Family Home Theater

Family Home Theater is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): James Plath
Rating Title/Year Author
B- Now You See Me 2 (2016) James Plath A solid sequel that's as glitzy and stylish as the first--even though it may be a little harder to figure out. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B- Yours, Mine and Ours (1968) James Plath It's a little bit of a stretch to accept 57-year-old Ball and 63-year-old Fonda as fertile parents, but they still make for believable parents once you get over the initial shock. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B+ Johnny Guitar (1954) James Plath Compared to other Westerns, Johnny Guitar is high art--richly atmospheric and with noir elements that will remind viewers of such dramatic films as Key Largo. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B- Central Intelligence (2016) James Plath Hart and Johnson actually pair up nicely, and Central Intelligence is a fun action-comedy largely because of their antics and the chemistry that they manage. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
C+ Ice Girls (2016) James Plath There is no 'intense rivalry' between girls, and the 'underdog tale' never has a chance to wag because the girl's injury seems so slight and such a non-factor. Plus, this made-for-TV movie is clearly aimed at a younger audience. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
C+ Wild Oats (2016) James Plath The MacLaine-Lange pairing is good but not great, though I'd be hard-pressed to tell you exactly why. Maybe it's because you don't feel any depth to their friendship, and they're supposed to be best friends. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
C- Who Gets the Dog? (2016) James Plath This formulaic, straight-as-the-crow-flies romantic comedy can feel plodding and downright dull at times.... EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B- Lights Out (2016) James Plath If all you require of a horror-thriller is that it scares you, then Lights Out does the trick. If you need it to make complete sense, well, it's not here. But hey, that's the world of the supernatural. As with magic, do you really want to know everything? EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B+ X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) James Plath Apocalypse proceeds so confidently that you feel assured that it all fits together and makes perfect sense, even if you're not getting it in the instant. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B+ The Legend of Tarzan (2016) James Plath Adds a nice infusion of originality and energy into an old, familiar story.... EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
A- Amazonia (2013) James Plath A great first nature film to introduce children to, and even those who don't respond well to the survival-of-the-fittest world of nature films will find this a welcome change of pace.... EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B Suddenly (1954) James Plath If you remove the hokum--the overly obvious and period-wholesome nonsense that frames the main narrative--Suddenly is a taut thriller in the Key Largo mold. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
A Finding Dory (2016) James Plath There isn't a scene that needs work or a concept that wsn't sufficiently milked for laughs or another emotion.... EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B+ Houdini (1953) James Plath Hollywood legend Tony Curtis gives one of his best performances in Houdini, a colorful biography set in the 1890s through 1920s, and he does it playing opposite his then-wife Janet Leigh.... EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B The Secret Life of Pets (2016) James Plath Take away the over-the-top sequences and you'd probably have a tamer feature that wouldn't engage children as much; add them and adults roll their eyes. But at least the adults can appreciate the superbly animated sequences and pet-owner touchstones. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B Pete's Dragon (2016) James Plath What Pete's Dragon lacks in originality it makes up for in visual and special effects....second-tier Disney, but I suspect it will be viewed as an underrated film as time goes by. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
C+ The BFG (2016) James Plath The kind of film you appreciate for its technical wizardry but maybe don't like as much as you think you should.... EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B Suicide Squad (2016) James Plath Suicide Squad isn't as fun of a ride as Guardians of the Galaxy. It could have been, with more performances like Jared Leto's and Margot Robbie's.... EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
C+ Storks (2016) James Plath While the birds in the film take flight, the film itself never really gets too high off the ground.... EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
C- Stagecoach: The Texas Jack Story (2016) James Plath Trace Adkins looks like a character you'd see in the Old West, but he's not much of an actor. Neither are some of the others who mouth poorly written lines or chew scenery.... EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
A- Sully (2016) James Plath As tension builds inside the pilot who made headlines . . . so does the tension build in this film by director Clint Eastwood. Before you know it, you're wrapped up in the drama.... EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B+ Deepwater Horizon (2016) James Plath Deepwater Horizon is pretty solid, with a cast that bridges three generations of moviegoers. Though disaster movies are all about the action and special effects, they still depend on actors to 'sell' the disaster. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
A- Queen of Katwe (2016) James Plath Queen of Katwe isn't your typical feel-good Disney movie or biopic, but that's another strength. With winning performances by the two stars and young Nalwanga, it's the kind of film that sticks with you. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B+ Pinocchio (1940) James Plath Both a classic and underrated Disney film, if that's possible. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
C+ Ice and the Sky (2015) James Plath There's no denying that the work Lorius does is fascinating science, unless you're a U.S. politician who denounces anything that gets in the way of the economy. But it's not very compelling as drama. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B- Inferno (2016) James Plath Is it as good as the first two films? No. But because of the formula there are still pleasures to be had, and director Howard does a good job of integrating the medieval images and keeping viewers off-balance. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
