A few years years ago, I went out on a limb and wrote a blog that included a list of many of my favorite movies. To make the grade, the films had to be both entertaining and family-friendly. I titled this blog, “A Few of My Favorite Things” and began with an introduction in which I admitted publishing such a compilation was risky.
I was fully aware that not every film on my list would resonate with some of you, our readers. Most of you who commented were kind, but as expected a few of you thought I was a few fries short of a happy meal. For instance, a person named Jake commented:
Soul Surfer??? For those who want to lust after half naked women!! To Save a Life??? I got the impression that sex before marriage is okay, as long as you don’t abort the baby!!
Like I said, I knew I wasn’t going to please everyone. By the way, not only did I screen Soul Surfer, I was even in Hawaii for some of the filming (yes, a rough assignment, but someone had to do it!). While there were definitely some women wearing swimsuits, that’s a hard thing to get away from in a surfing movie. And with To Save a Life, my colleague Paul Asay wrote:
The final product is polished, professional and one of the best Christian films I’ve seen.
I guarantee you those words would not have been written for a film endorsing sex outside of marriage.
Call me a glutton for punishment, but I’m ready to roll out “A Few of My Favorite Things, Part 2”—a list of 50 films I’ve liked since the original list of 30 was published in March 2012. Most, but not all of the films listed below have been reviewed by Plugged In. I’d encourage you to use this list in conjunction with our reviews. Nearly every film has a content concern or two. Even The Peanuts Movies with its perfect score has Lucy calling Charlie Brown a “blockhead.” I’ve been doing this long enough to realize we have readers who’d prefer their young children not hear any sort of name calling. I get it. Again that’s why I recommend you use this list in conjunction with our reviews.
Incidentally, in light of the potential criticism you may be wondering why I’d do lists like these at all. Good question! For one thing, as we head into the Christmas gift-buying season, some of you are looking for gifts/stocking stuffers. Furthermore, I think that question was answered last time so please allow me to reprint what I said back in 2012:
So, by now, I think you get my point: We hesitate to offer the “Plugged In List of Family-Friendly Movies” because we know that somebody, somewhere, will feel we let them down. That said, I regularly have friends and acquaintances ask me about flicks I personally like. (It’s similar to a physician being approached with a “Hey, doc, I got this pain in my arm and was wondering …”) So, even though I know that this list will not be without some controversy, I’m going to be brave and jot down a few titles of films that I’ve found encouraging and inspiring. Instead of Plugged In’s list, let’s call this “Bob Waliszewski’s List of Family-Friendly Movies!” And please note that, as with all films, age-appropriateness comes into play.
So with all that said, here’s my most recent alphabetized list of favorites:
Beyond the Mask
The Book Thief
The Drop Box
Far from the Madding Crowd
God’s Not Dead
The Good Lie
Hundred Foot Journey
Instructions Not Included
A Long Way Off
Man of Steel
Moms’ Night Out
Muppets Most Wanted
The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus
The Peanuts Movie
Return to the Hiding Place
Saving Mr. Banks
Seasons of Gray
Son of God
When the Game Stands Tall
Woman in Gold
Okay, Jake (and everyone else), give me your thoughts. I promise you there are no half-naked women in any of the above!