Home » Blog » Archives for Chuck Pantera

By Chuck Pantera

The Best Family Movies of 2017

Best Family Movies 2017

The Best Family Movies of 2017

Celebrating the best family movies offered up this year.

Best family Movies 2017

The end of the year is here

And that means it’s now time to definitively celebrate the best family movies that made their way to the multiplex or local theatre. Over the past twelve months, moviegoers have been showered with a bounty of great blockbusters, indies and documentaries, proving that filmmakers are continuing to find new ways—both big and small—to entertain, excite, and enlighten. No matter their budgets, scale, or subject matter, each of our selections had something to offer the adventurous moviegoer, be it lighting the way from old adventures, or shinning a light on new modern-day issues. They are, in short, our picks for the best films of 2017.

1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

7.6
Rate this
86 Metascore

Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares for battle with the First Order.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Daisy RidleyJohn BoyegaMark HamillCarrie Fisher

Votes: 216,580 | Gross: $395.63M

2. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

7.2
Rate this
58 Metascore

Four teenagers discover an old video game console and are literally drawn into the game’s jungle setting, becoming the adult avatars they choose.

Director: Jake Kasdan | Stars: Dwayne JohnsonKaren GillanKevin HartJack Black

Votes: 13,572 | Gross: $72.01M

3. The Greatest Showman (2017)

The Greatest Showman

PG | 105 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

7.9
Rate this
48 Metascore

Inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

Director: Michael Gracey | Stars: Hugh JackmanMichelle WilliamsZac EfronZendaya

Votes: 6,848 | Gross: $19.01M

4. Justice League (2017)

Justice League

PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

7.1
Rate this
45 Metascore

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.

Director: Zack Snyder | Stars: Ben AffleckGal GadotJason MomoaEzra Miller

Votes: 152,977 | Gross: $221.62M

5. Dunkirk (2017)

Dunkirk

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Drama, History

8.2
Rate this
94 Metascore

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German Army, and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Fionn WhiteheadBarry KeoghanMark Rylance,Tom Hardy

Votes: 287,154 | Gross: $188.37M

6. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Thor: Ragnarok

PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

8.1
Rate this
73 Metascore

Imprisoned, the mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.

Director: Taika Waititi | Stars: Chris HemsworthTom HiddlestonCate BlanchettMark Ruffalo

Votes: 175,070 | Gross: $309.45M

7. Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)

Pitch Perfect 3

PG-13 | 93 min | Comedy, Music

6.2
Rate this
40 Metascore

Following their win at the world championship, the now separated Bellas reunite for one last singing competition at an overseas USO tour, but face a group who uses both instruments and voices.

Director: Trish Sie | Stars: Anna KendrickRebel WilsonBrittany SnowAnna Camp

Votes: 2,754 | Gross: $26.42M

8. Coco (I) (2017)

Coco

PG | 105 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

8.8
Rate this
81 Metascore

Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.

Directors: Lee UnkrichAdrian Molina | Stars: Anthony GonzalezGael García Bernal,Benjamin BrattAlanna Ubach

Votes: 43,169 | Gross: $164.31M

9. Wonder (I) (2017)

Wonder

PG | 113 min | Drama, Family

8.1
Rate this
66 Metascore

Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.

Director: Stephen Chbosky | Stars: Jacob TremblayOwen WilsonIzabela Vidovic,Julia Roberts

Votes: 16,109 | Gross: $115.65M

10. Ferdinand (2017)

Ferdinand

PG | 108 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

6.8
Rate this
58 Metascore

After Ferdinand, a bull with a big heart, is mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure.

Director: Carlos Saldanha | Stars: John CenaKate McKinnonBobby CannavaleJack Gore

Votes: 2,562 | Gross: $29.60M

11. Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Murder on the Orient Express

PG-13 | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.8
Rate this
52 Metascore

When a murder occurs on the train he’s travelling on, celebrated detective Hercule Poirot is recruited to solve the case.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Kenneth BranaghPenélope CruzWillem Dafoe,Judi Dench

Votes: 58,822 | Gross: $99.44M

12. The Mountain Between Us (2017)

The Mountain Between Us

PG-13 | 112 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.4
Rate this
48 Metascore

Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow-covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across the wilderness.

