Crosswalk.com's Top Films of 2001
- Thursday, December 27, 2001
I selected the family films based on their entertainment appeal and underlying important message about family and/or friendships.
1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - Although this literary classic hasn’t been made into what I’d call a kid-friendly movie, it’s an amazing, entertaining epic for teenagers and adults. This is a great movie for parents and teenagers to see together and to discuss afterward.
2. Spy Kids – This is one of those rare movies with a strong message about how powerful a loving family can be (not to mention how much fun it would be to have parents who are very cool spies!) Great mother/father moments with the kids as well as funny moments siblings will identify with.
3. Shrek – The humor in this family film is written more on an adult level than a kid-friendly one, but it’s still a fun movie for kids to see. The ingenious artistic technique makes the characters come alive, and a cast of talented actors makes this fairytale irresistibly entertaining and charming. Eddie Murphy has never been a funnier or more perfect voice for an animated role.
4. Monsters, Inc. – Very few kiddy movies manage to entertain the parents as well the children, but this family film has the writing, comedic talent and unique animation to do just that. Besides, Boo is the cutest and bravest toddler to hit the big screen in a long time.
5. The Mummy Returns – This movie has everything: thrilling adventure, intense action, scary special effects and a loving husband and wife who adore their son and risk their lives to keep their family together. In the end, it’s the mommy and daddy moments that outweigh the mummy ones.
6. The Princess Diaries – A simple story about an awkward teenage girl who discovers she’s a princess, yet remains a genuine and real person. Family film queen Julie Andrews plays the regal grandmother and gives this movie royal appeal.
7. Jurassic Park III – This third installment has action, adventure, an interesting story and smart, scary dinosaurs. The divorced parents outsmart the dinosaurs, discover they still love each other and save their son’s life. I still get the shivers every time I hear that familiar cell phone ring.
8. Legally Blonde – Reese Witherspoon is witty, intelligent and very funny as a young woman who discovers that blondes can be smart and beautiful. Lessons about life, love and career are learned in a humorous and rewarding way for teenagers who pay attention.
9. Extreme Days – This lighthearted adventure has a little bit of everything for the kid and teen audience: valuable friendships, Godly faith, dating morals, family relationships and just about every extreme sport imaginable.
10. Hearts in Atlantis – Anthony Hopkins is a man with prophetic gifts who uses them to help a boy living with his single mom. The pseudo father/son relationship that the two develop is touching, memorable and heartwarming. The childhood boy/girl relationship is a reminder of the precious gift of innocence and puppy love, and the single mom/son relationship is one many teens will relate to. This is a recommendation for mature teens only.
TOP TEN 2001 FILMS FOR MATURE AUDIENCES
I selected the following films based on their entertainment appeal, intelligent writing, and talented performances and for the important moral, ethical or cultural issues the films address.
1. The Majestic – A powerful, old fashioned, Capra-style drama set in the ’50s, with an important message about freedom and patriotism that’s just as relevant and even more appreciated in our country today.
2. A Beautiful Mind – A compelling story based on the true account of a brilliant man who achieved greatness and notoriety while overcoming an illness that almost destroyed his life. Russell Crowe is simply brilliant.
3. Spy Game – A well written and directed story about two American spies who form a strong friendship that withstands enemy capture and government intervention. What better duo than Robert Redford and Brad Pitt?
4. Behind Enemy Lines – A fictitious story about a navigator pilot who’s shot down behind enemy lines, survives and is rescued under incredible circumstances. Owen Wilson is the perfect “everyday” American hero.
5. Ocean’s 11 – A well-directed and performed crime caper that has all the eye-candy and clever bells and whistles needed to make it fun and entertaining. The amazing ensemble cast is reason alone to see this movie.
6. Pearl Harbor – This is a beautifully filmed romantic war epic with amazing battle scenes, a talented cast, incredible special effects and an emotional story that’s centered on the tragedy that struck our American soil. Watching this movie is a powerful reminder of the price Americans have paid (and continue to pay) for our freedom.
7. Kate & Leopold –A refreshing love story starring Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman that has time travel, old-fashioned morals, values and manners, mixed with modern-day dilemmas and an underlying message about true romance that’s an absolute necessity in our 21st century culture. It’s funny, entertaining and a perfect date movie.
8. The Others – I love a well-written, well-directed and well-acted movie that gives the audience a good scare, with plot surprises that will keep you guessing until the very end. The story will remind you of The Sixth Sense, but it’s not as creepy or macabre.
9. The Shipping News – A powerful story of an emotionally and physically abused man, and how he overcomes his crippling fears to live a successful and healed life.
10. I Am Sam – A touching and heartwarming story of a mentally challenged father (brilliantly played by Sean Penn) who tries to raise his seven-year-old daughter by himself, until the courts intervene. You won’t soon forget his struggle to remain her guardian, and the legal action he takes with his attorney (Michelle Pfeiffer).
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