Box Office Mom, Jackie Solberg shares her top summer DVD picks.
"Mom, can we watch a movie?" It's summertime when kids hang out, go to their friend's homes or have the gang over. After a day of activities outside, it's always great to get out the snacks and watch a movie at night. The movies listed below are fun, entertaining films; currently they're on Netflix or On Demand.
For Kids Ages 6 and Up!
1. Brave: Rating- 4 and 1/2 buckets out of 5 buckets (Moderate Violent Content)
• Wild and strong willed teen-aged Princess Merida clashes constantly with her mother the Queen as her mother struggles to prepare Merida for marriage and ultimately to be the next Queen. After a big clash, Merida flees to the forest where she meets a mysterious witch. She convinces the witch to cast a spell which turns her mother into a bear. Now, she has 48 hours to figure out how to turn her back and learn some important lessons along the way.
2. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2: Rating- 4 and 1/2 buckets out of 5 buckets (Moderate Violent Content)
• Flint Lockwood is back and still working on his unappreciated inventions. However things change when he invents his Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator. This was amazing, he could make food with just a little tap water and his machine. However things get complicated when his hometown gets buried under enormous ice cream-covered pancakes, gravy, hamburgers and mashed potatoes. Now Flint has to not only figure out how to clean up the mess, but face his girlfriend Sam, and the people of Swallow Falls. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 is an entertaining film for kids of all ages.
3. Dr. Seuss' The Lorax: Rating-5 out of 5 popcorn buckets
• Ahh young love. Ted(voice of Zac Efron), a 12 year-old boy, asked Audrey, (voice of Taylor Swift), the girl of his dreams, what she would do if a boy showed her a real tree; Audrey replied, "I'd marry him." That was it for Ted, he was on a mission to find out why the trees in their world were all chopped down, and he was determined to find a tree to show Audrey. He went to visit Once-ler, a strange creature who was involved with the tree debacle. While chatting with Once-ler, Ted learned the intriguing story of the Lorax,(voice of Danny DeVito), a charming creature who fought to save the trees. So now it was up to Ted to fulfill his goal, and get the girl. Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, is a fun, entertaining movie for kids of all ages.
4. The Croods: Rating-5 out of 5 popcorn buckets
• The Croods are a prehistoric family who were forced to leave their cave after a natural disaster destroyed the whole area. Grug (Nicolas Cage), the father and leader of the household, took his role very seriously, he was determined to protect the family as they searched for a new home. However, things got complicated when they met a resourceful nomad named Guy (Ryan Reynolds). Guy was a cute teenage boy who fell for Grug's teen daughter, Eep (Emma Stone). Grug began to feel threatened; he wanted to be the man in charge, but he eventually realized that with Guy's brains, his strength, and a loving family… they could survive. The Croods is a wonderful animated, adventure film for the whole family.
5. The Lego Movie: Rating-4 out of 4 popcorn buckets (Excessive Violent Content)
• "He was so good at fitting in, nobody noticed him." THE LEGO® MOVIE follows the life of a Lego named Emmet Brickowski (voice of Chris Pratt). Emmet is an average guy, who works at an average construction company, building average skyscrapers. He's also a fun-loving, upbeat guy. He even has a favorite song called, "Everything Is Awesome," which sums up his attitude on life. Things drastically change for Emmet the day he meets his beautiful co-worker, Wyldstyle (voice of Elizabeth Banks). Wyldstyle mistakes Emmet for "the most important person in the universe" (a.k.a. the Special), and recruits him on an adventurous journey to stop an evil Lego from gluing the universe together. Now Emmet takes his average life to a whole new level…which isn't so average. THE LEGO® MOVIE is a wonderful and very clever animated film for the whole family.
6. Toy Story 3: Rating-5 out of 5 popcorn buckets
• August is usually an emotional time for high school graduates and their parents, as the young adults prepare to leave for college. In this final movie of the Toy Story series, we see Andy preparing to depart for college as well. So what do teenagers do with their favorite childhood toys? Some may put them in a box for storage, while others may donate them, and that's what Andy did. His beloved toys, that were supposed to go in the attic for storage, ended up in the "donate" pile, that went to a local daycare; including Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen). Andy's gang of toys initially loved their new home, but as they gradually learned more about the daycare, they ended up unhappy with their new environment, so they planned an escape to find their friend and owner Andy.
