Apes, WW2 Soldiers, Kids with Super 8 Cameras…

Posted on: 08/8/11 2:54 PM | by Jonathan McKee

This has been a pretty good summer for movies, with a large number of family-friendly-flicks available.

This is refreshing news for parents, because if we learned one thing on Fox’s Teen Choice Awards last night (here’s our recap of what you can learn about pop-youth-culture from the Teen Choice Awards), it’s that kids are watching more raunchy (and R-rated) movies than ever before.

It’s nice to know that we have a few decent picks in the smorgasbord of movie choices. Here’s a glimpse of some of the ones I think are worth it for families with links to my full reviews from our MOVIE REVIEWS & QUICK Q’s page:

1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes: For parents of teenagers, this film is a fun option. Those of you who follow me on Twitter received my tweets from the midnight premier of this film last Thursday night. I brought my own three teenagers to the opening and all of us enjoyed it immensely!

The film avoided any raunchy talk or sexual situations. Parents will just want to use discernment because of the PG-13 violence. I give my detailed thoughts about Rise of the Planet of the Apes as well as some discussion questions here.

2. Captain America: I’ve already blogged about how refreshing Captain America is compared to other films of late. Here’s a film with good ol’ fashion values, emphasizing the importance of internal character over external features. This film is probably one of my favorite films of the year for provoking discussion with kids. It’s an easy conversation piece because most kids love the film and it’s not preachy in any way.

We provide some good discussion questions you can use in our detailed review of the film.

3. Super 8: This film was probably my favorite film of the year. I would have no hesitation bringing teenagers to this film. The most objectionable thing is the swearing. Sadly, kids are so used to swearing these days that the PG-13 language in this film hardly will phase them.

J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Mission Impossible 3 & 4, TV’s Lost and Fringe…) brings this wonderful story to the screen, a nostalgic tale of a group of kids in 1979 (yes, I was a kid then) who are shooting a super 8 film when they witness a catastrophic train crash. Soon, inexplicable events begin occurring  and this small group of friends start to uncover the truth.

This film reminded me of what E.T. was to me in 1980 (a little language in that one too), a really fun  and suspenseful film.

Todd wrote up a full review and discussion questions for this film here.

I think we would be remiss to not give a nod to a few other films like Cowboys & Aliens (this film has a great scene that provokes discussion), Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Thor.

I also have to mention some great family options for rent:

Soul Surfer (amazing film)
Arthur (yes, this film surprised me big time!)
True Grit

I’m sure I’ve missed some, but those are the films that I was compelled to tell you about… from one movie fan to another.