Family Films For Half Term
Half term is almost here. Time to relax: put the schoolwork down and put your feet up. If you are looking for movie inspiration, read on to see my selection of family films you can watch together. And if you like the list ... please share the love … and share the list!
These films are mostly 12A with a few PG. Films classified 12A contain material that is not generally suitable for children aged under 12. PG films are for “general viewing”, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children.
Science Fair (PG)
This documentary deserves its place on the list of half term viewing. It’s incredibly inspirational, following the stories of nine high school students from around the globe as they compete at an international science fair.
If your children have seen all the modern DC movies, it’s time to teach them some cinematic history by showing them the Superman films you might have grown up with. This one is from 1978 and stars Christopher Reeve and Marlon Brando. Just before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El sends his infant son in a spaceship to Earth. Raised by kindly farmers, the child discovers the source of his superhuman powers and moves to Metropolis to fight evil disguised as novice reporter Clark Kent - and fighting crime as Superman.
The Inventor (TV-14)
Documentary film which provides an overview of a real life blood testing scandal. Elizabeth Holmes’s invention promised to revolutionise blood testing and made her the world's youngest self-made billionaire, heralded as the next Steve Jobs. Then, just two years later, her multibillion-dollar company was dissolved.
In Earth's future, a global crop blight and second Dust Bowl are slowly rendering the planet uninhabitable. A NASA physicist is working on plans to save mankind by transporting Earth's population to a new home via a wormhole. Science-fiction this is! But first, Brand must send a former NASA pilot and a team of researchers through the wormhole and across the galaxy on a recce, to find out which of three planets could be mankind's new home.
Tick Tick Boom (12A)
The film follows a young theatre composer who works in a New York City diner while writing what he hopes will be the next great American musical. Days before he's due to showcase his work in a make-or-break performance, Jon is feeling the pressure from everywhere: from his girlfriend Susan, who dreams of an artistic life beyond New York City; from his friend Michael, who has moved on from his dream to a life of financial security; amidst an artistic community being ravaged by the AIDS epidemic. With the clock ticking, Jon is at a crossroads and faces the question everyone must reckon with: What are we meant to do with the time we have? tick, tick…BOOM! (Rotten Tomatoes)
Jack Malik is a struggling singer-songwriter in an English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading. After a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, he wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed. Performing songs by the greatest band in history to a world that has never heard them, Jack becomes on overnight sensation. If you love music by the Beatles, you’ll love this. And Ed Sheeran stars too.
Blinded by the Light (12A)
Javed is a teenager from a Pakistani family growing up in Luton in 1987. Amidst racial and economic turmoil, he faces many challenges and writes poetry as a way to escape the pressures he feels from society and his family. When a friend introduces him to the music of Bruce Springsteen he is inspired to find his own voice and follow his dreams.
Apollo 13 (PG)
This film is based on the real events of the Apollo 13 lunar mission. Everything is going according to plan after leaving Earth's orbit but when the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage, the scheduled moon landing is called off and numerous technical problems threaten the astronauts' survival and their safe return to Earth.
The Post (12A)
A cover-up spanning four U.S. Presidents pushes the country's first female newspaper publisher and her editor to join an unprecedented battle between press and government. This brings to mind the history essay my son’s class was set a few years ago: Is journalism the first draft of history?
Following the horrific 2001 attacks on The World Trade Center and The Pentagon, a lawyer in Washington D.C. battles against cynicism, bureaucracy and politics to help the victims of 9/11. He is faced with the impossible task of determining the worth of a life to help the families who suffered incalculable losses.
King Richard (12A)
If you love films based on true stories or there’s a tennis player in your family, this one is for you. Richard Williams is determined to write his daughters, Venus and Serena, into tennis history. Starting out on neglected tennis courts in Compton, California, we see their journey to the top. This inspirational story shows that dedication, talent, focus and parental perseverance combined, can deliver the most amazing results.
The Blind Side (12A)
Semi-biographical film about NFL Player Michael Oher and his impoverished upbringing and adoption. Michael had drifted in and out of the school system for years when Leigh Anne Tuohy and her husband, took him in. With their help he realised his potential as a student and football player.
Ford vs Ferrari - (12A)
American car designer Carroll Shelby and British race car driver Ken Miles work together on a project to build and refine a new and revolutionary car for Ford with a plan to compete against Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in France in 1966.
NB ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS read the Parent’s guide on IMDB for information about sex and nudity, alcohol, drugs, frightening scenes, violence, gore etc. It’s all too easy to miss some shocking details because your cousin , brother or best friend who doesn’t have children recommended a film they thought was great. They didn't watch it through the eyes of a junior school child.
And if films aren't for you ... try my puzzle books. Perfect for children in Year 5 who want to put traditional workbooks to one side for a bit but test their wits and their general knowledge in a relaxed way. It is half term after all!!