Movie Monday Roundup of 2011

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

I have a special Movie Monday this week…today I am featuring some of my favorite movies our family viewed in 2011.  Need a movie suggestion for your next family night? Check out some of the following in no particular order (reviews will open in a new window for convenience).

I have a complete movie listing of mom-approved movies at (with an archive of movies that have been reviewed following the listing) so be sure to check out the list which includes numerous movies not listed here.

End of the Spear


Dolphin Tale

Soul Surfer

The Christmas Card

What If

Beautiful Dreamer

Saving Sarah Cain

Doc Season 1

Drive Thru History Greece is the Word

The Perfect Game

Though None Go With Me

No Greater Love

Pit Pony

The Christmas Card

Friendship’s Field

The Perfect Gift

Velveteen Rabbit


Incredible Creatures (Documentary)


Seven Alone

The American Heritage Series (documentary) American heritage series

Buzby the Misbehaving Bee

While they can be difficult to find, there are some wonderful movies for families, so pop the popcorn and take in a movie!

And be sure to join me next Monday for another movie review and on Thursday when I’ll be hosting one of my favorite authors with a giveaway!

Movie Monday – Soul Surfer – 8/29/11

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

This week’s family movie suggestion is Soul Surfer…

I remember hearing about Bethany Hamilton’s frightening ordeal of losing her arm (and nearly her life) to a shark attack while surfing. When the movie was released, I hoped for two things: (1) that it would relfect Bethany’s faith and how that faith saw her through horrific trauma in her life and (2) that it would be a family movie. The movie met my expectations on both accounts – I loved this movie!

Family unity and loyalty is strong in Soul Surfer and that is one of my favorite things about the movie. It’s apparent that Bethany, her parents, and her brothers are a closeknit family and that they truly care for each other. When times are difficult, we need those we love most to come alongside us. Bethany is also surrounded by loyal friends, who rally around her, not only during her surfing competitions, but also after her accident. What amazed me was that she and her best friend competed in competitions, yet they didn’t allow that to interfere in their friendship. What an example of how to love your neighbor!

There are many opportunities for discussion in this film:

1. Bethany sneaks out at night to go surfing. I’m not sure she had a consequence, but this provided a great discussion point nonetheless. 

2. There is a girl Bethany surfs against who is spiteful and mean. How should we handle people like that in our own lives?

3. At one point, Bethany becomes discouraged about what happened. Why do bad things happen? Does the Lord distance himself from us during those times? Or does He forever remain by our side, never leaving us and never forsaking us?

4. Another great discussion topic is about modesty, as at times, the bathing suits are a bit immodest. And finally,

5. Bethany embarks on a missions trip. At times when we feel as though things couldn’t be any worse in our lives, all we have to do is look around and see the pain and the suffering of others. Then, reach out and offer assistance.

I loved this movie. Yes, I bawled after Bethany was injured (I’m a mom after all!) and yes, I bawled at the end. It is a powerful movie that points to God, family, and determination. I would highly recommend it for those ages tween and up. Younger children will be frightened by the shark attack, although it was tastefully done and not prolonged.