A- The Eagle Huntress (2016) James Plath A G-rated inspirational film that has a lot going for it: exotic setting, gorgeous cinematography, a likable teenage protagonist, a special father-daughter bond, and a natural dramatic arc. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
A- The Edge of Seventeen (2016) James Plath It's not exactly a caterpillar-to-butterfly tale. More like a grub to a beetle--a different kind of coming of age story, yet one that's oh so familiar as Nadine learns to appreciate the people right there at arm's reach. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
A- Doctor Strange (2016) James Plath Benedict Cumberbatch might not fit the leading man profile, but he wears the Doctor Strange uniform well. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B Evelyn (2002) James Plath The first third of this film can seem like a downer, but the performances are absorbing and in no time at all it takes an inspirational, feel-good turn. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
A Moana (2016) James Plath I didn't think it possible, but in terms of looks, Moana finds a comfortable middle ground between traditional animation and 3D CGI animation . . . with a story that features Disney's strongest female hero to date. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B+ Sing (2016) James Plath If this were live-action, I think it would be a yawner. Even Glee had more plotting. But the animation sells it and makes it entertaining for all ages, despite the tired premise. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
C+ Collateral Beauty (2016) James Plath If you're no big fan of message films . . . or contrived plots . . . or melodramas where you know the whole point of a film is to make viewers feel something, then you probably won't care too much for this 2016 drama. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
A- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) James Plath Anyone unconvinced that J.K. Rowling is a brilliant storyteller needs to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B+ Heidi (2015) James Plath This most recent and faithful adaptation does the most spectacular job of exploiting the scenery and Heidi's natural capacity for unbridled joy. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
C+ The Swan Princess: Royally Undercover (2017) James Plath It's all pretty formulaic and the characters are stock types that we've seen many times before. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
A Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) James Plath Can I just say that I liked Rogue One: A Star Wars Story better than the last four Star Wars stories--even The Force Awakens, which was the top grossing film of 2015? EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
C A Cowgirl's Story (2017) James Plath The biggest problem with A Cowgirl's Story is that everything is too far-fetched, familiar, or unbelievably easy. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
A- A League of Their Own (1992) James Plath If you isolate the performances and compare them to baseball cards, there isn't a dud destined to be traded or clipped to the spokes of a bicycle wheel. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B+ Split (2016) James Plath A solid thriller right up until the end, when the director decides to play to his fans and his own indulgences, rather than tying things up for viewers in a more satisfying way. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
A- La La Land (2016) James Plath La La Land is a bit like its Oscar-winning song, City of Stars: it may seem slight, but in the end, it's the little things you remember most. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
C A Mermaid's Tale (2016) James Plath From a critic's perspective, A Mermaid's Tale is a C- at best. But young Caitlin Carmichael is likable as the female lead and the playful relationship she has with her father plus surprisingly good production values helps a little. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B- Rock Dog (2016) James Plath Much better than you'd expect for a film that did not do well at the box office in China and drew a 39 percent 'rotten' rating at Rotten Tomatoes. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
A- The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) James Plath Funny, clever, action-packed, and rocking with music and kaleidoscopic graphics, but it's the underlying messages that make it a great family film. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
A Beauty and the Beast (2017) James Plath Our family watched Beauty and the Beast separately . . . but we all had the same reaction: We loved it. Disney excels in creating movie worlds, and to create this one they decided against straight live-action and incorporated 1700 visual effects. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B- Money From Home (1953) James Plath Like most comedies from the fifties, Money from Home is corny and depends on sight gags, slapstick, and a few good one-liners . . . but you find yourself getting caught up in the action. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
C+ Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017) James Plath If only the filmmakers decided to be more ambitious and plant a few things for older family members to enjoy . . . or work with a familiar narrative framework so part of the fun is watching the variation unfold. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B- A Quiet Passion (2016) James Plath One of the film's strengths is that we hear the poems read in voiceover after an event that likely inspired them, or at least is thematically compatible. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B Road to Bali (1952) James Plath Though not as funny as Road to Morocco and Road to Utopia, this 91-minute comedy is a good place to start for families with younger children because it is color and because Road to Bali is a kitchen sink film. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018
B The Lemon Drop Kid (1951) James Plath There's something in The Lemon Drop Kid that's endearing enough to make it a nice alternative to the usual Christmas movies.... EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2018