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cinema review for family films

Family film reviews


OUT NOW

The Lego Batman Movie 3D (U)

Hidden Figures (PG)
LaLa Land (12A)
Moana (PG)
Lion (PG)
Sing (U)


  

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Top Family Films to see

 
Fancy a trip to the cinema, but don't know what would be fun with the kids? Here's our movie guide, written by Mike Davies especially with families and kids in mind. Everything from small scale films to great blockbusters for all the family!

Read the film digests for a quickie guide to the latest kids and family films and check out the full film reviews for all the details and 'Let's Go with the Children' recommendations about the film's suitability for your children

Please note that not all 12A films are appropriate for younger children. Let’s Go With The Children offers a guide to what’s suitable for family viewing.

 Check out the full film reviews for all the details.

 

 

Batman the Lego Movie

 

Read the following Reviews:

 

 

 

Out Now

 The Lego Batman Movie 3D (U)

Hidden Figures (PG)

LaLa Land (12A)

Moana (PG)
Lion (PG)

 Sing (U)

 

 

 

 

The Lego Batman Movie 3D (U)

 

The follow-up to 2014’s BAFTA Best Animated Film winner, The Lego Movie, is a parody of Batman and the world of DC superheroes in general, but balances the comedy with a strong ‘no man is an island’ message about not shutting yourself off from friends and family. Or, indeed your enemies. The secretly sensitive Joker (Zach Galifianakis), hurt that the narcissistic Batman (Will Arnett) won’t recognise they have a mutual hate relationship and refuses to accept he’s his greatest foe, hatches a plot to get sent to the Phantom Zone so he can free all the bad guys to help him destroy Gotham. And, as if that wasn’t enough, Batman has to content with new sidekick Robin (Michael Cera), the orphan he accidentally adopted while dazzled by new Police Commissioner Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson). She wants Batman and the law to work together, and Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) wants him to face up to his greatest fear – family. Featuring appearance by pretty much every DC superhero and villain you can think off, as well as the likes of Godzilla, gremlins, Voldemort and the Daleks, it’s a dizzyingly relentless, knowingly self-referencing explosion of gleeful fun. 106 mins. Also in 2D and IMAX 3D.

 

Read full review here

 

Lego Batman Movie 3D (U)

 

 

Hidden Figures (PG)

 

You might know that, in 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. But you’ve probably never heard of Katherine Johnson. Yet, without her input, the Mercury program might have taken a lot longer to achieve its goal or, had the launch gone ahead on schedule, Glenn could have died on re-entry. It was Johnson who did the calculations necessary to ensure safe re-entry, but only now is her contribution, and that of many other African-American women who worked for the NASA space program, being recognised.

This aptly titled true story puts the spotlight on Johnson (Taraji P Henson) and her co-workers, Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), and their vital roles in the program. A child maths prodigy, in 1952 Johnson got a job at Langley, working as one of the ‘computers’(not machines, but an all black female unit of mathematicians)  in the segregated "West Area Computing" division  overseen  by Vaughan and was eventually assigned to work on the equations necessary to compute the rocket flights. The same unit also included Jackson, who, in 1958, became NASA’s first black female engineer.

With Kirsten Dunst as a racist white department head, Kevin Costner as the program manager and Jim Parsons as the chauvinistic chief  engineer, it charts the women’s fight to be taken seriously and achieve recognition and equality alongside their male and white counterparts, while detailing the racism in the workplace without shouting from a soapbox.

The performances from the three female leads are top notch, while the film balances scenes like Johnson scrawling out calculations on the blackboard with archive footage and recreations of meetings with the NASA team and its astronauts, delivering a film that is as entertaining as it’s inspiring, uplifting and illuminating. 127 mins.

 

 

Hidden Figures (PG)

 

LaLa Land (12A)

 

Hailed as the best film of the 2016 in America, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling step out in style in this magical homage to the golden age of Hollywood musicals that manages to be both retro and contemporary. She’s a struggling actress and he’s a jazz pianist with dreams of opening in his own club, but neither are going anywhere. Their paths keep crossing and they eventually become a couple, but when things start going right for them professionally, their ambitions puts their relationships under strain. Neither Stone nor Gosling and professional singers or dancers, but their work here, both together and individually, is terrific, particularly memorable moments involving a romantic dance among the starts in an observatory and a classic dance routine on the hills overlooking Hollywood. Full of energy and heart with a bittersweet ending, it will sweep you off your feet. 128 mins.

 

Read full review here

LaLa Land 12A

 

 

 


Moana 3D (PG)

 

Disney continues to put a feminist spin on its princesses, no longer young girls in peril needing to be rescued by a handsome prince, but feisty, strong-willed women taking their destiny in their own hands. Here it’s Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), the daughter of a Polynesian chieftain who defies dad’s orders not to venture beyond the reef as she sets off to find multi-tattooed macho demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson), who, sporting echoes of both Pinocchio’s Jiminy Cricket and Aladdin’s Genie, stole the jade heart of the island goddess and brought a curse upon the sea and land. Now Moana intends for him to return it, setting the stage for a thrilling adventure quest by the reluctant mismatched duo that comes with both a giant crab, tiny coconut wearing pirates and a clutch of sons headed up by the girl power anthem How Far I’ll Go. Fabulous. Included animated short Inner Workings. 113 mins Also in 2D.

 

Read full review here

Mona 3D PG

 

Lion (PG)

 

The true story of how a young boy became lost in Calcutta as a five year old having fallen asleep on a train in 1986, then adopted by an Australian couple(David Wentham, Nicole Kidman) and taken to live in Tasmania. 25 years later, Saroo Brierley (Dev Patel), now a hotel management student, began a relentless search to find his real mother and brother. There’s a few changes for dramatic purposes, but this generally sticks to the facts, the film split into two halves, the first, featuring a winning performance from Sunny Pawal as the young Saroo, following his experiences lost and homeless on the streets of Calcutta, and the second as, encouraged by his American girlfriend (Rooney Mara), his older self uses Google Earth to try and work out where his home village, of which no one has even heard, is located, something that pushes him to the edge of a breakdown. Addressing themes of family, brotherhood, identity and isolation, it’s an inspiring, moving story that will have audiences reaching for their hankies. 118 mins.

 Read the full film review here

Lion PG

Sing (U)

 

An animated musical comedy that’s essentially an animals X-Factor, this recycles the well worn plot (last seen in The Muppets) of someone staging a special show to save their theatre. Here, it’s Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), Koala impresario who, in order to preserve his run down theatre, decides to put on the world’s greatest singing talent contest.  All are welcome to audition, but, at the end of the day, the contenders for the top prize come down to gangster’s son Johnny the gorilla (Taron Egerton), a sax-playing swing singing mouse (Seth McFarlane), a punk-rock porcupine (Scarlett Johannson), a timid elephant (Tori Kelly) and Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), an overworked mom of  25 piglets.  Packed with hit songs, colourful, energetic and very funny, even Simon Cowell might be impressed. 108 mins.

 Read the full film review here

Sing U

 

  

  
 
  

12A AND ABOVE
Not all 12A films are appropriate for younger children. Let’s Go With The Children offers a guide to what’s suitable for family viewing.

 


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