For kids ages 12 and up:
1. 13 Going on 30: Rating-4 out of 5 buckets (Moderate sexual content).
• Set in 1987, this is about a 13 year old girl Jenna Rink (Jennifer Garner), who desperately wants to fit in. She plays a game on her 13th birthday and wakes up the next day as a 30 year old woman. Jenna learns some great life lessons as she eventually realizes that being a good person is a lot better than striving to be popular.
2. Benchwarmers: Rating-3 out of 5 buckets (Moderate Sexual and Violent Contents)
Baseball…the All-American sport, there's nothing like it especially for Gus, Richie and Clark. All three guys are trying to make up for missed opportunities in their childhood. They end up forming a three-player baseball team to compete against standard children baseball squads.
3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Rating 4 out of 5 buckets (Moderate
• Ferris Bueller is a very clever high school boy who decides to call in sick from school. Ferris, his girlfriend, and his best friend have a day of adventure in the city of Chicago.They go from Wrigley Field to the Art Institute of Chicago to a Polish Pride parade. However things get complicated when Ferris' sister and the school dean suspect what the gang is up to. This is a fun and adventurous film for teens.
4. Forrest Gump: Rating- 3 and 1/2 out of 5 buckets. (Excessive Drugs and Moderate Sexual Content)
• "My momma always said, Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Forrest Gump ( Tom Hanks) is a simple man with a low I. Q. and a big heart. The movie follows the course of his life from childhood, Vietnam war to his love life with Jenny. This is a wonderful heartfelt story.
5. Non-Stop: Rating-3 out of 5 popcorn buckets (Excessive Violence, Moderate Drug and Profane language.)
• Non-Stop has non-stop action, non-stop suspense and it's a non-stop adventure for all. During a flight from New York City to London, U.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) receives a series of text messages from a fellow passenger. These messages instruct him to transfer $150 million into a special account. If he does not fulfill the request, a passenger on the flight will be killed every twenty minutes. Now Bill has to find the culprit in order to save everyone on this horrific long flight to London. Non-Stop is an action packed film, one where you'll be at the edge of your seat!
6. Pitch Perfect: Rating-3 out of 5 buckets (Moderate Sexual Content and Profane Language)
• Beca(Anna Kendrick) is a freshman at Barden University; she doesn't love college, she doesn't try to fit in, but what she does want to do…is move to Los Angeles!!! However, things change when she's persuaded to join The Bellas, an all-girls a cappella group. Now Beca takes this traditional, somewhat boring singing group, and adds a contemporary flare, which sets them apart from their rivals. Pitch Perfect is a comedy musical; it's a fun entertaining movie!!
7. Red Dawn: Rating- 3 out of 5 buckets (Excessive Violence and Language)
• On a bright sunny Saturday morning the U. S had been invaded by North Koreans, and the city of Spokane, Washington was the initial target. The innocent citizens found themselves prisoners, and their town under enemy occupation. It was Jed Eckert (a twenty-something Marine, recently home from Iraq), and his brother Matt (a high school football player), who gathered a group of young men (known as the Wolverines) to defend their country. They hid in the woods and vigorously trained. These men showed courage and strength while sacrificing their lives to fight the invaders for freedom. Red Dawn, a remake of the 1984 original film, is an action packed war movie, one that teenage boys will love!
8. Star Trek Into Darkness:Rating-4 out of 5 buckets (Excessive Violence)
• The new enterprise crew, led by Chris Pine as James T Kirk, faces a familiar nemesis, Kahn, in the latest edition of the Star Trek franchise. Kahn attacks a secret Star Fleet facility on earth and Kirk and the enterprise crew set out to bring him to justice. Along the way, they venture into Klingon space, face a challenge from one of their own, and throw out humorous one liners. Spock, Scottie, bones and Uhura join Kirk to avert a war and protect the Earth.
9. The Avengers: Rating-3 and 1/2 out of 5 Buckets (Excessive Violence and Moderate Language)
• Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) Captain America (Chris Evans) The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) all on the big screen…it's a site to see! In this wonderful action packed film, Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson),the director of S.H.I.E.L.D,(an international agency), gathers the amazing super-heroes together to form The Avengers. These men are desperately needed to save the Earth from Thor's evil half brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) who is out to destroy the world. The Avengers is an exciting, fun movie with a lot of action and adventure geared towards kids ages 12 and up.
