Before you ask, no, I don't sit around watching movies all the time. But this is a list that comprises movies I've seen over the past few months that I've found enjoyable...
- The Life Before Her Eyes -- A couple months ago, I was sent a preview copy of this movie from Magnolia Pictures. The woman who asked me to review it said, "While the film is rated R for some violence and mature language, I would invite you to see the film as authentic and that it has great potential to foster important and substantive discussions in the communities that you shepherd and influence." Even though it includes big-names like Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood, the movie never made it to the theater in my area. I really enjoyed the movie, but at the end I was left confused and perplexed. I had no idea what it meant. At first that bothered me...but the more I thought about it (and, I confess, did some google searches), I figured it out. Once I did, it made me want to watch it again. I don't know if the movie holds the promise of fostering substantive discussions--but it was very enjoyable and worth watching.
- Get Smart -- I grew up watching Don Adams and it was my favorite show, so I was pretty jazzed about this movie. And I wasn't disappointed. It definitely wasn't the child-friendly show of my youth, but it was great for my wife and me--and one that I'll probably take my older children to see.
- The Last Kiss -- this is a movie that we caught by chance on TV the other night. My wife and I were looking for a romantic comedy. Boy were we wrong. This wasn't a comedy at all. In fact, about 80% of it was pretty depressing as relationships failed, marriages crumbled, trust eroded, and it appeared that long-term commitment was impossible. But when it was all said and done, I loved it. It had a great message about rebuilding, starting where you are, telling the truth, staying through tough times, guarding your relationships and valuing what is most important. Be warned...it is rated R and is not a movie for teens or kids.
- Hancock -- I'm not a fan of super-hero movies, but I like Will Smith so was looking forward to seeing him in this movie. I didn't get to see the whole thing (since it was during the movie we got three phone calls from camp about Megan's broken collar-bone), but let me tell you...this was a great movie! Had a twist at the end that I loved. This movie had tons of scenes that could be worked into future messages about love, trust, significance, doing the right thing, starting over, destiny, and more. Did I mention that I loved it?
- We Own the Night -- this is a movie with four actors I love: Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Robert Duvall and Eva Mendes. It was dark, disturbing and frustrating at times. It is another adults-only movie. I came away thinking about the strength of family relationships. It doesn't matter how different the path is that you take away from your family...you can't get away from the bond of blood.
- Wanted -- Okay, I admit it, sometimes seeing some safe violence is therapeutic. By safe, I mean, no one really gets hurt, right? But there is a lot of blood, many bad guys who get "killed" -- and an occasional jerk who get hit over the head with an ergonomic keyboard. What's not to like? I'm sure a therapist would tell me that I was damaged as a child or played too much pong and breakout as a teen. Maybe. But either way, I enjoyed this movie.
What other movies would you add?