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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: March 10, 2017.

For the second week of March the best of redemptive and family movies for various ages are still in theaters.  The following top pick redemptive and family movies are still at the top of the box office in the second week of March: The Lego Batman Movie, Hidden Figures, A United Kingdom, Moana, Sing, Rogue One (A Star Wars Story), and Hacksaw Ridge.

The Lego Batman Movie has been at 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 family, love, humility, relationships, changing bad behavior, and more.

Another wonderful movie still in theaters in the second week of March is Hidden Figures. It has earned many SAG, Movieguide ®, and Oscar honors, and 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 female mathematicians who serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Hidden Figures is based on the incredible real-life stories of three of these women, known as “human computers.”

Hidden Figures

A scene from Hidden Figures, staring Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, and Janelle Monáe, courtesy of Levantine Films.

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 the history of 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, community support, and more.

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.

family and redemptive films on top

David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike star in ‘A United Kingdom’. Photo Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Another powerful, profound movie still in theaters the second week of March is A United Kingdom. The real history of this movie is set in the amazing historical Christian legacy of Botswana, which is one of the most modern, democratic, successful countries in Africa, having overcome many hard obstacles as a role model to the rest of the world, including the USA.

A United Kingdom is a moving and captivating David Oyelowo (SelmaQueen of Katwe, Captive) movieThis film with Oyelowo’s superb, multi-faceted 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 generation and his movies are valuable.  This beautiful movie PG-13 movie is another top pick for the end of February. See the profound, wonderful story and interview with David Oyelowo for A United Kingdom on Sonoma Christian Home.

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Moana continues strong in the box office going into March.  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.

Disney animator Mark Henn 'Moana'

Moana bravely battles to save her people.

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. The DVD is now available, as well as Blu-Ray and VOD! The film was released on DVD March 7th, 2017, and online (streaming) in February.

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.)

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.

Another phenomenal movie still in some theaters in the second week of March is Hacksaw Ridge. This highly acclaimed movie by Mel Gibson and with Andrew Garfield is R-rated for military violence and some male exhibitionism (fortunately it has no F words). It is appropriate for adults. Hacksaw Ridge is directed by Mel Gibson and stars Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spiderman). This film has received the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion picture. Andrew Garfield of Hacksaw Ridge had a SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.

'Hacksaw Ridge' interview talks faith

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in highly acclaimed film ‘Hacksaw Ridge.’ Photo Courtesy of Lionsgate.

Movieguide Awards nominations for Best Movie for Mature Audiences included Hacksaw Ridge. Movieguide ® Epiphany Award nominations also included Hacksaw Ridge. Further, Movieguide ® Bradley Foundation Faith and Freedom Awards nominations included 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 and won two Oscars just recently.

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 single-handedly 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).  See the profound, powerful, Godly interview with producer, Terry Benedict, on Sonoma Christian Home.

Hacksaw Ridge is now available on Digital HD, 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital HD), Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD), DVD and On Demand from Summit Entertainment, a LIONSGATE Company.

Mel Gibson, producer of ‘Hacksaw Ridge’, works on set. Photo Courtesy of

Consumers looking for good redemptive and family movies must continue to research options and use discernment as to what movies are appropriate for specific ages.   Often what may seem innocent isn’t.

The top redemptive family pick for all ages is Hidden Figures. The top picks for families and all ages for movies in theaters is Moana and Sing. The top pick redemptive family movie for older teens through adults in theaters is A United Kingdom. The top redemptive pick for adults (R rated due to graphic war violence) is Hacksaw Ridge.

The modern Renaissance and Reformation in movies continues with many more good movies to come.  Promising movies for the rest of 2017 include the following:  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.

 

 

 

To learn more about this author, please visit Dr. Diane Howard

 

 

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