The “Mormon Movie Guy,” Jonathan Decker, is hosting a blog tour for his new book,250 Great Movies for Latter-day Families, from September 3–27.
Finding wholesome, uplifting movies can be a daunting task—especially when Hollywood’s values are so far from the Church’s. 250 Great Movies for Latter-day Families offers a broad selection of edifying options for your family’s next movie night. With content reviews, gospel parallels, and easy-to-use indexes, this guide is sure to have something for everyone.
Here is a brief description of the book:
“The theatre, the theatre, what’s happened to the theatre?” This is what many LDS parents are also asking. Finding films is not hard with the unlimited resources available for entertainment, including Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and Amazon instant video. But finding movies that are entertaining, well-made, and wholesome is a challenge.
Jonathan Decker, host of the KJZZ Movie Show and certified marriage and family therapist, offers this review guide—complete with easy-to-navigate indexes—on movies that range from Bing Cosby’s Going My Way (1944) to the more modernAvengers (2012). Each film receives a discussion of artistic value, a general content review, and suggestions for gospel parallels. This guide has something for everyone and is an essential tool when planning movie nights, dates, family home evenings, and other gatherings.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
First of all, I am not LDS nor affiliated with this church, but I do appreciate their books and many of their teachings. I often trust their recommendations when it comes to all sorts of media. This is why I chose to read this particular book.
I was completely impressed with the layout and premise of this book. The author has his own website, and he is actively reviewing movies with family in mind. He even spoke of how his views on what is appropriate and what is not has changed over the years. It is important for all faith-practicing individuals to make their choices on what is appropriate a personal decision between you and God. I whole-heartedly agree and appreciate his view on this.
The 250 movies he chose are not exhaustive, but I have to say that some of the inclusions surprised me. In fact, he challenged me to consider some that often have received bad press and negative reviews. For example, I know that Tim Burton’s films are well done, but I assumed that his kid’s films were bad. Due to the author’s reviews and recommendations, I have realized that what I believed may have been wrong. My daughter was very happy to learn that I have relaxed my standards to a degree, and I am now open to movies that may not be of interest to me but are not inherently bad.
I recommend this book to families who truly care about watching quality films that have good messages. All potential problems with recommended movies are stated in an easy-to-comprehend way, and positive messages/teaching moments are also pointed out. There are several Mormon films that are of no real interest to me, but the vast majority of the films are good, wholesome entertainment.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Meet the Author:
Jonathan Decker is a licensed marriage and family therapist moonlighting as a film critic, providing Hollywood movie reviews from a Latter-day Saint perspective atmormonmovieguy.com. He also writes regularly for Meridian Magazine, Modern Mormon Men, and Mommy Bear Media, and has published articles in St. George Magazine, Desert Saints Magazine, and Southern Bride Magazine. Jonathan earned a master’s degree from Auburn University, where his thesis was picked up for international publication. He has a background in entertainment, winning a campus-wide talent show at Brigham Young University for his act, “One-Man Lord of the Rings,” and spending two years as a writer and performer with the popular BYU humor group Divine Comedy. Jonathan lives with his wife and children in St. George, Utah.
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