Popcorn Parents - Family Movie Reviews

Family Movie Review: Goodbye Christopher Robin (PG)

Kernel Rating (out of 5): whole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernal (3 out of 5)

MPAA Rating: PG       Length: 107 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 10+. This drama/origin story of the Winnie the Pooh character focuses on the intrafamily dynamics of the Milnes, specifically father and author A. A. and his son and book subject, Christopher Robin. There is some familial fighting, some parental neglect, and a child’s temper tantrums. War is also a central theme, with flashbacks to A. A.’s time in World War I, with scenes in the trenches, explosions, and other suggestions of violence and suffering, and World War II is also discussed, with characters preparing for bombings. Also some scenes of a married couple kissing and in bed together; adult characters drink alcohol; one off-hand remark about “defending” a woman’s “honor” against invading German forces; a child is bullied for years, both physically and verbally; and a few fights between a married couple and two women, with insults traded.

‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ is a tightly crafted, beautiful-looking, emotionally involving film that also happens to be mostly untrue. It will move you, but what if the revelations you’re crying over didn’t actually happen?

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Only the Brave (PG-13)

Kernel Rating (out of 5): whole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernalhalf popcorn kernal(3.5 out of 5)

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 133 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 14+. This film ends tragically, which you could theoretically assume from how the film is being marketed and the fact that it is based on a true story, but still, it’s emotional. Some scary scenes involving firefighting, during which characters’ lives are often threatened; a car-crash scene involves a car flipping over; the depiction of burned animal and human bodies and a subplot involving an abused, burned horse; some cursing; some sexually themed humor, jokes about masturbation, and disparaging insults about women; some vomit and bathroom humor; characters drink alcohol to excess, smoke marijuana (which isn’t portrayed positively), and some discuss their pasts as addicts; and there are a few implied sex scenes.

Prepare to tear up during ‘Only the Brave,’ which boasts a talented ensemble cast in a true story about a group of elite firefighters. The movie is visually and narratively strong, but falters when it steps outside of a totally masculine zone.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Marshall (PG-13)

Kernel Rating (out of 5): whole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernal (3 out of 5)

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 118 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 14+. This film about young Thurgood Marshall, who made history by being the first black man to serve on the Supreme Court, focuses on a case early in his career in which a rich white woman accuses her black driver of raping her. Sexual violence is obviously a major component, and details of the rape are discussed and recreations of it are shown. The film also focuses on the discrimination, racism, and oppression of the time, with numerous uses of the n-word and other insults, curse words, and racist language; a variety of physical violence, including fistfights; adults drink and smoke cigarettes; and there are some implied sex scenes and characters shown in bed together in various states of undress.

Chadwick Boseman makes a charismatic Thurgood Marshall, but this biopic is not what the legendary man deserved. Although the film attempts to tell a larger story about the civil rights movement, its focus is too often turned away from Marshall himself.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: My Little Pony: The Movie (PG)

Kernel Rating (out of 5): whole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernalhalf popcorn kernal (3.5 out of 5)

MPAA Rating: PG          Length: 99 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 7+. A few playful insults between friends; some bathroom humor; some extremely light flirting/romantic undertones between a member of the Mane 6 ponies and a smooth-talking cat; and some action violence caused by the two villains, one of whom was a Pony who was bullied in her childhood, shown in flashback. The action violence includes baddies with skull-like faces who attack, round up, and enslave the ponies; they might be frightening for very young viewers.

Pleasantly self-aware and consistently amusing, ‘My Little Pony: The Movie’ enjoyably transports the bright pastels and sunny disposition of Equestria to the big screen. It’s another win for female-focused animated features this year.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Battle of the Sexes (PG-13)

Kernel Rating (out of 5): whole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernalhalf popcorn kernal (4.5 out of 5)

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 121 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 14+. This drama about the tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs is less about the match itself and more about the gender politics that surrounded it, including the women’s liberation movement, the horrible pushback from men, and the gender divisions in our country, themes that still feel relevant today. There is a lot of casual sexism, comments from men about women only belonging in the kitchen and the bedroom, women who are objectified (some skimpy bikinis and outfits), and other similar conversations. The film also tells the story of King’s growing awareness of her own sexual identity and her affair, so there is a subplot about marital infidelity, some implied sex scenes and nudity, and some kissing. Characters drink, smoke, and take pills, and there is some cursing and lewd jokes.

Emma Stone and Steve Carell are phenomenal in the slickly produced but thoroughly captivating ‘Battle of the Sexes.’ The film feels especially relevant for our current times, and its tackling of the crippling everyday sexism and judgment faced by women and the LGBT community is engrossing.

By Roxana Hadadi

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