Director: Hany Abu-Assad | Stars: Idris ElbaKate WinsletBeau BridgesDermot Mulroney

Votes: 17,058 | Gross: $30.35M

13. Darkest Hour (2017)

Darkest Hour

PG-13 | 125 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.5
Rate this
75 Metascore

During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds.

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Gary OldmanLily JamesKristin Scott ThomasBen Mendelsohn

Votes: 3,367 | Gross: $8.37M

14. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

PG-13 | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

7.8
Rate this
67 Metascore

The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage.

Director: James Gunn | Stars: Chris PrattZoe SaldanaDave BautistaVin Diesel

Votes: 312,601 | Gross: $389.81M

15. The Post (2017)

The Post

PG-13 | 115 min | Biography, Drama, History

6.6
Rate this
83 Metascore

A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country’s first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between journalist and government.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Meryl StreepTom HanksSarah PaulsonBob Odenkirk

Votes: 584 | Gross: $0.76M

16. Flatliners (2017)

Flatliners

PG-13 | 109 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

5.1
Rate this
27 Metascore

Five medical students, obsessed by what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring experiment: by stopping their hearts for short periods, each triggers a near-death experience – giving them a firsthand account of the afterlife.

Director: Niels Arden Oplev | Stars: Ellen PageDiego LunaNina DobrevJames Norton

Votes: 11,875 | Gross: $16.87M

17. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

PG-13 | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

6.6
Rate this
51 Metascore

A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Dane DeHaanCara DelevingneClive OwenRihanna

Votes: 85,297 | Gross: $40.48M

18. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Spider-Man: Homecoming

PG-13 | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

7.6
Rate this
73 Metascore

Peter Parker balances his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and finds himself on the trail of a new menace prowling the skies of New York City.

Director: Jon Watts | Stars: Tom HollandMichael KeatonRobert Downey Jr.Marisa Tomei

Votes: 254,288 | Gross: $334.20M

19. Wonder Woman (2017)

Wonder Woman

PG-13 | 141 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

7.6
Rate this
76 Metascore

When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, Diana, an Amazonian warrior in training, leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny.

Director: Patty Jenkins | Stars: Gal GadotChris PineRobin WrightLucy Davis

Votes: 348,067 | Gross: $412.56M

20. Beauty and the Beast(2017)

Beauty and the Beast

PG | 129 min | Family, Fantasy, Musical

7.3
Rate this
65 Metascore

An adaptation of the fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.

Director: Bill Condon| Stars: Emma WatsonDan StevensLuke EvansJosh Gad

Votes: 186,527 | Gross: $504.01M

Tell us what you think!

Did your favorite 2017 Family Film make the cut?  Interested in learning more about the films and behind the scenes?  Check out the BrokeBot Mountain Podcast on Blazing Caribou Studios.

Family Holiday Movie Survival Guide 2017

Movie Survival Guide

Movie Survival Guide for the holidays

Oh, the holidays! The fun! The food! The family feuds and stressful traveling and blown budgets and. . . food.  Feeling overwhelmed and quite possibly a bit bloated yet?  Well have no fear! We are here to help you ride it all out.

We bring you the Ultimate Movie Survival Guide!!!

From super-powered adventures to book-based favorites to amazing true stories, these movies offer the best to ensure a happy household for kids, teens, tweens and families. They entertained us, made us think, and gave us plenty to talk about. At the same time, they offered worthwhile messages, modeled important character strengths, and left us oohing and aahing at their big-screen spectacle.  So what movies should you as a super parent, have in your arsenal this holiday season?

