Holiday weekend + Spring Break + Holy Week = a lot of different movie needs. Do you want something safe to bring the kids down from their sugar high? Do you want a film the family can watch together? Or are you looking for something spiritual to go along side your Good Friday and Easter celebrations? Here are some ideas:
For the Kids
Hop, recently released for streaming or renting, is as sweet and empty as those chocolate bunnies everyone is eating. It will make a fun few moments, but that’s about all. A few better choices are Tintin and Hugo, both lush, rich children’s tales that adults will also enjoy. My pick, though? The Muppets. It’s the perfect mix of humor and sweetness with a healthy dose of idealism.
If you’re looking to take the kiddos to the theater, Mirror Mirror is a sweet and beautiful Snow White story for little girls, gentle and enjoyable for adults. I would skip The Lorax with its heavy-handed environmental message.
For Watching as a Family
It can be hard to find a movie for everyone in the family. We Bought A Zoo, just released for home viewing, is a lovely and beautiful story of a family moving ahead through grief with the help of their own personal zoo. It’s got something for everyone and with only a few instances of language, is safe for the whole family. It has some sad parts, but it ultimately hopeful.
Also sad, but epic, is Steven Speilberg’s War Horse, newly released for home viewing. Tracing a beloved horse through the battles and waste of World War I, the movie has some amazing sequences and excellent moments. It’s war at a PG-13 level and may be disturbing for some children. As a film, I found it a mixed bag with some extremely boring parts.
You should absolutely skip, however, the Tom Hanks 9/11 movie Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Long, pedantic, annoying, and unsatisfying, it is one of the worst movies ever nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award.
If you’re headed to the theater, you can check out the blockbuster The Hunger Games, an excellent film which will start all sorts of discussions in the family. For something lighter, John Carter is still in theaters. Ignore the bad reviews. It’s not the film of the century, but it is a good adventure story with fine special effects. The PG-13 rating is for action/adventure. There’s no sexuality or language (although princesses do dress skimpily on Mars.) If you can find Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, it will make another fine choice. It’s a frothy crowd pleaser safe for the whole family.
Enjoy! Happy Easter!