can’t stand him. He is annoyed by her and her ritziness and can’t stand her as well. They seem to get along splendidly even though this is troublesome. It was a very funny story.
content: Showgirls shown for a photo session wearing their dance costumes (lots of legs and a little cleavage), a man shown without his shirt with bulging muscles, a man shown wearing barely anything and his bum cheeks are visible for a photo shoot, kissing, a woman hits another woman, lots of men punch each other and have fights with chairs too, smoking, drinking (can’t recall if anyone was drunk or not), language: I think there was either one use of the “d” word or it was the misuse of “hell” but I can’t recall which one (but there was one)
The Good Lie, 2014 (w/ Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Emmanuel Jal, Ger Duany, Kuoth Wiel, Corey Stoll) – 4 stars – This is a great story about Sudanese refugees who were able to make it into the US. There is quite a lot that we see to depict what children would or could have gone through in Sudan during their journey to Kenya seeking refuge. When we get to the US part of the story, a woman who seems to only care about herself really learns about the people she has found jobs for who are refugees. She had no clue and wants to help them. Their struggle in the US is shown as they adjust to life away from home. Considering the books I have read about refugees like them and considering a couple documentaries I have even reviewed here in the past few years, it seemed very spot-on. I know that International Justice Mission had something to do with the making of this film and that was reassuring and how I even found out about the movie (straight from Gary Haugen’s tweets). The story does not focus on the woman in the US much at all like the trailer seemed to do. It was more on the lives and the family made between the refugees who traveled together and lost their entire village. It was a very sad and very good movie. I really enjoyed it and cried a bunch while viewing it. What I loved most about this film is they actually had real Sudanese refugees playing Sudanese refugees! I still need to read Emmanuel Jal’s book (he was a former child soldier slave in Sudan) but he was in this movie.
content: a couple shown making out which shocks people who are not used to such displays of affection, immodesty, a man shown in a tub, a man shown getting out of bed with a woman to indicate sex had happened, a village shown being rampaged by violence, bodies shown floating in a river, an animal is shot at one point, talk about God throughout it, people get shot, fires shown on buildings, starvation shown, a woman shown drinking alcohol (no drunkenness), men shown smoking marijuana a couple of times, language: long “a” word, “s” word, “d” word, God’s name used blasphemously
Kiss and Make-Up, 1934 (w/ Cary Grant, Helen Mack, Genevieve Tobin, Edward Everett Horton) – 2.75 stars – This is one strange story. A Parisian plastic surgeon is obsessed with making women feel better about themselves that he performs surgeries and tells them how to help their skin and how to eat better. His own secretary does everything for him but she doesn’t fall for doing what he wants like all the other ladies who go in for surgeries. There is one woman that he has worked on so often that he calls her a masterpiece of his. He wants to have her as his own. That is when things just go crazy and even has some singing in it. It was very weird and definitely surprising to see for that time in honesty.
content: kissing, deceit, a woman flirts and wants to be with someone she is not married to, a man tells a woman to take off her clothes and she does it without question down to her underwear, other lingerie on women are also shown, women are objectified, drinking, smoking
The Missing Picture, 2013 (documentary) – 2.5 stars – This is a poorly narrated story (simply because the entire thing is monotone and very boring to listen to) though uniquely and artistically portrayed one. The entire story focuses using a story of one person who lived through the war of the Khmer Rouge genocide done by Pol Pot in Cambodia. It is portrayed through minatures carved out and also some video footage to go along with the story. Most of these films were nearly destroyed. The story is not bad, it just dragged a lot and made me sleepy. I have read a few books from survivors that were so interesting that I was intrigued by how this one was portrayed. It was a let down.
content: talk about death and abuse and war throughout
Thirty Day Princess, 1934 (w/ Cary Grant, Sylvia Sidney) – 3 stars – A princess in a European land that is made-up comes to the US to represent her country in order to gain some funding to help the people there. While she goes, she gets the mumps and a girl is found who has struggled with poverty and is an actress trying to make a living and looks just like the princess (same actress of course). There are also journalists and newscasters who have been following the princess around. Cary Grant’s character happens to be one. The dual life is hard for the actress as she starts to fall for him. It was a cute little film. Definitely not memorable for Cary Grant’s ability in acting though. Sylvia Sidney is the one who steals this show folks!
content: deceit, someone tries to harm another person, kissing, drinking, smoking
The Imitation Game, 2014 (w/ Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech , Matthew Beard, Charles Dance, Mark Strong) – 3.75 stars – Alan Turing was a man who believe he could crack a code used by the German Nazis during WWII. He wanted to save people using this code although you’ll find out how difficult that could be when you see this film. Throughout the film we learn about the life of Alan Turing, but mainly about his work and his love for codes starting in his elementary days. Regardless of what your thoughts are on homosexuality, this film does show the hardships one would have gone through in being homosexual in the 1920s-1950s and is a biopic of a man who was extremely bright. There is nothing sexual shown at all throughout this movie which I appreciated greatly. The story is very good and it was interesting to learn this bit of history of Great Britain. The acting was excellent!
content: sex references such as a heterosexual man making jokes about receiving oral sex from a female, use of the word “penis”, talk about death or controlling life/death, someone gets punched, someone gets slapped, war footage of things blowing up, a child is bullied and some of this intense treatment is shown, smoking, drinking without drunkenness, deceit throughout, use of words to mock someone homosexual, an injured man shown missing a limb, language: British terms used (I probably don’t even know them all), long “b” word used, short “a” word used, “Christ” used