Although these old and new recommended movies are classified as family friendly, they are not suitable for very young children and all carry a PG or PG-13 rating.
These family flicks are available either on Amazon Prime or are for sale or rent on Amazon.
MY DOG SKIP
Based on a childhood memoir by author Willie Morris and narrated by Harry Connick, Jr., the award-winning feature tells the story of 9-year-old Willie (Frankie Muniz) and his best friend, a Jack Russell terrier called Skip. Even if the plot is somewhat fictionalized, the 1940s era tale remains absorbing and believable. Diane Lane and Kevin Bacon play Willie’s parents, and Luke Wilson is Willie’s mentor Dink Jenkins, who comes home from World War II traumatized.
NANCY DREW AND THE HIDDEN STAIRCASE (2019)
Nancy Drew (Sophia Lillis) appears in a contemporary mystery adventure. The 16-year-old Nancy and Helen Corning (Laura Slade Wiggins) investigate whether Twin Helms is haunted by a ghost or whether a prankster is merely pulling off a cruel joke.
Nancy’s dad Carson Drew is played by Sam Trammell, and Linda Lavis is Flora.
This highly entertaining animated western comedy stars chameleon Rango (voice of Johnny Depp), a family pet who falls out of a terrarium and has to try to survive in a western town named Dirt in Nevada’s Mojave Desert.
A wild bunch of desert creatures enliven this very funny cowboy saga as Rango meets Iguana Beans (Isla Fisher), Armadillo Road Kill (Alfred Molina), Gila Monster Bad Bill (Ray Winstone) and the elderly Spirit of the West (Timothy Olyphant channels his inner Clint Eastwood).
FANTASTIC MR. FOX (2009)
A quirky animated fantasy comedy directed by Texan Wes Anderson, the Oscar nominated film is based on Roald Dahl’s children’s novel. The film utilizes stop motion animation in a wacky fable about foxes at war with three farmers. The principal voices are George Clooney as Mr. Fox, Meryl Streep as Felicity Fox, Bill Murray as Clive Badger and Owen Wilson as Coach Skip.
The acclaimed whimsical and clever live action coming-of-age comedy takes place on an island off the coast of New England circa 1965. In this preteen love story, Khaki Scout Sam (Jared Gilman) and islander Suzy (Kara Hayward) run away to a spot known as Moonrise Kingdom.
The film is directed by Wes Anderson, and the impressive cast members include Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton and Jason Schwartzman
In a serious role, Melissa McCarthy is terrific as a single mother named Maggie, who moves to Brooklyn with her 12-year-old son Oliver (Jaeden Martell). Their next-door neighbor turns out to be a bitter curmudgeonly Vietnam vet named Vincent MacKenna (Bill Murray).
When Maggie has to work long hours, Vincent grudgingly becomes a caregiver for Oliver. The film’s blend of comedy and drama is edgy and heartwarming.
ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL
Nick Robinson portrays 17-year-old Greg Gaines, a fledgling filmmaker who makes a point of avoiding people except for Earl (R.J. Cyler), who Greg refers to not as his friend but as his “coworker.”
When Greg’s parents (Nick Offerman and Connie Britton) make him renew his friendship with Rachel Kushner (Olivia Cooke) who is suffering from leukemia, he reluctantly begins to visit her. The touching comedy-drama seems to accurately portrays real conversations and attitudes of teenagers.
Alice Reese is a member of the Dallas Fort Worth Film Critics Association. She reviews movies, arts and entertainment for the Herald-Banner and