I am so excited to share with you a summer filled with positive, helpful movie reviews! My hope is that these will be the best family movies for your summer break.
I’m calling this series, “Amazing Summer Movies for Families to Enjoy.”
I’ve invited some of my favorite blogging friends to share movies they love with you. Each Wednesday morning, I’ll add a new review for you to enjoy.
You and your family can gain a whole slew of great movie suggestions from reading these weekly reviews. I hope these articles will lead to a fun summer of movie watching for you and your crew.
Today’s Movie Title: Second Hand Lions
Haley Joel Osment, Robert Duvall, Michael Caine, Kyra Sedgwick
14-year-old Walter, who has been raised by his selfish mother, is now being left with two bachelors, and somewhat eccentric, great-uncles, without their consent. Fully indulging her selfish whims, his mother pays little mind to Walter’s well-being and leaves him behind with hopes that he will discover where these unconventional uncles of hers have buried their rumored wealth.
Walter is barely welcomed into the broken down farm house of his resistant and peculiar uncles when he begins quietly planning his escape. But amidst his planning, a change begins to occur, in the hearts of his and uncles, and in the heart of him.
Through the course of the film, Walter begins to see his mother for who she truly is. He forges an unsuspecting bond with his tough and independent uncles, who have written off much of the world as simply after their fortune.
The interactions between Walter’s quirky uncles and the rest of the world, prove to be quite hilarious and stories of their own adventurous pasts are woven into the plot as well.
Released in 2003, I watched Second Hand Lions for the first time before I even started a family and just recently introduced my four children to it. The strong themes of redemption and love beyond our rough edges are messages I am happy to share with my family. And the hilarity of the eccentric uncles (and their love for shotguns) provides for some humor the whole family enjoys.
While this film is rated PG, there is a bit more language that I am typically comfortable with, however, it is stereotypically suited to the role the old uncles are playing rather than being used in a way found generally appealing to younger viewers. While such language is certainly not preferred, the conversations that stem from minimal exposure to such have become incredibly valuable in our family, as we can address these concerns in the privacy of our home rather in public places. At the same time, when I broached the issue of the “poor choice of language” with my 9-year-old after watching the movie, she simply asked. “What do you mean bad language?” Clearly, the occasional usage of words we do not use in our home had little impact on her. Nevertheless, the discussion is a good one to have.
I give this movie 4 stars as a great family movie that is not animated and yet still engaging for our children (ages 5 to 12) as well as their parents. That is no small task.
Scenes to watch out for:
This movie is a bit adventurous with a couple fist fights and some emotional content, but all should provide for excellent family discussion.
Second Hand Lions is available for rent or purchase on Amazon.
About the Reviewer:
Katie Westenberg is wife to one, mom to four and loves the adventure of raising her family in the countryside, outside the city limits. She believes in living bravely for the glory of our Creator and encourages others to fight fear and live brave as well, being faithful in the every day while still pursuing those big, crazy, God-given dreams. You can find her at I Choose Brave.
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