10. The A-Team: Rating-3 out of 5 buckets (Excessive Violence and Profane Language)
• This is the story about a spirited team of former Special Forces soldiers who were set up for a crime they did not commit. They use their special talents to try and clear their names and find the true culprit.
11. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug: Rating-4 out of 5 buckets (Excessive Violence)
• "The courage of a Hobbit never ceases to amaze me," that's what one of the thirteen dwarves said while traveling with the hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), and the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen). Bilbo and company were traveling to the Kingdom of Erbor, hoping to reclaim their homeland from the villainous dragon, Smaug. On their journey they face many obstacles such as terrifying Orcs, giant spiders and imprisonment in an elf dungeon. The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug is the second installment of the The Hobbit series. This is an adventurous, action packed film, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novels.
12. The Hunger Games: Rating- 4 out of 5 popcorn buckets (Excessive Violence)
• "May the odds be ever in your favor," is the slogan used by the government officials of Panem, (a totalitarian ruled country); as the children are randomly selected to participate in the annual Hunger Games. The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which one boy and one girl (called tributes) from each of Panem's 12 districts are picked to fight with one another, until there is only one survivor… the winner! The story highlights the tributes from the impoverished District 12; Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). With Katniss' fierce determination and her skill of archery and hunting; and Peeta's strength and support, the two from District 12 try their hardest to survive through the bitter end! The Hunger Games is based on the first book of Susanne Collins' sci-fi trilogy. See the book come to life in this amazing, suspenseful movie; and may the odds be ever in your favor!
13. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: Rating-4 out of 5 buckets (Excessive Violence)
• The 74th Annual Hunger Games were finished and the winners, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), were ready to go home to District 12 and be with their family and friends. However there wasn't much time at home due to the "Victory Tour" they had to attend. Visiting each district and pretending to be madly in love was next on their agenda. Though it wasn't as glamorous as they had hoped, strange things were happening at the districts, and Katniss sensed that a rebellion was on the rise. After the celebration, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) announced the 75th Annual Hunger Games and Katniss and Peeta were to represent District 12 once again; but this time they knew who the real enemy was…the Capitol. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the second installment in the The Hunger Games saga, based on a popular young adult novel.
14. Transformers: Rating-4 out of 5 buckets (Excessive Violence and Profane Language)
• The movie is basically about a battle between 2 robot races, that happens to be fought on earth and for earth. In Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, 2 years have passed since Sam Witwicky(Shia LaBeouf) and the Autobots(good robots) save the human race from the evil Decepticons. Now Sam wants to go to college, and try to live a normal life. Like any teenager going to college, he has anxieties and excitement, like separating from his parents for the first time, and promising to be a faithful boyfriend to Mikaela(Megan Fox). While in college Sam gains information about the origins of the Transformers that ties into ancient history of the earth. This is information that the Decepticons want, and the Autobots must stop them from getting. So the battle begins between the 2 forces. This is a very action packed movie that most boys 11 and up will love.
15. Twilight: Rating 4 out of 5 buckets (Excessive Violence)
• Based on a popular book series. Twilight is about a 17 year old girl named Bella who moves to an overcast town in Washington, to live with her dad. While at her new school, she meets a very mysterious, pale-faced, handsome boy, named Edward. As she gradually falls in love with him, she gradually discovers that he is a vampire. It's a wonderful, dramatic love story, though their romance puts her in physical danger when Edward's vampire enemies come to town, and want to kill Bella.
16. Vampire Academy: Rating-3 out of 5 buckets (Excessive Violence, Moderate Sexual and Profane Language)
• At St. Vladimir's Academy you won't find the beloved Twilight vampires, Edward Cullen or Bella Swan, however you will find Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch) and her best friend Princess Lissa Dragomir. Rose is a dhampir, the half human, half vampire clan who protect the good vampires from the bad vampires. Lissa is a Moroi, the good vampires that can peacefully co-exist amongst humans. Then there are the Strigois, the evil vampires who drink to kill. Though you won't find the Twilight vampires in this series, you will still find drama, romance and conflict between the good vampires vs. evil vampires. Vampire Academy, based on the young adult novel, "Vampire Academy," is an action packed teenage drama.
For more information: