Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of War Violence.
Steven Spielberg's War Horse is easily the best looking movie of the year. Even when filming a charge in the trenches of World War One the visuals are brutal but still very striking. This is a family film with an uplifting ending however it is PG-13 for a reason, the war scenes while not overly graphic are very intense. Perhaps older teenagers and up? I don't know your call. A little long for younger viewers its 2 and 1/2 hours. Well worth watching, really well done.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and some drug use.
A movie about a group of middle school studentsate 1970's that love to get together and make movies with their parent's Super 8 video cameras. What sets this movie apart is the amazing performances by the kids. They are amazingly natural and funny. J.J. Abrams the writer and director came up with the idea along with producer Steven Spielberg. The movie feels like early Spielberg (E.T, Jaws, Close Encounters) but is more than just a tribute. Super 8 is everything a summer movie should be, heartfelt, scary and really funny. The PG-13 is mostly for the language which is fairly prolific throughout.
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2
PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images
Brings the series to a worthy ending. Does a great job of answering all the questions in an exciting way. It isn't too long and brings about a wonderful nostalgia when you watch it. A great series of movies all together.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence.
A really fun movie. Directed by Brad Bird who wrote and directed "The Incredibles." This is his first live action movie and he does a great job. There is a lot of comedy that covertly pokes fun at the spy movie genre. The most amazing part of the film is when Tom Cruise (who did ALL of his own stunts) dangles hundreds of stories up outside of the worlds tallest building in Dubai. I get sweaty palms just thinking about it.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence
A movie that on the face should have been really stupid, but avoided pitfalls by knowing when to not take itself too seriously. Great acting by the lead Chris Hemsworth and Anthony Hopkins, a great almost Shakespearean comic book movie.
Rated PG-13 for disturbing content and some language.
Contagion is effective because of what it is not. What it is not is science fiction. It is a relatively low key look at what would likely happen if a new, deadly and easily communicable virus went loose in the world. Both the best and worst of humanity is revealed by the crisis. Not a movie to watch if you already have a healthy fear of germs, this movies will send you into a panic attack.
The Tree of Life
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements
I don't necessarily recommend anyone watch this movie. I really liked it but it is very very different from any normal type of movie that a person would usually watch. It is the story of a 1950's Texas family told mostly from the children's point of view. This story is inter cut with the formation of the universe and how the earth has progressed, there are even dinosaurs for a few minutes. Like I said, very different. Full of amazing visuals "The Tree of Life" is almost more of a poem told in the form of a movie. I really was hypnotized by it and had a great experience watching it I just don't think a lot of other people would feel the same way. You were warned.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Rated PG-13 for intense and frightening sequences of action and violence.
Another movie that I rolled my eyes at when I saw it advertised. In reality it is a very involving movie that creates a real sense of empathy in the audience. The human characters are a little bit one sided but the apes are so well acted and realized by the visual effects people that by the end you really are rooting for the simians and against your own kind. This is an example of visual effects as art. The lead ape is played by Andy Serkis who is the man behind Gollum in "Lord of the Rings". He turns in a remarkable performance, if you rent the DVD make sure to watch some of the behind the scenes material it is amazing to see Serkis act like an ape without the visual effects. Give this one a chance I don't think you'll regret it. It is intense and scary in a few parts take the PG-13 seriously.
Rated PG-13 for a disturbing image and a crude gesture
This movie is silent and in black and white. Yes I say again this movie is silent and in black and white. It is also very funny, charming, moving (insert more hyperbole here).Its about a silent movie star who has trouble adapting to the advent of sound. This may not be your cup of tea but if you have ever enjoyed an old movie than you have the potential to really like this film. Don't discount younger kids either I remember watching "WallE" in the theater and seeing young kids be totally attentive to the "dialogue free" first 45 minutes while their parents were out cold.
AND FINALLY MY FAVORITE MOVIE OF THE YEAR IS...
Rated PG-13 for some strong language
I really don't like baseball all that much. I never watch it, I know how it is played but that is about it. Moneyball was made by people who obviously love baseball but the story could be about business or religion or society in general. A few men who try to breakout of doing something the way it has always been done. In this case the general manager of the Oakland Athletics Billy Beane back in 2002. A very smart movie, that doesn't forget to really bring across genuine emotion while being funny and exciting at the same time. For these reasons it is my favorite movie of 2011.