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Film Mom: The Best Movie of the Year According to Kids

The Film Mom is a weekly column about family entertainment for parents with kids (and kids with parents) by Tara McNamara, the editor and founder of

This Sunday’s Academy Awards caps the movie award season in which we’ve heard the same movies and same actors’ names bandied about as “the best” for months. However, the winners of one awards event are quite different: the PICK Awards honors the best in film from a kid’s point of view.

With more than 31,000 votes cast, this year’s PICK Award winners really make a statement.  Zachary Gordon won PICK Actor for the second year in a row for his portrayal of lovable scamp Greg Heffley in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. It may surprise some that Dog Days is also the PICK Movie of the Year, beating out The Hunger Games, The Avengers and Best Animated Picture Oscar nominee Wreck-It Ralph. Bailee Madison and Kyle Harrison Breitkopf won for PICK Kid Actress and PICK Scene Stealer, respectively, for their roles in Parental Guidance. Almost all of the award recipients won with more than 50% of the vote.

What’s notable is that Parental Guidance and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies were underestimated by adults. Comedies about kids and their modern-day problems are rarely appreciated by movie critics. Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer, Hotel for Dogs, and even the largely inappropriate but hilarious if you’re a tween, Fun Size (out on DVD/VOD this week), were mostly panned. The point is that when it comes to movies for kids, adult movie critics don’t know Jax. Or Jayden. Or Chloe. Let the professional critics introduce you to wonders like Silver Linings Playbook, but when the movie is geared for kids, only the recommendations of other kids can be trusted.


Here are three movies you can see in the theater with your kids:

1. Escape from Planet Earth. Finally, a movie for little kids. Egotistical astronaut Scorch thinks he doesn’t need his nerdy brother, computer whiz Gary. Nothing like being captured in Area 51 to turn sibling rivalry into brotherly love.

2. Beautiful Creatures. It’s a fantasy romance in the vein of Twilight, but reversed. It’s a movie about high school teens and the characters curse, tell lewd jokes and make out like high school teens. On the plus side, the cool kids read books.

3. Warm BodiesWhen a zombie eats the brains of a young man, he absorbs his memories and his feelings, including being in love with a human girl. Even teen boys will appreciate this clever twist on Romeo and Juliet. 

See what kids have to say about these movies at , where all kids are movie critics.




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