 

Born in China posterBorn in China, age 6+
This is a beautiful, and fascinating documentary — Venturing into the wilds of China, “Born in China” captures intimate moments with a panda and her growing cub, a young golden monkey who feels displaced by his baby sister, and a mother snow leopard struggling to raise her two cubs.

 

Coco Movie Poster
Coming Soon!

Coco, age 7+
“Coco” is the sprightly story of a young boy who wants to be a musician and somehow finds himself communing with talking skeletons in the land of the dead. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3“) and veteran Pixar animator Adrian Molina, and drawing heavily on Mexican folklore and traditional designs, it has catchy music, a complex but comprehensible plot, and bits of domestic comedy and media satire says MMatt Seitz, movie critic.

 

The Lego Batman Movie PosterThe Lego Batman Movie, age 7+
The Lego Batman Movie offers a PG dollop of the same self-mocking humor that made Deadpool so successful.  It is peppered with funny and clever nonstop action, this big-screen Lego movie has strong takeaways about teamwork and humility, but you never feel hit over the head by them because you’re too busy marveling at the movie’s technical achievements and laughing at the snappy humor.

 

 

Beauty and the Beast, age 8+The Beauty and the Beast Poster

One upon a time, before the world of VHS and DVD’s Disney would carfully hold on to precious animated classics like Bambi or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs like revered jewels.  But now with the insurgence of streaming networks like Netflix and Hulu, Disney saw an opportunity for a 21st century makeover on an old classic. This gloriously old-fashioned musical with gee-whiz trappings is a dazzling beauty to behold and is anything but a beastly re-interpretation of a fairy tale as old as time.

 

Jane, age 8+Jane Poster

Jane Goodall is unequivocally a pioneer in her field, fearless, and epitomizes the values of perseverance, hard work, determination, curiosity, and compassion.  This family friendly movie showcases her renowned work on primatology, especially on her research about chimpanzees.

 

 

Kedi, age 8+Kedi Poster
A profile of an ancient city and its unique people, seen through the eyes of the most mysterious and beloved animal humans have ever known, the Cat.

 

 

 

The Red Turtle, age 8+The Red Turtle Poster
You are over taken by beauty in this animated film that rids itself free from dialog.  The red sea turtle emerges right about the time you have had enough of our troublesome hero that has washes ashore a desert island.  This movie warrants a smile and deepens those emotional ties towards life, and friendship without somehow feeling overdone.

 

 

Spider-Man: Homecoming PosterSpider-Man: Homecoming, age 10+
Marvel returns to the screen with everyone’s favorite web-slinging adolescent Spiderman.  This movie follows the life of Peter Parker, a high school student trying to live his life in Queens while coming to grips with his superpowers.  Giving way to awe-inspiring CGI and stunts, you won’t be sitting very long before you are injected with laughter from that gritty sense humor that Marvel delivers right at to your funny bone.

 

 

Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi Movie Poster
In theaters now

Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, age 10+
The epic middle installment of the current Star Wars trilogy Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past.

 

 

 

Wonder, age 10+
Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.  This is a touching movie about not judging a book by its cover.

 

 

My Life as a Zucchini, age 11+

If you and your family are ready for big themes and stop motion animation with an aching melancholy story about childhood tragedy, abandonment and the malleable nature of family, My Life as a Zucchini tears at the heartstrings and brilliantly rewrites the rule book on children’s cinema.

 

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, age 12+
Marvel’s favorite motley crew of reformed outlaws is back for another space adventure full of classic tunes, epic battles, and charming comedy. Things definitely get violent, but underlying the action are clear messages about teamwork, friendship, and unconditional chosen-family bonds.

 

 

Thor: Ragnarok, age 12+
It has lots of explosive action, but this is also the funniest movie to date about the hammer-wielding hero. Packed with wild, bold choices and tons of cinematic style, it deals with themes, including courage and perseverance.

 

 

Coming Soon at the Grand Ledge Sun Theater

The Star

The Star

A small but brave donkey and his animal friends become the unsung heroes of the first Christmas.

