September 4th, 2007

Your Turn: Movies

Since posting about my napfest during The Bourne Ultimatum, I’ve been getting lots of questions about movies. It can be awfully hard to find entertaining, inoffensive modern movies to watch as a family or a couple. How do you go about doing it? And what are some of your favorites that you would recommend to others?

I’ll start by sharing what we watched last night: The Painted Veil. Not the best movie we have ever seen, but it tells a moving story that makes for an entertaining and romantic film (for grown ups). Now you share. Let’s make a reader-recommended movie list. What have you been watching lately?

86 comments to Your Turn: Movies

  • My wife and I just finished watching "Holes" last night. We enjoyed it immensely. The actors were well cast, especially the main character, and it’s a very satisfying story.

    Definitely PG.

  • Anonymous

    "MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING" is a #1 movie for my husband and I. (and we are not ones that watch movies over and over…but with this one- you bet!)

  • Danette

    The Courage to Love staring Vanessa Williams is an inspiring movie on the life of Henriette DeLille who became a nun. My husband who did not want to watch it ended up sitting down and watching it with me because he got caught up in it and we both enjoyed the movie.

  • Mary

    EMMA is my favorite romantic movie, and it is a comedy as well – I have watched it a bunch of times and still love it!

    For a family movie, we absolutely love NANNY MCPHEE!

  • Candice

    Premonition was a very good movie. Full of suspense, but I must say very sad.

  • We don’t get to see movies to often with two little ones. But we loved THE ULTIMATE GIFT and FACING THE GIANTS! They both are a must see!

  • We love old fashioned musicals like The Music Man, Guys & Dolls, Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. They’re good for the grown ups and the kids.

  • amy villarreal

    I love the movies already posted. We just watched The Astronaut Farmer this weekend. There were some bad words, but the movie was great overall. All about a family working together. Our 12, 10, and 7 1/2 year old enjoyed it. My 5 year old got a little bored, and 2 year old was asleep. We also love Chronicles of Narnia as a family, although little ones shut their eyes during the sacrifice scene.

  • Jeannine

    We love the movie Return to Me, with David Duchovny and Minnie Driver and Carroll O’Connor. It’s a romantic date-night movie for us. Not necessarily for kids.

  • One of my favorite that we have seen in the past year or so was The Illusionist with Edward Norton and Jessica Biel.

  • Teresa G

    A few recent ones I’ve enjoyed are "Just Like Heaven" with Reese Witherspoon, a light romantic comedy. My husband would’ve slept through "Miss Potter", but I loved it! It stars Renee Zellweger and is about the life of author Beatrix Potter – not a boring biography, but a drama of her life. Very sweet for teen girls and women.

    We’ve also enjoyed the recent action movies "Bourne Ultimatum" (can’t-believe-you-slept-through-it-Danielle!) and Bruce Willis’ "Live Free or Die Hard". But I probably wouldn’t put those on an official "reader recommended movie list" :).

    And Jeannine, three cheers for "Return to Me" – an all time favorite in our home!

  • Debbie

    Hi, I have two suggestions. One is called Champions of Faith. It’s about Major League baseball players and coaches and their Catholic faith. My daughter who’s nine said she didn’t really care about the baseball but she loved the stories. We also just watched Angels in the Outfield with our kids and it was fun. We also love Facing the Giants.

  • Cathy

    We also like musicals. Annie Get Your Gun is a big favorite around our house. We just recently watched The Black Stallion and Escape from Wildcat Canyon. The Black Stallion was excellent. The Escape from WC seemed to be a made-for tv movie, but our 10 year old boy loved it. The library is an excellent source. No cost and you can request a movie if it isn’t in the library. The kids get all excited when I tell them their movie is in and we have to pick it up!

  • Amanda

    Hotel Rwanda was hard to watch, and not for kids, but so worthwhile and enlightening. Nanny McPhee is an awesome kiddo movie and I also love The Princess Diaries and Cinderella Story (the one with Hillary Duff, not Russell Crowe). Oh, also Dreamer with Dakota Fanning! I took my 10 year old to see Surf’s Up and that was also excellent!

  • ryan m.

    "Cinderella Man" is probably my current favorite, but you’re right — it’s hard to find movies worth watching. And I can hardly stand to go into video stores anymore — the cover art for all the (numerous) horror films has become pretty graphic.

