Popcorn Parents - Family Movie Reviews

Family Movie Review: Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (PG)

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MPAA Rating: PG       Length: 92 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 10+. This film based on the popular children’s book series is about an artistic middle school student who chafes under the many rules of his new school and who decides to wage a war against his new principal. Recurring animation sequences that include characters drawn as zombies; some bullying; some rule-breaking involved with pulling off the pranks; a crush between two teenagers; some kissing; some rude jokes and bathroom humor; and the mention of a character who passed away.

‘Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life’ attempts to channel the subversive cool of ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ in its story about a teenage boy bucking against the rules of his middle school. There are some good character relationships and amusing jokes here, but the film tries a bit too hard.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (PG-13)

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MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 127 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. This film based on the popular children’s book skews older in this adaptation, and would be best for tweens and older. A good amount of fantasy violence, with monsters who are all tongues and tentacles, a battle sequence between those monsters and reanimated skeletons, and some bullying and nightmarish imagery; some bullying; some kissing and young teen crushes; a few curse words; and adults smoke and drink.

The first installment of the popular children’s series gets the Tim Burton treatment in ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.’ The imagery is strong, but the film is overly complicated and flubs the ending.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Queen of Katwe (PG)

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MPAA Rating: PG        Length: 124 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 10+. The film is about a young Ugandan girl who discovers a passion and extreme talent for chess, and attempts to develop her skills while navigating her family life and representing her town. Discussions about a war in Uganda that left children orphaned and involved in violence; our protagonist’s father has recently passed away, leaving the family in poverty; conversations about “sugar daddies” and some sexually themed language and jokes; a teenage girl becomes pregnant; married people kiss on a bed; some bullying; a child is hit by a motorcycle and taken to the hospital, where his wounds are stitched without anesthetic; another child almost drowns; and a few mentions of Christian faith.

‘Queen of Katwe’ is an unlikely sports release from Disney, with its focus on chess and a Ugandan female prodigy. But this kind of inclusion is a good thing, and ‘Queen of Katwe’ is a great film.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Storks (PG)

Kernel Rating (out of 5): whole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernalhalf popcorn kernal

MPAA Rating: PG        Length: 89 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 8+. This animated film follows a stork and human duo who attempt to deliver a baby to a family who requested it, and who are trailed by other birds and wolves who want to derail their plan. A few different scenes with action violence, including a plane crash, a chase with the wolves, and a scene where characters beat each other up to amuse the baby; a variety of bathroom and vomit humor, including a pixelated bird behind; a child asking his parents where babies come from; and some romantic tension between the main stork and human characters.

Moving at a breakneck pace and with a few too many plot twists, ‘Storks’ places a convoluted adventure in a world where anthropomorphic storks deliver packages instead of babies. But the film has a few good gags amid the over-activity.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Sully (PG-13)

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MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 95 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 14+. The film about the emergency landing of a commercial airplane on the Hudson River includes some frightening imagery in the form of nightmares and daydreams in which the plane didn’t successfully land, but crashed in New York City, exploding into fire and killing everyone on board; those images are evocative of Sept. 11, 2001, and are undoubtedly troubling. The water landing itself is also fairy stressful, and could be scary for viewers of all ages. Also some cursing.

‘Sully’ is the kind of American story that director Clint Eastwood loves to tell, of individual heroes facing off against misguided bureaucratic judgment. Tom Hanks’s haunted, evocative performance elevates the film to a level of humanity that is life-affirming.

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