For the first week of August, Box Office Mojo reports that the inspiring movie about sacrifice and grit, Dunkirk, is number one. This has been the top pick movie for adults since its release the third week of July. Dunkirk immerses audiences in the harrowing, heroic, amazing events of 1940, when Germany trapped Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk, France. Under skilled air and ground cover from British and French forces, British crews and boats, including civilian, courageously, carefully, and safely evacuated 330,000 French, British, Belgian, and Dutch soldiers from the beaches.
This powerful, enthralling, thrilling movie (rated PG-13) is most suited for adults, due to intense war violence, although there is little that is gratuitous or inappropriate in terms of language or behavior. The courage, sacrifice, and camaraderie of soldiers and civilians is deeply inspirational.
The acting and cinematography is outstanding. Although the dialogue is often difficult to understand, the action speaks for itself.
In this movie – like many others about real life – everyman and everywoman role models and heroes are significant in its positive potential influence on viewers. Research provides evidence that those who observe and identify with role models are significantly influenced by the role models for good. Those who role model courage and sacrifice can inspire it in others.
Although not depicted in the movie, it is also noteworthy that a National Day of Prayer that was declared on May 26 for the soldiers trapped at Dunkirk. People from all walks of life came to British churches to pray. It was this call to prayer that compelled many civilians to bring their boats to Dunkirk to help save the courageous.
There were miraculous answers to prayer. First, Hitler stopped the advance of his armored columns at the very point when they could have proceeded to annihilate the British army. Second, a huge storm over Flanders on May 28 grounded the German Luftwaffe squadrons and enabled the British army formations eight to twelve miles from Dunkirk to move up on foot to the coast in the dark and rain of storm. Third, the English Channel was amazingly calm as the vast armada of little ships, big ships, warships rescued the stranded soldiers.
The British were so grateful for the great deliverance at Dunkirk that June 9 was appointed as a Day of National Thanksgiving. The Daily Telegraph published C. B. Mortlock’s article in which he stated, “…the prayers of the nation were answered…the God of hosts himself had supported the valiant men of the British Expeditionary Force.”
Remaining at the top of the box office are two more top picks for August: Despicable Me 3 and Cars 3. 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. It has no foul language. 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. It has no foul language, but it has some light crudity. 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.
Another top pick for August is the Fathom Event in theaters of the Disney musical, Newsies, for August 5 and 9. This summer encore of the Disney Theatrical Productions’ Broadway Musical is loosely based on the newsboys’ strike of 1899, when U.S. youth-led campaign successfully changed the way that Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst’s newspapers compensated their child labor force of newspaper boys.
The Tony Award®-winning musical returns to cinemas with Jeremy Jordan, reprising his Tony Award®-Nominated performance as Jack Kelly. Along with Jordan from the original Broadway cast are the following: Kara Lindsay “Katherine,” Ben Fankhauser “Davey” and Andrew Keenan-Bolger “Crutchie,” with North American Tour stars Steve Blanchard “Joseph Pulitzer” and Aisha de Haas as “Medda Larkin.” Additional cast from the Broadway and North American Tour ensemble also perform. The two-day event was captured on film during live performances at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.
The musical is set in New York City at the turn of the century, when a ragged band of teenaged ‘newsies,’ are led by Jack Kelly. They dream of a better life that is far from the hardship of the streets. When newspaper titans, Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike and prevail for what’s right.
The cast in this high-energy production is outstanding. There are good songs and some of the best dancing on screen. The close-ups enable audiences to see the characters actions and emotional responses more clearly. This film is another top pick, rated PG, for teens through adults for August.
The top pick movies for the first week of August are the following: Cars 3 (G) which is appropriate for all ages, Despicable Me 3 (PG-13) which is more suitable for older children through adults, Newsies that is suitable for teens through adults, and Dunkirk which is best for adults.
In weeks and months ahead for this year there are many more promising family, redemptive movies. They include the following: Nuts 2, 8/11; All Saints, 8/25; Extraordinary, 9/7; The Heart of Man 9/14; Ferdinand 9/14; Lego Ninjago 7/22; 9/28, Steve McQueen: American Icon; Samson, 9/29; A Question of Faith, 9/29; Mully 10/3-5; Revive Us 2, 10/17; Same Kind of Different as Me, 10/20; The Star, 11/10; Paddington 2, 11/10; Ferdinand, 11/15; Let There Be Light, 12/24; and The Greatest Showman, 12/25.
Hold out for the best. Research movies before you see them. Remember that all that glitters may not be gold. Support in every way you can the best of family and redemptive movies, so that more like them will be made.
To learn more about this author, please visit Dr. Diane Howard