With the days getting shorter and colder, and fewer opportunities to spend afternoons and evenings outdoors, Montreal Families has your guide for upcoming releases coming to theatres this fall. As well, we’ve accompanied our entries with preliminary comments from Common Sense Media, a non-profit independent organization that rates and reviews popular movies, books, apps and games based on their family friendliness. For more in-depth reviews, check back closer to the films’ release dates: commonsensemedia.org.
September 12 – Dolphin Tale 2
A sequel to the popular 2011 film, Dolphin Tale 2 follows Winter the Dolphin again, in the wake of the passing of her surrogate mother. A team scrambles to find a companion for Winter so she can remain at the Clearwater Marine Hospital.
Common Sense Media says (about the first Dolphin Tale film): “Heartwarming tale is sweet, inspiring for kids and tweens.” Read the full Dolphin Tale 2 Review here on opening day.
September 19 – The Maze Runner
Based on the trilogy of novels by James Dashner, the dark story of The Maze Runner takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in which teenagers are dropped in a community from which there is little chance of escape, with their memories wiped clean as adults conduct experiments on them.
Common Sense Media says: “Book-based sci-fi thriller has a dark premise.” Read the full The Maze Runner Review here on opening day.
September 26 – The Boxtrolls
Based on Here Be Monsters, the children’s novel by Alan Snow, The Boxtrolls is an animated film about a young orphan, living in underground caves with the trash collectors who raised him, who must find a way to save his friends from an evil exterminator. The voice cast includes Ben Kingsley, Elle Fanning and Nick Frost.
Common Sense Media says: “Tale of quirky creatures could be too scary for little kids.” Read the full The Boxtrolls Review here on opening day.
October 10 – Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Based on the popular series of children’s books by Judith Viorst, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (whew, say that three times fast) first follows Alexander as he has a terrible day and his family tries to convince him it’ll pass. For Alexander, the following day is pretty good, but his family is having one of the days he is all too used to.
Common Sense Media says: “Mild family comedy looks to build on beloved storybook.” Read the full Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Review here on opening day.
October 17 – The Book of Life
The Book of Life is a 3D animated film that follows Manolo as he tries to win the heart of Maria, who’s been charmed by Joaquin. His journey will take him across three fantastical worlds where he will face his biggest fears armed with his wits and guitar. Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum and Christina Applegate lend their voices to the film’s characters.
Common Sense Media says: “The film promises to be visually stunning and may include some rude humour and peril.” Read the full The Book of Life Review here on opening day.
November 26 – The Penguins of Madagascar
The ever-popular sidekick penguins from the Madagascar films are getting their own movie: The Penguins of Madagascar will follow the animals as they embark on a spy adventure to prevent a villain from destroying the world.
Common Sense Media says (about the first Madagascar film): “Cute story contains some crude humor and innuendo.” Read the full The Penguins of Madagascar Review here on opening day.
November 21 – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I
Based on the immensely popular book series by Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay picks up right where Catching Fire left off, with heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) reluctantly assuming a leadership role in the defeating of the Capitol with her new allies.
Common Sense Media says (about The Hunger Games: Catching Fire): “Although the book series is extremely popular with tweens and even younger elementary-school readers, the movie may be too dark and violent for even mature tween readers.” Read the full The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Review here on opening day.
December 17 – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
The conclusion to Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit finally hits theatres this month. This third film in the series will feature an epic battle – not unlike the past Hobbit or Lord of the Rings movies – that will change the fate of Middle Earth forever. Benedict Cumberbatch is slated to voice the dragon Smaug again, a highlight of the 2013 Hobbit release.
Common Sense Media says (about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug): “While this series remains more tween-friendly than the more violent Lord of the Rings, there are still a few jump-worthy and frightening scenes, mostly dealing with the orcs [and] the dragon Smaug.” Read the full The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Review here on opening day.
December 19 – Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
The third film in the Night at the Museum series sees Larry, the night security guard played by Ben Stiller, leave New York City to go to London where he must save the Tablet of Ahkmenrah before it runs out of magic.
Common Sense Media says (about the first Night at the Museum instalment): “Cute adventure; OK for tweens, but a little scary for kids.” Read the full Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Review here on opening day.
December 25 – Into the Woods
Characters from popular fairy tales are taught important lessons from a witch in this film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical. The cast is impressive – Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Lucy Punch, Emily Blunt, Christine Baranski, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, James Corden – and the film is a Disney release, so Into the Woods will be a tamer affair than the Broadway musical it’s based on, much to the chagrin of some.
Read the full Into the Woods Review here on opening day.
January 16 – Paddington
Based on the book series about the duffle-coat-clad Peruvian bear, a computer-generated Paddington will venture to London where he is taken in and cared for by the Brown family in this live-action film that comes out on Christmas.
Read the full Paddington Review here on opening day.