Playing: 12/15 – 12/21

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Rated: PG

1h 26min

Coco

Coco

Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.

Playing: 12/22 – 1/4

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Rated: PG

1h 45min

Boss Baby

The Boss Baby

Special One Time Matinee 1:00pm

A suit-wearing, briefcase-carrying baby pairs up with his 7-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.

Playing: 12/26 – 12/26

Genre: Action, Comedy, Family

Rated: PG

1h 37m

Trolls

Trolls

Special One Time Matinee 1:00pm

After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy, the happiest Troll ever born, and the curmudgeonly Branch set off on a journey to rescue her friends.

Playing: 12/27 – 12/27

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Rated: PG

1h 32m

Windstorm

Windstorm

Special One Time Matinee 1:00pm

A girl who thinks is not good at doing anything has to stay for the holidays with her grandmother at a riding stable. There she discovers her interest in horses, riding and more and what she is good in.

Playing: 12/28 – 12/28

Genre: Adventure, Family, Drama

Rated: NR

1h 41min

A Dog's Purpose

A Dog’s Purpose

Special One Time Matinee 1:00pm

A dog looks to discover his purpose in life over the course of several lifetimes and owners.

Playing: 12/29 – 12/29

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama

Rated: PG

1h 40min

Emoji Movie

The Emoji Movie

Special One Time Matinee 1:00pm

Gene, a multi-expressional emoji, sets out on a journey to become a normal emoji.

Playing: 1/2 – 1/2

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Rated: PG

1h 26 Min

Diary Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

Special One Time Matinee 1:00pm

A Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw’s 90th birthday party goes hilariously off course thanks to Greg’s newest scheme to get to a video gaming convention.

Playing: 1/3 – 1/3

Genre: Comedy, Family

Rated: PG

1h 31m

Oddball

Oddball

Special One Time Matinee 1:00pm

An eccentric chicken farmer, with the help of his granddaughter, trains his mischievous dog Oddball to protect a penguin sanctuary from fox attacks in an attempt to reunite his family and save their seaside town.

Playing: 1/4 – 1/4

Genre: Adventure, Family

Rated: PG

1h 35min

Camp Cool Kids

Camp Cool Kids

Special One Time Matinee 1:00pm

Encouraged by his quirky grandfather, a young boy faces his fears at summer camp

Playing: 1/5 – 1/5

Genre: Family

Rated: TV-PG

1h 44min

What’s your favorite movie to watch as a family?

Halloween Movies for Kids

Greetings Ghouls and Boys! Halloween is coming soon and I am looking forward to seeing all of your creative costumes. This is also a great time of year to enjoy some classic Halloween movies that are highly entertaining for the whole family without being too scary for younger children. For your convenience they are listed in order for age appropriateness.

If I’ve missed your favorite, please let me know in the comments so I can add it to the list.

The Best Halloween Movie for Any Age

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)halloween movies great pumpkin charlie brown

Based on Charles M. Schulz’s comic strip Peanuts, this Halloween classic features trick-or-treating, pumpkins and cute costumes (Snoopy too). You’ll sympathize with Linus, who patiently waits for the Great Pumpkin to come, and see a softer side of Lucy, who eventually dumps her bad attitude to be sweet to her brother.

Rated: All audiences

Duration: 25 minutes.

Halloween Movie for 5 and Up

Monsters, Inc. (2001)halloween movies monsters inc

While this movie isn’t truly based on Halloween, it is chock full of monsters and is centered around the concept of monsters either being scary or funny.  When a regular day of terrifying the world’s children doesn’t go quite as planned, two monster pals end up with an adorable kid and need to make a plan to get her home safely. Leading voices include John Goodman and Billy Crystal so you know is funny! Watch the trailer.

