Family Films

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Review: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

In playing evil ex-Chipmunk-band manager Ian Hawke, comedian David Cross draws the Short Straw of Irony, being dealt the line "At least I still have my dignity."
By LANCE GOULD  |  December 25, 2009

Review: Where the Wild Things Are

I can’t speak for the kids, but I would rate Spike Jonze & Dave Eggers’s adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s 40-page children’s picture book up there with Up and Wall•E as topping the recent renaissance in children’s movies. If pressed, I’d rank it cl
Jonze, Eggers, and Sendak aren’t kidding around
By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 16, 2009

Review: Imagine That

Eddie Murphy proves he doesn't need a fat suit to play soft in Karey Kirkpatrick's surprisingly nuanced family comedy.
Forces you to follow its eponymous directive
By ALICIA POTTER  |  June 12, 2009

Review: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

In the three years since last he was on screen, Ben Stiller's bored night guard, Larry Daley, has become a well-to-do hawker of infomercial crap, but he's still not in the right place.
Dusting off the same old display cases
By TOM MEEK  |  May 22, 2009

Hope springs infernal

Given the current economic climate, spring this year is a season more of dread than of hope for change.
Brimstone and buddy movies are on the Hollywood agenda
By PETER KEOUGH  |  March 12, 2009

Walk ’n’ roll

You know how in those Disney movies all the woodland creatures suddenly come out to sing along? It was like that.
Ambling bands go on a field trip
By MATT PARISH  |  June 24, 2008


Nim's Island

Nim is home-schooled, her covert classroom an uncharted isle she inhabits with her scientist father, Jack.
Ubiquitous Abigail Breslin in a mildly diverting adventure
By BRETT MICHEL  |  April 09, 2008

Horton Hears a Who!

Although it scatters a few jokes for adults, some of them earnestly funny, Horton lacks the wit and layered cleverness of the good animated films of recent years.
Good-natured, egalitarian, and mildly stupid
By JASON O'BRYAN  |  March 12, 2008

Crossword: ''The worst of 2007''

Let us look back, and feel shame.
By MATT JONES  |  January 09, 2008

Reading is fundamental

Some of the books I enjoyed most this year were written for an audience more than 10 years my junior.
Last-minute items to toss under the tree and more
By PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF  |  December 12, 2007

Alvin and the Chipmunks

Depending on when you were born and how much affection you have for a trio of singing rodents, Alvin and the Chipmunks may be a tough sell.
All funked up
By BROOKE HOLGERSON  |  December 12, 2007


Mutiny in Heaven

It is a truth now well established that the idea for a series of books about a schoolboy wizard did not , in fact, originate with its author, J.K. Rowling (as she has naively claimed), but was piped up red-hot and stinking from Below.
Philip Pullman ’ s fantasy novels are condemned as a crash course in militant atheism. But one BU professor thinks otherwise.
By JAMES PARKER  |  December 06, 2007

Untrue north

Just as there are many universes in the world of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass (published in Great Britain as Northern Lights ), so there are many movies in this New Line adaptation.
This Compass doesn't point to Pullman
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  December 05, 2007


Wicked (cartoon) witch sends adorable fairy-tale princess down a rabbit hole and she’s deposited, suddenly human, in present-day Times Square.
Better than generic holiday fare
By BROOKE HOLGERSON  |  November 20, 2007


One day, Jerry Seinfeld was talking with his good friend Steven Spielberg, and he said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if ‘B’ movies were really about bees?”
Seinfeld’s Bee Movie gets a D-
By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 31, 2007

Buzz words

I’ve had several brushes with Jerry Seinfeld.
TV’s ‘A’ star makes a bee movie
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 31, 2007


Happy Feet

Taking up where March of the Penguins left off, George Miller’s animated film imagines penguins who find love based on their heart songs — songs from the soul that speak to the penguin they’re meant to be with. Watch the trailer for Happy Feet  (Q
Equals sappy feet
By BROOKE HOLGERSON  |  February 20, 2007

Bridge to Terabithia

Walden Media, the movie production company behind Charlotte’s Web and The Chronicles of Narnia , works its adaptation alchemy on Katherine Paterson’s Newbery winner with the usual middling results. Watch the trailer for Bridge to Terabithia (Quick
Muddled, but at least there aren't any fart jokes
By ALICIA POTTER  |  February 14, 2007

Danielson: A Family Movie

J.L. Aronson’s documentary about Daniel Smith’s religion-inspired family rock band, who made a point of playing in nurse uniforms, has a lot going for it: a cast of cuties, cool cameos, fun costumes.
Do I have to wear a nurse's outfit?
By IAN SANDS  |  January 31, 2007

Night at the Museum

“This is not worth $11.50 an hour,” blurts exasperated dreamer Larry Daley when his night-watchman job at New York’s Museum of Natural History takes on a life of its own. Watch the trailer for Night at the Museum  (QuickTime)
Matinee worthy, but not a dime more
By BRETT MICHEL  |  December 28, 2006

Charlotte's Web

This live-action adaptation of E.B. White’s hallowed classic runs out of gas once the cows start farting. Watch the trailer for Charlotte's Web  (QuickTime)
 Unravels fast
By ALICIA POTTER  |  December 13, 2006


Keeping Up with the Steins

Nowhere is the over-the-top bar mitzvah scene more ripe for satire, according to Scott Marshall’s family film, than in Los Angeles, where planning the reception can require almost as much energy, money, and BS as producing a feature film.
Neil Diamond steals the show
By MARK BAZER  |  May 24, 2006


Even diehard Robin Williams may balk at his new family comedy — as put-upon nice guy Bob Munro, he’s cringe-inducingly awful.
Sonnenfeld, Williams & co. don't even try
By BROOKE HOLGERSON  |  April 25, 2006