  • I’d also recommend RETURN TO ME. It was a wonderful movie. My husband and I both enjoyed it a lot. Good laughs–and a good cry too.

    We rely a lot on recommendations of others who actually Go To The Movies!

  • Molly

    My husband and I love Hitch with Will Smith. Not for kids, but funny and actually very clean. There are only a few comments that are objectionable. We own it and watch it often.

  • Julie Dianne Byrne

    "The Greatest Game Ever Played" is a great movie. It’s about golf, but I loved it. The best line ever in a movie:

    First golfer, "How did you sleep last night?"
    Second golfer, "Like a baby. I woke up every two hours
    and cried".

  • First of all, I loved the Painted Veil. Even more than the novel and that’s hard for me to do. 🙂
    Lately I’ve been watching a whole hodge podge of movies. Such as:
    -_A Few Good Men–OK, can’t watch it with kids due to language but the moral is a good one.
    –Miss Potter is great–Renee Zellwegger stars as author Beatrix Potter (of Peter Rabbit fame), who ends up falling in love with her publisher (Ewan McGreggor). Wonderful acting and kids can watch it too, since there are flashbacks to Beatrix as a kid and the Peter Rabbit characters make frequent apperances. 🙂
    –Finding Neverland

  • Waking Ned Divine
    The Princess Bride
    Chicken Run, (DH says–There’s chickens, there’s running whats not to Love!)
    My family loves Sci Fi and its hard to get them to watch anything else. So we have Star Wars and the collections of Star Gate.

  • We love the Pixar movies, especially A Bug’s Life and my husband (a NASCAR FANactic) got Cars for his birthday. Of course we love Toy Story and The Incredibles as well! We also love the original cartoon version of Charlotte’s Web (haven’t had a chance to see the live action version yet!).

    My husband is studying to become a teacher and he read Because of Winn Dixie which is a beautiful book and a sweet movie that we both laughed and cried our way through.

    We are also big fans of the original Herbie movies. Nothing like Buddy Hackett to make an adult laugh and kids are transfixed by the VW Bug that comes to life.

    Our last "date" was to see Little Miss Sunshine which does have some content (read: language and adult material) issues and is definitely NOT for kids, but also has a VERY powerful message about family.

  • Teresa

    definitely facing the giants- a sports movie based on faith- very moving- my kids love it- and I actually don’t like sports movies- but love it.

  • Jen

    Favorite Family Movies: Curious George, Akeelah and the Bee, Facing the Giants, Night at the Museum

    Just the other night a teenage family friend gave DH and I The Guardian to watch. I thought the movie was excellent. Just enough action and adventure to keep me interested in a typical guy movie. I would definitley watch again. Stars Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher.

  • Kim F.

    My husband and I just watched The Spitfire Grill. I know it’s not a new movie (we might be the last people to see it)…but we both LOVED it. And except for young children, because I think there is one swear word and it would be completely over their heads, I would recommend it to anyone. And when I say "anyone" I mean anyone…my grandmother, my nieces & nephews, our movie snob friends, people who like so called "chick flicks" and people who don’t. It is well written, the actors do a fantastic job, and there is only one character who doesn’t develop in some way…and she’s the town busy-body, most likely put there to represent those all too familiar small town people who thrive off of gossip. I HIGHLY recommend that if you haven’t seen it that you rent it.

  • Joanna

    My husband and I both enjoy the newest Pride and Prejudice and the Notebook for romantic movie night. Return to Me is great as well

  • Al

    Poor Dan……

    At least he still has the Steelers……..

  • Mary

    Miss Potter!!!! My husband tried really hard to stay focused on the work he was doing on his laptop, but at least a quarter of the way through he was glued.

    Also, Freedom Writers. Another one he swore he wouldn’t like and loved.

  • Lindsay

    painted veil was fabulous…

    I like for ADULTS:

    Fun- Return to Me, Just Like Heaven, Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Miss Potter, Elf ( goofball guilty pleasure), O’Brother Where art thou,

    Good Moral Compass Tales- the Insider with Russell Crowe, Welcome to Sarajevo (Violent, rough language), Quiz Show, Hotel Rwanda, The Hurricane, The Verdict

    Drama- Mrs Brown, Tender Mercies, Dear Frankie (lovely romantic drama, Scottish film), The Remains of the Day, Cinderella Man, babette’s Feast (danish)

    Documentary- "Etre et avoir" (To be and to have) it’s a french film about a teacher in a village-a one room school house in present day…lovely.

    my husband and I do Movie night after the kids are asleep, a la Danielle, We use Blockbuster online and generally prefer more obscure stuff. Some of these therfore are probably only available through Blockbuster online or Netflix.