Rated: G (best for 5 and up)

Duration: 1 hr 32 minutes

Halloween Movies for 6 and Up

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)hallowen-movies-harry-potter

 J.K. Rowling’s first book about the boy wizard, Harry Potter, and the world of muggles, monsters and mystical goings-on at Hogwarts is brought to life on screen. This kid-friendly adaptation of book one truly makes viewers of all ages believe in magic. However, as the story and the movies have evolved, please be aware that later Harry Potter movies are rated PG-13 and for good reason. Watch the trailer.

Rated: PG (best for 6 and up)

Duration: 2 hrs 32 minutes

Hotel Transylvania (2012)halloween-movies-hotel-transylvania

This kid-friendly, animated twist on your typical horror movie finds Count Dracula operating a high-end resort, situated far from humankind. When Jonathan falls for the Count’s daughter, Mavis, the overprotective, undead dad must make sure his guests don’t discover the human visitor. Watch Trailer.

Rated: PG (best for 6 and up)

Duration:  1 hr 31 minutes

If you like this one also check out Hotel Transylvania 2

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)halloween-movies-wallace-and-gromit

The absentminded inventor, Wallace, and his trusty canine companion, Gromit, create one of their infamous contraptions in order to help their friends protect their gardens from hungry rabbits. This stop-motion, claymation film will entertain parents as well as their kids. Watch Trailer.

Rated: PG (best for 6 and up)

Duration: 1 hr 25 minutes

Halloweentown (1998)halloween-movies-halloweentown

Marnie Piper recently discovered she’s a witch thanks to her gifted grandmother Aggie (Debbie Reynolds). When there’s trouble in Halloweentown, Marnie and her siblings must work together to save their mom and grandma from Kalabar, an evil warlock who wants to conquer the mortal realm. Watch Trailer.

Rated: TV-G (best for 6 and up)

Duration: 1 hr 24 minutes

Halloween Movies for 7 and Up

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)hallowee-movies-et

Elliott finds an alien hiding in his mom’s tool shed and they become friends.  He keeps E.T.’s existence a secret, but it’s hard to keep the creature safe when government agents are looking for him. Did you know that Steven Spielberg’s character E.T. is actually inspired by an imaginary friend he had as a child? Watch Trailer.

Rated: PG (best for 7 and up)

Duration: 1hr 55 minutes

Casper (1995)halloween-movies-casper

When she inherits her father’s broken-down mansion, Carrigan Crittenden soon realizes that in order to claim the house (and the hidden fortune that may be inside), she needs to get rid of the troublesome ghosts that call it home. She hires Dr. James Harvey, an afterlife therapist, who moves into the mansion. His daughter Kat meets Casper (the only friendly ghost of the bunch).  They all work together to help the spirits cross over to the other side. Watch Trailer.

Rated:  (best for 7 and up)

Duration: 1 hr 40 minutes

Frankenweenie (2012)halloween-movies-frankenweenie

Young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences. Watch trailer

Rated: PG (best for 7 and up)

Duration: 1 hr 27 minutes

ParaNorman (2012)halloween-movies-paranorman

At first, it’s a familiar tale about a kid who doesn’t quite fit in (the boy claims he can talk to the dead), but everyone starts singing a different tune once it’s revealed that Norman is the only person who can prevent the town’s destruction by 17th-century zombies. Watch Trailer.

 Rated: PG (best for 7 and up)Duration: 1 hr 32 minutes

Halloween Movie for 8 and Up

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)nightmare-before-christmas

Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, is totally over Halloween. He accidentally stumbles into Christmas Town, and is so determined to host the world’s best Christmas that he kidnaps Santa in order to take his place! The residents of his own Halloween Town don’t understand their toy-making jobs, plus there are plenty of fun Halloween songs to sing. Watch Trailer.

Rated: PG (best for 8 and up)

1 hour 16 minutes.

Halloween Movies for 9 and Up

Goosebumps (2015)halloween-movies-goosebumps

Based on the book series, your favorite “Goosebumps” monsters come to life  in this film. Zach Cooper has a crush on his cute neighbor, Hannah, but her dad is really weird. It turns out Dad is actually the famed author R.L. Stine and he’s hiding a rather monstrous secret in his original manuscripts, the crew must work together to save their town from a disaster of a plot twist. Watch Trailer.

