Popcorn Parents - Family Movie Reviews

Family Movie Review: The Red Turtle (PG)

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MPAA Rating: PG       Length: 81 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. This animated film about a shipwrecked man struggling to survive on an isolated island, because of its focus on the passage of time, includes some scenes about sickness and death, including a few in which animals die, are attacked, or killed. Also some scary scenes, including a tsunami; implied nudity when characters are swimming or standing in the water; and a romantic relationship that results in the birth of a child.

The animation of ‘The Red Turtle’ is exquisite, making the film a visual splendor. But the story itself is almost simplistic to a fault, flirting with the fantastical but not going far enough.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: xXx: The Return of Xander Cage (PG-13)

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MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 107 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. This sequel to the 2002 film is more of the same: Lots of pervasive but not gory violence, in the form of gunfights, hand-to-hand combat, grenades, rocket launchers, snipers, and the like; a few curse words, including one use of the f-word; and tons of sexual content and sexually themed jokes. Literally every woman but one is sexually interested in the main character, which means there are some implied sex scenes, including an orgy; many scantily clad women and women in lingerie; and various jokes and puns about sex.

‘xXx: The Return of Xander Cage’ is a movie meant to boost star Vin Diesel’s ego and nothing else. Simultaneously aggressively stupid and begrudgingly entertaining, this ‘xXx’ sequel is filler for your brain.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: A Monster Calls (PG-13)

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MPAA Rating: PG-13         Length: 108 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. Although marketed for kids, ‘A Monster Calls’ is really more appropriate for tweens and older viewers because of its heavy thematic content and emotional elements. A boy deals with the stress, confusion, and grief caused by his mother suffering from cancer, lashing out at family members and peers; various scenes of physical and emotional bullying, including one scene that is somewhat homophobic; and some cursing. Also some fantastical elements with an anthropomorphized tree who comes to life and tells the boy stories that involve death, faith, and loss.

The latest young-adult-novel-turned-film, ‘A Monster Calls,’ approaches its narrative of grief and loss with equal parts nuance and ferocity, plus some beautiful animation. But this film, despite its marketing, is not for children, needing older tween and teen viewers to appreciate its depths.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Sing (PG)

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MPAA Rating: PG       Length: 108 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 8+. This film about animals auditioning for a singing competition includes some modern-day pop music that is sexually suggestive, like bunny rabbits shaking their tails to “Baby Got Back”; a criminal gang involved in theft; some bathroom humor and a few rude jokes; a scary scene where characters almost drown; and some goofy, gross moments, like a lizard’s glass eye popping out.

The latest animated film ‘Sing’ has the same kind of generic ‘be yourself’ message that so many children’s movies do, but is supported by excellent vocal performances and a likeable soundtrack. This isn’t a classic, but it’s enjoyable viewing for younger viewers.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Hidden Figures (PG)

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MPAA Rating: PG       Length: 127 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. This real story about the black women who worked at NASA and helped get the first Americans into space includes some scary moments, including the threats of exploding and crashed rockets and astronauts dying; some horribly racist moments and scenes, including white people mocking and undermining black people; some sexually themed jokes; and some flirtation and kissing between adults.

‘Hidden Figures’ is simultaneously one of the most frustrating and most feel-good movies of the year, unflinchingly portraying the women who battled against American racism and segregation while working for NASA. This is a well-crafted, wonderfully acted crowd pleaser.

By Roxana Hadadi

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Sat Jun 24, 2017 @12:00AM
Chesapeake Crab & Beer Festival, Baltimore
Sat Jun 24, 2017 @12:00AM
Columbia Festival of the Arts, Columbia
Sat Jun 24, 2017 @ 9:00AM
Very Cherry Harvest Party, elkton
Sat Jun 24, 2017 @10:00AM
Lil’ Stars, Columbia
Sat Jun 24, 2017 @10:00AM
Raton en Movimiento, Owings Mills
Sat Jun 24, 2017 @10:00AM
Lavendar Festival, Severn
Sat Jun 24, 2017 @12:00PM
Mess Fest, Baltimore
Sat Jun 24, 2017 @12:00PM
Beerfest, St. Mary's City
Sat Jun 24, 2017 @12:30PM
Father’s Day Kite Flight, Washington D.C
Sat Jun 24, 2017 @ 7:30PM
The Sound of Music, Washington D.C