  • Joan

    Hubby and I like to watch Sense and Sensibility and PRide and Predujice along with Nicholas Nickelby. Nice Victorian romance indeed!

  • Nicholas Nickleby, for sure!!
    Mansfield Park
    Anne of Green Gables
    The Scarlett Pimpernel – the version with Anthony Andrews
    Fawlty Towers (old british tv series)
    Little Women – 1994 version
    Cheaper by the Dozen – the orignial 1950 version
    The Phantom of the Opera
    Life is Beautiful

  • nina murphy

    I know this is a movie currently IN theaters, but I had to share: for my birthday, I went to see Becoming Jane and sobbed and sobbed through the whole movie, which I normally DO not do. Yes, I’m pregnant and that might explain a lot, but it certainly touched a chord in me! ;D

  • Connie Dean

    Our Favorite Family movies-

    Song of the South (if you can find a copy anywhere. It’s an old banned Disney movie. Why is it banned? Because it shows African-Americans as slaves….but they were slaves. As a kid, it always gave me more respect for their plight)

    Incredible Journey (original version)

    Heidi (Shirley Temple version)

    Danielle, I’ve really wanted to ask you…Could you let me know what attracted you to Pan’s Labyrinth? I’m so curious. Both my husband and I rented it upon your advice. We found it uselessly, graphically violent, intensely depressing, disgusting (sick-o moster thing that eats children), and it had no redeeming qualities. The Communists were portrayed as the good guys, the girl was yelled at by her mother as her mother’s last words, and in the end although the girl does speak up for her little brother she only gets to sit on a dark, depressing throne as a reward. There must be something we’re missing!?

  • Amy

    Shawshank Redemption
    Life is Beautiful
    My Big Fat Greek Wedding
    Song of Bernadette
    Most Alfred Hitchock
    Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn)
    Sound of Music
    West Side Story
    Dead Man Walking (for adults)
    Finding Nemo
    The Helfalump Movie

    and Anne – I thought I was the only person in America who found Fawlty Towers hillarious!

  • I’m not going to repeat a movie if it’s already been on the list, but unless I missed it, I didn’t see "I Am David" and that is a great movie we all enjoyed, but get your kleenex. We also liked "Lilies of the Field" and "Secret Garden". None of the are recent releases though.

  • Lindsay

    i forgot Stranger than Fiction-it’s great for literary buffs.

    Adults only

  • Tammy

    I also watched Pan’s Labyrinth based on this blog’s recommendation. It was so beautiful and artistic, especially since it was in a different language and was about children. Sure, it was really violent and very depressing, but the totally pro-life scene of the infant in the womb made up for all that.

    And anyway, the Communists were the good guys in Spain.

  • Jennifer

    Here are my favs:

    Groundhog Day
    Uncle Buck
    Pride & Prejudice (both Greer Garson version & Keira Knightly)
    Sense & Sensibility
    The Pursuit of Happyness -saw it on the plane and liked it
    Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    The Devil Wears Prada (just for Meryl-fabulous!)
    When Harry Met Sally
    9 to 5
    Frisco Kid
    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Parent Trap – both versions

    I’m sure there’s more, but I’m at a loss.

  • Therese Corsaro

    We recently purchased a DVD titled "Facing the Giants". It is a Christian family movie that can be found at most Christian bookstores. We have four kids, ages 12 to 21, and it was by far the best family movie we have ever seen together. It is centered around a high school football team and their coach. The underlying theme of the movie is, "There is more to life than winning. In everything we do, we must praise the Lord." My husband is a counselor at a Catholic High School and they showed to their football team at the start of this season…it is a powerful film!

  • I too, love Return to Me. My all time favorite is Life is Beautiful – one of the few movies that I walked out of wanting to be a better person.

    I haven’t watched much recently as we are building a house and I am growing a baby. It’s just hard to stay awake. But Danielle, I did make it through the Bourne Ultimatum and LOVED it. Man, you must have been exhausted to sleep through that one!

