Nov. 2015 Movie Preview: Kids & Teens – Spectre, Mockingjay, Peanuts & More!

Brooklyn_1Sheet_Mech_7R1.inddNew movies for kids and teens this month include a new James Bond film, the Peanuts gang, a story about a Good Dinosaur and lots more. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s new in theaters and on DVD and Blu-ray in November. Note that release dates are subject to change.


PG-13 for a scene of sexuality and brief strong language | In Theaters 11/4 (limited) | Ok for Kids 13+ | Fox Searchlight | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | Brooklyn

“Brooklyn” tells the moving story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City.

The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new life is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries. Directed by John Crowley, this movie also stars Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters and Domhnall Gleeson.


PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and language | In Theaters 11/6 | Ok for Kids 14+ | Columbia/Sony | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels |

Spectre 3Directed by Sam Mendes, the latest 007 film centers on a cryptic message from the past that sends James Bond (Daniel Craig) on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organization known as SPECTRE.

Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond’s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE and the chilling connection between Bond and his enemy, played by Christoph Waltz.


Rated G | In Theaters 11/6 | Ok for Kids 4+ | 20th Century Fox | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | Peanuts

Directed by Steve Martino, this brand new Peanuts movie – CGI animated and 3D – finds Snoopy, the world’s most lovable beagle (and flying ace!) embarking on his greatest mission as he and his team take to the skies to pursue their arch-nemesis. Meanwhile back home, his best pal Charlie Brown begins his own epic quest. So fun to see the Peanuts gang on the big screen.

THE 33

PG-13 for a disaster sequence and some language | In Theaters 11/13 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Warner Bros. | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels | The 33

In 2010, the eyes of the world turned to Chile, where 33 miners were buried alive by the catastrophic explosion and collapse of a 100-year-old gold and copper mine. Over the next 69 days, an international team worked night and day in a desperate attempt to rescue the trapped men, as their families, friends, and millions of people waited anxiously for any sign of hope.

A story of resilience, personal transformation and triumph of the human spirit, “The 33” takes us to the Earth’s darkest depths, revealing the psyches of the men trapped in the mine, and depicting the courage of both the miners and their families who refused to give up. Directed by Patricia Riggen, this movie stars Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin and Lou Diamond Phillips.


Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 11/13 (limited) | Ok for Kids 13+ | Clarius | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels | My All American

What Freddie Steinmark (Finn Wittrock) wants most in the world is to play football. Deemed too small by the usual athletic standards, his father trains him hard, and Freddie brings a fight to the game that ultimately gets him noticed by legendary University of Texas coach Darrell Royal (Aaron Eckhart). Awarded a scholarship and a chance to play for the Longhorns, Freddie moves to Austin with his high school sweetheart Linda (Sarah Bolger), determined to make the team.

Alongside his old teammate Bobby Mitchell (Rett Terrell) and new pal James Street (Juston Street), Freddie is put through the paces of a grueling practice schedule. But just as the team is reveling in the success of the season, Freddie suffers an injury that leads to a shocking diagnosis and the biggest challenge he will ever face.


PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some sexuality | In Theaters 11/13 | Ok for Kids 13+ | CBS Films | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | Love the Coopers

This comedy centers on the Cooper clan, four generations of extended family who come together for their annual Christmas Eve celebration. As the evening unfolds, a series of unexpected visitors and unlikely events turn things upside down, leading them all toward a surprising rediscovery of family bonds and the spirit of the holiday.

Directed by Jessie Nelson, this movie features an all-star cast, including Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Diane Keaton, Anthony Mackie, Amanda Seyfried, and Olivia Wilde.


PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for some thematic material | In Theaters 11/20 (IMAX, 2D) | Ok for Kids 13+ | Lionsgate | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels | The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Directed by Francis Lawrence, “The Hunger Games” franchise arrives at its final chapter with “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” in which Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) now fully realizes the stakes are no longer just for survival, they are for the future.

With the nation of Panem in a full scale war, she confronts President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the final showdown. Teamed with her closest friends – including Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin), and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) – Katniss goes off mission, using the unit from District 13 to stage an assassination attempt on President Snow, who’s intent on destroying her.


Not yet rated; like G or PG | In Theaters 11/25 (3D, 2D) | Ok for Kids 6+ | Disney Pixar | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | The Good Dinosaur

What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.

While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers that he’s stronger than he thought. Directed by Peter Sohn, this cute movie features the voices of Frances McDormand, Jeffrey Wright, Anna Paquin and Steve Zahn.


Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 11/25 | Ok for Kids 14+ | Warner Bros. | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | Creed

Another “Rocky” film? Yes, starring and produced by Sylvester Stallone. Adonis Johnson (Jordan) never knew his famous father, world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, who died before he was born. But there’s no denying that boxing is in his blood, so Adonis heads to Philadelphia, the site of Apollo Creed’s legendary match with a tough upstart named Rocky Balboa. Adonis tracks down Rocky (Stallone) and asks him to be his trainer.

Although out of the fight game, Rocky sees in Adonis the strength and determination he knew in Apollo and agrees to take him on. Rocky trains the young fighter, even as the former champ is battling an opponent more deadly than any he faced in the ring. Also stars Tessa Thompson as Bianca, a local singer-songwriter who becomes involved with Adonis; Phylicia Rashad as Mary Anne Creed, Apollo’s widow; and English pro boxer and former three-time ABA Heavyweight Champion Anthony Bellew as boxing champ “Pretty” Ricky Conlan.


PG-13 for macabre images, violence and a sequence of destruction | In Theaters 11/25 | Ok for Kids 13+ | 20th Century Fox | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels | Victor Frankenstein

James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe star in this thrilling twist on the legendary tale written by Mary Shelley. Radical scientist Victor Frankenstein (McAvoy) and his equally brilliant protégé Igor Strausman (Radcliffe) share a noble vision of aiding humanity through their groundbreaking research into immortality.

But Victor’s experiments go too far, and his obsession has horrifying consequences. Only Igor can bring his friend back from the brink of madness and save him from his monstrous creation. Directed by Paul McGuigan, this movie also stars Jessica Brown Findlay and Andrew Scott.



PG for mild thematic elements and some action | On DVD/Blu-ray/Digital HD 11/3 | Ok for Kids 6+ | Reel Review: 5 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon

One of the cutest movies of 2015 is out on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD! When 11-year-old Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) moves to a new city, her Emotions team steps up to help her through the transition. Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) work together, but when Joy and Sadness get lost, they must journey through unfamiliar territory to get back home. This sweet family movie teaches kids that every emotion is important, because without sadness, loss and loneliness, there can be no joy. Read my full review here.


PG for rude humor | On Blu-ray/Digital HD 11/3 | Ok for Kids 5+ | Reel Review: 4.5 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon

Yay! Another “Toy Story” movie! This installment of the long-running Disney Pixar franchise centers on our beloved crew finding themselves in uncharted territory during one of Bonnie’s post-Christmas playdates. When the coolest set of action figures ever turn out to be dangerously delusional, it’s up to Trixie the triceratops to get the gang back to Bonnie’s room. Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Kristen Schaal and Kevin McKidd voice characters.


Not Rated | On Blu-ray/Digital HD 11/3 | Ok for Kids 4+ | Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon

Based on the Broadway musical adaptation of the hit Christmas movie “Elf,” this animated movie tells the story of Buddy the Elf (Jim Parsons) and his quest to reunite with the human father he never knew existed. While Buddy’s sincerity and idealism are commonplace at the North Pole, these attributes are rejected in cynical New York City. But through song, dance, and relentless good cheer, Buddy rekindles the spirit of Christmas for the entire city. Mark Hamill, Ed Asner, Fred Armisen, Kate Micucci and Gilbert Gottfried also voice characters in this cute movie.


Rated G | On DVD/Digital 11/17 | Ok for Kids 7+ | Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon

This film, which received a “Family Approved” seal from the Dove Foundation, centers on a big-city accountant, Michael Thompson, who’s raising a teenage daughter, Chloe, on his own. When they take a working Christmas vacation at a beautiful horse farm in the country, sparks fly between Michael and Samantha, a third-generation horse farmer with a farm on the brink of foreclosure. Meanwhile, Chloe discovers a new best friend in Holly, a thoroughbred who could be the answer to saving the farm. Working together as a family and accepting help are central themes in this movie, which stars Charisma Carpenter, Patrick Muldoon, Mandalynn Carlson and Dominique Swain.


PG for rude humor | On DVD/Blu-ray/Digital HD 11/24 | Ok for Kids 5+ | Reel Review: 4.5 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon

When Shaun the Sheep decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets more action than he bargained for. A mix-up with the Farmer, a caravan, and a very steep hill lead Shaun and his farmyard pals to the Big City, where they must return everyone safely to the barnyard. This movie is fun, adorable and entertaining, and features Aardman Animations’ signature wit and style. It also includes jokes for all ages, so it’s the perfect family film for parents to see with their kids. Read my full review here.

One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.

Images used with permission of the studios and distributors.


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