Another superhero movie, Spiderman: Homecoming (rated PG-13) comes to theaters July 7. By its trailers, it looks enticing and entertaining for kids; but like other recent superhero movies it has foul language and crude elements that are totally inappropriate, especially for kids.
Wonder Woman (rated PG-13), still in theaters, has redemptive and entertaining elements; but it also has inappropriate elements, such as male nudity and harmful politically correct philosophies. Parents and guardians must carefully research movies more than ever before their kids see them. There are movies that look highly appealing and even redemptive that also have harmful elements in them. Buyer beware!
The top picks in theaters at the top of the box office for the second week of July are the following: Despicable Me 3 (number one at the box office), Cars 3, and Champion. Born in China and The Case for Christ, according to Fandango, are still in some theaters and remain among the top picks. These movies remain as the best redemptive and family movies in theaters for the second week of July.
Despicable Me 3, which is PG- rated, has some light crude elements and lots of cartoon violence, but is moral and redemptive as it celebrates faith and family in the midst of action-packed adventures. Gru, wife Lucy, and their three adorable daughters (Margo, Edith, and Agnes) along with the Minions and Gru’s twin brother, Dru (both twins are skillfully voiced by Steve Carrell), are involved with fast-paced adventures filled with heart and satirical humor for all ages.
Cars 3 is a rare G-rated animated comedy adventure for kids and families by Pixar. See videos, photos, and more on IMDb. In this movie, legendary Lightning McQueen is blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers. Suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves, he wants to get back into the game. He needs the help of an eager young race technician. She has her own plan to win with inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet along with a few unexpected turns. Cars 3 celebrates good, small-town, American values. It is appropriate for all ages.
Champion was released in May 2017 and also continues at the top of the box office. With an inspiring Christian worldview and beautiful cinematography, Champion is a story about an arrogant dirt track car racer, Shawn, played by Andrew Cheney (Beyond the Mask). Challenged by another driver – Ray Reed – Shawn gets angry and deliberately runs into his vehicle. The crash kills Ray.
Furthermore, Ray’s estranged father, Jack, who has recently reconciled with Ray, has watched the accident from the stands and resumes having harsh feelings for his son. Shawn, who consumes too many drugs and alcohol, loses custody of his daughter. The problems seem insurmountable.
Champion grapples with the concept of true winning. It deals honestly with the struggles of fathers and their children. It presents issues of guilt, trials, and forgiveness. The acting is good. This movie that inspires with its story about true overcoming and real winning is engaging. It is PG-rated and is appropriate for middle-schoolers through adults.
Another rare G-rated movie is Born in China. First released in China in August 2016 and in the United States in August 2017, Born in China persists at the top of the box office. This outstanding Disneynature documentary is about unique animals in harsh, mountainous China, who demonstrate persistence, perseverance, and resilience.
This delightful movie follows three families of pandas, snow leopards, and snub-nosed monkeys in their fascinating behaviors and antics, along with shaggy yaks, beautiful cranes, and small antelopes. Although this captivating, heart-grabbing movie is a real-life documentary, the featured animals are given names that appeal especially to children, even though natural lessons of survival are part of the story.
The movie first introduces a female snow leopard preparing on a harsh, snowy, mountainside a place to bear and raise her cubs. The movie also follows an adolescent snub-nosed monkey from his birth family to joining a roving group of maturing males dubbed, “the lost boys.” A panda teaches her cub to swim, climb, and forage for bamboo. An expectant antelope participates in a migration of capering antelopes to raise her young in a safe environment.
The gorgeous cinematography in Born in China presents a range of landscapes, which includes lush forests, broad plains, and rocky mountains. Fandango provides behind-the-scenes video and YouTube presents other video features for Born in China. Good family movies like Born in China entertain but also positively enrich, educate, and edify.
The Case for Christ is a captivating narrative drama produced by PureFlix, a company with a solid track record of producing excellent movies with redemptive content for all ages, as well as ever-improving artistry.
The Case for Christ is based on the true story of the award-winning journalist and avowed atheist Lee Strobel, and takes place in 1980 when his investigative reporting earned him a promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. At the same time, his career was taking off, his home life became a battle zone when his wife Leslie – who had been an agnostic – found faith in Christ. Leslie perseveres with her new faith, while Lee struggles with evidence that leads him ultimately to his own faith in Jesus Christ.
Applying his well-honed journalistic and legal skills, Lee set out on a mission to disprove the newfound Christian faith of his wife. The result was unexpected and life-altering. See Sonoma Christian Home’s in-depth interview with Lee and Leslie Strobel.
The movie The Case for Christ is a must-see film for everyone who has ever pondered the existence of God, or the evidence related to the life, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Lee, who earned a law degree from Yale Law School, used his legal experience and training as a former courtroom analyst to thoroughly study and build a case to discredit the deity of Jesus. It is also a must-see movie for those who are persisting in faith and prayer for the faith of their loved ones. Faye Dunaway portrays Dr. Roberta Waters in this film.
Employing historical, personal, and medical records of evidence of the life, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus, Lee “cross-examined” a dozen leading experts with doctorates from schools such as Cambridge, Princeton, and Brandeis, who are recognized authorities in their fields. His careful research and scrutiny led him to stunning conclusions and results. This movie is appropriate for middle-schoolers through adults.
It is more critical than ever that we as consumers patronize and support the best in movies to encourage filmmakers to produce more of the same. Fortunately, many redemptive family movies are persisting in theaters due to consumer interest and support. We reap what we sow in terms of participation, support, and promotion.
There are more and more movies with trailers and promotions that make them look family-friendly, when they are not. There are many “family” movies in theaters that have undesirable language, situations, and philosophies. Therefore, caution is advised and research encouraged before making any choices for movies you and yours see.
The Bible tells us to think on the following: whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, and anything excellent or praiseworthy.
Top pick movies in theaters for the second week first week of July are Cars 3 and Born in China for all ages. Despicable Me 3 is appropriate for elementary children through adults. The Case for Christ and Champion are the top picks for mid-schoolers through adults.
In weeks and months ahead there are many promising family and redemptive movies. They include the following: Lego Ninjago, 7/22; Nuts 2, 8/11; All Saints, 8/25; Extraordinary, 9/7; The Heart of Man, 9/14; Ferdinand, 9/14; Samson, 9/29; A Question of Faith, 9/29; Same Kind of Different as Me, 10/4/2017; Revive Us 2, 10/17; Mully, 10/20; The Star, 11/10; and Let There Be Light, 12/24.
Hold out for the best. Avoid compromising movies that mix error with truth and vulgarity with what is good. Research movies before you see them. Remember that all that glitters may not be gold.
To learn more about this author, please visit Dr. Diane Howard