For the third week of February, Box Office Mojo reports that many family and redemptive movies are at the top of the box office in the following order: The Lego Batman Movie, Hidden Figures, Rogue One (A Star Wars Story), Sing, Moana, Hacksaw Ridge, and A United Kingdom. Fandango reports that The Resurrection of Gavin Stone is also still in theaters.
The Lego Batman Movie has been at the top of the box office since its release. It is PG- rated but appropriate for all ages. It has good themes about the value of following: family, love, humility, relationships, changing bad behavior, and more.
Hidden Figures, which has earned many SAG, Movieguide ®, and Oscar honors, is based on an amazing true story about an outstanding team of African-American women during the American Civil Rights Movement and Space Race of the 1960’s. It is primarily about these brilliant women who provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space mission.
As the United States races against Russia to put a man in space, NASA finds incredible talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians who serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Hidden Figures is based on the incredible true life stories of three of these women, known as “human computers.”
These women wisely, boldly, and quickly rise in the ranks of NASA, alongside many of history’s greatest minds. They are specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit and guaranteeing his safe return.
Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer), Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), and Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) cross all gender, race, and professional boundaries, as their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly places them in U.S. history as true American heroes.
Hidden Figures has many outstanding elements: amazing true story set in fascinating and sad history; good acting; effective use of humor and romance; character role models (of perseverance, humility, determination, and faith); inspiring Christian church, family, and community support.
The three female leads are engaging, captivating, and delightful in their performances. Hidden Figures features Kevin Costner as Al Harrison, Kirsten Dunst as Vivian Mitchell, and other notable actors.
Hidden Figures, which is PG-rated, is most appropriate for teens through adults due to its subject matter. Unfortunately, the hard-core administrator, Al Harrison, has one line early in the movie in which he takes our Lord’s name in vain. There are also honest, historic depictions of harsh treatment to African-Americans.
However, the movie focuses on the gracious, strong, and overcoming spirits of the women at NASA and those who support them. This movie is inspirational, redemptive, and hopeful.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PG-13) has no immoral language or behavior, and is most appropriate for teens and adults due to battle violence, monsters, and evil villains, as well as some New Age elements. It has worthwhile themes: repentance, redemption, sacrificial love, hope, doing what is right, and finding a greater purpose. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a prequel that precedes the events of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope when rebels stole plans for the Death Star from the Imperial Empire.
Sing (PG, all ages), a delightful, animated musical comedy, is about a Koala Bear named Buster Moons who puts on a singing competition at his failing theater. Sing is appropriate for all ages. It has positive themes that include the value of hard work, perseverance, using one’s passions and gifts, positive family relationships, and overcoming fear. (It has a few light crass elements.)
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Moana continues strong in the box office this week. It is an amazing animated, action-packed movie with realistically fast-moving water in an ocean adventure story. Most importantly, Moana is also about love for and commitment to family, friends, and community. A significant theme is about social responsibility. Moana is a good role model for young people.
The sweeping CG-animated fantasy adventure based on Polynesian folklore and legends, follows the heroic journey of a Polynesian teenage girl to save Polynesian life and culture from annihilation.
Drawn to the ocean (which guides and protects her as an anthropomorphic character), Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho) convinces the comedic demigod (half god, half human) Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson-Fast and Furious 6, San Andreas) to join her with her comedic sidekick on her mission.
Reluctantly Maui helps Moana on her quest to be a master wayfinder as they voyage across the open ocean encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds to save the Polynesian Islands.
This is a delightful, entertaining movie for older children through adults. Read the interview with key animator, Mark Henn, on Sonoma Christian Home about the latest in the meticulous animation process Disney uses for this movie.
Hacksaw Ridge is directed by Mel Gibson and stars Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spiderman). This highly acclaimed movie has received the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion picture. Andrew Garfield of Hacksaw Ridge has gained a SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.
For the February 10, Movieguide Awards nominations for Best Movie for Mature Audiences includes Hacksaw Ridge. Movieguide ® Epiphany Award nominations also include Hacksaw Ridge. , Further, Movieguide ® Bradley Foundation Faith and Freedom Awards nominations include Hacksaw Ridge and Movieguide ® nominations for Inspiring Performance Awards includes Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge.
This extraordinary movie has also received six Oscar nominations including for film, director and actor.
Hacksaw Ridge (rated R for battlefield violence) is the amazing true story of WWII army medic Desmond Doss, played by Garfield, who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, miraculously saved 75 men in a matter of hours without firing or carrying a gun.
He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong.
Doss’ courage was exemplified in the simple prayer he uttered as he singlehandedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers, was wounded by a grenade, and hit by snipers.
Doss was the first conscientious objector of WWII to ever earn the Congressional Medal of Honor (he called himself a “conscientious cooperator” as he volunteered).
A United Kingdom is a moving, fascinating, captivating David Oyelowo (Selma, Queen of Katwe, Captive) movie. This film with David Oyelowo’s superb, multi-dimensional, multi-faceted, nuanced performance is a significant movie for such a time as this. This movie is based on complex Christian, political, British and African history, which has important lessons for our time. It is a love story caught in political British and African history after WWII.
David Oyelowo is one of the best actors of our times and his movies are especially valuable for such a time as this. This beautiful PG-13 movie is the top pick romantic and redemptive movie for the third week of February. See the wonderful story and interview with David Oyelowo for A United Kingdom on Sonoma Christian Home.
The Resurrection of Gavin Stone produced by WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) is another golden choice. It is an inspirational comedy about faith and forgiveness. In this movie, wrestling star, Shawn Michaels, is featured in a comedic role. In our current times, when celebrities speak as authorities on social subjects out of their field, it is refreshing to see a humble celebrity who does not take himself overly seriously.
The story in this movie is about Gavin Stone who is a washed-up former child star who is forced to do community service at a local megachurch. He pretends to be a Christian so he can land the part of Jesus in their annual Passion Play. However, he discovers that the most important role of his life is far from Hollywood. This movie is rated PG and is appropriate for older children through adults. See the Sonoma Christian Home interview with its director, Dallas Jenkins.
The top pick romantic and redemptive movie for teens through adults the third week of February is A United Kingdom. The top redemptive pick for adults (R rated due to graphic war violence) is Hacksaw Ridge. Other top pick redemptive and family movies for all ages the third week of February are Hidden Figures, Moana, and The Resurrection of Gavin Stone. See Sonoma Christian Home for further interviews, photos, and trailers for these good movies.
The modern Renaissance and Reformation in movies continues with many more to anticipate for the future. Promising movies for the rest of 2017 include the following: TBA- A Question of Faith, All Saints, I Believe, and The Heart of a Man; 2/23, Is Genesis History; 3/17, Beauty and the Beast, 3/17, Same Kind of Different as Me, 3/17, Second Coming of Christ; 4/7, The Case for Christ; 4/21, Born In China; 5/5, Guardians of the Galaxy 2; 5/26, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; 6/16, Cars 3; 11/10, The Star; 11/22, Coco; 12/15, The Last Jedi; and 12/24, Let There Be Light.
With some preliminary research, good redemptive and family movies can be identified for specific ages and audiences. Identify appropriate movies ahead of time and enjoy the movies.
To learn more about this author, please visit Dr. Diane Howard