TODAY   |  November 22, 2013

‘Reel’ moms choose their top Thanksgiving films

Entertainment Weekly’s Jessica Shaw, Fandango’s Tara McNamara and theGrio’s Joy-Ann Reid discuss new movies “The Hunger Games,” “Frozen,” “Thor” and “Christmas Candle,” and explain which ones are great for the kids and which are for date nights.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we're back on this try day friday with more of today and real moms. the ladies who gathered to review the latest family films .

>> jessica shaw, senior writer for " entertainment weekly ".

>> mother of three tara mcnamara, i'm sorry. that's a little far away from me, i'm old now, a fan dango film mom.

>> and joy reed, mom of three and managing editor of

>> hello, ladies.

>> shall we start? "hunger games," everybody is in. what do we think?

>> "catching fire". it is really, really good. i loved part one. part two is gorgeous. the costumes are insane. the scenery, they shot in hawaii, it is incredible. what i like about it is though there is violence, because katniss and piete peeta, they're on their victory tour , they have to fight another round of game, the violence is not sensationalized.

>> that's what you hated about the first one.

>> i cringed. what age do you think this film is for?

>> i think 11 plus . 11 is the youngest. know your kid. most of the intense scenes like that are off camera, and it is more about the psychological trauma of it for katniss. i think it really puts the weight in it.

>> i loved the film. my kids read the book and are interested in it. the series was target toward tweens. that's the age group which "the hunger games" took off. my youngest is going with a bunch of friends, 14 years old, and they're all going to see the film in a big group. it has a built in constituency and as a parent, you love it too. it is great action, great costumes, beautifully shot.

>> so raves.

>> raves.

>> disney has something called frozen, right?

>> yeah. it is a disney animated musical about two sisters who happen to be princesses and the frozen kingdom. i think it is the most relatable princess that we have ever seen, anna, voiced by kristen bell . she's awkward, trying really hard to be taken seriously. and she's just adorable. so is the snowman olaf. he is amazing. he will melt your heart.

>> people are comparing it to "the lion king ," the music.

>> the other princess is incredible, yeah.

>> your kids, joanne, a little older, but maybe too old?

>> my kids love these movies. they're older but they lost animated films . i think they would enjoy it. the snowman, adorable.

>> a movie about sisterhood, nice. good message.

>> haven't seen that a lot. that's great.

>> let's talk about "thor," that's already killing it.

>> number one at the box office .

>> made over $150 million already. it is another superhero movie , "thor," played by chris hemsworth , another one of the marvel avengers universe. i don't think this is more or less violent than any of the other superhero movies, but if you've seen the avengers, similar fare.

>> okay.

>> what i liked about it was that it plays -- hollywood has redemption movies, give them a second chance, and really get into the struggle. there may be second chances, maybe they aren't the way to go sometimes.

>> "the christmas candle", a feel good film, max lucado is the writer of the book.

>> it is a wonderful family film . there is hollywood family films at this time of the year. this one is a family movie , very heart felt. especially for religious audiences, somebody who cares about the christian theme. it is perfect for that kind of audience.

>> susan boyle is in it.

>> first on screen kiss .

>> she was pretty good, very natural in it, didn't you think?

>> yeah. she did her job. also set in the 1890s . that's probably the caution -- i think kids tend to not like movies made in the old en days. i thought this was a better film to go see for faith-based couples to go see in a theater.

>> thanks, ladies.