Top 10 family films for 2015

First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
Previous Next

Kenneth Branagh's exuberant live-action retelling of the "Cinderella" story - which stars Lily James in the title role and Cate Blanchett as her wicked stepmother - injects vibrant new life into a venerable fairy tale. The result is a delightful fantasy (A-I - general patronage; MPAA: PG).
In Peter Sohn's "The Good Dinosaur," a young Apatosaurus with human characteristics (voice of Raymond Ochoa) is separated from his family, and must find his way home, with only a feral Neanderthal boy (voice of Jack Bright) as his companion. Their journey is both wholesome and hilarious (A-I, general patronage; MPAA: PG).
"Inside Out" is a splendid animated comedy, founded on strong values, in which a young girl's (voice of Kaitlyn Dias) personified emotions help her cope with an upsetting family move. Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen prove equally deft at tickling and touching their audience. (A-II, adults and adolescents; MPAA: PG).
The life of Marie Heurtin (Ariana Rivoire), often called the "French Helen Keller," is dramatized in Jean-Pierre Ameris' joyous "Marie's Story." At a special-needs school, one idealistic nun (Isabelle Carre) gives her deaf and blind student a master class in unconditional love, patience and perseverance (A-II, adults and adolescents; MPAA: not rated).
The uplifting fact-based drama "McFarland, USA" follows a high school coach (Kevin Costner) to the impoverished community of the title where, recognizing a widespread gift among his students for long-distance running, he organizes a cross-country team. Niki Caro's faith- and family-friendly tale honors education and self-improvement. (A-II, adults and adolescents; MPAA: PG).
"Monkey Kingdom" is an enjoyable documentary recording the exploits of Maya, a female toque macaque disadvantaged by her low rank within the rigid hierarchy of her species. Dramatic scenery and Tina Fey's pleasant narration buoy Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill's study (A-I, general patronage; MPAA: G).
Steve Martino is scrupulously faithful to the spirit of cartoonist Charles M. Schulz in the charming animated comedy "The Peanuts Movie." Top-notch values prevail as hapless Charlie Brown (voice of Noah Schnapp) pines for a classmate (voice of Francesca Capaldi) while Snoopy (voiced by Bill Melendez) also pursues romance (A-I, general patronage; MPAA: G).
With "Shaun the Sheep Movie," Mark Burton and Richard Starzak craft an endearing feature centered on the madcap adventures of the eponymous little lamb (voice of Justin Fletcher). Despite some questionable jokes, the entertaining and inventive goings-on make suitable viewing for most of the family. (A-II, adults and adolescents; MPAA: PG).
A blockbuster series gets a fresh start in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." J.J. Abrams brings a steady hand to the task of rejuvenating the sci-fi saga, successfully relying on a lucid plot, abundant humor and two dynamic new heroes (Daisy Ridley and John Boyega) to revitalize the proceedings. (A-II, adults and adolescents; MPAA: PG-13).
Set in 1973 Alabama, and based on the true story of football star Tony Nathan (Caleb Castille), Andrew and Jon Erwin's entertaining drama "Woodlawn" makes inspirational viewing. With integration causing team tension, Nathan's coach (Nic Bishop) hires a chaplain (Sean Astin) who challenges the athletes to live the Gospel message. (A-II, adults and adolescents; MPAA: PG).
Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016