Rated: PG (best for 9 and up)

Duration: 1 hr 43 minutes

Monster House (2006)halloween-movies-monster-house

DJ tries to convince the police and his babysitter that their neighbor’s home is actually a living, breathing monster. DJ and his friends set out to save the people the house has eaten. Caution: Anxiety-prone kids should pass on this one, but young horror fans will like this film for the characters and heartwarming ending. Watch Trailer.

Rated: PG (best for 9 and up)

Duration: 1hr 31 minutes

Corpse Bride (2005)halloween-movies-corpse-bride

When a shy groom practices his wedding vows in the inadvertent presence of a deceased young woman, she rises from the grave assuming he has married her.  This stop-motion Tim Burton flick navigates the world of the undead as Victor tries to get things back in order. Watch Trailer.

Rated: PG (best for 9 and up)

Duration: 1 hr 17 minutes

Halloween Movies for 10 and Up

 Hocus Pocus (1993)halloween-movies-hocus-pocus

After three centuries, three witch sisters are resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night, and it is up to two teenagers, a young girl and an immortal cat to put an end to the witches’ reign of terror once and for all. After all, who believes in all that hocus pocus, anyway? Watch Trailer.

Rated: PG (best for 10 and up)

Duration: 1 hr 36 minutes

Halloween Movies for 11 and Up

Ghostbusters (1984)halloween-movies-ghostbusters

Three spirit-obsessed scientists start a ghost-extermination company to help New Yorkers handle some very real ghost troubles. Their work doesn’t come without its skeptics, though…one even wrongly jails them for fraud! Ultimately the unlikely team helps to save the city from an ancient god. Note:  Ghostbusters is probably only appropriate for tweens and older. Watch Trailer.

Rated: PG (best for 11 and up)

Duration: 1 hr 45 minutes

Note: The latest version of this movie released earlier this year is rated PG-13 for good reason. It’s a great movie, but should be enjoyed by kids 13 and older.

 The Addams Family (1991)halloween-movies-addams-family

The creepy, kooky movie version of the popular TV series comes to life as the Addams Family mind their own business, dedicating their time to grim interests that others find disturbing. Gomez’s long-lost brother Fester suddenly returns dead-set on getting a hold of the family’s fortune. Watch trailer

Rated: PG-13 (best for 11 and up)

Duration: 1 hr 39 minutes

Addams Family Values (1993)halloween-movies-addams-family-values

Your favorite macabre family is at it again as they try to rescue their beloved uncle from his gold-digging new love. Watch Trailer.

Rated: PG-13 (best for 11 and up)

Duration: 1 hr 34 minutes

Gremlins (1984)halloween-movied-gremlins

When a young boy, Rand, takes in a furry creature named Gizmo, he’s told to follow very strict instructions. But Rand takes his pet-owner duties less than seriously, and he soon discovers that Gizmo has spawned several ugly monsters which wreak havoc on the town. Even though the movie takes place around Christmastime, it has enough creep factor to be enjoyed at Halloween. Watch Trailer

Rated: PG (best for 11 and up)

Duration: 1 hr 46 minutes

Halloween Movies for 12 and Up

Poltergeist (1982)halloween-movies-poltergeist

PG ratings were not the same in the ’80s so I caution you before letting any children under 12 watch this. It is a cult classic for a reason. The scenes that include the creepy clown doll, moving kitchen chairs and the skeletons in the pool may be too much for younger audiences. In the film, a home developer builds on sacred Native American burial grounds (unbeknownst to the families moving in), and the neighborhood suffers the consequences. Watch Trailer.

Rated: PG (Strongly recommend for 12 and up)

Duration: 1 hr 54 minutes

Note: Poltergeist (2015) is a very different movie and rated PG-13. Definitely not suitable for younger audiences.

