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Five for Families: Movie trilogies hope third time is the charm

Posted July 5

Here are five movies from various platforms that families may want to consider.

The recent releases of "Despicable Me 3" and "Cars 3" continue a line of well-loved and highly anticipated trilogies. From a despicable ex-villain to an older race car who still has what it takes to compete, these films and others show that sometimes the third time is the charm. Here are five threequels for families to consider.

In theaters: 'Despicable Me 3'

After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League, Gru is tempted to return to a life of crime. Then he meets his twin brother, Dru, who wants to follow his brother's corrupt path and team up for a heist. The Dove Foundation awarded the animated film its "Family-Approved" seal for all ages and called "Despicable Me 3" a "joyful, slapstick-charged ride through a story that celebrates family." The website noted the movie is packed with Academy Award winners, along with a healthy dose of the delightful Minions. The film is rated PG for action and rude humor. Deseret News reviewer Josh Terry gave the animated movie two and a half stars out of four.

In theaters: 'Cars 3'

Lightning McQueen is eager to return to the races, and with the help of a young technician, he devises a plan to win and prove he can still compete in the sport he loves. Plugged In said the sentiment of moving too quickly and not taking the time to enjoy life is one of the film's strongest messages. The website called the film a terrific story that is "loaded with positive messages about selfishness, slowing down, enjoying life and learning how to be a good friend." PluggedIn awarded the movie four and a half stars out of five.

Amazon Video: 'Toy Story 3'

Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the gang plan their escape when they are donated to a day care center after Andy leaves for college. The Dove Foundation awarded the film its “Family-Approved” seal for all ages, calling the film “delightfully clever” and recognizing the “franchise is alive and as enjoyable in this third installment as in the previous two films.” Rotten Tomatoes gave the G rated film a 99 percent "fresh" rating.

Netflix: 'Kung Fu Panda 3'

The story continues as Po is reunited with his panda father and the two train a village of fun but clumsy pandas to fight a supernatural villain. The Dove Foundation awarded the movie its "Family-Approved" seal for ages 12 and older, noting that the film continues the series with "a lot of energy and creativity" and the theme of "be the best you that you can be." Common Sense Media called the film an "effective, entertaining story about family ties and establishing your identity." It notes a "scary supernatural bull monster," "a series of frequently intense battles" and flashback scenes that may frighten some children. The film is rated PG for martial arts action and some mild rude humor. Common Sense Media recommends the film for viewers ages 6 and older.

Amazon Video: 'Back to the Future Part III'

Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Emmett "Doc" Brown (Christopher Lloyd) return in this final installment of the Back to the Future trilogy. Marty and the DeLorean travel back in time to the year 1885 to save Doc from Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen. Common Sense Media called this Wild West-themed film "a pleasant surprise" and a "must-see for parents who want to share a little bit of their own youth with the next generation, even if the children won't laugh quite as hard." Common Sense Media awarded the movie four stars out of five and recommends it for viewers ages 9 and older.

Email: crandall@deseretnews.com

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