  • Can I just ask how you ladies get control of the remote and get to see these movies? My teenage girl and I were going to watch Midsummer’s Night Dream this summer (I LOVE Shakespear) First available night she dumped me for a friend. Then she watched it while I was out. I didn’t see it till a week ago– nearly by myself! My husband has forgotten the benefits of watching a ‘chickflick’ with me.
    How did that happen?

  • Mary

    We just saw Underdog in the cheap movie theatre and liked it.
    Winners on DVD recently:
    A Night With the King – loved it
    The Nativity Story
    The Incredible Mr. Limpit
    Are We Done Yet
    Karate Dog
    High School Musical
    Please note that we are a household with no one under the age of eleven – and we use aberrant behavior as fodder for discussions.
    A resource on more than 8000 movies can be found on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops web site. I’ve found reviews to be on the morally kind (read -somewhat liberal – here) side, but it is a starting point.
    Faith & Family magazine offers viewing suggestions that have been good.
    Thanks for this great topic Danielle! We are always looking for a good movie.

  • Laura H.

    Just rented High School Musical. If you like musicals, get it now! It’s great! OK, the men might not be as into it. But perfect for the kids and nerdy musical moms like me!

  • SarahO

    We love, love, love the Lord of the Rings trilogy!! Plus, we watch some goofy Britcoms on BBC America; the latest and greatest being Top Gear (a funny show about quality and not-so-quality sports cars) . . . we love all the old Britcoms even if they are a little crass in bits. The collection of Mr. Bean is good so is Black Adder. I still love Monty Pythons Holy Grail.

    A great family favourite of ours is: Simon Birch.

  • Anonymous

    The "Little House on the Prarie" re-runs…

  • Anonymous

    The newest: "CHAMPIONS OF FAITH"-if anyone is a baseball lover, (or mother of one or married to one!) then this movie is 4 U!!! It is put out by

  • "Return to Me"

    Has Catholic iconography throughout. Made me laugh, cry, and everything inbetween. Probably not good for kids because it deals with death very vividly. Good for mom and dad after the kids are in bed.

  • Liz

    Miss Potter (available for rental – it’s the story of Beatrix Potter, her first love, etc).
    Because of Winn Dixie
    Little Miss Sunshine
    Sweet Home Alabama
    84 Charing Cross Road
    Entertaining Angels
    Lady In the Water
    Fried Green Tomatoes
    Becoming Jane (although the historicity of this may be questionable it is pretty good).
    Under the Tuscan Sun (despite a couple of questionable scenes and some gay propaganda)
    Groundhog Day
    Brideshead Revisited (this one is old, but it’s really worth buying and spending the hours watching it – probably several evenings’ worth)
    Those last two are due to a Gwyneth Paltrow obsession on my part and they are definitely not for kids.
    A Beautiful Mind
    Some of those are adults only types, not so much for truly offensive stuff as for stuff the kids would either not understand or would be bored with (84 Charing Cross Road for example has absolutely nothing offensive, but would bore most kids while I find it just totally poignant). Some of the others have scenes or themes that aren’t really appropriate for kids, even though they will simply give adults an opportunity for conversation.

    I also love action stuff like Flight Plan, the Bourne movies, etc. I try to avoid the really creepy stuff like the Halloween movies or Hannibal, but our selections really do range from the comic, to the high action, to the artsy types. We rarely find something that everyone in the family (kids are in their twenties) likes, but usually I can find something to watch with my daughter or my husband pretty easily.

  • Anonymous

    My big fat greek wedding. Hilarious!

  • Johane

    Some movies we have watched… some with pre-visioning and proper editing (ei – sending the kids out of the room for graphic scenes):

    Moral compass: Hotel Rwanda… not particularly edited, but cuddled and paused for explanation as events unfolded.

    Rent… seriously edited, but valuable for teaching that others who are not "like us" are a lot like us, and are deserving of love and compassion.

    Family movies: Sound of Music, Anne of Green Gables, Finding Neverland, Princess Bride, Princess Diaries, Snow Dogs, Annie…

    Kid movies: Ratatouille (actually from personal experience I can say that it is a pretty accurate explanation of how a professional kitchen works… minus the rats that is…), Finding Nemo, Veggie Tales, Jonah…

  • angela ausmus gill

    i look at to make sure the movie is not offensive. i parent myself.