Beetlejuice (1988)halloween-movies-beetlejuice

A dead couple inhabit a home and a new family is moving in. Beetlejuice is their only hope for restoring order and driving an unbearable living family (with the exception of the daughter, Lydia) away for good. Watch Trailer.

Rated: PG-13 (best for 13 and up)

Duration: 1 hr 32 minutes

What is your favorite Halloween Movie?

Let us know and we’ll add it to the list. See you at the movies!

Plan the Best Spring Break Staycation

relaxing on a staycation

Spring Break time is upon us. If you are one of the lucky ones heading out for a family adventure to parts unknown, or a least warm and sunny, then we bid you safe travels and happy trails….

But, if you have decided to stick around town, welcome to the Staycation party!

Rules for a Staycation

It’s still a vacation, even if you aren’t going anywhere, so to try to give yourself a break. Think about eliminating some (or all) of the following things from your usually hectic schedule:

  • cooking
  • cleaning
  • cell phone
  • alarm clock
  • house work
  • WORK (of any kind)
  • Laundry
  • Worrying (good luck!)

Now you have your DON’T list, let’s look at fun things TO DO around town.

Have Fun on a Staycation

  1. Go to the movies. Well, duh! Of course this is our number one fun thing to do!geocaching box on staycation
  2. Geocaching. Who doesn’t like a good treasure hunt? Don’t know what it is? Learn about Geocaching and then get out your GPS and go to it!
  3. Laser Tag. Get some friends together or another family and battle it out in the laser tag arena. Zap Zone in Delta Center and Spare Time in Frandor are two local locations for laser tag.
  4. Board Game Night. Have each family member pick their favorite game and take turns playing them. Or invite some other staycationers over and have an ultimate board game night!
  5. Tour a brewery. Craft breweries are popping up everywhere and Grand Rapids is just a short drive away. Sample some great Michigan beers, and the kids can have Root Beer!
  6. Try a new restaurant. Check out that new restaurant you’ve been meaning to try. (This helps with the NO COOKING rule!)bikeriding on a staycation
  7. Get the bikes out. This is a great time to pull the bikes out of the garage and get them all ready for the riding season. Wash ’em, pump up the tires, grease the chain, and take off! Maybe there is an ice cream parlor at the end of your ride–you never know!
  8. Take a hike. Spring is full of exciting things happening in nature. Get outside and breathe the fresh air and bring a camera. Check out a new trail or area.
  9. Take a nap. This is our favorite one. Do all the stuff listed above and then treat yourself to a nice long nap. Come on, you know you want to.

Tell us about your Staycation

We want to hear about your plans for staying around the area this Spring Break. Please comment below. See you at the movies!

The MOST Romantic Movies of All Time

romantic movies

Romantic movies remind us that happy endings do come true and love really does exists. Regardless of how you personally feel about the genre of romance movies or romantic comedies, there is no denying their popularity.

Love stories make our inner hopeless romantic smile.

There are four parts of the romantic ideal and a good romantic movie has at least one. A GREAT love story as all four:

  1. Love conquers all. Love overcomes all obstacles. This saying is found in the works of the ancient Roman poet Virgil.
  2. Idealization of your partner. Love can be blind and couples who focus on the positive qualities of their partners are generally happier.
  3. Soul mates.The person who is the missing piece to the puzzle that makes up you.
  4. Love at first sight. Does this happen? We like to think so.

So, what are the Top 10 Romantic Movies of all time? Well, if you google it you will come up with many, many different answers and lists.

The Notebook Movie PosterThe Notebook, Pretty Woman, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, and Love, Actually are on a lot of lists.

The website, Rotten Tomatoes ranks movies in different categories by critical reviews. Check out their list of Top 100 Romance Movies.

IMDb has their own list of Most Popular Romance Feature Films.

We’d love to hear what your favorite romantic movie is and why you love it so much.

See you at the movies!