Mojo Box Office reports a wide range of good family movies in theaters that are prevailing in the box office and in theaters for the fourth week of September. Number one at the box office is ‘Sully’. Other good family movies for various ages include: ‘Hillsong-Let Hope Rise’, ‘Pete’s Dragon’, ‘The Secret Life of Pets’, ‘Finding Dory’, ‘Ben-Hur’, and ‘The Jungle Book’. Movieguide.org, which reviews movies in theaters from a Christian Worldview, addresses the content and quality of some other movies still in theaters such as ‘Greater’. Sonoma Christian Home provides exclusive interviews for ‘Hillsong-Let Hope Rise’ and ‘Laughing at the Moon’, which is now in theaters in limited release. Fandango.com reports ‘The Queen of Katwe’ is coming out in theaters the fourth week of September.
‘Sully’ is an example of family movies that open at the top at the box office because they have redemptive themes that have family values and have skilled, notable, top actors, directors, cinematographers, as well as writers, will generally go to the top of the of box office and will demonstrate staying power. Clint Eastwood brings another real life, inspiring, heroic story to theaters with Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ ‘Sully.’ Tom Hanks is outstanding as the everyman heroic captain, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. Seven years after 9/11, the world saw the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ when Captain “Sully” Sullenberger glided his disabled plane onto the cold Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, as Sully was praised by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an ongoing investigation developed that threatened to destroy his reputation and career.
Comic relief throughout is refreshing in ‘Sully’. Although there are necessary flashbacks, the story keeps moving in intensity towards an unexpected climactic point full of jeopardy and then into a heartwarming turning point and resolution. It is uplifting to see a dangerous airplane story from NYC’s recent history in which no lives are lost and due to the persistence of Capt. Sullenberger to uncover the truth, no ongoing serious harm is done to anyone. Although this movie is most appropriate for adults with its PG-13 rating for peril and brief strong language (which diminishes the movie somewhat), it is a feel-good, inspiring movie that has unexpected suspense despite the fact that it ends up presenting good news about a real “everyman” hero. Todd Komarnicki, screenwriter, in an exclusive interview with Sonoma Christian Home, tells how he has been guided in his writing by prayer.
In the local Temple, Texas newspaper a doctor on Sully’s flight tells how his personal experience on this flight has brought him to faith.
Ben-Hur’ is an updated version of the classic novel Ben-Hur: The Tale of the Christ. It takes place during the last days of Christ in which Jesus Christ interacts with a young Jewish nobleman, Judah Ben-Hur, before and after his betrayal by his brother. Ben-Hur and his family are betrayed by adopted son Messala. Judah spends five years as a Roman ship galley slave but escapes after a ship battle. Trained by Ilderim (Morgan Freeman), Ben-Hur prepares for a chariot race to defeat his brother Messala now a Roman leader. Following the harrowing chariot race, Ben-Hur and his family are redeemed and restored after Ben-Hur encounters the Christ once more as he forgives all as he dies on the cross. This movie is PG-13 due to violence but has no perverse elements. It is appropriate for teens through adults.
‘Greater’ is based on another amazing underdog, true football story. ‘Greater’ is about Brandon Burlsworth. Brandon is considered one the greatest walk-on, non-scholarship players in college football history. In his small hometown, Burlsworth, is mostly known for his horn-rimmed glasses and genuine character. With the support of his older brother, Marty, and their struggling single mom, Barbara, Brandon walks on to the Arkansas Razorback team in 1994. He succeeds in the face of seemingly impossible odds. By the end of his college career, he is not only a star in the SEC, but a 1st Team All-American and an early pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL Draft.
Writer/producer Brian Reindl says “Brandon’s dedication and work ethic are the stuff of legend…’Doing things the Burls Way’ is still considered the gold standard of character and determination in Arkansas.” This movie is rated PG. It has some college-age and locker room language behavior but is redemptive and appropriate for teens through adults.
Disney’s ‘Queen of Katwe’, rated PG, follows a Ugandan slum girl’s rise from hopeless future to acclaim as an international chess player. This movie opens in limited release this week and then follows in national release. David Oyelowo (‘Selma’) plays Robert Katende, a missionary and refugee of Uganda’s civil war who as a chess teacher saw potential in 9-year-old Phiona Mutesi. Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o (’12 Years a Slave’) plays her mother.
Sonoma Christian Home provides an exclusive interview for ‘Hillsong-Let Hope Rise’. This movie is rated PG but is appropriate for all ages. This visually stunning movie gives fans up-close and personal look inside the band’s life on the road, at home, and in its spiritual journey. The band talks openly about the ways that God has directed their lives, enabling them to help others through their many mission projects.
Sonoma Christian Home has provided an exclusive interview for ‘Laughing at the Moon‘, which is currently in theaters in a limited release. The film, which is rated PG, is a redemptive comedic drama appropriate for teens and adults. In this film, three unsuspecting people encounter something very strange, but they find the meaning of life. This movie is a character-driven dramedy about an eccentric, altruistic woman, Iris, who comes to live with a self-absorbed, compulsive, snobby roommate, Natalie, who is her complete opposite. Iris’s hilarious antics and Christ-like sacrificial love, totally transform everyone she meets.
‘Pete’s Dragon’ is a Disney live-action movie with interesting special effects. This movie has great heart, although it does not have quite the cinematographic impact of recent live action ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Jungle Book’. Robert Redford, as wood carver Mr. Meacham, brings warm, captivating acting to the movie. His daughter, Grace works as a forest ranger. The mysterious 10-year-old Pete has no family or home but comes into Meacham’s and Grace’s lives. This fantasy, family movie with no foul elements has many redemptive themes: value of the traditional and extended family; angels in disguise (Elliot the dragon is Pete’s guardian angel); needing eyes to see wonders; need to protect the innocent; value of loyalty and more. This movie is rated PG and is appropriate for older children through adults.
‘The Secret Lives of Pets’ is an animated comedy about what pets do alone at home and in their adventures when they are lost. It has some animal potty humor but no perverse elements. It is rated PG but is appropriate for all ages. It is an entertaining, redemptive family movie with moral themes. ‘Finding Dory’ is about Dory finding her biological family. This PG movie is delightfully entertaining for all ages. It has no perverse elements and has moral themes.
Finally, ‘Jungle Book’ is another live action Disney movie about the laws of the jungle as Mowgli grows up with a family of caring wolves and with his bear companion, Baloo, whose voice is delightfully performed by Bill Murray. This movie also has redemptive moral themes. It is rated PG and is appropriate for older children through adults.
The top redemptive, family movie picks in theaters for various ages the third week of September are the following: ‘Ben-Hur,’ ‘Greater’, ‘Queen of Katwe’, ‘Sully’, ‘Hillsong-Let Hope Rise’, ‘Laughing at the Moon’, ‘Pete’s Dragon’, ‘The Secret Lives of Pets’, ‘Finding Dory’, and ‘The Jungle Book’.
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