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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: June 9, 2016.

Sonoma Christian Home offers top movie picks for summer for the whole family. As the summer months kick off, movie theaters continue to provide top family, feel-good, redemptive movies. On June 4, Box Office Mojo reported that swirling, twirling, whirling and exploding family films full of mayhem for older children, teens, and adults are at the top of the box office: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (PG-13), “X-Men: Apocalypse” ( PG-13, teens-adults), “Alice Through the Looking Glass” (PG, older children-adults), “Angry Birds” (PG- older children-adults), and “Captain America: Civil War” (PG-13, older teens-adults). These movies all have redemptive themes and may be exciting, but may not leave audience members feeling good at the end of the movies. Good movie review sources such as can assist in finding movies that are most suitable.

On June 4, Box Office Mojo also reports that “Jungle Book” (PG-older children-adults) and “Zootopia” (PG-older children-adults) are still doing well at the box office in theaters. Fandango also reports that “Ratchet and Clank” (PG- all ages), “Miracles From Heaven” (PG- all ages), “God’s Not Dead 2” (PG- all ages), “Risen” (PG-13, teens-adults), and “The Young Messiah” (PG 13- all ages) are still in theaters. These movies continue as top family and redemptive picks for quality and content in theaters through the first week of June. They are redemptive, feel-good movies that leave viewers feeling hopeful and optimistic

Jesus and Mary in "The Young Messiah." Top Movie Picks For Summer

Jesus and Mary in “The Young Messiah.” Still showing in theaters.

Research indicates that happy endings in movies, stories, and entertainment events can trigger the limbic system, our brain’s reward center, to release dopamine which makes us feel more hopeful and optimistic. Research also provides evidence that our brains produce the stress hormone cortisol during the tense moments in a story that can enable viewers and listeners to focus; but stories with positive developments between and among humans and animals, can release oxytocin, the feel-good chemical that promotes connection and empathy.

Comedies help viewers to accept human weaknesses and foibles. Birgit Wolz, a psychologist focusing on movies as therapy, and author of “E-motion Picture Magic” contends that laughter can enhance your sense of well-being, help your immune system, and decrease stress hormones. A study by researchers at the University of Maryland found that laughing at the movies, can lower blood pressure. Wolz says, “Laughter while watching comedies can relieve anxiety, as well as reduce aggression and fear.”

Very intense movies also affect your body physiologically, said Dr. George Bakris, who specializes in hypertensive diseases. “Very intense movies …increase heart rate, and if you have coronary heart disease, (they) can increase chest pain and blood pressure,” Bakris said. Intense movies can cause a spike in adrenaline and cortisol levels. Bruce McEwen, professor in the neuroendocrinology laboratory at The Rockefeller University in New York, and past president of the Society for Neuroscience says movies can trigger memories of traumatic events. Therefore, intense, action-packed, and/or tragic movies may not leave viewers feeling well.

There are many family and redemptive movies for various ages due out in months ahead: “I’m Not Ashamed,” “BFG,” “The Secret Life of Pets,” “Star Trek Beyond,” and “Ben-Hur.” Many other promising movies in development for theaters include: “Left Behind 2,” “Full of Grace,” “Do You Believe 2,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew,” “Ten Commandments,” “King David,” “Apostle Paul” (with Hugh Jackman), “Pontius Pilate,” “Butterfly Circus,” “The Adventures of Tintin 2,” “Touchdown on the Tundra,” “Wanted,” a slate of HD Texas movies and more.

Disney has many family classic remakes in development: “Beauty and the Beast,” “Mary Poppins Returns,” “Aladdin,” “Mulan,” “Dumbo,” “Winnie-the-Pooh,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Pinocchio,” “Fantasia,” “Tinker Bell,” “Chip ‘n Dale” and more. Disney continues to enrich our world with some of the best family movies.

Have a fun-filled summer full of memorable activities with friends and family. There are many special movies and events available this summer in theaters, but they have a wide range of suitability. Just remember that movies are not benign in their influence and can affects viewers. Studying good family and redemptive reviews pays off in finding the best movies that are entertaining but also edifying and enriching.

Enjoy top feel-good, family, redemptive picks for quality and content in movies out in theaters through the first full week of June: “Jungle Book” (PG-older children-adults), “Zootopia,” ”Ratchet and Clank,” “Miracles From Heaven,” “God’s Not Dead 2,” “Risen,” and “The Young Messiah. ”


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