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Entertainment

Five for Families: The ups and downs of middle school

Posted October 15

Here are five movies from various platforms that families may want to consider. Because not all are appropriate for younger children, age recommendations are included.

The recent release of "Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life," displays the ups and downs of middle school years. Authority figures and friendships are put to the test in these sometimes difficult ages. Here are five family friendly films for families to consider.

In theaters: 'Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life'

In this movie based on the best-selling book by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, a quiet teen, Rafe, and his friends plan to break all the rules at school. Common Sense Media calls the movie an "entertaining adaption" that "captures the spirit of the book's quirky main character's quest to break ridiculous rules and carry on after personal tragedy." The website said the movie "encourages honesty and communication between families and siblings and the importance of teachers who focus on students rather than test scores." The website also notes that Rafe breaks the rules for valid reasons. The film is rated PG for rude humor throughout, language and thematic elements. Ok.com recommends the film for viewers ages 11 and older.

iTunes: 'Akeelah and the Bee'

With the help of teachers and the community, an 11-year-old girl strives toward her goal of entering the National Spelling Bee. The Dove Foundation awarded the film its "Family-Approved" seal for ages 12 and older with a note that the film leaves viewers with "hope for the future of our children and the importance of love and support from families and friends." Ok.com recommends the film for viewers ages 7 and older.

Amazon Video: 'Bridge to Terabithia'

A preteen boy befriends a new girl in school, and they imagine a fantasy world to escape reality. The Dove Foundation awarded the film its "Family-Approved" seal for ages 12 and over, and advises viewers to "close your eyes and keep your mind wide open! Travel to Terabithia, where anything is possible." The film is rated PG for thematic elements including bullying, some peril and mild language. Ok.com recommends the film for viewers ages 7 and older.

iTunes: 'School of Rock'

An underachieving guitarist pretends to be a substitute teacher and recruits the students to be in a rock band. MovieGuide.org refers to the story as “light, silly and often tongue-in-cheek,” with a teacher (Jack Black) who is sensitive and kind to the students. Parents should also note that the film is rated PG-13 and contains some language and elements of rebellion. Ok.com recommends the film for viewers ages 11 and older.

Amazon Video: 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid'

Based on a best-selling novel, the film follows a student as he tries to navigate the middle school social scene. The Dove Foundation boils the film’s plot down to “reconciliation” as “one wimpy kid ... comes through in the end.” The website suggests parents view the film first as it contains some “gross humor.” The film is rated PG for some rude humor and language. Ok.com recommends the film for viewers ages 8 and older.

Email: crandall@deseretnews.com

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