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Peacock Family Favorites: Blockbuster Action, Classic Comedies, and Retro Fun

From two Dark Knight flicks to one of the most fun and family-friendly monster movies, we've got a list that will put a smile on everyone's face.

by | November 3, 2020 | Comments

We continue our series of “Peacock presents” recommendations with 10 movies that will satisfy everyone in the room – from toddlers to grandparents. After thrills? We got you with two Fresh flicks from the Dark Knight trilogy. Looking to get a bit emotional? Try A Beautiful Mind. Feeling retro? We’ve got plenty to scratch that itch. So, slather that popcorn with butter and dim the lights, because these family flicks – all available now on Peacock – are going to make weekends at your place that much more fun.

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Batman Begins (2005)

84%

A young Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels to the Far East, where he’s trained in the martial arts by Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson), a member of the mysterious League of Shadows. When Ducard reveals the League’s true purpose – the complete destruction of Gotham City – Wayne returns to Gotham intent on cleaning up the city without resorting to murder. With the help of Alfred (Michael Caine), his loyal butler, and Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), a tech expert at Wayne Enterprises, Batman is born.

Critics Consensus: Brooding and dark, but also exciting and smart, Batman Begins is a film that understands the essence of one of the definitive superheroes.


The Dark Knight (2008)

94%

With the help of allies Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman (Christian Bale) has been able to keep a tight lid on crime in Gotham City. But when a vile young criminal calling himself the Joker (Heath Ledger) suddenly throws the town into chaos, the caped Crusader begins to tread a fine line between heroism and vigilantism.

Critics Consensus: Dark, complex, and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as a richly thrilling crime saga.


Bernie (2011)

88%

Assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede (Jack Black) is one of the most-beloved residents in the small Texas town of Carthage. Sunday-school teacher, choir member and creator of spectacular funerals, Bernie is a friend to everyone, including Marjorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine), a rich but nasty widow whom no one else likes. When Marjorie is found shot to death and stuffed in a freezer, Bernie is charged with the murder, and concerned Carthage citizens immediately spring to his defense.

Critics Consensus: Richard Linklater’s Bernie is a gently told and unexpectedly amusing true-crime comedy that benefits from an impressive performance by Jack Black.


A Beautiful Mind (2001)

74%

A human drama inspired by events in the life of John Forbes Nash Jr. (Russell Crowe), and in part based on the biography A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar. From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, John Forbes Nash Jr. experienced it all. A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery.

Critics Consensus: The well-acted A Beautiful Mind is both a moving love story and a revealing look at mental illness.


Meet Joe Black (1998)

44%

Bill Parrish (Anthony Hopkins), businessman and devoted family man, is about to celebrate his 65th birthday. However, before he reaches that landmark, he is visited by Death (Brad Pitt), who has taken human form as Joe Black, a young man who recently died. Joe and Bill make a deal: Bill will be given a few extra days of his life, and Joe will spend the same time getting to know what it’s like to be human. It seems like a perfect arrangement, until Joe falls in love – with Bill’s daughter.

Critics Consensus: Meet Joe Black is pretty to look at and benefits from an agreeable cast, but that isn’t enough to offset this dawdling drama’s punishing three-hour runtime.


Tremors (1990)

88%

Repairmen Val McKee (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) are tired of their dull lives in the small desert town of Perfection, Nev. But just as the two try to skip town, they happen upon a series of mysterious deaths and a concerned seismologist (Finn Carter) studying unnatural readings below the ground. With the help of an eccentric couple (Reba McEntire, Michael Gross), the group fights for survival against giant, worm-like monsters hungry for human flesh.

Critics Consensus: An affectionate throwback to 1950s creature features, Tremors reinvigorates its genre tropes with a finely balanced combination of horror and humor.


Cinderella Man (2005)

80%

During the Great Depression, ex-boxer James J. Braddock (Russell Crowe) works as a day laborer until his former manager Joe Gould (Paul Giamatti) offers him a one-time slot against a rising young contender. After he wins a shocking upset, Braddock goes back into the ring full time, against the wishes of his frightened wife, Mae (Renée Zellweger). Dubbed “The Cinderella Man” for his rags-to-riches story, Braddock sets his sights on the defending champion, the fearsome Max Baer (Craig Bierko).

Critics Consensus: With grittiness and an evocative sense of time and place, Cinderella Man is a powerful underdog story. And Ron Howard and Russell Crowe prove to be a solid combination.


Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is living the American dream. He has a good job, a beautiful house, great children and a beautiful wife, named Emily (Julianne Moore). Cal’s seemingly perfect life unravels, however, when he learns that Emily has been unfaithful and wants a divorce. Over 40 and suddenly single, Cal is adrift in the fickle world of dating. Enter, Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), a self-styled player who takes Cal under his wing and teaches him how to be a hit with the ladies.

Critics Consensus: It never lives up to the first part of its title, but Crazy, Stupid, Love‘s unabashed sweetness – and its terrifically talented cast – more than make up for its flaws.


Ride Along (2014)

18%

For two years, security guard Ben (Kevin Hart) has tried to convince James (Ice Cube), a veteran cop, that he is worthy of James’ sister, Angela. When Ben is finally accepted into the police academy, James decides to test his mettle by inviting him along on a shift deliberately designed to scare the trainee. However, events take an unexpected turn when their wild night leads to Atlanta’s most-notorious criminal and Ben’s rapid-fire mouth proves as dangerous as the bullets whizzing by them.

Critics Consensus: Kevin Hart’s livewire presence gives Ride Along a shot of necessary energy, but it isn’t enough to rescue this would-be comedy from the buddy-cop doldrums.


Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)

47%

The now-brotherless Ellwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) is finally out of prison, attempting to reunite the old band and find a few new partners in crime – played by John Goodman and J. Evan Bonifant. In this sequel to the original Blues Brothers comedy/musical, Ellwood battles the Chicago police, sings and dances his way out of numerous sticky situations, and manages to get the old band on the road for a hair-raising adventure.

Critics Consensus: Braving onward without the late John Belushi, Blues Brothers 2000 gets the band back together with a spirited soundtrack, but a mission that’s far less divine.

Thumbnail: (c) Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection, © Universal, © Warner Bros.

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